Defensive Firearms Training – How is it different?

When you seek training in the use of your firearms – what type of training should you search out? There is a simple answer – it depends on its use. If you are looking to know how to handle a firearm safely, shoot it safely and the basics of marksmanship, there are a number of different courses available that teach just that – and nothing more.

However, if you are looking for coursework that will teach you to defend yourself should that need arise – then you are looking specifically for “Defensive Firearms Training” (D.F.T.).

A solid D.F.T. program will provide you with the fundamentals – information about the specific firearm, its cycle of operation, methods to clear malfunctions, choosing the right ammunition, how to load it, proper grip, sight alignment, sight picture, your shooting stance, proper trigger press and follow through. Past that, there is much more depth needed. People who carry a defensive weapon need training on proper belts, holsters, concealment garments, ideas for off-body carry – all the way to how to properly conduct yourself in a restroom with your defensive weapon.

Those who carry a defensive weapon also need to receive training on how to observe what is going on around them and how to select cover and use concealment. They need some standard methods to deescalate a potentially bad situation. And they need to know how to clearly articulate why the individual they engaged with their defensive weapon had the Ability to hurt them, had the Opportunity to hurt them, why they felt they were in imminent Jeopardy and that they were left with the use of their defensive weapon to the Preclusion of any other option.

Once the decision has been made to use their defensive weapon, they must receive training that gives them the ability to rapidly and accurately use their weapon. The defender “owns every round” – they need to insure they go exactly where they need to do.

These are the characteristics that separate familiarization courses, shooting sports courses, basic introduction courses from true Defensive Firearms Training. Know the differences, seek out the specific type of training you are looking for and, if you carry a defensive weapon, make sure the training is
tailored to that specific need.

The SAFTEA is releasing just such a body of coursework covering Defensive Handgun, Defensive Shotgun and Defensive Carbine. Give them a look at http://saftea.org

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