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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
with a handgun.

I know 5, maybe 6 firearms instructors across the US [ one in Ohio, one in SC, one in Nevada, one in Fla. and another in Az. ] who can teach you how to fight with a handgun. Another 1/2 dozen who think they can teach you how to stay alive with a handgun and can't, but fool the unsuspecting student into believing they got their moneys worth out of the COF [ one of these types is still posting occasionally here and one that used to post and hasn't been seen in years posting here.

Now how would I know there's two [ now one ] here who prey on the unsuspecting student? I've heard back from their students, through PM's and two through face to face interaction when they approached me after the first break exclaiming the one hadn't shown them in a day what I'd shown them in the first 90 minutes, and that he didn't teach it the way I did. Quite displeased with that instructor, I suggested they make contact and ask for their money back, or at the least of it, post up here about their displeasure with that member trainer.

the rest of the trainers in the country are imparting front sight press skills, basically just teaching the basics, then advanced basics of marksmanship skills with a pistol. If you can't drill tiny little groups or can't keep a small group under their time constraints, you're considered a failure of their COF.

What are staying fighting skills with a handgun you may wonder--------------------------If you're in a DGU situation, you're fighting for your life. Fighting skills using a handgun would seem to make sense when you're fighting for your life.

Lets hear from some members who've taken both types of training. What do you believe is the difference between being taught advanced basics of marksmanship and fighting skills. And for members that haven't been introduced to both, give us your idea of the differences.

Then there's the question about tactics one may use to cut the odds in their favor, or lack of tactics that puts their odds of surviving a little lower than it could be. People learn quickly in Fof courses they don't have a clue about tactics, and their superior marksmanship skills are less likely to keep them alive in a fight for their life.

Learning to stay alive with any tool is a thinking mans game. It doesn't just include marksmanship skills. It includes tactics that help put the odds in your favor.
 

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I’ve taken your class and Ricks class a few times. I’ve also taken a class that taught the front sight press. I was very displeased at the waste of time to have to bring the weapon up to get a “sight picture” before firing. I took this class after yours and Ricks, so I was like what a waste of time. I’d drop you from half hip long before you had time to get that firearm all the way up for a sight picture. I did the class for what it was but was disappointed in what they taught. Didn’t go back and hoping you and Rick or maybe now our retired Greg will continue/start offering classes for us. (Hint, hint, hint) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’ve taken your class and Ricks class a few times. I’ve also taken a class that taught the front sight press. I was very displeased at the waste of time to have to bring the weapon up to get a “sight picture” before firing. I took this class after yours and Ricks, so I was like what a waste of time. I’d drop you from half hip long before you had time to get that firearm all the way up for a sight picture. I did the class for what it was but was disappointed in what they taught. Didn’t go back and hoping you and Rick or maybe now our retired Greg will continue/start offering classes for us. (Hint, hint, hint) :)
That does seem to be the consensus from people who've taken both FSP training courses and threat focused courses. Shame more people couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel while there's still people who can impart the fighting skills with a handgun.

FSP courses were just so HO HUM after SIONICS in 81.
 

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Most of the instructors (with noteworthy exceptions) I've trained under have gotten so wrapped around their own dogma and doctrine that they are unable to see the shortcomings of their approaches. They don't know what they don't know, taken to the next level. Rather than adapt, evolve and progress, they simply keep regurgitating the same ol', deriding anything that contradicts, or even questions their tired rhetoric. JMO, of course, but arrived at through hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars of chasing the better mousetrap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Most of the instructors (with noteworthy exceptions) I've trained under have gotten so wrapped around their own dogma and doctrine that they are unable to see the shortcomings of their approaches. They don't know what they don't know, taken to the next level. Rather than adapt, evolve and progress, they simply keep regurgitating the same ol', deriding anything that contradicts, or even questions their tired rhetoric. JMO, of course, but arrived at through hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars of chasing the better mousetrap.
They aren't capable of teaching anything other than what they were taught, trained in for decades, became quite proficient at, then became instructors of FSP themselves. Once entrenched in the shooting community, they've shown themselves to be protective of their bottom line by decrying anything other than their FSP that may take students from them.

When you're a one trick pony, you HAVE to convince people YOUR trick is the only trick worth training in. Had one FSP trainer who previously worked for gunsite, started his own FSP school, found threat focused was leaving the train station primarily due to 3 of us instructors starting to train others professionally, offered courses in those skills, couldn't teach it, brought/flipped one "our" students in to put the courses on under his moniker for a few years, then discarded him when it didn't work out to be the bread and butter he thought it was going to be [ financially ] primarily because the "student" became the trainer for him before he'd had the years in grade to remedial the students, just like one of the trainers here who posts courses. Now for the last several years has hit on the dot on SD guns craze [ again due to the number of people adding dots to SD guns and jumping on the band wagon ], and touts this now as the latest and greatest training one can receive.

There's a world of difference between being able to perform the threat focused skills and having enough time in grade to remedial others when sometimes their students have questions.

104 views, 4 people have responded. I knew this one wasn't going to gain any traction. I was hoping it opened up a good discussion from members asking sundry questions. Now if I'd added something political to the thread, we'd see a lot more postings. ;)

Now that I know longer train others across the country, I enjoy throwing up all manner of discussions about FSP vs threat focused skills courses because NOW, I can't be accused of hawking the skills for profit and having an agenda based on my bottom line.

HOLD THE LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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They aren't capable of teaching anything other than what they were taught, trained in for decades, became quite proficient at, then became instructors of FSP themselves. Once entrenched in the shooting community, they've shown themselves to be protective of their bottom line by decrying anything other than their FSP that may take students from them.
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There's a world of difference between being able to perform the threat focused skills and having enough time in grade to remedial others when sometimes their students have questions.

104 views, 4 people have responded. I knew this one wasn't going to gain any traction. I was hoping it opened up a good discussion from members asking sundry questions. Now if I'd added something political to the thread, we'd see a lot more postings. ;)

Now that I know longer train others across the country, I enjoy throwing up all manner of discussions about FSP vs threat focused skills courses because NOW, I can't be accused of hawking the skills for profit and having an agenda based on my bottom line.

HOLD THE LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've taken both but it wasn't until I found your many posts here early in the last decade and then travelled hundreds of miles from DPRofMD to take your course at Volusia Co that I recognized right away that the skills you imparted on students we're not mere marksmanship, but fighting handgun skills! Unfortunately, the skills you taught are mostly not taught any more.

You said it yourself in the OP, there are virtually NO instructors ANYWHERE that know how to teach TFP skills; it's so foreign to most that it must be "snake oil." So when FSP instruction is all that's available, those wanting to learn something more don't even know what "more" is to search for TFP instructors! All the so called "experts" only know FSP.

ETA: I couldn't "discuss" earlier because I was visiting my mom and couldn't spend enough time digesting your OP and formulating a response. However, there are so few here on FCC anymore that have experienced TFP instruction, there won't likely be many to discuss much. Unfortunately, the numbers are dwindling on both sides of the issue, instructors AND students wanting to learn it!
 
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I've taken both but it wasn't until I found your many posts here early in the last decade and then travelled hundreds of miles from DPRofMD to take your course at Volusia Co that I recognized right away that the skills you imparted on students we're not mere marksmanship, but fighting handgun skills! Unfortunately, the skills you taught are mostly not taught any more.

You said it yourself in the OP, there are virtually NO instructors ANYWHERE that know how to teach TFP skills; it's so foreign to most that it must be "snake oil." So when FSP instruction is all that's available, those wanting to learn something more don't even know what "more" is to search for TFP instructors! All the so called "experts" only know FSP.

ETA: I couldn't "discuss" earlier because I was visiting my mom and couldn't spend enough time digesting your OP and formulating a response. However, there are so few here on FCC anymore that have experienced TFP instruction, there won't likely be many to discuss much. Unfortunately, the numbers are dwindling on both sides of the issue, instructors AND students wanting to learn it!
FSP is much like the twelve-step movement in that it has to dismiss, discredit and demonize all other approaches as snake-oil in order to establish and maintain its own credibility. If it doesn't work for you, it's because you aren't doing it right. An ineffective approach is just that, no matter how many thousands of rounds one sends downrange, or how many meetings one attends.
 

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I’ve even told golf instructors, two of them on Parris Island, that there is a guy from Arizona, who, when he explains how to execute a firearm technique, it goes right into your brain.
It’s a certain method of communication that is a unique skill set of it’s own.
Brownie makes his class make sense with his method of speaking.
I’ve been to classes where similar techniques to what Brownie teaches were professed, and walked away dismayed.
Now if I could just find a golf instructor with that same unique ability.
 

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I'm trying to sort out the intent of your post. It seems to be more of a lamentation that TFP skills are being taught by an ever diminishing number of people... a number which was exceedingly small on a national scale to begin with.

There is a bit of a "tone" that seems to be saying, "Nobody is teaching what I taught, anymore, and I'm retired... So, it sucks that all you heathens are stuck with these incompetent and ubiquitous FSP instructors. Too bad, so sad. I'm a dying breed, and I'm going to reminisce while mocking everyone else."

Now, that may not be the case at all. So, what IS your point, really? You used to teach it. Very few are qualified to teach it.... and they're dying off / retiring, too. FSP sucks. (Does it really?) What are those who haven't taken a TFP course supposed to do about that, if it's not available? What can WE do about it... Other than be equally smug that we are among the few who were able to take your courses?

I've taken some FSP instruction (even fairly recently). I've also taken TFP... twice, including a recent refresher.

The differences between them are stark and obvious. However.....

I'm going to turn around and ask you a question. :) Do you think some basic marksmanship skills are a prerequisite for TFP training? As I recall in the 1st class I took, you verified that we had some basic skills by having us shoot with sights at a target.

FSP might fall under the basic marksmanship set of skills, IMO. In other words, I think a gun owner should be able to perform FSP skills BEFORE moving up to TFP. No? Yes?

So, rather than "competing" techniques, I would suggest they are complimentary. They each have their place in the spectrum of defensive pistol skills. Parts of a spectrum. Yes? No?

I will say I'm very glad to have both. I'm really REALLY glad I had the opportunity to train in TFP. I would like to do more, including TFP "on the move" and from unconventional positions. I think a FoF course would be a great way to realistically assess those TFP skills, and I've never had that opportunity.
 

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Now if I could just find a golf instructor with that same unique ability.
"Get ON that ball, right ****ing now! That ball is trying to kill you!"
"Too slow. Do it again!"

🤪 :ROFLMAO:
 

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My perspective on this is different.

First, I do not believe there is 1 'true way'. It's knowing the skills and blending them as necessary.

Second, few instructors teach SD. It one of the things that surprised me about the three instructors I have taken courses from here and it's why I go back for more. It's why I'm willing to go to learn knife skills from a mongoose fast individual in Arizona .)

Third, mental preparedness isn't a concept that is broached, and it's critical to survival.

I was at a New Years Eve party last year. Someone comes to me saying there is trouble. I get up and check to make sure my handgun isn't binding in the holster. It served 2 purposes, one of which was flipping the switch on. I was able to deescalate verbally because I'm a peace loving man, and de-escalation isn't my thing.

What I do is always evaluate how the skill I'm being taught can be applied to SD. It means I think too much, but because most instructors suck, it's my way. If I find it useful, I'll sign up for another, for practice. If not, then I got to shoot my firearm, and that is always a joy.

Being able to drill neat holes slowly, accurately in a target is a necessary first step. But it's just that, the first step.
 

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..

I'm going to turn around and ask you a question. :) Do you think some basic marksmanship skills are a prerequisite for TFP training? As I recall in the 1st class I took, you verified that we had some basic skills by having us shoot with sights at a target.

FSP might fall under the basic marksmanship set of skills, IMO. In other words, I think a gun owner should be able to perform FSP skills BEFORE moving up to TFP. No? Yes?
Why would an instructor who can demonstrate that target-focused shooting is superior to FSP for self-defense shooting feel compelled to teach FSP before teaching threat focused?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I'm trying to sort out the intent of your post. It seems to be more of a lamentation that TFP skills are being taught by an ever diminishing number of people... a number which was exceedingly small on a national scale to begin with.

There is a bit of a "tone" that seems to be saying, "Nobody is teaching what I taught, anymore, and I'm retired... So, it sucks that all you heathens are stuck with these incompetent and ubiquitous FSP instructors. Too bad, so sad. I'm a dying breed, and I'm going to reminisce while mocking everyone else."

When I was instructing, there were 5-6 in the country that had the knowledge and ability to train in TF skills. They HAVE the knowledge, but only 3 were actually working with others to bring the skills to others. One of them is retiring soon, and may start training others, one just retired in NYC and is now in SC retired working part time at a gun range. One advances the skills a few times a year, still does. So out of the 5-6 I know who have the knowledge and ability to impart the skills to others only two of us were actually training up others for the last 15-18 years.

Heathens? Unenlightened is the word I'd have used. Incompetent FSP instructors? There's hundreds of them in the US. And yes, I'm one of a dying breed, and one of just 3 that fought long and hard with the FSP trainers on boards for a decade or more [ and on some boards, the fight actually continues but less so that when the 3 of us were very vocal in bringing the knowledge back from the masters of TF skills ]. Those are facts in evidence, there's no debate on the last two paragraphs.


Now, that may not be the case at all. So, what IS your point, really? You used to teach it. Very few are qualified to teach it.... and they're dying off / retiring, too. FSP sucks. (Does it really?) What are those who haven't taken a TFP course supposed to do about that, if it's not available? What can WE do about it... Other than be equally smug that we are among the few who were able to take your courses?

When I was given the gifts of TF pistol shooting skills by the old masters, I didn't realize the gifts would play a role in my staying alive until I actually had to use them in the wild. After the first incident, I realized those skills were gifts imparted to me and I'd been fortunate enough to garner them. They didn't come to me, I sought their knowledge, it was a blessing in disguise actually. Smug? I wouldn't use that term to describe the feeling of having taken the opportunity to train with them at considerable expense before those skills were no longer made available. All the old masters of TF pistol skills have been gone a long time now.

I've taken some FSP instruction (even fairly recently). I've also taken TFP... twice, including a recent refresher.

The differences between them are stark and obvious. However.....

To about anyone whose taken both forms of training I'd think, where staying alive with a handgun is the subject.

I'm going to turn around and ask you a question. :) Do you think some basic marksmanship skills are a prerequisite for TFP training? As I recall in the 1st class I took, you verified that we had some basic skills by having us shoot with sights at a target.

Students verifying early in the morning first thing that they had command of the basics [ or more like how much command of the basics they possessed when the course began ] for one reason only. To establish who had needed to be watched on the line. No more or less than that. One doesn't need to have command of the basics to attain TF pistol skills, but the more one has command of the basics, the less time we had to spend with handhold issues, trigger control issues. We determined who to watch where safe gun handling was going to be a high priority with so many on a line shooting all at the same time.

FSP might fall under the basic marksmanship set of skills, IMO. In other words, I think a gun owner should be able to perform FSP skills BEFORE moving up to TFP. No? Yes?

To what proficiency would a person need FSP skills, an interesting question Racer. Lets see, someone who had full command of the basics should be able to threat the needle easily enough. Yet in one course I had a thread the needle scenario set up and literally only 3-4 out of the 20 could make that shot. One may have some command of the basics, but full command of the basics [ making that shot ] was lacking in that group of 20. They still were able to learn and perform the TF pistol skills admirably.

Now, I recount one of the students who was a female in Tenn, came with her husband. She had shot 2x a year with him for a few years and had always been badgered by him that she wasn't grasping what he was trying to impart to her. He was a guy who went shooting all the time and had for years. They are shooting side on the line and after just an hour on the first day, I had heard him badgering her about her shooting, she obviously nervous he's pulling his same crap when they shot together. I moved him to the far right of the line, she in the middle.

End of the second day, we have a contest to see who can draw and fire on my command the fastest and make hits from 3 yrds. No one could beat her to the draw and first shot out of 16 in the course [ and the only female in attendance ] in a dozen attempts. She asked me if she could rip the target down and keep it, but of course. She took the target to where her husband was shooting, looked at his target, showed him hers and exclaimed so everyone could hear her while they were gearing down for the day something close to this "I kicked your ass all weekend, you'll never badger me again about my shooting". The big tubba of a husband walked off the line, head down in shame his wife had kicked his butt. So to answer that question, I don't belive one HAS to have FSP basic shooting skills but it doesn't hurt to start with them in a TF COF


So, rather than "competing" techniques, I would suggest they are complimentary. They each have their place in the spectrum of defensive pistol skills. Parts of a spectrum. Yes? No?

It's been stated by myself and others here that it's not one or the other, it's both skill sets one should command. Why, because as you mentioned, they'll compliment each other, making that person a well rounded shooter.

I will say I'm very glad to have both. I'm really REALLY glad I had the opportunity to train in TFP. I would like to do more, including TFP "on the move" and from unconventional positions. I think a FoF course would be a great way to realistically assess those TFP skills, and I've never had that opportunity.
FoF is an eye opener for most the first time through. In just one scenario, a student may learn just how difficult it is to stay alive with a handgun if you've only been trained as a one trick pony using FSP. If that's all you know, that's all you can use, thus ones skills are shown to be limited when it's "saturday night live" time.

Now that I'm retired, I can open up some about these skills where I was more reserved when actually in the business. Far too many times I was accused of pushing the skills to make money [ which was never the case as I had already made my money in other ways ] and had retired from the street work. It was never about the money, it was about bringing back skills that had been lost to history after I heard enough from FSP instructors telling me I couldn't do what I said I could with a handgun [ thus the you tube channel to proive them wrong in real time '.

Few living today have been touched by one of the old masters who developed these skills and imparted them to the highest level of gov agents and some high level US Army people. The ones I know who've been touched by the old masters are now getting long in the tooth [ and that numbers just 3 including myself and the other two aren't offering the training to people on a regular basis ].
 

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If I only had an hour, a handgun and a box of ammo with which to teach a brand new shooter how to win that gun fight they are going to have tonight, threat-focused "point shooting" would be the ONLY approach they would be learning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If I only had an hour, a handgun and a box of ammo with which to teach a brand new shooter how to win that gun fight they are going to have tonight, threat-focused "point shooting" would be the ONLY approach they would be learning.
During ww2, Fairbairn and Sykes taught OSS and a few select ranger battalions the 3 core skills [ 1/2 hip; 3/4 hip and point shoulder ] in just 4 hours. They then went into the field and utilized those skills to kill a lot of Germans and Japanese.

3 lifesaving skills in 4 hours. When I was training others, each of those 3 skills were given 45 minutes to an hour of instruction. The masters were only imparting the 3 skills giving each about 80 minutes of instruction back in the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If I only had an hour, a handgun and a box of ammo with which to teach a brand new shooter how to win that gun fight they are going to have tonight, threat-focused "point shooting" would be the ONLY approach they would be learning.
One day, many of my students may look back upon the times they spent in the C'sOF and think they had taken the opportunity to train with someone who had been touched by one of the original TF masters. I imparted the skills exactly as the masters imparted them to me.

Unlike some trainers I know who've never been trained up fully on the skills by anyone of value and yet offer those skills to the unsuspecting students looking to acquire those particular skills.

The saving grace may be the trainer in Ohio, he's getting set to retire from his G job. Last I knew he was going to start offering TF courses of fire, whether that turns out to be all across the US or not, who knows.
 

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Why? What purpose do slow neat holes serve when teaching self-defense handgun shooting?
Boss, everything has to start somewhere. Trigger control, locking the wrist with semi auto fire, safe gun handling, ...

You should have those in place or go to a class that teaches it to you before you jump to a threat focus class.

Mind you, the RO's in the classes here are superb.

Feel free to disagree, but no one is born knowing how to shoot a firearm accurately and safely in a hot/cold range scenario.
 

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The saving grace may be the trainer in Ohio, he's getting set to retire from his G job. Last I knew he was going to start offering TF courses of fire, whether that turns out to be all across the US or not, who knows.
I'm still in touch with him, and will keep you posted.
 

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Boss, everything has to start somewhere. Trigger control, locking the wrist with semi auto fire, safe gun handling, ...

You should have those in place or go to a class that teaches it to you before you jump to a threat focus class.

Mind you, the RO's in the classes here are superb.

Feel free to disagree, but no one is born knowing how to shoot a firearm accurately and safely in a hot/cold range scenario.
Those skills can be just as easily imparted in a threat-focused class as in something FSP-oriented. Again, what do neat holes have to do with that? Not disagreeing, but simply trying to understand the rationale of your assertions.
 
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