I went to the three day Defensive Handgun 1 course at Thunder Ranch when they were in Texas. I learned a lot of stuff in that class and highly recommend Thunder Ranch.
What did I learn? First of all, I learned most of the stuff you would expect. Items in these categories were all emphasized throughout the class so I can't put them in chronological order . I'll try to sort things out into three basic catagories.
1. Safety with firearms.
2. Thought process, philosophy, and attitude. Thinking about when you should fight as opposed to run. Not giving up no matter what happens. The fact that life isn't fair and you've got to deal with it. I'll also include situational awareness and thinking before acting here, as well as communication.
3. Using a handgun. Including drawing and presenting a handgun, focusing on the front sight, trigger control, shooting stance (primarily emphasizing isometric tension for most shooting and using a protected position if you are within arms reach until you can get out of arms reach), moving, shooting while moving, shooting moving targets, shooting moving targets while moving, reloading, malfunction clearance, shooting from the ground, target areas on the human body.
As far as safety goes, I went over the Four Rules before. The entire school was hot. Everyone was expected to have a loaded firearm on them at all times. Open or concealed didn't matter, but you had to have one. The first starts with a lecture starting with the Four Rules, then going over what would be covered and how, as well as thoughts on fighting, when to fight, when to run, etc.
A bit of time was spent in the lecture and the class on communication. You have to communicate with the guys on your side i.e. your partner, friends, or family members. You have to communicate with potential threats to find out if they are a threat, or if you can hopefully disengage from them before you have to do something that may change someones life. We learned to try to communicate with an attacker even if you are shooting them. Far better to have a witness tell a grand jury "He was backing away and yelling for the other guy to leave him alone" than "He was calling him bad names and saying he was going to kill him."
To be continued.
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