Close Quarter Gunfighting Practice

Published on 04 June 2011 by in Uncategorized


We held our first of a new series of Close Quarter Gunfighting Practices today at Camarillo Shotokan.

12 Tacfire students participated in this training with great results. Everyone was able to keep up and apply the techniques better than we had anticipated.

Combining Shin Shin Mugendo with the Tacfire method is a win/win for all.

Our thanks to Sensei Otake for allowing Sempi Jeff Learned to lead us throught those great drills.

Continue Reading

Operator or Pretender by John Farnam

Published on 05 January 2011 by in Uncategorized


Operator or Pretender?

On New Year’s Eve, a city councilman in the Phillippines was murdered as he
 stood next to his car, surrounded by his wife and children.  He was shot
at  close range by a pistol-wielding punk, against whom the councilman had
testified  in a car-theft case.  The councilman died at the scene from a
single  gunshot that penetrated his upper chest.

Suspect has been identified, but is still at large.

Curiously, the councilman was armed at the time.  He was carrying a  1911
(concealed), in 45ACP, in a holster.  No word on the condition of his
pistol, nor whether it had been “taped,” as is the policy among Philippine
police over the holiday weekend (described in my Quip of 28 Dec 10).  In  any
event, this hapless victim failed his Test, and died, not even knowing if  his
family was safe.  It seems VCAs don’t go on vacation.  Imagine  that!

The councilman never drew his pistol; never fired a shot.  He took no
action to defend himself, despite the fact that he, and his entire family, were
in direct danger, and even though, by all accounts, the murder suspect
presented  an easy, stationary target at close range, clearly representing an
immediate,  lethal threat, and there was plenty of time for the councilman to
identify the  threat, draw and engage him with several, carefully-aimed
shots, all before the  suspect finally got around to shooting.

As my friend and colleague, Ken Hackathorn says, and I often quote, “When
you lack confidence in your ability to perform a task, under stress you’ll
not  even attempt it!”

This councilman had been “trained” by the Army Reserve Command and
actually  carried most of the time.  Yet, he apparently never “thought it through,”
  nor, obviously, had he trained and practiced sufficiently so as to be up
to the  task when his Test came!  

Lesson: Right this minute, there are many, like the hapless victim
described in the foregoing, who are carrying concealed guns, and who do carry on  a
regular basis, some police among them, who couldn’t shoot their way out of
a  paper bag!

At some point, they may have learned how to operate a gun, and may have
even punched a hole or two in a paper target.  That’s where real training  has
just begun, but that’s where most “training” ends!

The world is a terrible, desperate place.  Always has been, and living  in
it is a job from which you don’t get to resign. We are ever confronted with
two kinds of pain: the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret.  You can
 avoid one, but never both.  When the time to perform arrives, the time to
prepare has passed!

“A superior man, when resting in safety, forgets not that peril is ever
present.  When in a state of security, he forgets not that ruin is only a
breath away.  When all is orderly, he forgets not that chaos ever hovers  over
him. Thus, his state and clans are preserved.”


Continue Reading

Test Your Gear by John Farnam

Published on 31 August 2010 by in Uncategorized


Test your gear, particularly afer you’ve “tweaked’ it. 

“Like you, I like ky-dex holsters, particularly those made by Comp-Tac,
Brian Hoffner, and Tim Wegner.  Occasionally, however, they require

This morning, I noticed one of the screws had worked loose on my IWB C/TAC
Holster. I grabbed the allen-wrench, kindly supplied by Comp-Tac, tightened
the  screw that was loose, tightened the others while I was at it, placed
the holster  inside my belt, holstered my pistol, and glibly headed off for

All was well until I had to use the restroom.  I unhappily discovered  that
my holster wanted my pistol more than I did.  It refused to let my  pistol
go!  Yes, I had inadvertently over-tightened the screws.

Fortunately, I was not confronted with this issue during a tactical

Of course, I soon had the matter resolved, but it was a lesson,


(1) Don’t work on your equipment when you are distracted.  Pay  attention
to what you’re doing!

(2) Test your gear!  When you make a change in your equipment, double,  and
triple-check the results.

We are blessed with a current generation of tactical equipment that is so
well-made and reliable that we get lazy, and take flawless dependability for

Do so at your peril!


Continue Reading


7 June 10

In any domestic personal-security emergency, where a deadly-force response
is clearly indicated, or reasonably anticipated, getting pistols deftly
drawn  from concealment and aimed, or at least leveled, at the threat(s)
requires a  finite amount of time, usually exceeding a second, and for many,
approaching  two.

But, that is the fastest component!

We must add the time it takes us to mentally go from condition “yellow,”
through to “black,” so our deadly-force response can even download, and
ultimately initiate.

It is here that denial, indecision, and dithering represent fatal  errors.

You can practice extensively, responding to a whistle or any other signal,
drawing and firing.  And, as you progressively eliminate unnecessary parts
and motions, you can get your times down to about as short as they will
ever  be.  And, without doubt, we should all do that!

However, without the addition of scenario-based exercises, dithering will
still predictably add as many as five seconds to your response time,
rendering  your lightening-draw, and the balance of your finely-tuned physical
skills, all  but irrelevant!

Through scenario-based training, we learn what to look for.  We also  learn
how to integrate verbal, postural, movement, observational, and
deadly-force skills into a coordinated strategy.

We learn how to disrupt our opponent’s plan, slowing his ability to
concentrate, disturbing his focus, dis-coordinating his deception scheme, and
delaying/befuddling his physical attack.

These skills are every bit as important as gun-skills, and, like
gun-skills, must be hard-wired through extensive practice.

Just because you skillfully operate a toaster, doesn’t necessarily mean you
 can “make breakfast!” 
“Making breakfast” calls for a number of
integrated  skills, of which “operating a toaster” is, for all its grandeur, only

By itself, “operating a toaster,” no matter how masterfully, will not get
breakfast served!


Continue Reading

Women’s Self Defense Seminar

Published on 26 May 2010 by in Uncategorized


My good friend Sensei Victor Young is holding another Women’s Self Defense Seminar.
Saturday June 26 from 1-5 PM
The fee is only $80
It will be held at the Camarillo Shotokan Karate Center 1330 Flynn Road Camarillo CA 93012

Contact Victor at 805-482-0307

[email protected]

Continue Reading