Course Review: Basic Threat Management

Being mentored by someone as accomplished as Claude Werner (The Tactical Professor) definitely has its perks. Last Monday, we took a trip to a local gun club to get some work done. The two objectives of the day were to get baseline times and scores before I start his yet-to-be-released dry fire program (I’ll keep you updated on the developments) and to demo his Basic Threat Management coursework. We discuss course flow and clarity of drills, etc. This post is about my thoughts on his Basic Threat Management 3 hour course.

I don’t pretend to speak for Claude, but we discussed his reasoning for designing this course and I couldn’t agree more. It is an easy task to google dozens of bad defensive gun uses with negative outcomes that come down to poor threat management. Often (read: Usually) the marksmanship shooting problem isn’t that complicated. It comes down to decisions, vocalization, and identification. Many mistaken identity shootings could have been prevented with some vocalization and a flashlight. Here’s one example of a man shooting his daughter as she sneaked back in after a late night. I wonder how a, “Who is it!?” and a flashlight might have changed this tragic event?

This course is designed for newer shooters and is packaged in a very doable 3 hour block. There isn’t any complicated shooting problems, no timers, just simple task-loading that puts just enough stress on a new shooter to have to work through it and think. Ultimately they feel challenged, accomplished, and empowered. They leave with a sense that they don’t know it all, but they have some things to work on and know what they can practice when they go home. The 3 hour course is a great length for new shooters. Attention spans falter and flinches develop after about 150 rounds and 3 hours for most people. Claude has identified this and works with it.

As with all of Claude’s courses, he starts with a baseline course of fire to evaluate the student’s fundamentals based on some sort of standard, usually derived from a law enforcement standard.

The meat of the course revolves around the following:

  • Challenge – For the average gun owner, the gun comes out when they hear the bump in the night or are confronted out and about. A vocalization and a low ready is an important skill to learn.
  • Engage or No Shoot – Decide if you need to shoot the target based on identifiers called. Requires thinking with a gun.
  • Stand Down – Either you realized it was a family member, or you shot the bad guy until he stopped. It’s time to lower the gun and decide what to do next.
  • Police! – If the po-po shows up while you have a gun in your hand, you had better know how to interact with them. Hint: Turning around with a gun in your hand isn’t the right answer.
  • Flashlights – Learn how to use a light with a gun in your hand, and learn how to shoot one handed.

After Claude and I parted ways, he gave me the drills and I took them home to demo with my family who were in town for the holidays. I had my Sister, Brother-in-law, Mother-I-L, and Father-I-L. All of which are relative novices. I ran them through the drills and they were challenged and had a great time. They all said they learned something and that they were looking forward to more training. Mission accomplished!

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My Father-in-law, who hasn’t shot a pistol since Vietnam. He’s never shot one handed and never shot with a light in his hand. I’m proud of him!

If you’re interested, or are willing to spread the word, Claude is teaching this class on January 12 at Norcross Gun Club. Tell him Growing Up Guns sent ya!

Bonus: My sister smokin’ a fool, right before the police show up…

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhPx6C0OSjM?list=UU9V4ymRxGkQSt3AhmKTwkuQ]

6 thoughts on “Course Review: Basic Threat Management”

  1. Outstanding, I really like the fact that all of you are pushing the practical side to this combative artform.

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