High Desert Training Group | Firearms Training and Classes

"Purpose Driven Training"

Firearms training that evolves beyond simple marksmanship and into the realm of the martial art.

“Real World” Gun Handling Skills

“Real World”

“Real world” is a term I heard early in my life. It related to training in fighting skills that were relevant to you and the situation you are or will be in. Your world is the real world.

Contrary to popular belief, there are few professional standards in the civilian/private sector based firearms training community. Most privately contracted training programs are watered down law enforcement or military based training. Are founded by police or military guys who leave the uniformed world or retire and as such, they teach what they new in their era or their world. However, this presents two problems. 1) These skills may not be meaningful to those outside of the military or police. 2) The skills they bring to the table may be outdated, or even worse, have been replaced by more effective skills.

The Military Weapon Operator Based Training

Military firearms based training doctrine is almost exclusively team based; the only time you will train in firearms as an individual, is in the weapon qualification process, after that it’s back to team tactics, fire and maneuver. In a military field of battle, when one is caught in an ambush, resources are called-in and the situation is solved with overwhelming force. When help is not available, training in survival as a team through fire and maneuver is essential. Most military based private sector training programs are trimmed down basic infantry rifleman squad tactics. I was once given a courtesy spot in a course being taught by a respected former special operations trainer. It was an eye opener to say the least. This guy had a world of knowledge to share, but most of the guys attending had little or no prior team weapon operator experience. A lot of them were pretty out of shape, wearing mis-matched camo pattern BDUs and had poorly made Chinese knock off gear that was equally poorly attached. My friend knew his stuff and was pretty current on team tactics/weapon deployment but, most of the students at this course were entry level and as such, the skills taught are pretty basic. During lunch I asked a few of the guys how this training will apply to them when we are done, I never got a real answer.

While team tactics are always fun to keep up on, If you’re dedicated and want to learn this stuff from the masters it takes time and hard work, pay a visit to your military recruiter. I’ve found that most of the guys attending these courses are of the semi-dedicated type and consider few to be serious.

The Law Enforcement Based Training

The law enforcement officer is proactive by nature, they’re seen as the “sheep dogs” to those in society that cannot defend themselves. This essentially makes them predators, hired by society to keep the wolves away and society safe. They turn those that would prey upon the weak, into the hunted. Law enforcement training is almost exclusively proactive; in this role, they are masters. When a potential lethal use of force is anticipated, police will take the initiative, set the stage, call-in resources and plan everything out. Whether it’s clearing a building from an active shooter or a high risk vehicle stop, uncertainty will be eliminated as much as possible. The police officer(s) will set the stage, essentially an ambush for the bad guy. They’ll allow him the opportunity to surrender, but if he comes out shooting the trap will be sprung. Police are masters in proactive weapons deployment; consequently, little if any law enforcement training addresses the spontaneous gunfight where the bad guy has seized the initiative or in the case of the ambush where a lethal trap has been set for an officer.

Sadly, almost all law enforcement officers are killed in spontaneous events where the bad guy has planed an ambush or has seized the initiative. The recent social violence directed towards police officers in America has caused shock waves within the law enforcement community. Police haven’t quite figured out how to deal with this. The trainers that are stuck in the 90s decade will preach situational awareness, but this is just a rationalization that hides a training flaw. When the sheep dog becomes accustomed to the chase, being hunted is new phenomenon, his survival fighting skills lapse. No amount of situational awareness will compensate for the absence of a plan.

“Real World” Based Training

Most of us won’t be hunting down the Taliban, executing high profile arrest warrants and I’ve never heard of someone being mugged from the 25 yard line, training to do so is time, money and efforts poorly spent. These proactive skills just don’t transfer to our “real world”. For most of us, the “real world”, is a world of individual/family survival from economic or social violence. It’s violence that we didn’t ask for, it came to us.

High Desert Training Group’s individual, weapon based survival fighting skills were originally created for our civilian contractors working overseas where robbery, kidnapping or assignation of westerners for economic or political reasons was “real” and host country civil authority had in many cases, collapsed. We found that that weapon based, individual survival skill sets have tremendous relevance to us outside the realm of the military and police. They should be integrated into our personal tool box of skill set development. Our Close Quarters Handgun and Advanced Close Quarters Handgun courses take what we’ve already learned in the world of static marksmanship and weapon handling and introduced the student to effective movement and solutions to threats that expand and contract and never follows any set rules.

When most of us go to our “tool box” of weapon fighting skills, we’ll open the tray marked “Proactive Weapon Solutions” and it will be full. Then we’ll open the tray marked “Reactive Weapon Solutions”, it will be empty. We’re here to add some close quarters individual survival tools to that tray in your tool box.

High Desert Training Group is a forward thinking organization. We resist the urge to stagnate and maintain the status quo. Sometimes this means going outside the mainstream, challenging the dogma of the establishment training community. We seek those who pursue excellence in the martial art of the firearm.

Your situation determines your strategy. Your strategy determines your tactics. Your tactics determine how you train.

The tactics and equipment that your role model employs is irrelevant.

Contact Us

High Desert Training Group
Ken Williams, Instructor
(928) 241-4397
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