Drill of the Week #6 - Emergency Reloads

The Emergency Reload is one of the most widely practiced and yet horribly done Immediate Actions out there.

From pulling the firearm in too close, to overhand racking, it's awful watching vids on YouTube of people doing reloads that are slow or worse still, dangerous.

So let's keep this simple. This week's Drill of the Week is Emergency Reload. The body position is really important, don't move your primary arm as much as you'd want to and drop that slide in sight alignment with the SUPPORT hand thumb.

Anyway, check it out here.

Drill of the Week #5 - Hard Malfunctions

When the gun stops working, we need to get it working as fast as possible.

Those programmed actions that repair, or refresh the handgun are called Immediate Actions.

Most people who use handguns train two of the three Immediate Actions: the Emergency Reload and the Soft Malfunction, but the real challenge is the Hard Malfunction.

There are many situations that can cause the Hard Malfunction: double feeds, over-expanded casings, and stove pipes, but no matter which one we come across, the process to fix it is generally the same, and almost universally NOT practiced.

Check out this week's Drill of the Week and learn how you can practice the Hard Malfunction and learn to remediate that problem while maintaining 100% defense.


Lone Wolf Attacks...

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you probably know that Ohio State was attacked today.

Currently, it looks like the killer tried to run people over with his car before getting out and attacking others with an edged weapon.

A few important things to learn from this event:

  1. Violent attacks can occur at any time and at any place. When you can't be in a Safe Environment - that's somewhere YOU control the access and there are no threats present - you need to be constantly scanning.
  2. Vehicle born attacks are becoming increasingly common. (Nice, France) This means that if you're on foot, you have to become hyper-vigilant of others in vehicles.
  3. Once the attack has begun, based on the best practices of defense, you have three choices: retreat, shelter in place, or attack, and depending upon your position in the heat of the event, all three are valid choices.

If you can retreat and save lives, do so, especially if you're less than aptly armed to handle the threat.

If you cannot retreat, but can barricade and defend a common space, do so. This is much easier to do than you would expect, and you have lots of opportunities in that defense to defeat your threat if they attack in your hardened position. You may also have lots more time for Law Enforcement Response in your defensive hold.

If you find yourself in a place where you are directly under assault, OR through your actions you may be able to disrupt, distract, or even defeat the threat, you may choose to attack. Remember that threats like we saw today, don't usually run off and commit suicide like the typical "active shooter," they will often fight to the bitter end.

This is where, SMTers, it's critical that our skills are current and sharp. A fast draw and good round placement could mean the difference between life and death for you or another.

So here's the conclusion, if you aren't coming to Thursday night classes, please do.

If you're not local to come into class, please pick up the Concealed Carry Masters Course and Home Defense Rifle so your firearm skills can continue to develop. If you can't do that, check out the Drill of the Week and practice a little bit at a time.

For you and your family, get Avoid-Deter-Defend, our situational awareness course so that you can identify threats quickly and take POSITIVE action for your defense as soon as possible.

Stay safe.

Drill of the Week #4

There are lots of places where the "rubber meets the road," in using a handgun for self defense.

Deterrence. Situational Awareness. Flowing through Retention Positions. But for the Draw, where the rubber meets the road is in Position 1 - Presentation Push/Pull, and it's honestly one of the hardest parts of the draw.

There are actually five pieces that make up the Draw, from Snatching the firearm from the holster to the last 4-6 inches of your Full Presentation, but there is no position most likely to stymie a handgun user than Position 1. Lots of things can go wrong.

Things like having the sights not aligned until the last second, crushing the handgun grip, flinching in the shot, winging the elbow, and on and on and on.

Trouble is, we as shooters tend to try and fix problems in total, rather than subdividing the entire action into its component parts. So for this Drill of the Week, we're just going to work on Position 1.

I know, I know, you're high speed and you should be working on that high speed super ninjary, but my suspicion is that you have one or more of the problems that I just listed above, and they're driving you mad. Trust me, working Position 1 WILL make your shooting better and more defensible in a real world encounter.

You can watch the video on the page or jump to the SMT Youtube Channel.

A couple of things to work on while you're practicing this drill:

  1. Keep the Shooting Platform (Gun-Wrist-Elbow) in alignment. You'll have better recoil management.
  2. Focus on the Vice Grip, the front and back strap of the handgrip. If you're crushing the sides, your bullets will go off course.
  3. Be VERY VERY disciplined about your trigger finger. Feel how the pressure slowly builds, keep the finger to the rear until YOU are ready to reset the trigger. Don't let your finger fly off of the trigger after the shot.
  4. Stay conscious of how your Primary Hand FOREARM feels in the presentation. If you're flinching, bullets diving down and opposite of your primary hand, the forearm is where the flinch originates muscularly.

As always, go slow, take your time, and be safe.


SMT is About You....

Back in the old facility, there were a lot of things that I didn't get right:

  • The curriculum was divisive and didn't encourage teamwork and community.
  • I didn't give you more ways to connect with each other and help make defensive training simply a part of your life.
  • I locked myself away and squirreled over scripts and videos.

In short, I lost my mission. I was too focused on the things that were tangible - more gear I could try, movies I could make or classes I could develop or teach - instead of the intangible things - my mission as an Instructor, my values as a teacher, and my responsibilities to you.

Regularly I go through my YouTube page and put together a new video for the training blog or a content video for later use and the number one thing I see on the page...me. But you see, this is the problem with the firearms training world. It's more about me, the trainer, than it is about you, the member. 

Float around YouTube for a while and see the thousands of Gun Ninjas that lurk in the darkness of the web. From guys with unbelievable backgrounds to nobodies with a lot of time on their hands, the Gun Ninja is a dime a dozen. Some of those Ninjas will be very impressive firearms handlers with great filming and editing teams and awesome graphics, and some Ninjas will only have a locked off camera shot to show you their skills, but either way, it's always the same. The Gun Ninja is there to show you how good he is at being a Ninja.

But have you ever noticed that we never get to see the quality of those the Gun Ninja has been training? Why is that? Is it because the Gun Ninja doesn't want you to see his students training? Is it because he and his ego are the only things that matter? Is it because high speed sexy gun-ninja-ry sells and video of real people doing amazing things with defensive firearms doesn't?

When we started Sealed Mindset Training, it was supposed to be about becoming THE most advanced training facility and system ever produced, but we found out that wasn't what happened. Instead we discovered that SMT was about people coming together in common purpose, to defend themselves and their loved ones, in a community of people who wanted to work hard, explore the boundaries of their ability, and bring their team mate along with them for the ride.

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 9.55.39 AM.png

You guys are what makes SMT and I want the whole world to see what you've done and will continue to do. This isn't about me. It's about you.

Thanks for helping me remember my mission: to defend the nation by helping one person, one family, and one community at a time.

Drill of the Week #3

In the defensive world, we have to always keep in mind the "Plus 1" rule. 

This means that there's always one more threat, one more weapon, one more way out, etc.

Looking for the "Plus 1" is hard. It takes time to lay down the Neural Pathways needed to keep searching for that second threat, or to break your Target Fixation(tunnel vision).

Engaging that Plus 1 Threat takes a firearms skill called Multiple Targets and Target Transitions, or what we call "MT&T" for short. There are three types of Target Transitions and each one is based upon what you can SEE and IDENTIFY in your field of vision.

In this week's Drill of the Week, I'll show you a really fun drill called the Fast Line of Sight Drill. The practical idea is that if you are confronted with two threats, both of whom are clearly in your field of view, how hard can you drive the handgun between those threats with effective fire? Well, with this drill, you get to find out!

Here's the big thing though, if your Shooting Fundamentals and Draw are bad, you won't do well at this drill. It's like we say at SMT, over and over and over: "Any advanced tactic is based upon the mastery of the fundamentals." This is one more drill that will prove that out. Check it out.

Drill of the Week #2

Well, it's that time of year in Minnesota.

The leaves have all fallen off of the trees, the ground is muddy and damp, and there's a brisk chill in that lovely fall air. But pretty soon we'll be thinking about that Jack Handey "Deep Thoughts" poem, from Saturday Night Live, entitled: "Winter."

To quote: "Winter.......sh*t it's cold!"

For us as defenders that means that our carry situation just changed, by a number of layers. Drawing from concealment under a t-shirt is one thing, start adding the sweater and winter coat and the whole game just changed. In this Drill of the Week, we'll be looking at our Concealed Draws while Meeting a Time Hack.

A Time Hack or Par Time is a span of time that we pre-determine from start to stop. With the Shot Timer, this is pretty easily achieved with the Par Time setting. When beep number one happens, you start and you need to be done by beep number two. Using that second beep as a maximum time threshold can add stress and give you a goal to work toward, but sometimes for us shooters, we start to spend to much time digging for every last tenth of a second instead of slowing down and focusing on the technique we're using to conduct that draw.

But if we look at the Par Time a little differently, we stop trying to compete with the Shot Timer, and instead partner with it. So check out this week's drill and remember, if you go to sealedmindsettraining.com and the PDF Downloads tab, you can get a PDF of this drill for use at your home range absolutely free.

Drill of the Week #1

Drawing is a critical part of self-defense with a firearm.

As Citizen Defenders, we don't walk around with our firearms out in our hands. In most communities this would be.....bad. Instead we have to get the firearm from our holster and get it on target quickly and accurately.

Accuracy is based upon a standard. That standard could be anything that we want, from center mass, to a half of an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper, to the "T-Box" in the CNS zone, but whatever standard of accuracy we deem as "acceptable" we have to practice being able to place the first round from your draw where we want it.

In this Drill, I'm going to do single shots from an open draw at varying distances. What this works is our ability as Defenders to engage in proper shooting fundamentals following a draw.

For many, drawing the firearm places their hands in odd places on the gun. No wrist rotation or a crappy grip, but not in the perfect body position to accurately hit the threat. When you add the complexity of a tight standard of accuracy and the increased demand for management of the shooting fundamentals that distance requires, you now have a challenging drill.

In this drill I only work on accuracy following the draw, but in other times, I've added a speed and lethality requirement (say head shots only) and you can really see that just the simple practice of drawing to a standard of accuracy can be taken in a lot of different directions.

Check it out. And if you want the PDF for this drill, just go to the PDF Downloads tab and fill it out with your name and email and code: Drill #1.

The Rhythm Drill

Look, when you shoot at the defense of your life, it's probably not going to be one bullet.

Just do a little bit of research and you'll quickly see that for the vast majority of cases, it wasn't a single bullet that stops a bad guy, it was at least 3-5 rounds on target that brought the bad guy down.

Now having a string of shots together isn't terribly hard. Getting them to all stay in a very contained area, is hard.

At SMT we steadily bring the standard of accuracy up over the course of the time you train with us. A Level 1, 2, & 3 student will have to keep all shots inside of an 8.5x11" sheet of paper area that covers the center mass of the target. But when we move the student into Level 4, 5, and especially the Warrior Mindset, it's now a half of an 8.5x11" sheet of paper (4.25x5.5") center mass and a quarter sheet of paper for a Central Nervous System string.

Here's the thing, in order to meet the time standards for each of those levels, you can't do slow aimed shooting, you have to get faster. By the time you're in Warrior, you have to do .25 splits for each shot in order to meet the time hack.

Houston! Houston! We've had a problem!

For lots of people, that kind of shot pace makes it extremely difficult to keep the bullets within the standard of accuracy.

Well, here's how we train our students to maintain high accuracy through consistent fast splits. Rhythm Drills.

A Rhythm Drill works like this. When you shoot, think about the depression, shot, cycling of the slide and reset of the trigger as the tapping of a beat on a drum. Using that "beat" we can condition our trigger fingers to release shots at a consistent pace. Initially we'll be really really really slow, but as time and conditioning goes on, we'll eventually condition those fingers to speed up, driving our split times down to what SMT calls "Combat Speed" or .25 second splits.

Rhythm Drills can be done Live or Dry, but they will use different tools to achieve the same end goal. In Dry Fire, you'll use a SIRT and a Metronome App. I personally like the one from Silver Dial. In Live Fire, you'll use your carry handgun and a shot timer.

To see how this all works, check out this video.

For the Sake of What?

Two years ago, I was at a leadership training event in California.

It was called SOEL. That is an acronym for School of Embodied Leadership, led by world class martial artist Richard Strozzi-Heckler.

Richard is the author of many excellent books, but the most famous is "In Search of the Warrior Spirit," where he spends an extended period of time teaching mindfulness to a Special Forces A-Team. A great read.

When I had the pleasure of training Aikido with Richard and his tribe at his dojo, he began every class the same way, with a question. The question was: "For the sake of what are you here?" It was a poignant question.

If you didn't understand what Richard was getting at, he really wanted to ask you, "Why are you here?" Why were you giving him this time? Why were you investing in yourself for this training? What are you getting from purchasing this time?

I had let this thought process go for a very long while. But when I was putting together the new format at the Osseo Gun Club classes, it suddenly returned to me. So at every class I am now going to ask you. For the sake of what are you here? Why are you giving me this time to help you train? What are you seeking to defend?

I know my answer.


Session 1, in the Tank....

Man, quite a thing to be back in front of the SMTers.

It's awesome to remember how good you guys are.

The first night was a little off, mostly my fault, but there was a ton of learning going on for all involved.

First, I should have sent out an email outlining what I was planning for the class so that people knew where to sign waivers and where to go, etc. That will be adjusted shortly.

Second, I had forgotten how much more advanced the Level 3's are from the Level 2's and 1's. It's quite a leap going from 2 to 3. So I'm moving the Level 3's to the Advanced class.

Third, there is just SO MUCH MATERIAL that I've designed for SM over the last 5 years that I almost think that I need to add a third class, an "applications class." In essence the way the old Warrior Mindset class was, where we focused on the thought process of micro-tactics, applying situational conditions to defense, and the tactical thought process for the citizen defender scenario.

As much as I'd like to add the "applications class," I'm a little limited in time right now. Maybe after the first of the year so don't get too wound up about it yet. :)

In quick summary, good God almighty, I'm so glad to have you back. 


I can't wait....

Well SMT'ers, I can't wait.

After almost a year being away from the regular training work, we're getting started again.

Osseo Gun Club will be hosting regular Sealed Mindset Training sessions on Thursday nights. From 5 to 6:30 will be the Fundamentals Class and from 6:30 to 8 will be the Advanced Class.

There's just so much to do! I have to get the curriculum adjusted to work in a mixed level format, I need to gather all of my training supplies together, I need get the homework sheets all set and printed, and all while helping Range Systems market awesome range products as well!

We've had a great response to these class announcements. The Fundamentals Class, for levels 1, 2, and 3 are almost entirely sold out for the month of October and the Advanced Class, for levels 4, 5, and Warrior Mindset, are filling up quickly too.

If you'd like to sign up, go here.


Your Fitness Matters....

Self-defense isn't purely about having a tool or practicing a martial art.

Both of those things are good, but they will only add to what you bring to the table when that self-defense happens. Same thing with adrenaline. It will only add to what you bring to the table.

If you're slow and sloppy, you're really not contributing anything more to the odds of your survival or the defense of your loved ones. Defense is also about confidence. A strong confident presence will contribute to your ability to deter a threat.

Look, when it's "go time" and every second counts in your defense, you want to move quick and hit like a ton of bricks.

When we're young bucks, it's pretty easy to be cocky and over confident. Doesn't mean that we can actually back it up, but we're pretty confident until we're proven otherwise. Some learn that lesson with maturity, some only learn it when they get run over by a threat. But as we get older, our fitness is no longer simply a function for looking good at the beach, it really does start to become about your survival.

If you haven't been to the gym lately, get going. If it's been a long time, go find a good trainer to help you get back in shape. Your family will appreciate it, both in how you'll feel, and if you ever have to defend them.

I can't tell you how good Andrew from Defensive Fitness is. He's a true professional who loves his craft and gets serious results for his clients. Check him out at defensive-fitness.com

The SIRT Pistol

Glock style SIRT

Glock style SIRT

If you don't have a SIRT, why in all that is tactical - not?

If you didn't know, I HATE the word "tactical," I'll explain in a different post, but suffice it to say, WHY DON'T you own a SIRT?

The SIRT (Self Indicating Resetting Trigger) is a simulation firearm that has the same size and weight of either a Glock 17/22 or a Smith & Wesson M&P. There are two lasers in the muzzle of the SIRT and one laser can be adjusted for your sights, the other to use as an indicator of your trigger finger discipline.

Smith&Wesson style SIRT

Smith&Wesson style SIRT

I've been using this tool to train Citizen Defenders at SMT for years and I can't tell you how great the SIRT pistol is for training them as well as in training myself. You can get thousands of repetitions of draws, shot strings, reloads, malfunctions, etc., etc., etc., without ever firing a single round of ammunition. $avings!

Now some trainers and shooters will look at this kind of training and think it's pointless, but in fact, the opposite is true. Remember that 99.9999% of your defense or competition or (God help me :| ) "tactical" action happens BEFORE and AFTER the bang and recoil of a live round. With using only Blue Guns or Live Firearms, you limit your ability to develop the neural pathways necessary to produce superior handgun skill in real world situations. (I don't know about you, but I'm not letting you do scenario training on me with that live firearm, and I teach these firearm skills for a living! And the Blue Gun gives you zero feedback as to whether or not you hit the target when you depress the trigger.)

Mike Hughes

Mike Hughes

Next Level Training, the makers of the SIRT, have been great friends and supporters of SMT. (Big shout out to Mike Hughes!) They have a SIRT to fit your budget and your situation (Metal slide if you beat them up - like me :) or plastic slide if you can be nice to it.)

Use the Promo code: sealed16 for a 15% discount on your next SIRT.