Polite Society Tactical Conference 2015

Just back from an awesome weekend in Memphis at the Polite Society Tactical Conference hosted by Rangemaster and firearms instructor extraordinaire Tom Givens.

I taught a 3 hour block on using the Default Cover to survive a surprise assault. It went really well, and I am getting some excellent feedback from it.

The event itself is amazing. Some of the best instructors in the world teaching and lecturing. I will have a more in-depth write up soon, but for now, here are some good vids from the event.

First is me looking suave and debonair:

Here is my bud Paul Sharp abusing me in front of people:


Here is the walking tank that is Greg Ellifritz:


Here is part of the shooting match that all the instructors and a good chunk of the attendees participated in:


My buddy and mentor Craig Douglas:


Another close friend passing on real world helpful info:


Chuck Haggard lecturing, and doing it extremely well:


Some of the difficult shooting taught by Shane Ghosa and Lee Weems:


All in all, this is a must attend event. It will be back again next February or March. Start planning now!



Rob and I filming a DVD


I spent the day yesterday at Cowtown Shooting Range in Peoria, AZ filming a new DVD. It is going to cover how to survive the first couple of seconds after a surprise assault, and focuses on staying conscious and in the fight while keeping upright.  It will be another addition to the Personal Defense Network series that I did my first DVD for, and I should have copies to sell later in the year.

I felt much more relaxed and in control this time, in stark contrast to my first DVD, where I walked around shell-shocked the entire time!

I am really looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.

Control What You Can

Here is a an article written by “John Mosby”, a friend and former Army Ranger and current firearms instructor. He simply and succinctly sums up anything I could ever have said on the philosophy of how getting on with training.



Full Contact Magazine

Full Contact Mag pic

The past few weekends I have been going through my attic in preparation for a move. I have a ton of boxes up there that contain 30+years of book, magazines, and newspaper clippings. I will be moving into a smaller place, and I need to go through the boxes to see what can be gotten rid of. Since I have not done this in a very long time, there were a lot of things in the boxes that I had forgotten about.


One of those that I had lost track of was a number of issues of an old magazine called Full Contact. My wife got ticked at me since as I found them, everything came to a screeching halt as I flipped through each issue. But I could not help it since this discovery brought back a flood of good memories.


For those who were not around then, Full Contact was a Martial Arts/Fighting magazine that was published for a short time in the early to mid 90’s. Now, to understand my fondness for the magazine, you have to understand the landscape that we had back then martial art wise.


This was before YouTube, when good instructional videos or DVDs were like finding a needle in a haystack, and mostly before the internet as we know it today as a complete web that ties the world together existed. To find out really anything in the martial art world we were at the mercy of the publication schedule of Black Belt and Inside Kung Fu magazines, along with a small number of lesser mags. And all of them had information that was at best three to four months behind the times. We were also at the mercy of what the editors of those magazines decided was “cool”. If something did not fit their personal likes or beliefs, it was ignored and went under the radar to the masses.


Then, along came Full Contact. It was the first major newsstand publication that focused almost exclusively on the self-defense aspect of martial arts, and how it related to the real world. They even – GASP! – talked about the use of firearms in a positive way, which never happened in the regular martial art magazines. They featured a number of instructors who rarely got publicity like Sonny Umpad, and they allowed those who did get some publicity in the general MA press a much more free hand in articles. In a word, it was a giant breath of fresh air.


Now, that is not to say it was perfect. The editor was sometimes fooled by his own personal bias and often featured people who should not have been featured so heavily (to express it gently). And, now looking back, some of the attitudes were the precursor to the current trend of “tactical” stuff to be ipso facto better, even when it was actually faux tactical and kind of stupid.


Still, I have a lot of fond memories of the magazine, and I think it had an overall positive influence on instructors who came to prominence afterwards. While I am dumping most of the stuff that I had packed away, I am keeping my Full Contact back issues