Your gun is a tool, and tools can fail. You may find yourself in a position where you cannot draw your weapon, or drawing your weapon should not be your first response. You may need to go hands on to stop the threat or create space to access your weapon (or to escape). Being able to effectively do this requires you to be training in some type of hand-to-hand system. If you’re not training then you’re combat ineffective. You need to understand the difference between being hands on to stop (or terminate) the threat, or hands on to create space and survive.

When I think of being combat effective as a responsible concealed carry permit holder, three things come to mind.

  • Physical Fitness – We’ve touched on this subject a few times here on the Loadout Room. I also understand that everyone is at different levels of fitness and some may have physical restrictions that they are unable to control (that’s fine as long as you find something to do to constantly improve yourself). Being physically fit doesn’t mean you need to look like a body builder or cross fit champion. You just need to be in the best possible shape that YOU can be in. Having the strength and stamina to deal with threats is vital to your survival. Personally, I am not a big fan of paying a monthly membership fee to go to a gym. I have what I need at home in my garage to get a good workout in. It doesn’t require an elaborate setup of gear either. Putting together a home gym is actually pretty easy to do and won’t necessarily break the bank. There are plenty of workout routines available online for free, or for purchase depending on what you’re looking for and what your goals are. For example, I recently bought and started the SSP (SEAL Strength Program) program, but have modified some of the exercises to work with the equipment I have. Pick a program, either find a gym you like or build your own, and start improving yourself. After all, tough people are harder to kill.
concealed carry: Are you combat effective?
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  • Firearms Training – Just going through the concealed carry class and obtaining your permit is not considered training. That is just a class to prove you have basic knowledge of a firearms and the laws wrapped around carrying a firearm. Going to the range is also not considered training; that is considered practice which you should do on a regular basis. When I say training, I mean actually spending the money to go to a course taught by a reputable instructor/company. Me personally, I’m signed up for the pistol course later this year that Kyle Defoor offers through his company Defoor Proformance. Once you attend a course, you then take what you learned home with you and go to your local range to ‘practice’ those newly learned skills. Continual training and practice is what’s required to keep your edge sharp. The gun is your go to weapon to protect yourself, so you should be confident in its use while under stress.
Concealed Carry: Are you combat effective?
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  • Close Quarters Defense & Fighting – Your weapon may not always be the appropriate initial response. Even if it is your initial response you may need to fight to get to it. If you don’t have the skills to use your hands, arms, elbows, and don’t know where to strike, you might as well not have a gun since you won’t be able to get to it. The question often asked is which martial arts system is best for a regular person who carries concealed. From my own research I’ve come up with three systems that are fairly common and suited for men, women, and kids to practice.

Concealed carry: Are you combat effective?
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All three systems are good to learn and know for what you may encounter on the street. The easiest of the three would probably be the western style boxing; my personal choice. I have two local boxing schools to choose from and it also provides one heck of a good workout. The other two, Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, are very effective and would put the hurt on anyone trying to attack. These two will teach you not only stand up fighting and defense, but also how to strike and defend yourself if the fight goes to the ground. Bottom line is any of these will work. Check and see what is available locally, and visit to watch how they do things. This time of year a lot of gyms and martial arts places are offering special deals to sign up too.

As evil in the world steps up, so should your training.

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