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The Training You Didn’t Know You Needed

The Training You Didn’t Know You Needed

The Training You Didn’t Know You Needed


Marlan J. Ingram


Self-defense is a basic human right which, if taken seriously means you also need the tools for self-defense.  Anyone who wishes to carry a firearm for self-defense must be properly trained.  The pandemic and other social concerns pushed new gun owners to record levels.  Our initial concern was that many of these first-time buyers weren’t interested in training, yet the opposite was true; as soon as we re-opened our facility for training, these new owners signed up in droves. 

First time owners generally “want to buy a gun for self-defense” and want to sign up for a Basic Pistol class to learn how to use it.  This is the correct attitude.  You can be guided through the selecting and buying process to assure that you get the best firearm to suit YOUR needs, and trainers can conduct Basic and Concealed Carry classes to get you started.  Basic Safety (to include safe storage), Basic Marksmanship, proper holsters, and an understanding of your state laws regarding carry and self-defense represents the minimum level of knowledge you should have.  However, this is not the end goal, this is a START.

Being able to handle and shoot a firearm safely is one thing but being able to actively use it as a self-defense tool is another.  To facilitate this, trainers offer Self Defense classes.  Openrange offers Self Defense Pistol Skills classes, Levels 1-5.  Shooters who attend these classes fall into two groups:  The first group is comprised of those who recognize that being able to handle yourself and your firearm under fire and under stress takes training, and accordingly, they sign up for Level 1.  After experiencing our content and way of teaching, many will come out of Level 1 and immediately sign up for all of the next levels. 

The second group is comprised of those experienced shooters who’ve been to other established shooting schools or big-name instructors, and accordingly, are a bit reluctant to take training from boutique outfits such as Openrange.  To those that do decide to ‘test the waters’ with us, we can put them through our vetting process, and if they are eligible, start them at Level 3.  The response from them after going through Level 3 is “Holy Crap! I didn’t know you all were doing THIS!” After experiencing Level 3, they sign up for the next Levels… IF they meet the qualifications. So, what is the content of our Self Defense Pistol Skills classes?

Self Defense Pistol Skills Level 1, we deal with drawing from concealment, safely re-holstering, basic defensive accuracy, reloading, and malfunction drills.

Self Defense Pistol Skills Level 2, we go downrange, and learn to operate our pistol safely in a 360-degree environment. We work on movement, multiple targets, and use of cover.

Self Defense Pistol Skills Level 3, we work at making you smoother, more efficient, and more accurate.  Target size is reduced dramatically, and time is added to the equation.  We push the envelope, and not all are guaranteed to pass and make it to the next level.  To make it to the next level, you must pass the 11 Shot Concealment Pistol Proficiency Drill.

Self Defense Pistol Skills Level 4, we work with dynamic movement at different angles, self-defense shooting scenarios, operating in low light with photo realistic targets, and the Crowded Environment Qualification, which is a timed judgmental shooting qualification done in low light, with movement.

Self Defense Pistol Skills Level 5, we deal with weapon disarms, contact length shooting, shooting from the ground, one hand reloads, one hand malfunction drills, and the [email protected] Qualification Course – and more.

Whether you are a new shooter or a more experienced one, we encourage you to seek out training where you feel you are comfortable and where you will get professional attention.  While you are doing that feel free to come in and chat about our programs.  We’ll welcome you aboard as part of the Openrange training family.

P.S. As a benefit of taking any of our classes you can join, when convenient our low-cost training sessions. Almost like a free class and great for any questions.

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