Class Review: KR Training – Personal Tactics & Skills

Besides being a cool collection of acronyms, PTS at KR is one of the best classes (gun or other) that I’ve taken. Period. End of sentence. It impressed me so much because the content is immediately applicable to daily life. Whereas my running and gunning classes are cool, the likelihood that I’ll ever use those skills is so remote it might as well be zero. Think of it as defensive driving for gun owners. Too bad Karl can only fill a class twice a year.

It really is a shame too. This is such a good class. He should be filling a classroom once or twice a month doing this. Not just for armed citizens either. My unarmed friends could get so much value out of it. And why? Because its scenario based, interactive training. Want proof of applicability? I left class and immediately locked my truck doors which I’ve neglected doing to this point. I filled up my truck with gas about 30 miles down the road and pulled my bumper even with the edge of the gas pump giving me a 180 degree escape path in case of unsavory characters. And then I came to a stop at a light and immediately started scanning my side and rear view mirrors. I took Karl’s Defensive Pistol Skills 2 class that morning as well. Want to know how much running and gunning I did on my way home? That’s right, none.

Thoughtful readers might ask what scenarios we covered. Great question! We covered the typical stuff like the home, workplace, vehicle, and personal bubble. Karl invited everyone to draw their home’s floor plan on the whiteboard so that he could walk the class through defensive scenarios. This was huge for a lot of guys in the class. A lot of them had put forth the effort to have a plan in case of home invasion, bumps in the night, etc. And most of them were pretty good. Karl expertly helped dial back the bravado, and gave them realistic expectations about what could and could not be accomplished. And he wasn’t sugar coating it either. One of the students had an open floorplan with his kids on the other side of the house sharing a wall with the garage. Karl basically said, “This is hard. You’ve got some serious ground to cover, and it doesn’t look pretty if someone breaks in.” That’s a rough one to hear, especially as a parent, but its something that needs to be heard. His biggest advice though was to stay put and to put up a strong defensive perimeter. He doesn’t advocate homeowners clearing their homes, a point he drove home with one of the students early in class. This particular guy was pretty vocal about how his home was his castle  and that he’d shoot to kill anybody that came in. Karl calmly said, “Cool. The classroom is your bedroom. The office across the hall is your living room. Here’s a dummy AR 15. I’m going to go steal your television. What do you do?” Karl headed into the office, announced, “I’m stealing your television!” and we all watched in horror as the guy ran towards the living room right into Karl’s dummy Glock. “Boom! You’re dead!”

“Why’d you leave the bedroom?” Karl asked?

“You were in my house! Stealing my TV.” The student replied.

“Yeah, but now you’re dead and I still have your TV. Your stuff is insured. Arm yourself, call 911, tell them you have an intruder in your home, put the phone down and announce that you have called the police, the intruder needs to leave, and that you are armed. If they come to you, you will shoot them.”

Karl had the student run the scenario again, and this time, the guy posted up behind a “bed” with a clear shot at the doorway. He made his announcement, Karl entered the room, and the guy shot him down.

After the home, Karl opened it up to the class. One of the first questions was about carjacking. So we took to the outdoors with our dummy guns and Karl’s Ford. Karl explained that the best defense was to drop your head to the side and accelerate. Good advice too. I got to be the carjacker and couldn’t seem to steal Karl’s Ford when he took that strategy.  One of the students asked what we should do if the guy got in the right seat. After asking why the doors weren’t locked in the first place, he smiled and said, “Drive really fast into the first big thing you see. Nobody wants to carjack your busted car, and you’ll likely interrupt his OODA loop long enough to get ahead with yours.”

We ran through a few more scenarios, but the message was still pretty much the same. Your life and the lives of your loved ones are the most important thing in the world. Don’t be a vigilante. Be smart and do what you need to do to ensure the survival of the ones you keep dear (that includes you).

I can’t recommend this class enough. $60 bought me a set of tools I’ll carry forever. If you can’t make it to Texas, email Karl and get his opinion on somewhere that can offer a comparable training. All the shooting training in the world can’t prevent you from getting in a firefight. Lastly, be prepared to destroy everything in your path if it means securing the safety of you and yours. Nearly everything can be replaced.

comments

  1. avatar Sig says:

    If someone actually gets in my house and upstairs (where the main living space is), I would be facing some difficult decisions. The main living space narrows to a short hallway, and then splits–one bedroom to the left and to the right, with the bathroom in the middle. If I couldn’t consolidate on my kids’ location (which would likely require more notice than I’d have), at the very least I’d have to hold that choke point.

    I’m glad the course emphasizes that it’s just stuff. There is not a thing in my house that I wouldn’t gladly lose to keep my wife and munchkins safe–to most emphatically include the hateful cat.

  2. avatar OnlyKetchup says:

    Class sounds excellent, too many people especially on here, act all macho about intruders and their belongings. I will definitely look for a class like this in CA.

  3. avatar GMAN says:

    My master bedroom is on the main floor and my kids are upstairs. If someone busts in at night, I can’t really see myself holding up in my bedroom with my kids alone upstairs. I’m in a crappy position, as I’d have to pass all main entrances to the house to get to them. I’m sure Karl’s answer would be to move my bedroom to the guest bedroom upstairs…but I wonder if his “stay put” plan would work for me as is.

    1. avatar KR says:

      I’ve had several students with similar floor plans. What most of them decide is to stay on the ground floor, and base their use-of-force decisions on a rule that no one but them goes up the staircase. If you can see the staircase from your bedroom, great. If you can’t, you may need to find (or create) a place you can move to, where you can see the staircase, that doesn’t require you to clear the entire first floor. Obviously part B of that is to make sure that the kids upstairs know not to come downstairs if the alarm system is going off and you are yelling “get out of my house, I’ve called the cops, I have a gun” at the intruder.

      The whole “intruder in the nighttime” scenario is over-prioritized by most people. If you read interviews with burglars, a common theme is that they do their robbing during the day, when no one is home, specifically to avoid contact with armed homeowners.

      1. avatar GMAN says:

        Wow. Wasn’t expecting an actual response from KR!

        Thanks for the great info. I will definitely instruct my kids to stay put if they ever hear the alarm and are upstairs.

  4. avatar CarlosT says:

    I took a class from a guy who’s on King County’s SWAT team, someone who’s got a lot of training on how to clear rooms, move and shoot, and all that stuff. He said flat out that if he were in a scenario like this, there’s no way he’s clearing his own house. He’d be herding his family into one room, locking the door, getting his gun, calling the cops, and yelling the warnings mentioned above the intruder(s). The only reason he’d go out into his house is if he couldn’t account for a family member, and even then he’d be extremely cautious.

    Afterward, when the police show up, he’d have them clear the house. They’d be there with backup or could call in backup, and they could do it in teams like you’re supposed to.

  5. avatar J Marler says:

    Sounds similar to the AT-Weekend class I took at KR years ago. We did airsoft scenarios in that class. I remember a very similar scenario where I was the victim in a bedroom with the intruder stealing my stuff. I didn’t come out of the room and took cover behind furniture. I “survived” that scenario, unaware that there were actually three armed BGs waiting to ambush me. We got to switch roles from BG to victim to CHL holder. Not only was it a ton of fun, it was very informative to see how we all reacted. You don’t have time to think. You have to make up your mind before it happens because you don’t have time to decide when it does.

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