Some of you may remember I spent a couple of days back in July 2012 training with Mike Seeklander. Benefitting from his teaching, and witnessing how amazing a shooter he is, helped my skills improve beyond what I thought possible. The only problem with training with a guy like Seeklander in person is, well, money. When you factor in the cost of the course, ammo, gear, travel, and a place to stay, it’s easy to sink $500-$800 into a few days of training. That may be a small price to pay for the skills learned you’ll learn (and hopefully never need) but it’s not something I can do more than a few times a year at best. So . . .

When I heard Seeklander had put together an at-home system called “Your Defensive Handgun Training Program,” I quickly plunked down the $26.95 for the book (there’s a Kindle version too). He’s also got a couple of DVDs (at $29.95 a piece) that accompany the book. I’ve gone through each of these in detail, and I can confidently say they’re worth the samolians.

The 350-page book touches on most of what a concealed carry holder needs to be concerned about (training, legalities of self-defense, guns and gear, preparation, etc.) But the book is really dedicated to training for a potential altercation where you may be forced to use your firearm in self-defense.

Seeklander spends a good amount of time discussing physical and mental preparation for “the fight” and then immediately dives into the skills necessary to improve your odds of survival. I wouldn’t say there’s anything groundbreaking here, likely because Seeklander has been a major influence in what other trainers teach as well. As a result, we’ve probably all been exposed to pieces of this in some form or another. The groundbreaking part is what’s comes next.

I was most looking forward to the dry- and live-fire skills drills and ongoing training program. This is sort of the P90x of defensive handgun training. Seeklander provides a highly-detailed and structured training program designed to develop, hone and maintain the skills necessary to improve your chances of “winning the fight.” He details everything, even down to what type of shot timer he prefers, how to manage targets, when and where to train, how to be most efficient to maximize training time and the list goes on and on.

I can’t possibly go into all of the skills he teaches in this review. But he covers it all; marksmanship, weapon manipulation, movement and close quarters tactics. The program includes a good amount of dry fire practice in addition to the live fire drills, so you’re able to build and maintain some skills without having to spend time at the range. Or money on ammo.

The detail in his explanation of the drills and how to make the most of them is more than adequate. Even covering how to mentally correct the common mistakes we often make —  the ones we know we’re making but have trouble correcting. One of the best parts is a structured weekly training schedule, down to the day and specific drills, and a log to record training sessions and performance during those sessions.

This 10+ week program is broken down into four main phases; (1) fundamentals, (2) movement, (3) specialty, and (4) maintenance. As you can imagine, each phase builds skillsets that are required for the subsequent phases.

Even though I’d been through Seeklander’s training in person, the DVDs that accompany the book (purchased separately) really helped to bring the whole program to life. They contain about 3 hours and 20 minutes of content between volumes 1 and 2. This content is made up of Seeklander himself demonstrating how to execute each drill down to the smallest detail. It’s almost as good as having him standing right next to you. He just won’t be correcting your form when you do it wrong.

And yes, there’s a test. The program’s designed to improve your defensive handgun skills, so it only makes sense that Seeklander would include a comprehensive skills test to complete at various points throughout the program so you can measure your progress as you go. As soon as my new shot timer arrives in the mail, I’ll be taking the test. And after working my way through the entire program I’ll post a follow-up to this with results.

Overall, I can’t find anything bad to say about the system. For less than $90 you get written and video instruction as well as a complete training plan to grow and maintain your defensive handgun effectiveness. For anyone who’s looking for a cost-effective way to hone and maintain the skills we want but hope to never put into use, this book and the DVDs could be your ticket.

Link to the book: http://shooting-performance.com/Shooting-Performance/Training_Books.html

14 Responses to Course Review: Mike Seeklander’s “Defensive Handgun Training Program and DVDs

  1. I bought the book and DVDs a couple of weeks ago and I’ve learned a lot (I’ve only been shooting a year now.) I also bought the separate “Drills” book which contains the drills only so don’t have to copy them from the main book to take them with you to the range.

  2. What is Seeklander’s background..and can it be verified? Everyone and their brother is an “operator” now days. Forty years in law enforcement and I’ve never seen so many friggin experts in my life.

    I reckon I’m from the old broken down school…we learned bigger bullets Sometimes work better, but shot placement is king. And we learned from real combat that the Weaver stance was only good for competition….sorry Jeff.

    Not denigrating Mr. Seeklander…but I bet there are people in my house that could teach him a thing or two…except maybe how to sell DVDs.

    • Maybe if you’d click on his name where it appears underlined and in red in the article you might have had your answer without coming off so high and mighty. (Bet it was really tough walking to school 5 miles, in snow, uphill (both ways) when you were a youngster.)

      • Tim, you won’t be young forever. But I think that scares you and the rest of the “children” that mock older guys. You guys act like you invented the world, much as we did. Just remember, you not the first guy to discover your d!ck ain’t just for taking a leak. We’ve had our time too, when safe sex meant you had a net under the trapeze.

    • Seeklander’s background can be easily verified, it really depends on what you want to verify (ie. military, law enforcement, air marshal trainer, competitive background, executive at USSA… take your pick). I definitely wouldn’t loop him in with the low-grade “operators” you may be referencing. He’s top notch, and well known.

    • This is a drive by posting…

      Joseph, If you took about 10 minutes on the net you would see Mike is the real deal. Just based on his shooting sports stats, you would know his execution is top notch and his program works. The rest can be verified too – so I’m not sure why you would ask if he was the real deal when it sounds like you don’t trust people here anyway. Remember the old saying “trust but verify”.

      Fact remains he is one of the best shooter / instructors out there. Don’t get me wrong there are lots of good shooters but many are not good instructors. Lots of instructors out there but many cannot teach. Mike is both.

      Hands down I would rank Mike up with Enos and other top shooters. The books and DVDs are worth way more than the price… that is IF you put the program into practice & do the work. Now I’m a descent shooter, regularly placed in the top third of IDPA shoots I attended but I am going thru Mike’s program for a while and already see a marked difference in my times. Take it for what its worth.

      Just my 2 cents

  3. I have the book and DVD’s. They are excellent. I highly recommend them. The main difference between Seeklander’s material and others is that he gives you a step by step plan on how to improve as opposed to just showing you a bunch of techniques.

  4. In SE Texas we didn’t have much snow…lots of bad guys to deal with though…and no “operators” to teach us. I don’t know how we survived. Perhaps with books like Bill Jordan’s “No Second Place Winner” and “Shooting to Live” by Fairbairn.

    Somehow we got by in real gunfights without spending thousands of dollars on dude ranch operators. I suppose now I’ll be offered a one way ticket.

    • Naw, if you mean a ticket to the shootin’ dude ranch that’d just be a waste of time—you’re the second comin’ of Billy the Kid, after all. Dang shame everyone else isn’t as gifted or slick with as a sidearm as you are, pardner. If they were these shootin’ dude ranches would go the way of the dodo. You must be one mighty tough hombre—sure hope I never tussle with you. You’re just too good—as a matter of fact you’re so good you don’t need no help from a qualified instructor—ever……or so you keep sayin’.

  5. With thanks to the History Channel Website:
    ” Mike is the COO and a senior instructor at the United States Shooting Academy. He served as a Marine, U.S. Federal Air Marshal and firearm instructor for the Federal Air Marshal training division, police officer, and finally a senior instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. The semi-pro shooter has competed extensively on the practical handgun shooting circuit and has also shot competitively with small bore and high-powered rifles, as well as compound bows.”

  6. Been a TCLEOSE firearms instructor since the 80’s…and been taught by the best. Also…well dang it…been in real live for real actual gun fights. Don’t shoot competition…’cept to stay alive.

  7. Not to mention he had the most embarrassing performance in Top Shot history. I’ve had some trouble taking him seriously since then.

    • The guy had one bad day and one mediocre one shooting intermediate range rifle on national TV. He accepted responsibility for his poor performance in competition and was eliminated fair and square by a shooter who was clearly his superior in rifle skills, Kelly.

      Not sure how that translates into deep insights about his skills, teaching ability or personality, especially after the producers got done editing the show to maximize drama.

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