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
Link to the DVD’s: http://shooting-performance.com/Shooting-Performance/Training_DVDs.html