John Correia of Active Self Protection
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“If (God forbid) you ever get into a situation where you have to use your firearm in self-defense, you need to know the issue you’re facing: one or more people of unknown skill level and undetermined will have placed you and your loved ones at deadly peril. They’re actively trying to kill you and they are in a hurry. How much skill do you want with your handgun on that day? Start training and practicing today to have that level of skill on that day.” – John Correia of Active Self Protection (YouTube Channel here)

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    • Why do these (god forbid) fear based trainers carry bellys so large that they obviously couldn’t outrun a glacier?

      Oh, I guess I answered my own question.

      • “Why do these (god forbid) fear based trainers carry bellys so large that they obviously couldn’t outrun a glacier?”

        Uuuuhhhmmm, like, you know…maybe us OFWGs can quickly relate to someone who looks like us? Maybe because a glacier cannot outrun a bullet, so individual speed is not an issue.

        Training for Ranger school is one thing, training for the minimal likelihood of needing to defend with a handgun or rifle, in an environment that doesn’t require hauling a 100lb ruck and running 300yds over open terrain does not the physique of an Olympian.

        • This fat guy runs “Active Self Protection” and thinks you have to be prepared to defend yourself against a team of ninja warriors do yeah, he doesn’t present the image of the kind of guy who can do that.

        • Self-defense with a gun does not require the skills and conditioning needed to successfully fend off ten ninjas using only martial arts moves, or a long staff. Unless, of course, non-firearm defense against ninjas includes being able to outrun all of them. In which case, we would have seen this post titled, “Should have been a defensive gun use”.

        • “This fat guy runs “Active Self Protection” and thinks you have to be prepared to defend yourself against a team of ninja warriors do yeah, he doesn’t present the image of the kind of guy who can do that.”

          John Correia’s credentials are:

          -10-year earned black belt in a derivative of Kenpo known as UMAS. Continuous training since 2006, with goal to be under instruction at least 100 hours a year annually.

          -Rangemaster Certified Pistol Instructor

          – Sig Sauer Academy Semi-Auto Pistol Instructor graduate and patch holder with perfect qualification score

          -NRA Certified Pistol Instructor in Home Firearm Safety, Basic Pistol, Personal Protection in the Home, Defensive Pistol, Personal Protection Outside the Home, Refuse to Be A Victim

 (Mike Seeklander) Firearms Instructor Development graduate

          -State of Arizona certified Armed Guard instructor

          -UTM Professional Training Organization certified

          -Law of Self Defense verified instructor graduate

          -NRA Range Safety Officer certified

          -Certified Civilian TASER Trainer

          As for his weight….he has lost a lot of weight lately. I think he is on some keto diet.

        • Nice update. But….consider the picture to be generic for a not insignificant number of gun owners. I look at such picture and say, “If that OFWG can do it, so can I.” Then I question again the CBA of formal training for preparing solely for SD at a convenience stores, or a bank, or a sidewalk, or a car jacking. Especially training with the theme of learning to be a heroic gunfighter. Training is good. Anyone who wants should sign-up. But the DGU data does not support a real-life “need” to train like a commando.

        • I agree. Want to be a better warrior? Get your fat ass into the gym. Heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other health issues kill a lot more than murder does. Ditto with medical errors. I fully support his right to armed self defense, but the cheeseburger combo with extra mayo might get him in the end.

      • Why is it that keyboard commandos like Bearpaw get so caught up in their own hubris that they so easily end up looking like twits?

      • That could have been more… diplomatic…
        Bearpaw isn’t wrong, just rude.
        “To a man holding a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”. We in the self-defense business sometimes forget that running away is – or should be – a perfectly viable option. It would behoove all of us, inasmuch as we can, to insure we are capable of doing so. Your mileage may vary.

        • To those in the training business, in an effort to seriously explore self-defense training, why do you conclude that tactics learned for the battlefield are relevant to domestic DGU? When does the military train combat teams to operate as single individuals encountering unexpected threats, with no other team members to support? When does the military train individuals to enter an urban environment, alone, with a single handgun for defense? When does the military teach self-defense techniques for serving as a clerk at a convenience store? When does the military teach individuals to defend themselves, alone, when facing a car-jacking?

          What is the reasoning that leads to the conclusion that civilian gun owners who do not wish to participate in arms competition somehow need or benefit from pseudo-military tactical training?

        • This OFWG was on vacation this week, which meant 4 days hiking/running 3-7 miles/day, and 2 afternoons at the range. I’m fortunate enough to have several options.

      • Can’t speak for anyone else, but I lost the tactical ability to run away 25 years ago when I crashed a motorcycle head on into a Chrysler at a combined closing speed of 85mph. So my options are a) stand and fight or b) beg for mercy. In fact that’s kind of why I carry.

      • Have you ever seen fighter Big Country Roy Nelson with his huge belly knock-out physical specimens who look like they were carved out of granite? You can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Never underestimate anyone.

        • Prize fights don’t involve nearly the sympathetic nervous system stress as a true life or death situation, or deep punctures and lacerations (usually) . If your over weight, have high blood pressure, hi cholesterol or arterial sclerosis; 2 minutes of adrenalized struggle can kill you after the fight even if you win. Happens to cops now and then, arterial plaque breaks off, goes straight to the valves. That guy wins despite having a gut not because of it.

        • Have you ever done any prizefighting? I have done both and in many ways fighting in front of thousands of paying customers is more stressful than self defense. A self defense situation can kick off so fast that you don’t really have time to think about it, you just react. In a sport fight you have weeks to think about it. Psychologists will tell you that getting up in front of a crowd is one of the most stressful things that people do. What many of you don’t realize is that a fat guy can train his ass off and be a cardio machine yet still have a belly. Look at most NFL lineman and many heavyweight MMA fighters. I spent 25 years working in max prisons and 10 years bouncing in bars. I will take a 350 pounder by my side any day over a 125 pound triathlon athlete. The big boy literally only has to lay on the perp while you put the cuffs on. Size does matter, even if it’s not pretty.

      • He’s a black belt in karate and an instructor, he’s also highly skilled with a sidearm. “Fear based?” If the “fear” of dying violently or seeing your spouse or child die violently isn’t at least one motivating factor behind training to be a defender then something’s wrong somewhere.

        John’s channel has innumerable videos of people dying in real life encounters—sometimes the bad guy, sometimes the good guy—so it’s less (irrational) fear than just plain living in the real world (which he designs his channel to help us prepare for). He’s also a pastor and a good guy with a great sense of humor. I recommend his channel for some real time application of what we’re preparing for.

        • I agree Free Texas. It’s reality based, not fear based. ASP has amassed a treasure trove of videos of real shootings. For many years we had to take the advice of “experts” as to what happens in real shootings, now we can see for ourselves what REALLY happens. If one watches enough of those videos certain patterns emerge that we can learn from. ASP is a valuable resource.

        • Reality based for whom?

          Go back and watch those videos with a “how did I get there?” mindset instead of “a what would I have done?” mindset. Unless you are a cop, criminal or live in a third world s-hole I bet you would find almost all those videos are irrelevant to you.

      • John can fight for himself and out shoot you if not prove it get up off your mom’s couch and show the world. It’s cool no name keep typing that’s all you got

      • I know a guy that was stabbed, but he was so fat the blade couldn’t reach any vital organs or arteries. Doesn’t pay to be fat most days, but that day, it did.

  1. Even if their skill level is low, they can still get lucky. Train and be prepared, always. High situational awareness often equals more time to deal with potential threats.

    Be aware, train with your carry gun and above all else, SEMPER PARATUS.

      • Agreed, because a stray/lucky/unlucky bullet doesn’t care if you’re the most tactically tactical operator operating operationally or if you are some poor slob who only fires his gun once every six months, it only takes one.
        That said, I’ve never heard of more training making things worse. And shooting is fun, even when it is for training.

        • “Training making things worse”… Couple decades back, I spent some time at the range, and when I got ready to go home, it struck me I had shot up all my ammo, went home unarmed. Worked out fine, never did it again, but if I had been attacked on that particular day, my last dozen rounds of training would, in fact, have made things worse.

  2. I’ve trained my beautiful possum fur to lay to the right…. Actually I think part of defensive gun use training would entail being beat with a stick and having firecrackers thrown at your head while trying to hit the beer can target. If you can do that I’d reckon your good to go

    • El Possum,

      The training scenario that you suggested might actually be quite beneficial, especially the part with firecrackers which simulate the sound and flash of gunfire. I am going to ponder that quite a bit this weekend.

    • iirc part of traditional karate training is being beaten with a stick to toughen up your body, and they whack people with sticks to wake them up if they fall asleep during Zen meditation. Sign me up to be the guy holding the stick.

  3. Training is a good thing. Training is fun. Training develops good habits (hopefully). But most (vast majority?) DGUs involve someone with zero or very minimal training – on both sides of the contest.

    So, why all the emphasis on training, especially operating operationally style training? Haven’t read any incidents where the attacker was trained, but many have actual urban gunfight experience. How much training is conducted where surprise is real? Where the attacker is upon you instantly, and not simulated at a distance that allows the 1.5 second response time to be completed before firing a shot is necessary?

    Training is good. Training is fun. Training is unnecessary.

    • Sam I Am,

      I pretty much agree on all counts.

      And your comment about training for a real surprise is incredibly poignant — and related to my comment below where I emphasize mental training that gets us “into the game” much faster than would otherwise happen.

      Saying it another way, reducing your reaction time from 4 seconds to 1 second (with nothing more than a few minutes of basic handgun handling and marksmanship skills) will benefit you FAR greater than being able to perform highly accurate and extremely fast Mozambique drills AFTER a 4 second reaction time.

      • 40 years ago I used to be a dealer of drugs. I’ve seen guys who basically had to be shown how to load a gun and they still got the job done. It’s been my experience it’s whomever gets the drop on the other guy. My advice, when in sticky situations Pay Attention because no amount of training can beat the gun pointed already in your face. el Possum is not a keyboard commands, he’s been hit three times, shotgun to the chest birds shot, pellets went through field jacket liner and heavy cotton shirt. Stung like hell and knocked me on my ass( knock down power).Made it home drank whisky snorted coke, friends dug the pellets out, some was pretty deep but nothing too bad. Bullet hits car bumper, fragment ricocheted off and hits me in the thy, went in about three inches by the time I got home about 45 minutes the wound was swelled up purple and about the size of a golf ball.Took a straight razor and cut it out, ahhh what a relief the swelling went down and it’s all good. Shot in ankle, caliber unknown, altercation over drugs, I jumped for cover but the guy had the drop on me and the bullet went in my ankle up the shin bone and out the other side. Had to go to the hospital for that one. Sooooo, when your getting beat by a stick and firecrackers are going off around your head and you can hit that beer can target after throwing it out there with 11 others, your good to go.

  4. Depending on the situation, and your location, if the BG is a banger his level of training trumps your in most cases because he has probably been shot at before.

    It occurs to me that there are these fancy devices to keep critters out of your garden, especially birds. They are motion sensitive and when triggered shoot a high-pressure jet of water in the direction of the sound.

    Now THAT might be an interesting training device.

  5. A lot of the comments could be paraphrased as “If the instructor isn’t super fit with 10+ years in spec. opps. they can’t know anything worthwhile.” I’ve taken classes from a variety of instructors and that thought is incorrect.
    The truism that I would say is that if the course was fun and you enjoyed it, you probably weren’t pushed, challenged and didn’t learn or improve.

    • Nicely said, Mike.

      The best classes I’ve done have pushed me the hardest and frequently involve me internally yelling at myself (okay, sometimes externally, too).

      John is a fantastic shot and a solid observer. He’s someone in the industry I truly respect. Highly recommend training with him.

  6. Many pro self defense people share the same misapprehension about the real threat as the antis. They vastly overestimate the likelihood and intensity of the threat. The most likely threat is a mugging or hot burglary by people who aren’t very motivated to get into a fight and don’t live by the “no man left behind” ethic which is why 90%+ of DGUs don’t involve pulling the trigger. So unless you hang with unsavory people or are wealthy enough to have enough stuff to interest a group of pros having a gun and knowing how to use it is generally enough.

    That leaves the extremely unlikely possibility of encountering a spree shooter or a group a terrorists as the only scenario where tactical training might give you a slight edge. However, the empirical evidence strongly suggests that spree shooters disengage, surrender or commit suicide at the first sign of armed resistance. It still just takes a little common sense and basic skills to face such a person.

    The preference for small, single stack pistols shows that a majority of gun owners implicitly understand this.

    • tdiinva,

      I am on the same page as you.

      The only significant benefit I can see to advanced “operator” training is if you want the ability to engage multiple determined attackers.

      Having said all that, I will re-iterate (as in my other comments on this topic) that training to significantly reduce your reaction time is FAR more beneficial for the average person than learning how to be a special forces operator. That could come into play and be extremely helpful even for the two-bit thug who steps in front of you on a deserted sidewalk.

    • Self defense is about staying to the left of bang. People should focus on the kind of threat avoidence skills that intelligence officers learn. Learn thise skills and you will both increase your reaction time and create more time to react

    • If your a woman, the person you will most likely have to kill is a man that you have or are currently cohabitating with, you wont have your gun on you and it likely wont even be your gun.

  7. I believe that 90% of your training should be MENTAL training.

    And that mental training should consist of three areas:
    (1) Maintaining situational awareness, especially in transition zones.
    (2) Recognizing pre-assault cues.
    (3) Overcoming your reluctance to acknowledge an attack.*

    * Our brains naturally interpret events according to our usual experiences. That being the case, it is commonplace for people to misinterpret dangerous events such as:
    (1) Physical altercations as “friends fooling around”.
    (2) Actual gunfire as “balloons popping” or construction noises.
    (3) A home invader as someone who mistakenly entered the wrong home.
    (4) An imminent physical assault as someone coming to ask directions.

    It takes a relatively long time — easily between two and four seconds — for our brains to finally realize actual danger at hand. If we can cut that time to 1/2 second or even 1 second, that could easily be the difference between life and death regardless of handgun combat skills.

    • Not sure I would go with quite that percentage but I agree that mental conditioning is extremely important. The majority of gun owners don’t get that far, though. Situational awareness is a major part of what John covers through ASP.

    • Totally agree, but I will point out the opposite condition of ‘keeping your head on a swivel’ can get you into a bad shoot. You need to react quickly but still be sure of your taget, what’s behind it AND that the target is a legitimate threat. Staying out of the bad side of town is probably your best strategy.

  8. While I personally don’t like or respect ASP’s front man, looks can be deceiving. I have heard he is qualified in martial arts. This would be very beneficial in a real emergency.

    I participated in a United States Practical Shooting Association match last weekend. While everyone else was concerned with scoring points, I just wanted to move and shoot…and not blast my testicles off. It was the first time I really had such a great opportunity.

    I will go back. I won’t try to memorize the scenarios. I figure it’s the best way to train, without anyone shooting back at me.

    • The USPSA is a good organization that provides good training in a safe environment with multiple scenarios. If you don’t go ahead and study the scenario it is good training for reacting to the situation not practiced for.

  9. With respect to the physical appearance of the trainer:

    This guy isnt terrible. He’s kinda got the “dad bod” and could use some gym time, sure, but he’s not terrible.

    While I agree that there’s no need for every trainer to look like a Greek God it is also true that some are so obese they look like they couldn’t catch the ice cream truck and would need multiple shots of insulin if they did manage to run down Mr. Tasty Freeze. Such people are not confidence inspiring.

    • I also chose an old image for this post, which is on me. John’s a skilled martial artist and has lost a significant amount of weight. That said, I don’t particularly care if someone is a Crossfitter. So many of those muscle-bound guys cannot actually shoot. Is fitness important? Yes, but it isn’t at the top of my criteria list. Give me a skilled shot any day.

      • People say that but personally I think both are highly important.

        If I’m sitting on a plane when someone goes nuts I want the guy helping me subdue the nutjob to have at least a basic level of physical fitness. The same goes for other places where weapons are forbidden such a courthouses or federal buildings. You know, the places you don’t really want to go but might be forced to go to and which somehow attract unstable/angry people.

        Like how I have jury duty next month. I don’t want to go but I don’t have a choice and the only weapon I can carry is my set of keys.

        • Plus, the ignored aspect of physical fitness is the greatly enhanced quality of life you enjoy. You don’t have to look like an Adonis to be fit. Modest routines will yield the best, sustainable results.

        • S9. Fitness has sweet fukk all to do with it in the situations you describe. On a crowded city bus(not as hollywood as an airliner) a nutjob attacked the driver mid drive. Crowded bus with a looney trying to crash it. Who jumped the bad guy to avert the oncoming disaster? A 40 something guy that was working 2 jobs and living out of fast food joints. A guy that weighed more than 300 pounds and was in miserable, exhausted shape that got winded walking down the street.

          And an Asian nerd that went a buck ten on his best day. Never been in a fight in his life. How do I know this? He told me after the cops took the idiot and treated him like a King. Rodney King.

          Two of us. On a bus full of folks including a bunch of healthy looking college kids. I guess they figured if the bus crashed they would be safe cause they weren’t involved. Or something.

          Physical fitness is trumped by the willingness to get bloody and take the hurt to the asshole causing the trouble.

          I’m in my 60’s now. I’ve lost weight and do a light workout every day. Just went hunting today. But by the standards you seem to espouse I wouldn’t pass muster.

          Fine by me. I’ll sit the next one out and let you jack la lane types sort it.

        • jwm:

          You’re extrapolating what I said way too far and, it would seem, taking it a bit personally.

          As I said, I’m not suggesting that people need Greek God status and, generally, I’m not applying anything I’m saying to your average person. I’d prefer people with a modicum of physical fitness if SHTF in a situation where we can’t go armed but I’ll take what I can get. You go to war with the army you have not the one you wish you had. The overweight guy with the balls to help is infinitely more useful in my book than the jacked triple black belt cowering behind the concrete planter.

          Generally speaking I’m applying this to trainers/instructors. If I show up to a training class and the “teacher” is 350lbs of lard who gets winded and starts wheezing while walking to the range that doesn’t mean he has nothing useful to impart but at that point I’m somewhat concerned. That dude doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in his ability, his ability to teach or the class in general. A lot of the people “selling” (yes, they’re selling) classes over the internet fall into this category.

          Again, I’m not saying they have nothing useful to impart and I’m not saying that instructors need to look like they just left the SEALs. I’m just saying that first impressions count and in many cases I’ve seen the instructor looks like a candidate for a triple bypass rather than a self-defense/gun teacher.

          Put another way: When a guy tells me to immediately seek cover/concealment I take that as saying “move quickly” not “waddle slowly over to the concrete wall and kinda crouch behind it but not really because your gut prevents it”. If the instructor falls into the latter category… I’m somewhat concerned.

        • JWM

          Dude, your old, it’s ok. There is no shame in that. We’ll all get there some day. You’re not military, you’re not law enforcement. You’re not ever gonna need to step up and play the hero to save the day. You should be thankful for that. You live in Cali so your angry about the gun laws, I get it, me too. Relax, you stress here all the time, thats more likely to kill you than anything else.

    • Visibly that guy is much better shape than the average American of his age, admittedly that’s not a high bar to set, but he is clearly in better condition than the vast majority of Americans.

  10. I think training has the advantage of creating instinctive muscle memory (“training took over”) when confronted by a threat that might otherwise, through panic and adrenaline dump, cause a defender to behave too slowly, too erratically or too quickly. Weapon draw and manipulation and presentation are all in jeopardy under high stress unless you’ve trained to act correctly. So I believe in civilian training. Even if that means at a minimum doing repetitive draw and shoot/dry fire exercises from concealment. (That way you decrease the likelihood in the least of shooting yourself when drawing under stress.). That said, courses in “neighborhood watch” or “long range patrolling” probably enjoy limited utility.

      • Just pointing out the irony. No one claims you need to be a professional athlete in order to teach defensive driving or first aid, those things are more important to the average Americans health and welfare than firearms, it’s all just life saving knowledge for just in case, that most will never need. It’s an absurd debate. But on the internet some people act as if instructors aren’t qualified unless they themselves have actually shot someone. It’s just fantasy garbage. Im sure the guy knows what he’s doing, any instruction is better than none in most cases. Going to an under qualified yoga instructor or chiropractor is more likely to get you hurt.

    • Because “peak physical condition” could be anything at any time. I may be in peak physical condition for a 74 year old, but not good enough to take on a 20 year old. However, experience can trump youth. No matter what shape you are in, you can lose just as well as win. Under estimating an opponent is a good way to get killed.

  11. If it is just me, I’m going to get the hell out of Dodge. But, I am responsible for a lady that can not run, she can not fight. My military training will have to do, win, lose, or draw. But I would not leave her.

  12. Same old argument every time anyone mentions training. Every. Single. Time. Down to the letter. *Snore…*

    You’d think I’d learn to stop reading the comment section when this topic comes up, but I guess I have a misplaced faith in my fellow man. (This time will be different, for sure…)

  13. Nickel allergy is a primary cause of obesity (from inflammation) and skin contact with firearms can be a cause since Type III Anodized coatings are sealed with Nickel Acetate. So… get it Cerakoted or paint it and protect yourself! Anyone can get a Nickel allergy from exposure to Nickel.

  14. Nickel is also high in foods such as: Chocolate, legumes (beans, soy, etc.), green leafy vegetables (lettuce, spinach, etc.), and whole grains. Nickel is also a “Metal” Estrogen that binds to Estrogen Receptors in both male & female bodies which has negative consequences such as Cancer caused by the many gene mutations carried by most people!

  15. Not taking opponent serious, and under estimating them is ones first fatal mistake. Been out of shape, or overweight does not mean the individual cannot put a serious hurt on you. John is in fact losing weight. ASP is a great channel and can increase one’s knowledge of personal protection. He is a standup guy, an excellent instructor and great shot. Not to mention he is a pastor and a Christian, who also in parts great knowledge in that aspect. Should check out his channel. Regardless of what he looks like.

  16. Rule One of Gunfighting is: Don’t be there!
    Rule Two: Have a gun. The bigger the better, and at least one reload.
    tdiinva has a bad attitude, but has one gem: You Should be thinking, “How did I get (t)here?” You should plan out your daily activities and be aware of your surroundings at all times while going about your business. You are most vulnerable when you walk out of areas/locations where you are able to control access, such as your home. If you are not armed, you’d best be vigilant.

  17. To all the retards that are obviously still in the high school “click” culture. I’d gladly have the supposed “fat guy” covering my back than than any of you know it alls that know just enough to get me or someone else killed. Basing a mans experience based on his appearance is equal to basing a gang members experience by the way he holds his gun is why you’ll probably only last 10 seconds or less when and if the SHTF in your shallow useless little lives. I’ll take 5 of him over 100 of you any day. Practice to you is just a place to show off and try to impress others. Jeez, you make me sick knowing there are possibly thousands of you running around playing commando and cowboy. Good luck learning anything of any value from your chiseled instructors that like you probably aren’t worth a shit like you are.

    • “Basing a mans experience based on his appearance is equal to basing a gang members experience by the way he holds his gun…”

      The comments you disrespect were appropriate for the proposition presented – picture of a physically degraded instructor (assuming the photo was supposed to be a typical instructor) associated with credibility of “get in shape” advice or training.

      Now, I am old, fat, out of shape, overweight. Does that mean I do not have useful knowledge and/or training regarding being a long distance runner? Does “been there, done that” no longer have credibility? It shouldn’t be that way, but in fact appearance is actually a factor in selling a product. I couldn’t wear tent sized uniforms, and expect the new recruits to take physical conditioning seriously. Unless I was serving as a poor example.


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