Alex Landeen and I had just ordered drinks at a café in Arizona when a man burst through the front door of the restaurant and began shouting at one of the employees. The exchange grew increasingly violent, and suddenly the unknown intruder drew a pistol and fired a shot at the restaurant employee. Landeen and I drew our own firearms, and as the shooter turned we both fired simultaneously at the attacker’s chest, stopping the threat.
Thankfully, the entire episode was a pre-planned scenario and no live rounds were fired. Landeen was my partner, and we were using simulated firearms as part of Gunsite Team Tactics training course, a class that is designed to teach personal defense tactics for two people. Landeen and I are both gun writers, but throughout the duration of the class he and I had developed a trust and understood our respective roles in the event of an attack—skills that could very well save one or both of us if we were involved in a real gunfight.
Why Team Training?
Gunsite offers a long and growing list of course options, and Team Tactics is relatively new. Most of those courses focus on individual skill improvement, so what is the reasoning behind offering a course that is designed to teach two people to help one another in the event of a shooting? Simple—having a person with you that knows how to handle a deadly encounter greatly increases the odds of getting out alive.
The course that Landeen and I attended was sponsored by Mossberg and Federal Ammunition, and we used Mossberg’s new MC1sc 9mm pistol and Federal Syntech ammo for the live-fire training portion of the class. I’ve attended several courses at Gunsite, but the Team Tactics course was a way for the attending gun writers to learn the value of having a shooting partner who is competent and well-trained. Basic concealed-carry classes are a good start, but next-level training can be the key to surviving a violent encounter.
But who will you be with if you find yourself in the midst of a violent attack? It’s impossible to say, but the odds are that it will be the person with whom you spend the most time. For me, that’s my wife Bethany, and even though she’s a good shot and skilled with a firearm, the Team Tactics course helped me realize that my wife and I need to have more than good shooting skills—we need the tactical knowledge to support one another and help neutralize a threat, whether that’s in our home, in our place of worship, on vacation or while simply running errands.
How Team Training Works
Team Tactics is more than simply a training course to improve your skill with a firearm. It’s as much about developing a defensive mindset for you and your partner and, perhaps as importantly, learning how to communicate effectively and serve as a useful teammate. The scenarios presented, like the one above, are less about accurate shooting (although gun handling is a crucial element of team training) than they are about using the resources available to you. And your primary resource in team training is a knowledgable partner. The key is to learn to rely on your training partner’s eyes, ears and marksmanship skills to effectively harden your defenses. Two people can visually cover far more areas than one person, and as the training unfolds, you begin to learn to divide responsibility in a confrontation without using verbal communication. When your partner is engaging an armed attacker you can visually assess what’s going on elsewhere. While they make a 911 call for help you can cover them, and if one partner is injured the other can provide assistance getting to cover or return fire until help arrives.
None of us want to become involved in a deadly confrontation, but the best defense is proper training. Having a partner who understands that and upon whom you can rely during such an encounter reduces the odds of being a victim. Humans naturally feel more secure when we have others around us; we’re social creatures. But when you and the ones closest to you are on the same page with regard to personal defense and tactics, you increase the odds of surviving an attack.
For more information about Team Tactics or any other Gunsite course visit the company’s website at www.gunsite.com.