Cutting Edge Training

America’s Combatives and Liability Trainer Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

("I will either find a way or make one.")

Self-Defense and Deadly Force

Self-Defense and Deadly Force

Focus:  Anyone lawfully owns or carries a firearm.  Also retired peace officers who need to transition from cop-think about deadly force into civilian requirements and considerations about employing firearms in self-defense situations. 

Length:  6 hours.

“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” 

Mark Twain’s quote perfectly reflects the myths and misunderstandings of American gun owners when it comes to self-defense with a firearm.  Knowing what the specific standards are and how to explain what you saw and knew is key to not only making good defense decisions, but also to avoiding being prosecuted for something you believed was justified when it was not.

This course takes you through the process of adopting a realistic mind-set of avoiding trouble as it begins to develop, defusing it when the bad guy allows, understanding the standards for self-defense and deadly force, and the post-incident process, including articulating your reasonable beliefs in convincing your local prosecutor—and possibly a jury—of your need to respond with deadly force to save your life or your family’s lives. 
As Americans, we have a fundamental right to keep and bear arms.  In a few states, there is no requirement to apply for a concealed carry permit.  In most, a class of some hours is required before the government will acknowledge your right to carry and grant you a permit.  In some, no instruction is necessary.  In all cases, the course content is insufficient in creating the certainty necessary to lawfully respond with force, including deadly force.  As importantly, there is typically little information about weathering the criminal justice aftermath following a self-defense shooting.

In many states, the law is friendly to self-defense.  That said, the criminal justice system is a machine that doesn’t care about your belief that you are the “good-guy” in this mess.  It will simply process your actions and behavior against the evidence and come to a conclusion that has real and very personal consequences.  Shoot to save your life and you have entered into a path that has exacting standards of proof and articulation.  Failing to meet those requirements, and the machine can eat you alive, resulting in jail or even prison.  And then there is the inevitable civil process where your attacker is likely to sue you, seeking a big pay-off.  Knowing what to say and how to say it matters in the make or break world of post-shootings.

This course provides a real-world understanding of those standards, breaking down what can be a complicated legal theory into easy to understand, easy to retain concepts you will need when making your decision to defend yourself or others.  The program of instruction will also take you step-by-step through the criminal justice process and explain what level of articulation is needed in each.  Taught by an international trainer who has been teaching personal security and violence avoidance for 40 years (and the police since 1981), and has been an expert witness since 1991 in federal and state courts across the nation in both civil and criminal matters, this informative, entertaining, fast-moving class will give you a necessary level of certainty in your decision-making when and if you are threatened. 

Retired cops:  The policies and legal standards--as well as the immunities protecting you--are no longer available to you once you are not longer operating under the color of law.  Your orientation must change from that of a law enforcement officer, with all of the moral and legal duties that entails, to that of "armed citizen," with all of the liabilities and dangers that involves.

This class will provide answers to the questions you have—and should have—about defending yourself with a firearm.

  • Recognizing the Threat. 
  • The Process of Violence. 
  • Identifying the Threat. 
  • Violence Avoidance and Defusing Violence When Possible. 
  • Restrictions on Self-Defense. 
  • Non-Deadly Force in Self-Defense. 
  • The Deadly Force Threshold. 
  • Post-Incident Conduct. 
  • Articulation Standards: Convincing the Prosecutor of Your Innocence


Note: This course should not be considered to take the place of “legal advice.”  Consult an attorney for specific legal questions relating to self-defense laws.