Make no mistake, carrying a gun for self-defence is a huge responsibility. So, if this is your choice, it’s imperative to get the requisite licencing to make you legal. And this means learning, understanding and following the laws that govern the carrying of a weapon in South Africa. Also, you should know when and where you’re legally authorised to carry a firearm and when the discharge of deadly force is legally justified.
The next step is to get training at a fully-compliant shooting range. Take advantage of Marksman’s Nest specialised close-quarter self-defence classes. This will teach you how to carry a firearm responsibly. In addition, the course teaches you the skills and mindset you need to be effective in a real-world scenario.
What’s more, you’ll be around others who have the same passion and sense of civic responsibility that you have.
The education and training opportunities in self-defence offered by gun ranges are essential. Marksman’s Nest offers concealed carry classes, marksmanship classes, home defence classes with a mock house set up, as well as family firearm training classes. Yes, the entire family can participate in the training process. Thus they too will be prepared with the same skills and have a plan that allows you all to understand and work to protect each other as a unit.
After attaining a training level that makes you comfortable with concealed carry, move on to scenario-based self-defence training. Being put into controlled situations under the stress of a class setting will build your confidence.
The self-defence scenarios at Marksman’s Nest take into account working in and around your vehicle, home protection settings, even scenarios based on your work environment. Two things will happen with this training. Firstly, your confidence in your ability to effectively respond will grow. Secondly, you’ll want to follow up on this type of self-defence training. And that will make you even more effective.
Scenario training will allow you to further understand what your assailants might be thinking and how you can outmanoeuvre them or possibly avoid them. Mental rehearsals are important to either be successful in an armed encounter, or to avoid such an encounter.
There are many things to think about when you carry a firearm. Where are the exits? How not to have your back to the door? And being aware of your surroundings at all times.
Therefore, if you want to defend yourself and your family, you must take the time to learn how to maximise your ability to effectively respond to any threats that present themselves. Self-defence training honestly will make a difference in your life and the lives of your family and friends.
Yes, that’s right: close-quarter self-defence training is vitally important. From a young age, we’re taught everything – from reading, art, maths, biology to camping in the wild. Yet there’s no official requirement for children, men or women to learn situational awareness and how to defend themselves and survive an attack. And in the South African context, with crime spiralling out of control, this is an absolute necessity.
When you make a major purchase such as a car, house or jewellery, the first thing you do is to insure it. Those are material things. But what have you done to ensure (and insure) your safety? Surely a course in close-quarter self-defence training is your insurance policy to get out of a sticky (and possibly lethal) situation alive?
We’re not talking paranoia here – just cold, hard facts. Being heads-up about self-defence, safety and personal situational awareness is the most important aspect in the mindset of self-defence.
Even people with legally owned and licenced firearms think they don’t need further and/or developmental training. But the fact is that attacks in South Africa have become decidedly brutal.
We must understand that for criminals in most cases an attack isn’t personal. It’s a means to an end. Basically, business as usual. Criminals usually prey on anyone who appears unable to defend him/herself: women, the old, weak and timid.
Thus our mindset and awareness should change and be developed. As crime and the criminal modus of operandi have changed, so too should we adapt. And adaptation is possible with well-structured close-quarter defensive developmental training.
The main purpose of the close-quarter self-defence course is to influence the legally armed firearm owner about being a safe citizen. This is truly an explosive 5- to 6-hour course and a must to attend. It’s presented to both small and larger groups, or as private one-to-one sessions.
A combination of theory discussions and practical application exercises take centre-stage in the close-quarter self-defence training course for private and home defence:
• Rules of defence
• Personal and home risk assessment
• A private citizen arrest
• Predator and crime analogy (where we think like a criminal)
• Situational awareness and understanding the concept streetwise
• Pre-visualisation and practical simulations
• Muscle memory and stress factors
• Alertness: Our ability to be situationally aware and streetwise
• Decisiveness: Developed stress factors to allow us to make decisions
• Aggression: To act like we mean it
• Speed: Well-developed muscle memory
• Coolness: Comes with training and well-developed muscle memory
• Ruthlessness: Acquiring the same demeanour as your attacker
• Surprise: Surprise your assailant
Most first world countries have long since understood the necessity of close-quarter self-defence training. And if crime hadn’t been an issue for them, then they wouldn’t have so many training schools preparing citizens for home and private self-defence. As is well-known and stressed at the beginning of this article, the South African situation is infinitely worse. Which is why it’s of the utmost importance for citizens to take charge of their lives by acquiring the necessary close-quarter self-defence training. And your first port of call should be Marksman’s Nest. Please note that bookings are essential.
There’s so much to love about being on the shooting range. Marksman’s Nest shooting range more specifically. There’s the atmosphere, the noise, the smell of smoke hanging in the air: all signalling that you’re having a good time.
Plus, going to the shooting range regularly can improve your accuracy tremendously. Better yet, you’re left with a feeling of having done more than just wearing out your trigger finger. You were having fun, while also gaining a feeling of success.
What to practise while at the shooting range
1. Ensuring that your scope or iron sights are properly zeroed is a good place to start. Otherwise, where’s the fun if you can’t hit your target? It’s a key discipline to zero your gun with the correct ammo at 100 metres. It’s also important to know how that shot will change at different distances.
2. Practise various positions, such as using a strap to hold steady instead of a rest, or shooting kneeling instead of sitting down. The shooting range is the best place to learn where your gun is going to miss when adjustments as described occur. Practise shooting kneeling, standing up, sitting and any other position that you might use on a hunt so that you’ll know the different ways your gun will react.
At the end of the day it’s down to personal preference. But here at Marksman’s Nest shooting range you have the time to try out various stances and distances to determine what works for you.
3. Concentrate on the mental aspect of shooting. This applies specifically to huntsman. Focus on the whole process. This means taking longer on each shot, maybe getting up and walking around after taking a shot, resighting each time, and concentrating on your breathing.
A good tip is to treat each shot as if it’s the only one you have. The advantage on the shooting range is that you have time to warm up. On a hunt you don’t.
So do try to make every shot count at the shooting range.