A background in self-defence and situational awareness is very important these days – both personally and in business. There are many situations currently in which you need to keep yourself and your family safe. Think carjacking, armed robbery, heists, home invasions.
Self-defence training is the first line of defence and for this you need to sign up at Marksman’s Nest for either one or a few sessions.
The stark reality is that self-defence is necessary to save your life. If struggling against your attacker will only help you lose it, don’t even make an attempt at struggling.
Don’t try to be a hero if someone wants your purse or wallet. Those are things that can be replaced. Your life can’t.
Just to give you a heads up on self-defence:
• Look both strong and confident.
• Stay calm and don’t give in to fear. When afraid, you’ll either be slow or unable to act at all.
• When trying to defend yourself, keep close to your attacker. Thus it’ll be difficult for him to hit you. Better yet, cling tightly to him if possible.
• Should the situation warrant it, try to hit first, because this can destabilise your attacker. And do try to hit where it hurts: the groin, the throat and the thigh. Act fast and you might be able to escape.
• Always protect your weak areas with your hands to block any possible punches.
Finally, don’t ever try to win or show the awesome self-defence skills you learnt at Marksman’s Nest. You’re not in a movie and there’s no prize for the winner. Put up just enough fight to help you escape from the attack and leave the scene once you have the chance.
Women are slowly but surely blazing a trail as highly competent shots. Marksman’s Nest Firearm Training Centre & Shooting Range offers programmes designed specifically for women wanting to learn gun ownership fundamentals in a safe, comfortable and non-judgmental environment.
Said chief range officer Geoffrey Coetzee, “Women are every bit as capable of being safe and effective shooters as men, but often might feel intimidated by fellow male trainees. That’s why we offer classes for women-only groups, or one-on-one training. First up we explain the layout of the range and then suggest what training to offer. Above all, we want ladies to feel comfortable.”
Classes are essential
The choice of classes comprises beginners’ classes on gun safety and handling, close-quarter self-defence programmes on handling a firearm and advanced classes.
As more and more women become gun owners, they’re doing the responsible thing by seeking out firearm training. Geoffrey continued, “It’s important that a woman’s first experience with guns is a positive one, and a major part of ensuring that happens is that their instructors should understand what they’re going through.”
A great aspect of training at Marksman’s Nest is that you needn’t bring your own equipment to the classes. We provide firearms, ammunition, eye and ear protection. That means you needn’t make a financial investment before you’ve had your first experience shooting a gun. You’ll be able to try out a variety of firearms at the range so you can experience what shooting is like. Also you can determine whether you have a preference for a particular style or model of gun. If you do have a firearm you’d like to bring, you’re welcome to do so of course.
More women joining shooting ranges
According to reports, more women are participating in shooting sports than ever before and often they’re outperforming the guys. A case in point is Nicky Whitehead (pictured), who’s an inspiration for women wishing to take up firearm training. After finishing basic training at Marksman’s Nest, she’s now moved on to advanced firearm training with the intention of becoming a firearm instructor.
The new demographic of female shots is excelling in everything from marksmanship to clay pigeon shooting and many more who are choosing concealed carry pistols for self-defence.
Geoffrey said, “The only way to get better at shooting is to practice as much as possible. When you join a gun range, you have unlimited access, and this will help to cut down on expenses while you master a new skill.
“Learning to shoot is a fun and rewarding experience. Once you’ve mastered all the necessary safety precautions, hit the range to practise. You’ll definitely become more confident over time. Nobody was born an expert shot, but if you take the time to improve your skills and confidence, you’ll fall in love with this exciting sport.”
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.