Combatives for Carry: Top 10 FAQs

[This is an archived post from Mad Science Defense, currently on indefinite hiatus, and may not reflect the usual tone and content of Author J.R. White and/or the Storyteller at Large Blog. If you have arrived here via links from a website elsewhere in the tactical and combatives training community, we wish you the best in your skill development journey.]


I get asked a lot of questions about my training, and I think that’s outstanding. Questions let me know what people are thinking about, how I can better deliver valuable information and they help me interact with my readers.

I love questions because I love to teach and to learn.

Here are the 10 most frequently asked questions about Combative for Concealed Carry.

The Top 10 Combatives for Concealed Carry FAQs.

1. What is Combatives for Concealed Carry?

Combatives for Concealed Carry encompasses a series of hand-to-hand fighting courses focused on providing you with the concepts, principles and techniques needed to defend yourself against a violent personal attack long enough to gain control, escape or access and use your concealed carry handgun or other tool. The course is designed for those who have, are planning to have or are thinking about having a concealed carry permit.

2. How fit should I be for this course?

While having a baseline of good physical conditioning will help you get the most out of training (and life), there is no need to be an athlete to benefit from our training. I have trained with a wide range of ages, fitness levels and abilities, and everyone has had success learning the concepts I teach and using them to expand their personal defense capabilities. In general, you should be healthy enough for periodic vigorous activity over the training day.

3. Do I need any previous training to take this course?

Since the material focuses on using hand-to-hand fighting in conjunction with concealed carry, I do ask that you have a firm understanding of Firearms Safety (especially grip, muzzle control and “finger off the trigger”) Rules. Because we are focusing on concepts, principles and techniques, we won’t spend much time re-covering basic safe weapons handling. Otherwise, there is no previous training requirement.

4. If I’m already armed with a handgun, why do I need Combatives?

Because when you’re carrying a gun, any fight you get into will have at least one gun in it. Combatives skills will increase your chances of using your tools successfully in an extreme close quarters fight, decrease the likelihood of having your tools taken from you (and used against you), and widen the range of potential encounters in which you don’t have to draw your gun at all, because you have the combative skills to address the attack before it comes to that.

5. Do I need any special equipment to take the course?

The gear you need is gear that any serious gun owner should already have: your belt, holster and an inert training gun (such as the BlueGuns, ASP or BlackHawk dummy guns). The goal is to train you in as realistic a setting as possible, so they kind of clothes you wear when you carry your gun are the kind of clothes we want you to wear to the course (bear in mind, the clothes you wear will get sweaty, and may take some wear and tear). However you carry your gun in the real world is how you should carry your inert trainer in the course. You are also welcome to bring a mouth-guard and a pair of gloves (if you have sensitive hands) for the role player scenario and weapon protection parts of the course, but they are not required.

6. Is there any live fire or “Sims” in the course?

You won’t need to spend any money on ammunition to take our training. There is currently no live fire portion attached to Combatives for Concealed Carry, nor do we currently use projectile simulation munitions.

7. I also carry a knife (or other defensive tool). Will Combatives for Concealed Carry address that?

Absolutely. As I mentioned before, we want you training as close to your actual lifestyle as possible. So if you have safe training versions of other tools that you carry, you are encouraged to bring them to the course, wear them as you usually would, and include them in applying the concepts we will teach you. If you have an unusual tool, feel free to contact us ahead of time for any necessary clarification.

8. I’ve heard mixed things about “combatives”. Is this like the UFC?

The sport of Mixed Martial Arts in general (and the UFC in particular) are hyped as “as Real as it gets”, so it’s only natural that some of the most effective movements in real world self-defense will look similar, but, no, Combatives for Concealed Carry is not about the world of sports. We draw the base concepts of our training from sport and from battle, because those are the best laboratories of what does and doesn’t work. While the clinch-work, grappling and striking tactics we teach have been honed in both sport and combat, they are not MMA.

9. So will I get punched in the face?

You will be given the chance to test the concepts you learn in a role player scenario at the end of the training. The scenario will include an attack, and how you handle that attack will have a big effect of whether you get punched in the face (or the helmet, really, because we use specialized protective gear). Ultimately, the only way to be sure if you can stop someone from punching you in the face is to gear up and try it.

10. What is a “Role Player Scenario”?

The Role-Player Scenarios are the final segment of each course. Each student is presented with 1-3 live action scenarios in which they are faced with one or more individuals who will portray threats. How you respond to those potential threats, verbal and physically, will determine how the scenario plays out. You may need to draw you weapons, you may not. Each scenario is an exercise in your own skill, judgment and defensive instincts, as well as a chance to test the concepts learned over the course of training.

Until next time!

Justin White

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