We all like to get out and train, whether it be fitness, firearms and especially “tactical” training. However, very few people ever train to defend their home and family, let alone train with their family members. Enter Modern Defensive Training Systems’ Home and Family Defense Skills training class. According to the description by MDTS, the Home & Family Defense Skills course provides the home defender with immediately accessible knowledge, skills, and information to properly prepare an effective home defense. Even better, I had my wonderful wife, Erica, to take the class with me.
One of the most important aspects of this class was understanding that a proper mindset is needed to overcome any potential assailants that may try to cause harm to you or your family. In fact, one may argue that mindset is one of the most important components to making a successful attempt in defending yourself. The class includes force-on-force training with airsoft training handguns, working from cover, and low-light techniques to provide students with realistic feedback and validation of the skills taught in the class.
Some of the initial topics were discussion the mindset of home invaders and the difference between them and burglars. In addition the importance of your mindset was presented in a way that makes you think twice about how you go about your daily activities.
Then we discussed various modifications to your house and lifestyle to mitigate and deter any possible attacks. Everything from security systems and door locks to windows, garage doors and more. In addition, being aware of your surroundings was a pretty common topic throughout the discussion.
We also discussed response planning and team (aka your family) tactics, and communication both with your family as well as with emergency services. Without much training for some of the participants, including my wife, we went right into some force-on-force to illustrate several important points. These included use of flashlights to disorient your attacker, use of barricades and cover/concealment, as well as moving to saferooms with your family.
Not only was the force-on-force training an excellent way to learn and practice training, there was some great bonding between my wife and I as we worked together to solve some very real problems of defense in the home.
The final block of the day included learning to escape restraints and then it followed into a final team exercise where we had to work as a team to escape restraints, move as a team to the “safe room” and then contact authorities. It was a great exercise and really solidified all of the previous training throughout the day.
It is very hard to convey the type of emotion involved in attending a training course like this. I know that when we left the class, we spent the entire ride home talking about various changes to our house, more things we need to pay attention to, and everything else we felt we should work on to better our mindset and preparedness. This course is highly recommended, especially for people with families and a big desire to protect themselves. This is probably one of the best classes I have taken, and had the most useful knowledge over many of my other training classes. I cannot speak for my wife, but I believe she enjoyed it, because she cannot stop talking about everything we learned there!
Home Defense Mindset & Family Preparation
Mindset of Home Invaders vs. Burglar
Layering Security Measures for Home Protection
Common Home & Apartment Vulnerabilities- Security Systems, Locks, Doors & Windows
Response Planning, Individual & Team Tactics (Spouse, Children)
Communicating with Family + Contacting Authorities
Firearm & Support Equipment Selection and Ready Access
Safe Rooms, Cover, Concealment & Zones of Fire
Structure Cornering, Clearing, Holding & Barricading Tactics
Challenging & Controlling Unknown Subjects
Low/No Light Considerations and Tactics
Force-On-Force Drills & Scenarios
Contacting Modern Defensive Training Sytems
I’ve had the opportunity to attend Combative Carbine Skills 1&2 twice now, so I feel I can accurately review this class. First off, Modern Defensive Training Systems (MDTS) is run by Chris Fry, a well-versed training instructor as well as a great contributor to our forums, here at NY Firearms.Chris does not claim to be some crazy military, special forces, and he is especially not a ninja. With this said, he has had many years and several thousands of hours training, which can easily be seen in the way he carries himself and speaks to the class. He is always more than willing to help students throughout the class and is very knowledgeable in what he teaches.
To quote the course description from MDTS, Combative Carbine Skills series “emphasizes three critical elements of defensive shooting: Mindset, Skill-At-Arms, and Tactics.” CCS 1&2 begins the series with the fundamentals needed to operate the carbine in a combative and defensive manner. What I love, personally, is the focus on the class from a citizen perspective, which 90% of us who take these classes will be using the training for.
The first hour of the day was classroom-based training, which went over firearms safety, range safety, some carbine history and zeroing, accessories and rifle modifications, as well as some initial administrative firearms handling and platforms. Once the initial classroom training was complete, we moved out to the range and jumped right into zeroing our rifles.
Once all of the rifles were zeroed, training began. Without divulging too much of the course, there was a great deal of information thrown at the attendees. Personally, I enjoy “drinking from the firehose” as they say, but I can see how some people may not like that approach. However, most everyone rose to the occasion and stepped up their game to learn.
I also noticed that there were several people attending the class who had just bought their AR-15 or similar carbine, and by the end of the class they were engaging targets out to 75 yards, and clearing complicated “triple feed” malfunctions. Considering how some of the newer shooters were picking up the information, I have to say that speaks louder than I can about Chris’ proficiency as a trainer.
As I said above, this is the second time I have had the chance to take this class from MDTS, which has joined my resume of several other carbine training classes, and I have to say that I would highly recommend anyone with carbine rifles to give this class a shot (no pun intended). From the basic fundamentals to some advanced weapon malfunction clearing, the class provides a great deal of valuable information to the average shooter.
Combative Carbine Skills 1&2 Course Details
The MDTS Combative Carbine Skills curriculm is designed for the new rifle owner, individuals who have owned a rifle but never attended formal training as well as the seasoned operator. A solid grounding in safety and fundamentals of gun handling is presented with a heavy emphasis on the students ability to manipulate the carbine platform while mult-tasking or under stress. This is a fast paced, challenging course. Course content will include but is not limited to:
CCS1 Firearm Safety/Range Safety
History & Zero
Modifications & Sling Options
Personal Equipment Selection & Placement
Carry & Carbine Ready Positions
Shooting Response Theory
After Action Assessment Concept
Bilateral Weapon Operation
Transition to Handgun
Combative Shooting Positions
Vertical and Lateral Displacement
Multiple Target Engagement
Fundamental Use of Cover & Concealment and more…
A serviceable carbine to include M4, AR15, AK47 or pistol caliber rifle, a minimum of 3 magazines, 500+ rounds rifle – NO GREEN TIP OR AP AMMUNITION, 50 rounds pistol, eye and ear protection, pistol and minimum of 2 magazines (if you own a pistol), appropriate clothing for weather, water, hat with brim, optional equipment- sling, gloves & knee pads.
*A pistol is not required to attend this course
Additional Equipment Considerations:
Weapon mounted illumination tool, knee & elbow protection, note taking materials, lunch for full day class