This past Saturday I attended the Concealed Carry Foundation Skills class put on by FPF Training in Culpeper, VA. This is the same outfit that offered the Shotgun Skills class I took back in May. Because I was pleased with the content and delivery of that class, and because I needed to start my handgun/CCW training journey, I decided to go with FPF again. Besides the content of the class, I was impressed by the focus on non-gun soft skills. As a "regular dude", it's just as important to me to know how to identify and avoid a threat as it is to stop the threat with a gun when the situation calls for it. It's equally, if not more important to understand what comes next and how to manage it. That made this class a strong choice.

Before class day arrived, we were provided with a number of articles and videos to consume in preparation for the class.
Class day started with everyone meeting at a nearby convenience store and convoying to the training site. Once there, we reviewed the safety rules and consequences of breaking them, then retired to the classroom for the first part, Trauma Aid. During the Trauma Aid portion, we learned the ins and outs of stopping major bleeding with tourniquets and pressure bandages. This was my first hands-on with the modern version of each and opened my eyes to their effectiveness and ease-of-use. My previous experience was in Scouts where we were taught how to use our bandana and a stick. The new versions are much improved and easier to use.

Next, we moved out to the range for some dryfire practice, loading and unloading, and intro work to the 4-count draw stroke. Once the non-live-fire activities were complete and we presumably showed we weren't going to shoot ourselves () we moved on to live fire exercises. We worked through a variety of drills for the next couple hours (which went by fast!).

Next, we broke for lunch, then returned to the classroom to discuss legal issues, threat avoidance, what to do after the shot, etc.

Finally, we returned to the range to shoot a few more drills and then a skills assessment exercise where we were asked to draw from concealment and fire three shots into the upper chest area of our target in less than 3 seconds.

As you can see, this is not a class to teach you how to shoot or to introduce you to handguns. It's an armed lifestyle class that can open your eyes to the realities of being and armed citizen and possibly pointing out where you need more work, study, or preparation. Though I've been a CCW holder for close to 20 years now, I knew I didn't know everything and I knew I had some inefficiencies in the technical/mechanical aspects of shooting from concealment. I learned what I was doing wrong and how to do it right going forward. Now I have the beginnings of proper muscle memory I can apply to my work at the range. That the class covered trauma aid and legal/lifestyle aspects were just icing on the cake. I did find the trauma aid portion MUCH more educational than expected, increasing my satisfaction with the course.

I would recommend this class to anyone just starting their training and armed lifestyle journey, even those who may have been gun owners for long periods of time.