Sunday, November 22, 2015


"Education is missing from firearms training." And so it began. It has taken me about a month to digest the experience that was the Combat Focus Shooting Instructor Development Course. I first discovered Combat Focus Shooting through some DVD's I got from the NRA. As I watched them over an over, through days and months, I slowly developed a goal. I was going to learn how to teach this program. A defensive firearms program that wasn't based on perfect scenarios or the myth of hyper awareness. This program was based on psychology,physiology,reason, logic and empirical evidence.

Initially I took every class I could that I.C.E Training Company offered. Fundamentals of Combat Focus Shooting,Combat Focus Shooting, Fundamentals Of Advanced Pistol Handling, Combat Focus Carbine and the Defensive Firearms Coaches Course. I always had my eye on the end goal of becoming a certified Combat Focus Shooting Instructor. Eventually the opportunity came my way at the Rice County MN Law Enforcement Center. This is where Omari Broussard Chief Operating Officer of I.C.E. Training Company would be conducting a Combat Focus Shooting Instructor Development Course. So I took some vacation and drove up to Minnesota with my friend Ernie who would also be attending the 5 day CFSID.

 Day 1-
Started off with an Introduction to CFS. We talked about goals, How efficiency could be measured with time,effort and energy. We discussed how things should be observable,measurable and repeatable. The evolution of CFS and how to train in context.  Concepts vs details, effectiveness vs efficiency, consistency. We talked about the plausibility principle and adult learning models. Training attitudes were defined, the skill development cycle was discussed. We talked about safety,comfort and competency in depth, professionalism and instructor attributes. After that first day we went back to the hotel with some homework and a full noggin. Realizing that everything was testable the studying commenced straight away.

Day 2-
Was another day heavy on concept and theory. We talked extensively about the body's natural reactions. We discussed the physiology of the body. My paramedic background really helped me out in this area. It was on this day we also started to move from the theoretical to the practical. We covered combat accuracy and combat efficiency. The balance of speed and precision was introduced as a key concept. We spent a good part of the day on the range running each other through the high compressed ready, trigger control, stance, grip , extend,touch,press, presentation from the holster, single shot up and multiple shot up drills. Day 2 ended with more homework and teach back assignments for day 3.

 After we all completed our teach backs it was back on the range. Balance of speed and precision,lateral movement,multi target engagement, critical incident reload, figure 8 drill, take a lap drill,dynamic deviation control,cognitive drill concept, and non diagnostic linear malfunctions were all covered in depth. We learned, discussed and then taught these drills to each other. Day 3 ended with more teach back assignments for day 4.
Day 4-
More teach backs, then to the range. Review of take a lap drill and presentation from the holster. Then we covered the spin drill, the wind sprint drill, shooting in motion, volume of fire and the chart of doom. At the end of the day we went back to the classroom for a 2 hour block of instruction on how to market your firearms training business. Then back to the hotel to study some more. Day 5 was test day.

Test day. We started the day with the written test. This was a fill in the blank test going over everything we had learned in the previous 4 days. A score of 90% was required to successfully pass. I honestly forget how many questions there were but I think it was around 50. Then Omari, our lead instructor, handed out random note cards. On these cards were a concept or a drill we would be required to teach to the group and be graded on. Each of us got 4, usually 2 concepts and 2 drills. In addition each of us would have to teach/demonstrate a critical incident reload. These graded evolutions took up the rest of that day, as we took turns teaching and being students. All under the watchful eye of our primary instructor. Then it was done. We wouldn't know if we passed until all the tests were graded and the subjective teaching tests were examined. Ernie and I had some great conversation full of ideas and plans on the way back to Iowa.

I found out I became "certified" meaning I had passed the course a few days later. Currently I m working on becoming "active". This step involves co-teaching a CFS course with a senior CFS instructor. As there are only 5 designated senior instructors nationwide this will require some coordination. One thing I like and has drawn me to CFS and I.C.E Training is that they hold the standard. Less than 50% of those that attempt CFSID ever become active. I.C.E. Training doesn't care. The standard is the standard although they do allow people to retest for free if necessary after a cool off period. I have been deliberately vague about a lot of the course. If you want more indepth  information you can pay for it and strap on your thinking hat like I had to. I would definitely recommend you become a I.C.E Defensive Firearms Coach before attempting CFSID, it helped me a lot. I am very excited to grow my firearms training business. Check me out at or @eighteenzulu on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Awesome Write Up. Great to have you on the #CFSTeam, Mike!

  2. Thanks favorite for putting it all down. Even though I have a book full of notes, tons of audio, it still helps to get a recap of what seems like a blur and of a week once it's all over. This course was one of my proudest accomplishments thus far.