My review and experience with FPF Training.
As an IT professional with no firearms experience in 2012, to taking my first basic pistol course at a local gun range in early 2013 in order to meet the basic requirements for my concealed handgun permit. I said I’m not sure I have what it takes to effectively use my force multiplier on physical threats that may come about my day-to-day life.
Fortunately, I found John Murphy with FPF Training. A former Marine Corps and who is highly qualify in bringing you comprehensive knowledge for the armed citizen. All his courses are taught in mind with the context of a plain cloth civilian who carries his/her concealed handgun every day. The private range is located in Culpeper Virginia. It’s close to Shenandoah National Park/ Skyline Drive, so the view is nice when driving there.
I took three classes taught by John.
- Concealed Carry Foundation Skills – Day 1
In this course, you will spend about half of the time in class absorbing information (make sure you bring something to write or type with) of self defense with a firearm outside your home. He provides extensive multi-media presentations on how to deal with a variety of situations you may find yourself in as you go about with your daily life. What I really like is that he focuses on real life situations and how to deal with them, both physically and mentally. Paying attention of your surroundings and spotting out potential threats in public.
The other half of the class is outside on the range. He emphasizes on safety as one of his main priority. It’s all about handgun marksmanship, and lots of it! He also covers some legality of employing deadly force and how to properly deal with the aftermath.
- Street Encounter Skills – Day 2
Here it’s about the physical aspects of self defense with your pistol. Not for beginners! A ton of drills with few breaks in between to hydrate and masticate. The provided targets are not your circles and dots targets. He provides man size image targets with the triangle which includes the area of the vitals. In reality, you want to stop the threat ASAP! So hitting the vitals under stress and on the move is key.
Lots of various verbal communication practice when the threat is approaching and after you have shot your attacker. When to shoot and when not to, and dealing with the cops after you stop the bad guy. It’s highly recommend you bring your EDC gun to course and your setup should be almost as close to your daily carry style. This is not your Call of Duty Black-Ops/ Battlefield 4 type class where you need all that tactical gear. I was using my M&P Shield .40 for these two day courses. The first day I wasn’t doing well but the 2nd day, John made my shots tighter and more accurate. But now my EDC pistol is the 9mm Shield and I switched back to the 9mm for various reason. See my previous article “Choosing the best handgun ammo article” on why I chosen the 9mm above the other two popular calibers.
- Advance Conceal Carry – two day class
Crank up the action and the fun, get your mindset ready for some more advance self defense learning skills. In this class I was using my Glock 19. Class starts off with some warm up drills and marksmanship. You will get to test out your handgun skills on how far you can effectively hit targets and malfunction drills.
Then the class quickly rolls in to engaging moving targets and multiple targets at once. You will learn to shoot with your weak hand and one hand. Dealing with close up threats, such as, what to do if someone were to come up to you with a drawn gun. Getting knock over on the ground and how to prevent the attacker from getting on you, and how to effectively deploy your handgun and neutralizing the threat.
One of the most important skills for me was how to do a one hand reload. I had no clue before I took this class. Such skill is important if your hand or arm is injure. You still want to be in the fight until the threat is no longer present.
I recommend this course in late fall/ winter since you get the night shoot bonus. John finishes up the day by covering some basic skills on how to use a weapon mounted lights and hand-held lights.
I also took two handgun courses by some of his guest instructors. My favorite one is the Close Quarters Gun Fight by Greg Ellifritz, who is such a great instructor with a ton of skills, knowledge and experience. Greg is a 19-year veteran police in central Ohio, his main role is to train the police department. He also offers the Collapse Medicine which I took once. I’ll write an in depth review of his course at a later time.
If you want to be a responsible gun owner, defending your love ones, and a concealed carry citizen who can effectively deal with most common threats that you might encounter two and from home, work, gas station or grocery store. You should consider getting train by John Murphy.
Some extra advice. Once you have your carry permit, you need to carry your gun every day, except where you’re not allow to carry by law. Why, you may ask? You don’t get to pick when and where the bad guy will attack you. They pick you, you just have to be ready.