Friday, December 16, 2011


"In TACFIT Barbarian, Scott Sonnon does an excellent job of creating a training regimen that anyone can use.  After initially breaking complex movements into their simplest forms, he develops the movement back into the complex one from which it was derived.  

This simplicity allows for an enthusiast at any level to use the program and progress through each movement flawlessly.  Also, it is set up so that the user just has to follow along the weekly or 4 day schedules that Scott spells out to advance through the program.   Tacfit Barbarian has yielded great results for me, and will do the same for anyone that uses the program.  I look forward to being able to implement this program for the athletes that I work in both performance improvement and rehabilitation."

- Matthew Wiswesser, ATC, LAT, Head Athletic Trainer at Bethlehem Catholic High School

"I recently had the privilege of a pre-release preview of the upcoming ‘TACFIT Barbarian’ & ‘King of Clubs’.

As a business owner, trainer and fighter, I need a training program that helps me increase functional strength and athleticism. For the last year, TACFIT Commando & Mass Assault have been my weapons of choice. I can tell you with 100% certainty that today, at age 37, I am in the best shape of my life and it is thanks to these programs.

‘TACFIT Barbarian’ & ‘King of Clubs’ are the next steps in the evolution of, what is in my opinion, the most comprehensive, functional training programs available. 

‘Barbarian’ by name sounds very primal, very brute, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s sophisticated. It’s brilliant. The inclusion of the parallettes was genius. As with Commando, each mission in Barbarian is progressively more complex so your nervous system adapts by effectively becoming more efficient. One run through the four-day cycle and you’ll know you’re in for a challenge. I’ve been training for 20+ years and have tried many programs which don’t deliver as promised. TACFIT does. Barbarian will. I can’t wait to get my hands on the whole thing.

‘King of Clubs’ is like no other Clubbell program you’ve ever tried. If you want to achieve true ‘tactical fitness’, this is the program that will get you there. Once you learn the basics, things really take-off. Everything you need to develop your technique and monitor your progress is made readily available. The walkthroughs are clear and concise. It’s evident that a huge degree of thought and preparation went into this program. Couple ‘King’ with ‘Barbarian’ and you’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

The 28-Day Primal Challenge is here! You’ll be amazed at the amount of information Scott Sonnon has packed into 17 short pages. You think you know food? Think you ‘eat clean’? Think again. This 4-week challenge will change your life. Every page is better than the last one. From eating healthy fats to the dangers of grains and gluten, Scott has given you everything you need to take control of your health and transform your lifestyle."

- Marc Joseph, President - Spartan Training Gear

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Spartan Goddess

Spartan Goddess. The world's first personal protection training armour designed and contoured specifically for a woman.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Would you rather be a Neanderthal or a Contemporary Human Being?

For a relatively young individual I have a spent a long time researching my own experiences utilizing the lens of Combative training, including Martial Art, Empty Hand and Weaponry, and other related tools that shape the physical human form. Such molding seems at first to be purely on a physical level, but to those few that have gone the distance with intensity, it is very much a psychological, emotional and even spiritual metamorphosis as well.

Over the past year I have been bombarded by questions about why I have switched, detoured or even re-vamped my training by moving away from some sources of information in the combative world. I thought I would share this salient response.

Evolve or Die !! Would you rather train in the original almost Paleolithic way, or would you rather evolve in the new advancements that others have pioneered in their own unique wisdom.

Take the Functional Edge System, that is developed by my friend and colleague Tony Torres. I just spent the last 2 weeks, training with and assisting in conducting programs for Law Enforcement, Military, Civilian and Private Security personnel. here is what I have seen against the backdrop of my previous training. Tony Torres, gives all respect due to his sources of information, which include Notable martial artists and Combative Trainers, like Dan Inosanto, Erik Paulson, Chai Sirisute, Tony Blauer etc. However he has taken the material to a completely different level. I have had the fortunate experience to train and work with some of those same trainers and others as well in my own journey and I can clearly see the differences and improvements.

And some in the industry see my training with and endorsement of Tony Torres, and his training evolutions as disloyal and a dishonorable departure from my own sources. So I have two initial responses:
Firstly try it and really immerse yourself and really compare and contrast and honestly say whether it does not hold its own in the industry. For instance I have seen many former trainers who had previous experience in the combative world have their epiphanies while reviewing the material.
Secondly I ask the question- Would you rather own a Model T or a Ferrari? Would you rather eat raw meat or Filet Mignon ? The original is fine. But progress is inevitable unless you are a Luddite.

The other improvements I have been fortunate and open minded enough to experience are in the world of Protective Equipment. For years there was the prototype and the only product in the space that we used. Now there is SPARTAN Training Gear. Not only has the company developed a Goddess suit, the first suit specifically designed to accommodate the anatomical differences of female participants, but they are working on another innovation with a K9 suit for Police trainers and their K9's. The main model- the Hoplite, is at first glance a colored version of another product with ABS. Those comments are really simplistic and uninformed. There are over 30 changes that were made to the original design that include Helmet re-design to allow better force distribution and cushioning, an improved visor that does not fog!! Any person who has used the other suits long enough have encountered the little mal-functions that make a big difference when training. For instance the Velcro straps that keep coming off, or the knee pads that offer little cushioning to the lateral angles etc. The point here is, since the first design from Nike from Prefontaine's ideas, many innovations have been made and to the undiscerning eye or in the tone of blind condemnation, the are just shoes, and rip offs of the original.

No one has a monopoly on genius and innovation. This is the way of the world. When you put your stuff out there in the universe it is going to influence, and stimulate other ideas etc. Read Malcolm Gladwell's  Book- What the Dog saw. and you will see a great chapter on Plagiarism etc. What is original exactly? I always laughed at people, who copyrighted ( or made their students believe that they did) sayings that originated from Bruce Lee or Tsun Tzu. Hell, even Bruce Lee's designs for a force on force suit look very similar to the ones we have now? Copy Cat? Come on . And guess what if you think I am a Bruce Lee Champion, my JKD colleague's may take offense to this at first glance, but know its true, alot fo the Philosophy of JKD, Lee's Art, came from an Indian philosopher J.N. Krishnamurti. Before MMA in the US, there was Pancrase, Lucha Libre, Shooto, and Kalari death matches. So come on, what is original.

I know for one, society has evolved leaps and bounds over eons of time. The unnatural thing is to resist the evolution. And nature has a funny way of promoting Evolution over stagnation.
Evolve or Die!!

Vit Singh - President, EMC USA

Friday, November 11, 2011

2012 Total Warrior: Tactical Training & Winning Mindset Camp

Location: Mineral Resort and Spas in Vernon, NJ. (Part of Crystal Springs Resorts)
Date: Friday, February 24th – Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Program: The Total Warrior: Tactical Training and Winning Mindset Training Camp

To Benefit: The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

Cost: $199USD per person. Includes breakfast and lunch Saturday/Sunday. 

Awareness Training Consultants and Spartan Training Gear are proud to invite you to the inaugural TOTAL WARRIOR: TACTICAL TRAINING AND WINNING MINDSET CAMP.  This 3-day camp will provide Law Enforcement Officers the opportunity to enhance both body and mind with some of the latest Active Shooter & Advanced Weapon Instructor updates, firearms, SWAT/Tactical Team technology & updates, Officer Survival Fitness/Conditioning as well as “Winning Mindset” training and philosophies.

Law Enforcement/Military/Advanced Security Training Sessions
   Active Shooter Instructor Training Updates and Concepts (open to certified instructors)
   Advanced Weapons Instructor Training Updates         
   SWAT/Tactical Team Training Updates and Technology
   F-Grav 1-Day Combat Training and Conditioning: Building Fight Endurance and the “Winning Mindset”
   Coaching for an Edge: “Life after Law Enforcement”
   Functional Edge System: Street Striking for Law Enforcement Officers
   Team Building Fitness Training
   TACFIT/DEFTAC (Taught by members of the NYPD)

Confirmed 2012 Total Warrior Instructors include:
Coaching for an Edge: Karen Sullivan
TACFIT Police/CST: Miquel Rivera
Int’l Bulgarian Bag Confederation: Stephen Nave
Functional Edge Training: Tony Torres
Operational Protective Strategies: Sean Mulligan
Hans Hageman & Associates: Hans & Bernadette Hageman
ABLE Training Systems, LLC: Michael Panebianco
Team APC: Jose Medina and Team APC Cadre

Training Gear Supporters:
Spartan Training Gear: Marc Joseph
International Bulgarian Bag Confederation: Stephen Nave

You can register online here:

You can also download an online, 'fillable' registration PDF form which can be emailed back to me here:
All proceeds from the Total Warrior Camp will be donated to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Donations for this great cause can be made here:

For more information please email Team APC at:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

2012 Total Warrior: Tactical Training & Winning Mindset Camp

Spartan Training Gear Media Release
The Total Warrior: Tactical Training and Winning Mindset Camp
February 24th-26th, 2012   

Vernon, New Jersey- Awareness Protective Consultants, in collaboration with Spartan Training Gear, is proud to invite you to this inaugural event geared towards Law Enforcement Officers, military/corporate/security trainers, educators, fitness trainers/enthusiasts, martial artists, businessmen & women and anyone looking to take themselves, and their training. This event will take place at the gorgeous Minerals Spas and Resorts in Vernon, NJ. on February 24th-26th, 2012 and proceeds will be donated to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. This event will bring together, for the first time, a group of the world’s elite trainers including:
“Life after Law Enforcement”: Karen Sullivan of Coaching for An Edge
Functional Edge System Vs Street Striking: Tony Torres of Functional Edge System 
TACFIT/DEFTAC: Miguel Rivera of TACFIT Police
Bulgarian Bag Fitness Training: Stephen Nave of The Int’l Bulgarian Bag Confederation
Active Shooter Instructor Updates and Concepts: Bryan Doel of Team APC
Advanced Weapons Instructor Training Updates: John Zamrok of Team APC 
Tactical Team Training Updates and Technology: Arthur Randolph of Team APC 
Fgrav 1 day Combative Training and Conditioning:  Patrick Devlin/Jose Medina of Team APC 
Striking Through Chaos: Hans E. Hageman of Hans Hageman & Associates, LLC
FUBAR: Mindset For Thriving, Not Just Surviving: Mike Panebianco of Able Coaching
Circular Strength Training: Connecting The Dots: Will Chung
This promises to be a family-oriented, fun-filled weekend of functional fitness, life-coaching & self-defense which will showcase new and improved ways of getting both your body and mind in peak condition. Also offered during the event will be training sessions aimed at providing self- improvement for individuals & teams, corporate fitness team workouts and tactical training & fitness specific to the law enforcement and military communities. 
Book your spot now and come join the Total Warrior: Task Force 360 Team for this unprecedented training weekend and help support the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  
For more information on the camp email: or contact: 1-866-634-3373 and ask for Jose Medina. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Total Warrior: Tactical Training & Winning Mindset Camp

The Total Warrior: Tactical Training & Winning Mindset Camp is a go for February 24-26, 2012. The camp is being held at the luxurious Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, NJ. In conjunction with APC, Spartan Training Gear and Task Force 360, this event will offer an unprecedented training experience. Confirmed instructors include Mike Rivera of TACFIT Police, Stephen Nave of the International Bulgarian Bag Confederation and Antonio Torres of the Functional Edge System among others. Book your spot now by emailing For more info on this event: The Total Warrior: Tactical Training & Winning Mindset Camp

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Scott Sonnon: Men's Fitness Top 25 Trainers In The World

Congratulations to my friend and coach, Scott Sonnon, on being named one of the TOP 25 Trainers in the World by Men's Fitness Magazine. Such an incredible honor and extremely well-deserved. - Marc Joseph, President, Spartan Training Gear

Train as hard as necessary, not as hard as possible.

‎"It's better to be fully restored and sub-prime condition, than under-restored and prime condition. It's more effective, survivable and sustainable. Every tactical athlete needs to push through illness and injury once (or infrequently) to realize the potential of their intestinal fortitude, but never daily (or even frequently) as training. You cannot adapt to illness and injury. Train as hard as necessary, not as hard as possible. To recover 100% is to adapt 100%!" - Scott Sonnon

Monday, September 12, 2011

Real Time Sparring with Stephen Nave & Hoplite Training Armour

As part of Spartan's ongoing mission to provide training gear to the world's elite trainers regardless of discipline, we recently formed an alliance with Stephen NaveCEO of Competitive Performance Strategies & Director of the International Bulgarian Bag Confederation (IBBC).

Stephen served 23 years in the U.S. Navy18 of those as a Navy SEAL. He was also aNavy SEAL Instructor in the Naval Special Warfare Physical Training Center in Coronado, CA. and trained the men in BUD/S who would go on to become SEALs. Steve understands what it means to take people to the edge and beyond, testing their physical strength, muscle endurance, aerobic and anaerobic capabilities as well as their mental toughness.

This alliance allowed us the opportunity to have Stephen test out the Hoplite Training Armour which he has since integrated into his training and implemented into the strength and conditioning program of his student, Andre Galvao.

Here's Stephen's recent IBBC Blog post and initial thoughts on the gear:

Fight Conditioning with Andre Galvao & Spartan Training Gear: Increasing Anaerobic Conditioning by Stephen Nave

A friend of mine from TacFitAlberto Gallazzi, who I worked while I was in Italy this summer introduced me to Marc Joseph and Spartan Training Gear.  This amazing training gear  is a lightweight, full-body padded suit designed for use during force-on-force encounters, scenario-replication drills, self-protection and traditional martial arts training. I have been experimenting with this gear with my clients during training and love that we we are able to execute a wide array of drills and scenarios in order to train how you fight without compromising protection or mobility.

We performed high-intensity interval training where Andre performed Bulgarian Bag movements with the 37lb bag, immediately followed by a 2-3 minutes of sparring while I wore the Spartan Training Gear, then we rested for a 1 minute, and repeated the set 4 times.  While Andre’s match in London will be No-Gi, we are working on increasing his anaerobic capacity.

Anaerobic capacity is the total amount of energy obtainable from the anaerobic energy systems. That means the combined amount of output for the ATP, phospho-creatine and lactic acid systems within a certain period of time. A simple, less scientific method for measuring and understanding this capacity is to run as far as you can at a near-maximal pace. The further you can run at a fast pace, the more anaerobic enzymes your body is capable of producing and utilizing and the better able you are to buffer lactate.  Ultimately, this means that you are able to maintain higher intensity levels for longer.

Check out the video below to see a snapshot of a recent conditioning session as Andre gets ready for his upcoming match in London.

To learn more on Stephen Nave: and to find out more about the Bulgarian Bags:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Getting the Mind and Body Back in Focus by Jose Medina

There are many programs out there that are designed for fitness purposes. After returning home from a long day at work I might find myself up until about 3 am watching a little Sports Center and every once in a while glancing at some of the infomercials that are out there showing a new training machine, or a new fitness training system.  While on the social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, I will get many links of training fitness programs that are out there as well.  From the kickboxing training home videos to the spinning classes in a fitness center near you there are a large menu of options to choose from.  The question is: What or why do you want to get in shape. lose weight, get muscular or simply get healthier?

The amazing perception I have seen is how the pharmaceutical industry is plastered throughout the day with medicines that can help and cure everything from "restless leg syndrome" to simply breathing normal syndromes.  Meanwhile health and wellness commercials sit on the back burner of late night television where limited viewers get to see what can really "help" you to become healthier.

It is no secret that your health and mission to be healthy starts with the mind.  Without the mind acknowledging that a change for better health and wellness is needed, your body will just go through the motions of exercise and going to the store and buying some LOW fat food or magic diet pill that simply doesn't work.

What we all need to understand is that stress is a major killer for anyone one of us.  I am sure we have all heard the story of the most fit person you have ever met and suddenly they dropped dead of a heart attack.  Many would scratch their heads and say "well I might as well not train then since they died and were in great shape, why bother?"

Maybe so, but in the end who do you owe it to when it comes to being healthier?   Do you have loved ones who depend on you being there the best you can to keep the family network going strong? Or are you alone and have no responsibilities?  Think again as you at least have a job to contend with and your own "self" that could always use a little tweaking and fine tuning.  After all in any of your job fields, how bad do you get affected in performance when you do not exercise or release stress?

I have never been a fan of "diets" and eating low fat this or that. I look at it as "wellness eating".  Eat what I want but in moderation.  Eat cleaner more than dirtier.  I look back at the history of our world where warriors who fought in battles did not have the supermarkets that had low fat this and low fat that yet they maintained awesome physiques throughout their lives. Whether it was man or woman it was the active lifestyle, being that of war or simply the environment around them, they still had to cut wood for fires as they did not have Lowe's stores with pre cut wood to service their needs and they certainly did not have Playstations to sit in front of a television to occupy their countless hours of days and nights to keep  them from getting the proper exercises they needed.  Now I am a big fan of many of those games as I find stimulus in many aspects of technology however it is like alcohol or meatball subs:  take them all in with moderation.

Life itself must be absorbed in moderation and in training for fitness, you need to vary your training and keep the training interesting.  Of course it may not always be exciting but for overall health and wellness, you will be surprised on how much better your mind will function after a good healthy walk, a good training circuit in the gym, some good self defense training especially with coaches using good solid impact reduction suits to really stimulate "reality training" along with awesome conditioning.

The mind needs to be fit.  It needs good reading on a daily basis while at the same time to relieve the possible stresses in your life, the mind is craving change, stimulus to become healthier and stronger.  Always know there is no magic pill that you can swallow that can change you into the person you want to be. It is the mind that is the magic pill that needs to be fueled to motivate you to take the next steps into  changing your life, becoming healthier and being a happier person.

There are many trainers out there in the field of fitness training, self defense training and overall life coaching training.  Do not be afraid of exploring new options and variations of training.  Do not stick with just one format as your brain will figure it out most of the time and it will become bored.  Change up work out routines, the days you train and the duration you train in. For good wellness and health a good trainer can get you into a work out that can last no more than 30 minutes with great results.  If you are training for more intense competition, longer duration work outs are needed but never rule out replicating an upcoming competition such as an MMA fight or other special event with the limited time to complete fitness tasks.

Overall your mind and body need each other. Your CNS or Central Nervous System is the engine that helps make things happen.  Try many programs and not just one.  There has never been just ONE that can do it all.  In the end, if you need that stress relief, if you are on the edge, it is your mind telling your body that you need to release it.  Fitness and health and wellness is a great medicine and a pill I love to take on a daily basis.  How about you?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hoplite Training Armour: The Training Advantage

Testimonials like this are what it's all about. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is making a superior training product to help keep the women and men, who put their lives on the line, a little safer. Respect.

“Marc, I used one of the suits today during our ERT entry training in a house that is scheduled for demolition. I acted as the role player and had not told any of the operators that I had purchased the Spartan Gear. After the first operator came through the door I blindsided him with a tackle. Their reaction was great. I was able to go after each member of the team individually at different times throughout the day to give everyone the experience. During the debrief after training each operator gave the training rave reviews because of the use of the Spartan Gear. Getting to go full-force, hands on instead of just simulating many of our hand-to-hand techniques will now bring our training to another level. I did receive a few scrapes, bruises and cuts but that’s to be expected when you are involved in this business. Thanks again for your product. Stay safe”.

D/Lt. Patrick J. Devlin

The Warrior Spirit: Taking Risks

"The worst thing in the world happens when you avoid taking risks: nothing. Do nothing, have nothing, are nothing, become nothing. It takes greater effort to resist a challenge than the courage to overcome it. Only when we risk over-reaching do we discover how far we can go. Imagine the stories you will be able to share, having wandered off the well trodden paths. Your greatness lay in the fog banks, just off the cliff's edge. Leap and trust the universe that the net will appear." - Scott Sonnon

Original artwork by signed artist.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On Hoplite Training Armour by Jose Medina

“In this fluctuating economy, it is always great to see a product come along in this industry that works well under stress training conditions and it capable of being put on in a blink of an eye while the price tag is reasonable and workable. The color system is a major asset in the training arena especially for law enforcement identification of simulated suspect/s. Even when throwing shirts or vests over the suits, there are still strong color identifiers that students can see under the other garments under our “role player rules”. The super secure helmet straps are a blessing for me and my team when conducting role playing operations as our heads donʼt get ripped off as fast. Most important besides all the durability of the suits: Customer Service! Itʼs great to get fast customer service and no BS excuses if there any small issues that need to be addressed. If someone in our class is provided the company information by us for possible purchase or quotes for the suits, they call me back stating they get great service and representatives of Spartan Training Gear actually contact us to say “THANK YOU”.

Thanks again Team Spartan and keep up the good work!"

- Jose Medina

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Hoplite Training Armour Testimonial

"Brought out the Spartan Training Gear last night. The pressure tests went great and the suit performed admirably. The functionality of the suit is unbelievable. I would recommend this suit to any school where reality based training is taking place. The suit allows the defender to strike the attacker with near full power and speed. This gear is a definate plus at my school.

Thanks Marc Joseph for manufacturing something so useful to me and my class!!!"

John Lacy
Senior Instructor Urban Krav Maga America

A Hoplite Training Armour Testimonial

"Spartan Training Gear has become a critical element for my personal martial arts training. The Hoplite Training Armour allows a greater use of force during combative drills and sparring. The protective qualities reduce the risk of injury, yet the impact of an opponent's strike is still felt, so a student maintains respect and understanding of an opponent's power. Wearing the equipment is comfortable and does little to encumber natural movement. I highly recommend Spartan Training Gear for anyone serious about realistic and safe training. 

Thanks for creating such a quality product!"

Peter Jensen
Major US Army Special Forces Officer
Combat Systema Instructor

Friday, August 5, 2011

Training with Deficits by Craig Flaherty

Preface: This is a must read. I'm taking the liberty of sharing this with my close friends who are police officers, trainers and their families. - Marc Joseph

For years I have been a trainer in one fashion or another. From time to time I have been approached by one person or another asking if they could participate in an upcoming course. The reasoning they gave for the question was they suffered from some type of physical deficit. Always they were welcomed with open arms and what ever concession that needed to be made was made. We worked around the limitations and not only did they learn and process the information imparted, so did I having to work around several different scenarios. I must admit though, when the class was over I really did not give it a second thought. I just went along with life until the next time the question came up.

In my adult life I have been in relatively decent shape. Training as a student in combatives and firearms kept me in shape. Teaching these courses did not hurt either. I was just going through life without much of a care.

March 24, 2010 I woke up early in the morning, and as normal proceeded with the beginning of the day. I did notice a burning of the eyes and little problem focusing. I just chalked this up to being early in the morning, As I progressed I quickly lost control of the left side of my body running into a wall. Knowing this was not right I called to my wife and we went to the hospital. Within a short time after a battery of tests I was informed I had suffered a stroke.

The next few days were spent in the hospital with the normal worries that go along with this type of event. I was lucky I spent three days in the stroke floor of the hospital and four in the rehabilitation floor. This is when I had several epiphanies as to my long term ability to teach combatives and firearms.

I had lost substantial control of my left side and had no prognosis when it would return. Through rehabilitation I started to work on every day things, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking I can’t quickly grasp with my left hand I surely cannot execute a magazine change or effectively deliver a strike. I had an upcoming weekend of Suarez International courses to teach in May and was concerned that not only I may not be able to teach in six weeks; I may not be able to teach in the foreseeable future. 

I now had an appreciation for all those students that I have taught that had a concern with their own deficit. Could they perform to a standard? Would they be responsible for holding back the class? Would they be risking too much and embarrass themselves? These are all valid questions, and now I had a small understanding as to how this truly affected people and their decisions to train.

Once I was able to rehabilitate at home out came the unloaded firearms. And while off work and watching television I accomplished magazine change after magazine change. Not a pretty sight at first. Many a magazine skidded across the floor from me missing the magazine well, to just plain dropping the magazine. I started with an H&K USP the handgun with the largest magazine well I had on hand. I then was able to whittle my target area down to a magazine well of a 1911.

Once I was able to make a magazine change with little effort, I struck out to test my moving skills. I had been slowly getting my walking gait back up to where it had been, but things as fatigue and the effects of the stroke held my progress back. I decided it was time to try to get off the “X” and try lateral movement. As long as I moved at a moderate pace I was fine. Unfortunately for me, if I expected to teach a Close range Gunfighting class in the coming weeks, the instructor should be able to move a little faster that moderately. 

As I attempted to move at a pace close to full speed, I met terra firma several times. This led to looks of pity from the wife and kids. My understanding of folks that have some type of mobility deficit increased. I kept getting up and trying, until I wasn’t falling very much. Now I felt I was ready to teach, but still in the back of my mind a little doubt crept in.

In the days and weeks before that May class I thought a lot of what I had gone through. Though my journey in no way compares to someone who has suffered a permanent deficit for what ever reason, it did give me a small insight into the problems these folks face. 

As the class came closer I had similar questions of my self as a student with a deficit would have of me. Could I perform to a standard that would teach my students what they came to learn? Would I be responsible for holding back the class? Not giving them their moneys worth of training. Would I be risking too much and embarrass myself? More importantly would I embarrass Gabe and all the other Staff Instructors? Would I be hurting The Suarez International reputation? 

The dreaded weekend of the class arrived. The weekend started with Introduction to Defensive Pistol on Friday and Close Range Gunfighting on Saturday and Sunday. Friday went without a hitch, but I was really worried about the Close Range Gunfighting class. The class went well with only a couple times did I notice a problem. Verbally I would falter a time or two, but when discussing shooting on the move in general and me demonstrating moving and shooting I stumbled. Other than that it went well. My confidence was renewed. I have only gotten stronger since that class.

What this diatribe is all about; for the most part your deficit is mostly a hindrance if you allow I to be. After all it is your fight you are going fighting. You need the skills to defend you and your family. That is your responsibility. If you are as lucky as I was and the deficit is short term, great train through it and go forward. If the deficit is longer term or you are just getting older and parts don’t work as well as they did. Improvise adapt and overcome.

This is where the instructor comes in. Communicate your concerns, and if at all possible I as an instructor should tweak the course to include you as a valuable member of the class. It is incumbent on the instructor to do this. After all, the course should be about the students, not how cool I am as instructor is. Train hard no matter what your deficit. The rest of the class may not even notice that accommodations have been made. You will be able to perform to the standard. You will not hold back the class. You will not risk anything and I will not allow you to embarrass yourself. That is the promise any good instructor will give you

About the author: Craig Flaherty is a Columbus-based active duty police officer, Investigative and Tactical team member and a Suarez International Instructor.