AAR Home Defense Pistol - One Life Defense- Varg Freeborn May 6, 2017

AAR Home Defense Pistol - One Life Defense- Varg Freeborn May 6, 2017

Details and description are from One Life Defense's web site:

This course will change the way you see the world around you.

This course will deal specifically with home invasion. Learn why the most common reactions to a home invasion are the most dangerous to you and your family. The differences between hunting, getting dragged into a fight on someone else's terms, family rescue and fighting from the high ground will all clearly be explained. Marksmanship will deal with home defense distances and emphasize control, angle of fire and target recognition/identification. Movement and use of cover/concealment will be tailored to operating inside of a structure. You will get multiple runs through our mock ups of every shape you will encounter in a home or building.

"This is one of the most important classes we teach. It is impossible to "safely" clear a structure alone, so it's critically important to learn when you have to and how to use every advantage you can. I can't count how many people who have came through these courses and told us stories about how it changed their entire way of thinking about home defense. Not only that, but what they had previously 'planned' to do in a home invasion would have either dragged them into an unnecessary room distance gun fight, or had them firing rounds in the direction of their family members. Seriously, this is critically important information." Varg, Head Instructor

We will cover:
Shapes Lecture: how to move through structures and obstacles with advantage
Use of cover and concealment
Working alone, when to go, when to stay, how to do each
Safety: muzzle control, target/innocent awareness, angles of fire, stress control
Shooting and marksmanship for Home Defense
Course requirements:
Liability Waiver, U.S. Citizenship and have no State or Federal prohibitions of owning or possessing firearms
Suitable handgun for duty, home defense or carry
Quality holster with a muzzle down orientation
Quality belt to secure the holster
200 Rounds of Ammunition
There are Standards to meet by the end of the course. It is not a pass or fail, but an opportunity to earn a Certificate of Training will be provided for you by the end of the course.

Let me start off with a little about me. I frequent this forum as well as a few others to try and learn and educate myself. I seldom if ever post anything because quite frankly I generally don't feel I have anything to add of any value. Skill set wise I'm an average shooter, that tries to get to the range once a week, dry fire 3-4 times a week. and shoot a local USPSA match once a month (pistol and sometimes PCC). I've had some training prior to this class, all the NRA courses and 2 day classes with 2 nationally known trainers. The NRA classes...well there the NRA classes, better then nothing but not by much. With the other 2 classes, I learned a lot but walked away with some disappointment.

With that said and out of the way, like a lot of people I suppose, I first learned about Varg on the P&S Modcast # 83 on Primal Violence. With going to the One Life Defense website and looking through the training he offers as well as his schedule, the Home Defense Pistol class looked interesting. I know nothing about how to properly move through a structure, work the shapes, nor the best strategies in a home invasion.

This AAR will not be the normal play by play/minute by minute detail of the curriculum as such, but of the training experience I had as a whole. With a class fee of only $125.00 for an 8 hour class, Varg is basically donating his time to try and help educate civilians like myself and I appreciate that.

As a student, I have expectations for the limited hard to come by extra money I have to use for training. I'm looking to learn/get educated versus being entertained. I'm not looking to hear war stories and cool guy stuff, if it's a life experience and it adds value that's different. I have an expectation that the instructor should be on time and the range be prepared and set up by the scheduled start time. All these expectations were met and then some by Varg. He was not only on time but very efficient in his management and use of time. There were breaks of course but few and short, enough time to get a drink, a quick snack, or to reload mags. There was no real idle time and he was always feeding us information, which I liked.

I also liked his style in teaching as well. Example.... when we first started to work the shapes, he gave an explanation and a brief how to and then had each student make a single run through the mocked up house. Of course things did not go well for anyone , that was expected and the point. He intentionally set us up for failure so to speak so that the students could see first hand how difficult it is to navigate through a structure. His detailed instruction that came next would then make more sense and could be visualized easier. From the very beginning he stressed that clearing a structure by yourself is a very difficult and dangerous task. And that If there is not a reason or need to search/clear, don't, rather he advised to set up an area of denial to deal with the problem. If the experience of the first run didn't get the students attention as to the difficulty , the truthful and sobering words that Varg said next did. "If you would of had a home invasion last night, you all would probably be be dead." That was a honest evaluation in my opinion. It also served to ground, and motivate, the students as well and to elevate the attention level and learning experience overall. We continued to round robin through the house one at a time for several evolution with a CERT pistol. In fact the first 5 hours of the class not a single shot was fired. The structure was not ballistically secure, it was for learning movement and technique only. I could of continued this all day and never live fired at all. Every pass through the structure I made and observations of the other students runs enabled me to learn, absorb, and understand the information Varg was giving us.

Another point I would like to make about the class environment and experience that I had with One Life Defense. It was a pleasure to finally attend a class where I actually received quality one on one time with the instructor. Every other class I have attended, if you were reasonably prepared and a decent shooter, you essentially paid to have the instructor watch you for a couple seconds, tell you nice job, and then move down the line. This was not the case with Varg, the quality "instructor student" interaction was a constant. IMHO I feel a lot of instructors out there have their classes overbooked which is a good environment for their checking accounts but not so much for the students learning.

Closing this out I would like to say, like every AAR I have read on a One Life Defense Class, the lunch time lecture on mindset was worth the price of admission. I have seen him talk online about mindset and his personal experience he describes but to witness it in person. To see the effect it has on him put it in a whole different perspective. You can tell he is not just telling you the story, he is taking himself back to that day and experiencing it all over again. His perspective, because he lived it, on criminal violence and mindset is second to none.

I can't state it enough to everyone, take advantage of this valuable resource while its available and take a class with Varg. It was almost 12 hours of driving for me to attend this class and worth every penny I spent and every minute I drove. If money or the ability to travel to Ohio is a problem or impossible, read and watch everything you can find of his material online. As much as I hate driving, I look forward to my next trip to Ohio.