The Five “P’s”



“Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance”. As a young U.S. Marine Corps Officer, this was one of the first tenants drilled into us to minimize failure and maximize success. Let’s see how the Five “P’s” apply to our firearms and defensive tactics training.

The reason why we train is that we anticipate having to use that training to defend others or ourselves. Another way of describing training is that we are preparing for live combat against a real adversary prior to the event happening. This is the “Prior Planning” that prevents poor performance.

In this “Prior Planning” phase, we have some work to do to maximize our success. We have to determine what methods will be included in our training. In our firearms training, are we going to train the use of sights exclusively? Do we just train in the use of “Target-Focused Shooting”? Do we invest the time to teach both methods of engaging a threat? In our defensive tactics program, do we rely on control holds as a primary method of engaging a non-lethal threat or do we teach striking only? Do we take the time to teach a combination of both methods? These are very basic questions that have to be asked while forming a program of instruction and then develop the sequence of training to develop each method to its fullest potential. This is a critical part of the ‘Prior Planning” to maximize on success.

An important consideration is to gain as full an understanding as possible of the environment that we will be in when we apply the training in our program of instruction. If we are working or find ourselves out and about during hours of darkness, we have to account for that in the way we plan our training. Developing “immediate action drills” to help us develop sound ways of dealing with common ways the criminal element or enemy attacks us goes a long way at minimizing the confusion that happens in spontaneous attacks.

So, following the simple guideline of “Prior Planning” we can greatly reduce the possibility of failure at a critical time and place. Another important consideration in planning is to always plan for the worse case scenario. If it doesn’t happen – great! If it does happen, we will be much better prepared to deal with it.

Another consideration that we have to account for in our “Prior Planning” is determining what gear we need to prevent poor performance. Here are a few of the gear issues that must be considered:

Type of handgun and caliber that is needed based upon your particular situation

  • What type of holster do we need
  • What position are we going to carry our handgun
  • Do we have spare ammo immediately available to us
  • Where is the ammo positioned on our body
  • Do we have and edged or sharp weapon immediately available to us
  • Do we have the availability of a less-lethal force option


All these issues must be sorted out BEFORE you need to apply your training. Once you sort out these issues, I strongly encourage you to “test fire” your training via force-on-force training and a scenario-based training program to “shake out” your system that includes both your training program and your gear. Be safe and all my best.


Lou Chiodo









Tactical Tip Of The Week




Tactical Tip Of The Week

 If your primary hand is injured BEFORE you can draw your concealed handgun, can you access it with your support hand and successfully draw it?

 Safety is paramount. Download your firearm. Re-check to ensure it is unloaded, remove all ammo and magazines/speed loaders from the training area and practice in a safe direction.

 Once you create a safe training environment, practice drawing your concealed handgun with your SUPPORT HAND ONLY dressed the same way you normally dress carrying your handgun in the same position you carry in your daily routine.

 A safety tip form Lou Chiodo

Understanding Training Fallacies




 This week I had the pleasure of recording another on-line TV show with Ian Kinder of Live Safe Academy. This was one of a series of on-line TV shows and podcasts that we have recorded on topics that are extremely relevant to all of us who place a premium on our safety. They are frank discussions that can sometimes challenge our thoughts and beliefs about issues surrounding training methods and the application of those methods. I encourage you to view the on-line TV shows and listen to the podcasts to help you sort out the many issues we face in our training. Here are the two links to these programs:

Understanding training fallacies and how this issue can affect our safety is very important. If we rely on training that is not based upon reality, the results can be devastating. So, before we go any further, let’s define fallacy as it relates to training.

By definition a fallacy is a wrong or false belief, a false or mistaken idea. It can be further defined as a deceptive, misleading, false notion or belief. As it relates to training in combat shooting or personal defense, it simply means we are relying on training methods that are not based upon reality. Why is this a critical issue to understand? Misinformation or mistaken beliefs can get you killed!

In the first in a series of on-line TV shows highlighting “Training fallacies”, we examine three fallacies that directly relate to your safety. An in depth discussion of the following training fallacies is included in this show:


  • How precision shooting methods relate to violent close-quarters combat shootings
  • How drawing your handgun in a real fight can be much different from what happens in a training environment
  • How participating in competitive shooting relates to how well you will perform in a combat shooting


If we have mistaken or false beliefs about any of the issues above, the results can be devastating at the moment of truth in a real fight for our lives. Misunderstanding theses issues can lead to our training in inappropriate methods. If we haven’t fully vetted those methods by either testing them in as realistic environment that we can create in training or examine how those methods have worked in real combat shootings, we can have a training failure. This failure during a life or death scenario is not only regrettable, but also avoidable when properly analyzed and understood.


I encourage you to take the time to listen to our podcasts or view our on-line TV shows to get the full value of the discussions on these critical topics. The objective of this training fallacy show is to help sort out critical training issues prior to someone discovering that what they believe in is not completely true and experience a training failure at a time and place where failure means injury or death.


Lou Chiodo

Force-On-Force Training Concepts



 Training conducted on the range helps us learn the life-saving methodologies essential for dominating the tactical scenarios that confront us in a real world encounter. The range is where we can develop the psychomotor skills required to hit the threat with combat accuracy. The range, however, is only one element of training. It is necessary to take the psychomotor skills developed in range training and integrate those skills in an environment that simulates conditions found in the combat environment as much as possible.   It must be understood that it is very difficult to fully simulate combat in a training environment. The element that will always be missing in a training environment is that the participant is not in fear for his/her life. So, our objective in force-on-force training is to replicate scenarios and conditions present in real events so that the participant can gain the experience of applying their training dynamically in real time. In essence, it the equivalent of what boxers and martial artist of all disciplines do in training – test their methods and training against a live target that is fighting back. In training classes, I refer to this as the difference between hitting a heavy bag and having to get in the ring with someone who is try to defeat you before you defeat them. Think of this as the range being the “heavy bag” – the place where you develop the physical skills (how to hit the target with combat accuracy) and force-on-force training as the sparring session where you test your skills against another opponent.

The use of airsoft and simunitions equipment allows us to safely introduce the element of gun fighting into the training program. The use of this equipment provides the opportunity to substitute paper, cardboard and steel targets with a human role player as the target to “inoculate” the participant to shooting at a live target. This allows us to replicate the movement, speed and spontaneity of a “human target” in a controlled training environment.

Force-on-force training provides a critical link between the skills learned in range training and the way those skills are applied in the dynamic environment of a gunfight. I encourage everyone to participate in force-on-force training to augment their range training.

Lou Chiodo