What a Training Course Should be



There are a number of good training schools for firearms in the US. Some of the most well known include Frontsight, Gunsight, Thunder Ranch and others. At these and other schools you can get fine instruction in the safe handling of firearms and precision marksmanship.

But StressShooting does not direct itself towards these aspects of shooting but only to actually training people to use a firearm in their lawful self-defense  or in the defense of their family members.

Spending a lot of valuable training time in practicing:  ‘marksmanship on paper targets‘, ‘clearing jams‘ and‘quick magazine changes’ etc we do not see as being our ‘priority issues’ for training a person in using a firearm in the 'real world' out there for self-defense.

These skills can  of course be of value yes, but it most actual situations they are very low on the list of the 'true skill set’ you first will need to survive and overcome in a self-defense situation involving using your firearm.




The objective and logic in any training of any kind for a crisis is to have the person rehearse and practice what they must do in such a crisis before they actually face that crisis.

Is should be obvious then that one of the things you will almost certainly have to do correctly in the real crisis of a self-defense situation with a firearm is to draw that weapon, point it at another human being and pull the trigger.

Yet, in not one of the ’Big Name’ firearms training schools will you ever practice that essential skill even once !

This is not to imply that these other school's training programs are not worthwhile as they do clearly have some value.

What we want to highlight here is what is so different about what you will learn here at Stresshooting and why it is so essential to your achieving your goal of competence in defending yourself and your loved ones with a firearm.



(Most actual shootings incidents occur in low light, so many of the StresShooting scenarios are conducted in low light as you see above). These scenarios are actually far more important in their training value that the actual  ‘live fire’ on ‘paper’ and other targets you will also be doing on our shooting ranges with the various weapons.

We have been doing adrenal stress, scenario based training for more than two decades now. In that time we have had so many competent marksman, IPSC competitors, police officers and others who were very familiar with firearms and who ‘grew up’ with them take our course and we do listen to what they tell us.

What we hear from a good number of these people is that in their very first scenario they discovered that the ‘problems’ and ‘challenges’ of using a gun in a self-defense situation were not at all what they previously imagined they were or trained on.

Some attendants have said things like this to us too and very 'early on' in the training:

“Peyton, doing that second scenario I realized that all the things I trained on for twenty years now have little to do with actually using a gun in real self-defense situation, I wasn’t even aware there were sights on the gun... you just can’t use them in the scenarios ... so I can’t imagine how you could  really in actual situation”





This is a very critical thing to understand and frankly for you to ultimately accept too. If you must draw your weapon and fire on another human being then your life is in immediate and mortal danger.

In that situation you are not totally in your ‘self-aware mind’ at all.

Your body goes into the 'fight or flight’ modality of a ‘non-self-aware consciousness‘. It ‘ping pongs’ between these two states (self-aware and non-self-aware) in milliseconds.

Physiologically, your lower brain, Amygdala, won’t let you take your eyes off anything except the person about to kill you. This means that it will be all but impossible for you to use the sights of your weapon in a real self-defense situation.


Consequently, this is why when we replicate that ‘adrenal mental state’ in the scenarios. Everyone of the people who have taken our course tell us they ‘could not’ and ‘did not’ use the sights of the pistol in their scenario and there has not been even one exception in all these years


And please understand that sometimes good people come in here and say initially something very much like this:  “Peyton, I’ve read your books and articles and Bill's too and I agree with most all of what you say, but I just know aimed fire is more accurate than point shooting”.


Some are even more adamant  than this and even a bit ‘dogmatic’ about this subject of ‘point shooting‘. Sometimes this attitude comes partly from their previous training experiences and the training philosophy of another school.

It just does not matter though, because once they experience the adrenal stress scenarios they know the truth and equally importantly, they ‘know what they know. That is nothing is “theoretical anymore’ for them as they have experienced it for themselves.

The more realistic the training becomes the more certainly the person will discover for themselves through actually experiencing these physiological affects the real problems in using a gun in a self-defense situation.

It also shows them the things and skills that are simply not so important.

This is the only way to truly address and train to overcome those real problems too, by actually experiencing and discovering them in training!

ADRENAL AFFECTS: Look at the sequence at left. The instructor playing the 'mad knifer' starts from 22 feet away and shouts "I'll kill you!" then runs to attack the student. The student in his first scenario tries to draw his gun but the "flight' response involuntarily dominates and he turns away and is stabbed repeatedly. Later this 'flight' response was extinguished through his training in response to this particular tactical situation.

The people who come here to train are just honest citizens who want to learn to use a gun prudently, lawfully but effectively to defend themselves and family against the violent criminal element.

Some of them have little or no experience with firearms at all while others have been shooting all their lives and some have been to many firearms schools before.

It does not matter ‘how much’ or ‘how little’ experience with firearms you have though as you will still get the full and unique benefits of the course.


Once you experience the strength of this training methodology then things you may have heard 'talked about' or read about, the so very important things about  'proper combat mindset‘ will become so much more clear to you and so much more real.

We are not training people to win an IPPS contest here. We are training people specifically on the ‘skill set’ and ‘mind set’ demanded to overcome an aggressor in an actual real world situation.

Your training here is done under adrenal stress conditions in this scenario based methodology and this is one important reason why it so effective and why in just a weekend you will accomplish so much.

In the Stresshooting scenario at right the woman has been told by the two men that intent to beat and rape her and any resistance will just get her hurt worse.

She draws her weapon and demands they halt, the one on the right yells 'You won't shoot bitch!' and suddenly tries to rush her and she fires. Note the instructor knows just where he was hit by the rubber bullet and he grabs his left shoulder. She now has to deal with the other man.

But you won't know how the "assailants' will respond in any scenario in this training, some might back down, others might draw a weapon, you must respond ‘accordingly’ and ‘spontaneously’ and you will learn to do that and make the right decision under stress

The Special Nature of Whatever ibrake and ball in street collages Learned Under Adrenal Stress


Things learned under adrenal stress are not ‘forgotten’ and actually, can not be ‘forgotten’ under stress in the way that things learned under ‘non adrenal circumstances’ can be.

In fact, it is the 'adrenal rush' and the stress itself of any actual encounter that will immediately ‘cue up’ the appropriate response you need. That will be the same basic response, conceptually as  what you used during your scenarios here Stresshooting.

Things such as the fundamental defensive action of ‘stepping off the attack line’ will become ‘hard wired’ into you.

This is similar to  how “just hitting the brake automatically’ when a child’s ball rolls in front of your car was conditioned into you. It was your non-self aware mind that’ hit the brake pedal’ before any self aware consciousness of the event‘ was even completed.

As one young man told us “It might take a few scenarios before you get that body motion down and how to move and shoot right ... you just can’t use the sights, ... but once you have it, then you know it’s there and you know it will never leave you”




We also spend some small amount of time here on ‘conflict avoidance‘ skills, ‘conflict pre-perception’ too. You need to practice De-escalation of potential conflict and the nature of the ‘predatory criminal mind‘.  And scenario based training is unbeatable in showing you that reality and developing that precise life saving skill.

We look at the law as it applies to the justifiable use of lethal force also so you are far less likely to make a  mistake that puts you at odds with the law or places you unnecessary in legal jeopardy.

These things really do apply very much to the real world out there. Not every shooting situation case started out as a blatant ‘home invasion’ or ‘car jacking’ or ‘attempted robbery‘, some develop much less clearly at a lower level before escalating suddenly.

Any conflict between ’adults’, even a verbal argument to personal berating, getting out of your car over a ’fender bender’  can have the potential to escalate into a homicide.

And if you are carrying gun and have CCW then you absolutely must be conscious’s of this reality. You need to practice not getting ‘scared’ or ‘rattled’ under verbal threats and challenges or insults. This must be  part of ’real world’ SELF-DEFENSE training and if your’s is the mind of a ‘serious adult‘, and you are ‘serious about getting true and comprehensive self-defense skills’ then you should immediately be able to see that truth.

A homicides can occur, or somebody can just put themselves in great legal jeopardy by pulling a gun even if they don’t use it. Someone perhaps panics, or  responds out of ignorance.


And a thing you may not know about there is the deadly serious concept of “props‘ for the human predators out there. An ignorance of the human predator’s demand for his ‘props’ has put many people in the graveyard, emergency room or sometimes prison themselves.  What to you, words that might be ‘nothing’, to him might be something that he feels compelled and duty bound to ‘spill your blood’ or ‘kill you on the spot‘  for. Why? Because you “dissed him“ (disrespected him) without truly realizing what you were doing.



You will learn and practice all these essential, human survival skills here at  Stresshooting and so you will then be so much better prepared to avoid trouble as well as deal with it effectively and decisively if that is what is demanded.

Awareness like this makes avoidance possible. Conversely a  lack of knowledge of how the human predator thinks, and even selects his victims is an important part of what we know to be the ‘big real world picture’ of self-defense training. And that is true whether you have a gun on you or not.

There is much more to having a concealed weapons permit  (CCW) and being responsible in that decision and using a firearm effectively for your self-defense than just learning how to ‘punch neat holes in paper target’ or, ‘changing magazine fast’ or ‘clearing a jammed weapon’ good people.

You need to be far better and more comprehensively prepared than just those ‘skills’ to truly achieve your self-defense goals, that is to protect yourself and your family.