The Cornered Cat
All fall down

What’s Cornered Cat doing this weekend, you ask?

Well… Against the Odds is the name of the main class I’ll be teaching. It’s a two-day exploration of handgun retention and downed defender topics, designed to answer the question, “How do I defend myself when the odds are not in my favor?” It’s especially designed for ordinary people, especially those who might face physical challenges defending themselves if they lose control of the gun or get knocked off their feet during a criminal event.

As I put the finishing touches on the outline, I was struck again by how good and necessary and fun this material really is. Really looking forward to teaching the folks who’ve signed up to take the class, which is happening in the Philadelphia area.

Friday night seminar

Before the main event, we’ll kick off the weekend with a Friday night ‘Secrets of Purse Carry’ seminar. Even though the title says “purse carry,” it’s really about purses, packs, bags, and every other type of carry device that’s not a traditional holster worn on the body.

Friday night’s seminar is co-ed and open to everyone, not just people attending the main class. It includes a bunch of hands-on stuff so people aren’t just sitting in their seats listening to a lecture the whole time.

Love teaching this program because it’s amazing how many people carry in these types of devices, and yet have never had a chance to compare different products or do any kind of hands-on work with them. We’ll run through a bunch of design features and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each. Then everyone will have a chance try out their ideas with blue guns in timed drills, mini-scenarios and scripted role plays. Should be a lot of fun. There’s a metric ton of good info packed into this relatively short program.


For the two-day class, we’ll start in the classroom with blue guns, building some solid foundations for everything that comes next. The handgun retention framework we use is very simple, easy to understand and execute in a variety of situations, and lends itself very nicely to plugging in more advanced skills as the student grows in ability. And because it’s intended for regular people, we teach it in a very low-key and intuitive way that students understand almost at a gut level from the beginning.

After we’ve run through our core handgun retention material using dummy guns, we’ll gear up for range work. On the range, we will build and refine a universal drawstroke that we can use from a variety of carry methods and locations. We will draw and shoot from retention on single and multiple targets, making the transition into and out of our retention shooting position as distances change. We’ll shoot one handed, including strong hand only and weak hand only work.


On day two, we’ll use the blue guns to work on advanced retention skills and disarms. We’ll practice several applications of one simple principle that makes all disarms work. We’ll also discuss (and practice!) drawing the gun from everyday holsters and specialized carry devices while in compromised positions: jammed against a wall or close into an opponent, lying on the floor, curled up under a desk.

Then we’ll go out to the range with live guns, and practice shooting from downed positions: prone, supine, and fetal positions that each include shooting with two hands, right hand only, and left hand only. The body of knowledge I prefer to use for this came to me through the late, great Jim Cirillo, though many people have done similar work over the years.

Why do we do this?

All in all, I think it’s an excellent program. I’m especially excited to be bringing it to regular people — not ninjas, not tactical warrior wannabes, but ordinary people who might have physical limitations that stop them from being able to run away or that make it more likely that they’ll end up on the ground.

It hurts my heart that so many concealed carry people don’t take classes like this, since they are skills you cannot practice on ordinary ranges, that you won’t learn by competing in shooting sports, and that form a very critical backbone for self defense. The skills are not complicated, but they do need to be taught by someone who knows how to teach them — especially by someone who knows how to keep people safe as they learn.

I’m a big believer in the idea that even when someone has a physical limitation such as a bad knee or a generally unathletic build, they should still be able to learn important skills like these in a friendly, low key, supportive environment. That’s what we’re doing this weekend.

2 Responses to All fall down

  1. liveNgrow says:

    Hi, I’m a brand new follower of this webpage. I think the “Secrets of Purse Carry” seminar is a fantastic idea! I wish I lived close by to take advantage of it. I hope you post some information about the different purse designs’ positives and negatives, because I am looking for that exact information. What product style met with the most approval? I want some input from fellow female concealed carriers before I shop. Thanks!!!

  2. GunDiva says:

    It sounds like a weekend I would love!

    One of these days, I’ll get to attend one of your seminars.

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