Instructor Notes: Don't Panic

In the Defensive Shooting Fundamentals course, one of the last drills we do is the Home Invasion Simulation. If there are multiple students in the class, they are brought away from the range so they don’t get to see whats going on in advance of their turn.

As the instructor running the simulation it’s my job to introduce stress, anxiety, words and actions to cause panic and confusion during the sim. This is accomplished by yelling verbal descriptions of the ensuing encounter, banging on training tables, flipping over a table, throwing full drink cups at targets down range,

The student achieves success by properly identifying that a threat has/is occurring and is able to stop the threat with the LEAST amount of force necessary.

So, you maybe saying, “… this sounds easy”, “… what could he do/say that would cause me to not be successful, I’m confident he couldn’t trick me…” Well, to this date I have never had a student achieve success on the first waive of this drill yet. The following is a spoiler alert if you take a course from me.

At the start of the drill, the scenario is described to you as; you are sitting on your bed talking to someone on the phone. You hear a frantic pounding on your front door, your hear yelling and someone calling out, the front door is opened and slammed back, you hear more panicked yelling as someone is running down the hall to your room. At what point do you take action? What is the action you take? … As described a crazed man comes running through the door into the bedroom, Now what action do you take? How many of you are thinking present your firearm and fire at the perceived aggressive threat?

Know your target. In the first instance of running this drill it is purposely not said WHO the person is that just came in the door. All students have presented and fired on the target. It is then quickly and strategically described as your 75 year old good neighbor who is panicked because his wife next door is choking and unconscious and needs help. Ooops.

Other scenarios progress from kids sleeping over, relatives visiting, to home invasions, aggravated burglary, and finally a hostage situation.

After the first scenario, it’s explained to look, listen, think and be aware of the totality of the situation prior to reacting. Think about your OWN situation, everyone’s situation could be different, you may have no neighbors, or visitors, these are just examples and scenarios.

In conclusion, think about scenarios that could happen in your home, in your garage, out in your yard. Don’t panic, have a plan, know your level of engagement or action. And finally, take the USCCA Defensive Shooting Fundamentals course so you can actually get your adrenaline running as you run this drill for yourself.


Great post @Fizbin .
I’m glad you brought this to Members’ attention.
We’ve spoken about this long time ago but I’m happy it has come here again.
DSF class is awesome and I wish every USCCA member took it.

I took DSF1 twice (yes, twice) and I’m really upset there’s no local Instructor (as I know about at this moment) who would handle DSF2. :expressionless:

Anyway, the final scenario shows how really prepared we are. It’s definitely not easy one, even it looks so. But all of us should go through it. Just to see how many mistakes can be done during self defense action. Some of mistakes can be not important than other. But at least we can find out if these mistakes can have legal consequences or be matter of death or life.

I’ve come through many, many different classes, have been put on stress, have been shaken, kicked, pushed, screamed during shooting…so I’ve learnt a lot… and I made mistakes during DSF’s final scenario. :frowning_face:

So this comes to one conclusion… Whatever you do, no matter how good you’re prepared… you are not ready for everything.
So what to do?
As always: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE :point_up:

And I encourage all of you to take DSF1 class. It’s fun for sure.

Also I’d like to encourage USCCA Instructors to do everything to run DSF2 classes and let us, the students, attend them :pray:


I’m hoping to get someone soon in Hampton Roads, VA. To give the DSF classes so I can attend them. These classes will better prepare you for an armed confrontation and also these situations can realistically happen in everyday life. Hope to get classes in my area soon.


It is posts like this that help us all learn.