Gunsite 250 Defensive Pistol Class and Jeff Cooper on Mental Conditioning for Combat

Day 3 of the 5 day Gunsite Academy 250 Defensive Pistol course is the day on which the classroom presentation on mental conditioning or “mindset” is given. Rangemaster Bill Halvorsen delivered the mindset lecture today. The three key elements were:

  1. The Combat Triad: Mindset, Gun Handling and Practical Marksmanship
  2. The 7 principles of personal defense as articulated in Col. Jeff Cooper’s book of that title
  3. Color Codes of personal awareness (white, yellow, orange, red)

After the class Halvorsen mentioned to me that a DVD existed of Jeff Cooper delivering the mental conditioning lecture in 1981. So I dropped another $35 in the Pro Shop for the 30 minute video.

The $1 per minute of video was worth it generally to see Cooper totally in command of his material (focusing alot on the Color Codes). But it was also worth it for one small snippet near the beginning of the DVD, which I have excerpted below.

That’s right, it really does all go back to Col. Cooper, even dismissing the popular contemporary phrase, “Shoot first and ask questions later.” It is as false now as it was nearly 4 decades ago. Because The Colonel says so.


  1. If more opponents of civilian carry* actually bothered to do some basic research as to what is actually taught (by quality instructors) in terms of the morality and law of self-defense they might still oppose it, but at least their opposition would be informed and based on disagreement over first principles rather than simply attacking strawmen and stereotypes.

    * of course, proponents of civilian carry are often worse offenders, as they are supposed to have educated themselves in this stuff not just rehashed “things they heard.”

    Liked by 1 person

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