A Forgotten Comment on Rob Pincus and Combat Focus Shooting – October 2015

In my earlier post on learning Rob Pincus’s Combat Focus Shooting method, I mention Melody Lauer’s after action review (AAR) of the CFS course she took back in 2015.

Screen cap of http://melodylauer.com/2015/09/aar-combat-focused-shooting-with-rob-pincus/. October 2017

In looking up that post on her “Limatune’s Range Diaries” page to get the URL, I was surprised to find a comment by someone called “DavidY” from October 5, 2015. I hadn’t remembered reading the AAR or writing the comment. Alot has happened in the 2 years since.

I concluded my earlier post on my own experience writing: In the end, we know empirically that most “defensive gun uses” are successful even without firing the gun. We know from Tom Givens that most of his students who successfully used their guns in self-defense had only basic firearms training. We know from Karl Rehn’s work that few gun owners take any advanced training at all (the 1%). So why not teach a method that is based on where people are rather than where we wish they would be?

Given that it was written 2 years ago and I didn’t remember writing it, I am surprised how similar my comment on Lauer’s post is to the conclusion I drew after my own experience learning the CFS method. My 2015 comment follows.

It shows how much I was pre-disposed to “getting” the CFS approach, even before I was exposed to it directly, and even though I was not aware of it. I was also interested to see that I offered a sort of defense of Pincus — “he may be onto something” — long before I had any personal contact with him.

I am glad the Web’s memory is better than mine.

Upwards of 12 million people are licensed to carry concealed in the US, and more live in states where they are not required to have a license to carry concealed. But how many of those actually carry on a daily basis? Not many. And of those who do carry regularly, how many have any advanced firearms training? Not many.

IIRC, Tom Givens has said that the vast majority of his students who have “won” lethal encounters with criminals never took a course beyond his basic concealed carry class. That is a REALITY.

We may HOPE that anyone who keeps at home or carries in public a lethal weapon for defense of themselves and others will have a level of training proportional to that responsibility. But I wonder – and this excellent AAR makes me think this all the more – whether basic defensive firearms training courses should begin with the REALITY that most people will not get much (if any) more training, rather than the HOPE that they will?

It seems to me that this is Rob Pincus’s point in the CFS class you reviewed. And it seems to be a valid point. And the fact that he is (apparently) much disliked in the firearms training “community” suggests that he may be onto something. I’m sure that there are many in “the community” that turn as green with envy as the money that Pincus is making with his brand.

One question: Did you mean to say that no one you know and trust teaches CFS, or that the people you know who teach CFS you do not trust? That seems to be a big difference and I couldn’t tell from what you wrote.

Keep up the great work!




  1. You should talk with Claude Werner.
    Claude’s a big data guy and has tracked and studied a lot of DGUs, often to conclusions that much of the gun/gun-training world may not care for (similar to what you wrote above). I think you’d find his work useful.
    As well, Karl and I have – independently and cooperatively – done a bunch of work into “minimum standards of competency”. It doesn’t always play well with making money in the training industry – but I still firmly believe people do better in life (both in general and to have the odds on their side) with more education and more honed and practiced skills. Doesn’t mean you have to pay me (or anyone) to achieve that tho.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claude has been a valuable contributor to Personal Defense Network and a great sounding board. He’s seen a lot and (I think) evolved his thinking in regard to the value of isolated timer drills over the past 5-10 years.


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