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Firearms trainer interview – John Johnston

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We interviewed John Johnston at SHOT Show 2014 about firearms training. He is the host of Ballistic Radio, a Cincinnati weekly talk show about firearms that reaches 25,000 listeners. Each week, John has a guest expert on the show to discuss the self-defense aspects of firearms usage.

We asked John seven questions about training and what it means to him.

1) What is the value of training?
When in a bad situation, training ahead of time helps you cope with the situation better.

2) Why did you become a trainer?
It just happened. I was working in a gun shop and doing a lot of advising for customers, so I taught them to prepare for the worst case basis. Initially, hosting my show was done as an advertisement for Kyle’s Gun Shop.

3) What is the emphasis of your class?
Be prepared to be responsible for yourself and your loved ones. Know what to do and not to do. Make intelligent decisions and be responsible. Avoid the problem entirely, when possible, but respond in the most tactically advantageous manner when it’s necessary.

4) Who is your market?
It’s very diverse. People who are interested in a broad range of self defense topics, who don’t want to be talked down to, are a big part of my market. Many women listen to my show, which I am very happy about.

5) What do YOU do to train/practice?
I’m a big dryfire proponent, especially presentation from the holster. I livefire as much as possible. If I have a lot of ammo, Bill Drills (six shots from the holster) are an excellent way to practice several things at once. But I like to do them into a 3x5 card to avoid getting sloppy with trigger control. The FAST Drill is also very good for diagnostic purposes.

6) How would you describe your training philosophy?

  • Be prepared.
  • Understand what’s likely and unlikely.
  • Know your geographic area, what transpires in your area, including what the outliers are.
  • Prepare for unlikely scenarios in a way that does not seem like fantasy.
  • If you train to meet the high standard, then it’s pretty easy to meet the low standard.
  • Think about a bad day. For instance, what if the incident starts with you being shot? Train, at least sometimes, for that possibility.
  • Train for the worst case scenario.
  • Turn a gunfight into a shooting.
  • If I had to pick one thing we should be training on, it’s movement on the draw.

7) Why should people take training?
It’s the responsible thing to do. Shooting is not like driving, we don’t do it every day. You don’t need training to do the things you do every day. The repercussions of bad decision-making can be heinous.
Be a responsible, approachable, knowledgeable armed citizen who is an asset to the cause.

We appreciate John taking the time to talk with us about this important topic. Those interested in hearing podcasts of his past radio shows can listen to them here.

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