The Guardian Broadcast
"Providing Concealed Carry & Armed Self-Defense Wisdom."
A podcast by Patrick Kilchermann, founder of the Concealed Carry University.
"Three Steps to Concealed Carry Confidence"
Without a doubt, confidence is one of the components of any effective human system, especially concealed carry. But, what is confidence? How do we instill confidence in ourselves? It takes 3 specific steps.
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I dedicate this episode of the Guardian Broadcast to my wonderful wife and best friend of almost 12 years.
Confidence. I want you to have confidence in all your abilities regarding concealed carry and effective self-defense. And confidence is stunningly easy to achieve, especially with regard to concealed carry, given that self-defense is one of the most intrinsic reactions for any living creature. Today, growing and keeping this confidence in your self-defense abilities is what I want to discuss.
First, on a personal note, let me tell you that I’m back in the saddle, and it feels great. Summer is always the slow time in the gun industry, but now things are beginning to ramp up. Activity in education, training, and gun purchasing is beginning to heat up, and will continue to do so until it peaks in the winter. December and January are always the most active months in the gun industry. And this year, with the election, things might not cool off for a while, reminiscent of the 2008 election, when Barrack Obama’s victory fueled one of the greatest surges in firearms and concealed carry interest in history.
Because without a doubt, Hillary Clinton is making the banning of things like semi-automatic rifles and 20 and 30 round magazines a much larger part of her platform than Barrack Obama did in 2008. And given the unpopularity of congress, we might see a strongly anti-gun president, congress, and supreme court for the next 8 years or more. It’s been 12 years since the original Hillary Clinton Rifle Ban expired.
In those 12 years, concealed carry has gone from an almost invisible 1/1,000 activity that many people didn’t even know existed IF it existed at all in some states, to a massive, well known institution – legal in most areas - where between 2% and 4% of the population carries concealed with some regularity.
Those 12 years were a beautiful window of expansion of people not only preaching, but actually practicing, civic duty, individual liberty, and personal responsibility. It will be sad for me and for the future of our country to see that window begin closing, if things go this fall the way I’m pretty sure they’ll go. Time will tell.
Now, many of you know, I took a recess from the Guardian Broadcast in mid-June because of some family duties. My wife was pregnant. Now our first couple of kids were born premature, and so this time, my wife was ordered on maternity bedrest at around 34 weeks in her pregnancy. Well, I had to step up and take on full time father AND mother to the kids we already have, and of course, a far more involved husband role than normal. It was fun! It was a good experience. I really enjoyed it. I’ve always made sure that family was at the very center of my life, but of course, this was a whole new level of involvement and attention, and it required my full time and attention. There were no Guardian Broadcasts during that time, but the good news is, the baby was born, we went full term, and therefore it was very healthy. A little girl! My second daughter.
I had to share that back story to bring us into the story that I wanted to share for today’s message on confidence. You see, this baby actually came as a surprise. We knew my wife was full term, but the actual early labor was far less pronounced and intense than with our first children. And so, because my wife was full term, and bedrest was no longer necessary, we’d been taking nice, family walks every day – enjoying the Michigan summer weather. Well, there we are out walking, and we stop at the beach of a lake that we live near. The kids played in the water and in the sand and were having a ton of fun. We didn’t want to leave! But we hadn’t brought any snacks for the kids or sunscreen, so we started walking back home to gear up, with the intention of heading back to the beach. Now on the walk back, my wife had begun feeling minor contractions. But “no big deal” - that’s pretty normal late in pregnancy – she’d been getting them on and off for the last few days.
Well, back at the house, we’re halfway through our packing up for the beach when my wife had a couple pretty serious contractions. The kind that make a woman pause what she’s doing and stand still for a moment. At that point, we began thinking that “today might be the day”, but our other kids were all born in the evening, after a day of contractions not much weaker than those, so we figured we still have half a day.
Well, then she got the urge to lay down and rest. And then, a VERY serious contraction. And then, the water broke, and even moving to a more comfortable position would have been unthinkable.
Well, 5 pushes later, the little baby was born! Right there in the living room. Just my wife and I – the other kids were out on the porch eating a lunch that I’d just prepared them, thankfully.
Okay, so, “confidence.” This whole situation could have been terrifying. It could have been an ambulance call, or even something bad happening to the mother or baby, though it’s unlikely during a healthy pregnancy, which we knew we had.
But here’s the thing: guiding my wife through labor and “delivering” this baby didn’t intimidate me a bit, for a few reasons: I’d seen it done with the other children, I’d participated heavily during those births, and I’d paid close attention to pick up any details that I could. Plus, going into our first pregnancy, I read several books on the topic, watched a few videos of deliveries, and mentally rehearsed the process. You guys can imagine the desire to be prepared for violence extends to all areas of my life!
So again, I read books and reviewed videos of births. Maybe that sounds weird, but it shouldn’t. The subjects of taking life and helping to deliver life are both probably equally intimate, and you all know that I encourage you, when mentally preparing for such things, to review self-defense incident videos where – sometimes – people lose their lives on camera. It’s sad, it requires a great deal of respect and reverence, and it requires modesty – but the education and training value of watching gunfight videos before carrying concealed is enormous. And the education and training value of watching birthing videos before going through it is equally enormous.
In other words, unless you know what to expect, you’re simply not prepared. And the corollary: if you DO know what to expect, you are vastly more prepared. This simply statement explains so much – including why replacement soldiers new to the front lines were vastly more likely to be killed or injured within the following 7 days than soldiers who had been on the front lines for more than 10 days, in any conflict or theater that I’ve studied.
So: expectation is key. And that drives so much of what we do and why we do it here at the Concealed Carry University, going back to one of the earliest educational truths that I’ve sought to push out there, through a “fight, flight, or freeze” video that I began promoting back in 2013, which now has been watched more than 6 million times. You’ve probably seen it, because through this video is how most people have come to know about the Armed American’s Complete Concealed Carry Guide to Effective Self-Defense. But the whole thesis of that video is simply that the anecdotal culture of the gun industry has caused most people who are attacked to suffer a massive, momentary mental and physical overload and shut down, as their minds try to catch up with the REALITY of a violent attack.
This is only one way that faulty expectations or no expectations can cause either a crippling lack of confidence, or no confidence at all in the armed Guardian. But with the proper expectations… which my Complete Guide aims to bestow, the human mind and body enjoy a much better reaction time. And students who have properly educated their minds ahead of time also enjoy calmer nerves, and therefore a better performance.
You see, because of my own education, training, and practice in childbirth, I wasn’t nervous when my I realized we were moments from birth, and that like it or not, we were going to do this alone. I did what needed to be done, and got it done.
I had something that people who use hope as a strategy do not have. And that was, CONFIDENCE.
What is confidence? Con-Fidence. Con: with. Fidence: Fidelity. Faithfulness. Confidence is, “with fidelity.” Fidelity is the degree of exactness with which something is copied or reproduced.
What this means, is that confidence comes through watching yourself do something again and again and seeing that the RESULTS of you doing something is closely on par with what your EXPECTATIONS were of you doing that thing.
To put another way: the more and more you observe yourself doing something – and having it work – the greater your confidence will be. So with childbirth, seeing it play out just as it should so many times, and seeing my Education and Training yield the proper outcome again and again, I had every bit of faith that even without highly paid medical personnel standing by, things were going to be okay because it was within our power to make them okay. “All we have to do, is do what other people who have been successful have done in the past.”
With concealed carry and self-defense related topics, confidence is developed in the exact same fashion. And these are the steps we need to follow with every single facet of self-protection:
First, we educate ourselves. What is the scope of this particular aspect of self-defense? What schools of thought exist? What do the experts agree on, and what do they disagree on? Why do they disagree, and how much could the disparity between these schools of thought affect me? So, you dive in, and eventually you find that some schools of thought are inherently flawed and should be thrown out, while some schools of thought are good, but designed for different applications.
“Ahh, the Israeli method of carrying without a round chambered stems from the open carry of rifles without trigger guards and is used by people who do not trust the external or internal safeties of their handguns.” Or, “Ahh, this person doesn’t teach integrating movement into the draw-stroke, because most of his clientele are elderly people who aren’t capable of that.” By asking and, through research, answering these questions, we educate our MINDS. Once these questions are answered, you proceed into the CONCLUSION of the Education step, the first step toward confidence: you decide whose opinions to trust.
With regard to childbirth, I can just tell you, it was Doctor Bradley who I decided to trust. With concealed carry and self-defense, my influences number in the hundreds. People from Clausewitz to Napoleon to Patton – the good and bad – to Carl Jung, to John Boyd, to Jeffery Cooper, to Rory Miller, to Timothy Larkin, to Erwin Rommel, to hundreds of war memoirs, to a man who I believe is one of the greatest modern thinkers of combat dynamics, Gabriel Suarez. I’m sure you have many influences – and since you’re here, I am pleased to believe that I’m one of yours. I believe your trust is well placed. And that is critical: unless we TRUST our teachers, we will never be confident in our knowledge. Then, as we’re educating ourselves, once we reach a certain point, we can enter the next phase of building confidence where we begin to educate our BODIES.
So, secondly, we get training. We seek out the experts that we trust, and we submit ourselves to them, so that they can educate our minds further, and guide us through educating our bodies. This is physical training. And again, we have to trust our trainers completely, because without that we will neither be able to actually learn from them – because our defenses will be too high – nor will we ever develop confidence. And as I said last week: the purpose of training is to show us what and how to practice.
Our education and training should never end. For example, in less than a month, my right-hand man and I, Caleb Skaggs, are flying Gabe Suarez up here to Michigan for 3 days of private training. Something like this costs five figures, but it’s an investment that simply must be made, as we seek to push the envelope further and further – all so that I can be sure that what is taught through this Concealed Carry University is the greatest possible education that I can give you.
Then, third, we PRACTICE. We take everything we’ve learned and do it. Again, and again, and again. Over and over. Boring, repetitive, endless, and often expensive practice. PRACTICE is key. Without practice, education and training are wasted. They’re garbage. They’re a waste of your time. Because who do you want operating on your beating heart? A 26-year-old medical student graduate who just hung his diploma on the wall? Or a grizzled old doctor who’s been operating on hearts for 31 years? WHY would you prefer the older man? Don’t young people have steadier hands? Aren’t young people’s bodies better than older people’s bodies? Besides, it’s been 31 years since the old doctor went through medical school and internship – education and training. The young guy who just graduated must still have all that education and training fresh in his mind – isn’t he the safer choice?
Of course he isn’t. Only a fool would prefer a brand-new doctor with no experience to a veteran doctor with a career behind him. Why? PRACTICE. The older doctor has practiced. Practice is so important. The same is true for any situation in which we must trust other people with our lives, such as pilots, drivers, or police officers. We want VETERANS looking after us. Because a veteran has experience. A veteran has practiced. And yes: this applies also to armed citizens. Practice is the only way you or I will ever develop mastery – or even simply skill – in any discipline. And practice is the only way we’ll ever develop confidence.
That’s because when we take our education and training and begin practicing, we enter a beautiful feedback cycle that leads to confidence. First, we do what our education taught us, and what our training showed us. Then, we see the results. If those results are good, we smile. Our brain smiles. If the results are bad, we either adjust our practice until the results are good, or we hit the books or videos again or consult an expert again, until we CAN produce good results.
And then, do we stop practicing because we nailed it once or twice? Not if we’re smart. Because if we stop practicing after getting success the first couple times, our brains forget that success after a few days or weeks. Or our internal lack of confidence tells us that it was only luck. And pretty soon, we begin doubting our ability to produce those same results.
And that’s why the wise person, especially the wisely armed Guardian, never stops practicing his or her skills. Because the more you subject yourself to practice, and the more you witness yourself producing good results, the greater and more long-lasting your confidence becomes.
This is the only way confidence is built. By seeing yourself possess real ability again, and again. You draw and move and shoot, and then you walk up to that target, and you look at the holes. You put your fingers in those bullet holes and feel the torn paper. And you say: LOOK AT THAT. *I* DID THAT. I DID IT NOW, AND I CAN DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN. THIS IS *ME*.
Why develop confidence? Because, confidence is radiant. It is a very powerful internal and external force. You act different when truly confident, and other people perceive you differently. We talk about it in the Complete Guide, but in short, confidence makes you far less likely to ever need your gun, and it makes you far more likely to win and survive if you ever DO need it.
Confidence is one of the greatest feelings on the planet. I want all CCU Alumni to have it. And given how linear the process is to achieve it, confidence is easy. The barrier of entry? You have to be willing to work for it. Practice takes time and physical exertion. Two things that many people are unwilling to part with. Join me. Follow me. Lead me. Be one of the few who are willing to WORK HARD. To SEE what they want, to make a PLAN to achieve it, and to REACH OUT AND TAKE IT.