Here it comes … The end of 2022. First, it’s Memorial Day, then 4th of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and then we’re saying HAPPY NEW YEAR! Time moves too fast.
This past year has seen GTAC grow – our instructors were certified as CCW Instructors under the NRA; several received Instructor Certifications in the USCCA; I received Instructor Certification from Rangemaster and was able to travel and go train with Gabe Suarez. We also hosted John Farnam, and Trampas Swanson from Swanson Training Group. I presented at the Well-Armed Women Conference in St. Augustine in February. All this in addition to the dozens of classes we conducted as well.
2023 is starting out with a bang too. We’ll be traveling to SHOT Show in January to work with Fulcrum Target Systems as we develop a training program for them. As of right now, John Farnam will be back in May with two classes (Defensive Handgun and Defensive Shotgun) and Gabe Suarez will be here in September with his 3-day Force-On-Force class. I’ll be giving the Keynote address and presenting at a Georgia Association medical conference in Hilton Head in July and assisting with a presentation at the EMAG Conference in April. We likely will also be hosting Larry Vickers and Hock Hochheim this year too. All this plus a few new additions to our course catalogue. Never sitting still! No grass grows under these feet!
With the end of another year approaching, most like to wax nostalgic and reflect on what they are thankful for, what they accomplished, and what they would like to achieve in the coming year. Yeah ... resolutions are tough – tough to make and tougher to keep. I usually try to keep mine simple, so I don’t disappoint myself too much. The normal stuff – lose a pound or two, get in shape, be a better person – are all good. However, with the state of the world right now, I think some deeper introspection is needed.
My wife just finished paying some bills that included several for insurance. It hurts to sign those checks but, if anything ever happens, we’ll be okay. Many folks are driving around without insurance on their vehicle – some don’t even have a spare tire! Many don’t have flood insurance, smoke detectors, or carbon monoxide detectors. Some folks don’t like wearing their seat belt and even more like to ‘futz’ with their phone when they’re driving! All these things can lead to some serious consequences.
As someone who has been exposed to the worst humanity has to offer, I can say there are some other things to consider this year as well. Personal safety is a MUST! Keeping you and your family safe MUST be a priority. You just have to look at the news for one night to see what happens to innocent folks. VCA (Violent Criminal Actors) hitting people with baseball bats. Shooting people in the street in broad daylight. Have you even heard of Moscow, Idaho? I bet not, at least until the four college students were murdered. It can happen anywhere.
I’m not trying to scare anyone or spread ‘gloom and doom’. One of the tenets we live by at GTAC is to ‘educate then train’. If you just go out and look for the ‘magic bullet’ to protect you, I wager you’re going to be very disappointed. Why? Because it doesn’t exist - never has and never will. You need to know what and why you are training for. If you’re not going to learn to read music, why buy a piano? Similarly, seeking out professional training to learn to protect yourself but not internalizing it (i.e., making it habitual) does little good.
I have over 100 years combined experience in the martial arts and firearms. That equals a LOT of punches and kicks and rounds down range. This experience has left indelible marks and combined with 43 years of law enforcement, has given me a much different view of how I go about my daily routine. GTAC is the offshoot of all this experience and training. The ability to filter what I have learned over this half century of work, condense it to a usable format and then teach others, is a dream come true for me and I truly enjoy every minute.
Time is valuable and should not be wasted. So, THANK YOU to all the students that thought enough about GTAC to spend their time with us this year. I hope it was worthwhile and we will see you in 2023. THANK YOU to all the GTAC staff who assisted with classes, postings, marketing, the web site and just keeping me sane on most days. THANK YOU to my wife, Darlene, for putting up with me for 43 years.
I am looking forward to 2023 for many reasons – The opportunity to learn, teach, experience, meet new friends and continue to grow all lay ahead. My 70th trip around the sun comes next year as well. To date, it has been an interesting ride and I hope to see you all soon.
BE SAFE. BE EFFECTIVE. BE READY.