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American Small Arms Academy

Chuck Taylor – Director

For over three decades ASAA has been an acknowledged leader in the field of small arms weaponcraft. Its superior techniques and instructional methods have been credited with saving the lives of hundreds of law enforcement officers, military personnel and civilians alike. ASAA's success is primarily due to the expertise, innovations and uncompromising nature of its founder and director Chuck Taylor.

Picture of Chuck Taylor

Chuck is the author of four books and several thousand magazine articles, was the first Four Weapon Combat Master and creator of the Speed Rock, Tactical Reload and Ready Position. A decorated Vietnam Veteran, he's been involved in multiple wars, over a dozen pistol fights, the training of numerous police departments, military and police special operations units, tactical response teams for the Olympics, and thousands of civilians. In addition, his techniques have been adopted by the military of a number of European countries. His unique background, analytical ability and unflinching commitment to results have permitted him to develop an instructional program second to none.

Students attending an ASAA class will not find the latest "trendy and must do" techniques currently in vogue with a large number trainers and magazine writers. Many of these techniques are based on theory or competitive concepts, or even worse were devised to keep students entertained with slick looking, but irrelevant, drills or by the expending of large quantities of ammunition. What they will find is a training regiment that has been refined over the last 30 years with only one goal in mind - keeping our students alive, uninjured and out out of prison. Our techniques have been developed from Taylor's personal combat experience, his study of thousands of military and civilian shootings and feedback from students. They have been proven successful by the several hundred of his students, both civilian and military, who have been victorious in gunfights around the world. In today's society, to truly be the winner of a potentially deadly encounter, more than shooting and weapon handling skills are needed so ASAA courses also include appropriate reviews of the legal requirements to use deadly force, tactics, de-escalation, mental conditioning and much more.

ASAA's "system" approach to weaponcraft eliminates the need for students to remember different concepts for different weapons and greatly enhances their efficiency under stress. Its unique training methods consistently produce exceptional levels of performance from their students, both on the range and in actual gunfights. ASAA courses are taught in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, no boot camp attitudes, no overblown egos. Whether you're a novice shooter or have 30 years experience, male or female, armed civilian or police officer you'll find an ASAA class to fulfill your training needs. For more about ASAA's approach to fighting with firearms vs. some current trends see our "Myths and More" page.

ASAA offers programs focused on either improving the students shooting & weapon handling abilities (skill development courses) or on how to most effectively apply these skills in situations where the use of deadly force is both justified and necessary (tactical classes). For 2018 we will be focusing on skill development but have included one Tactical Handgun class.

Classes are not listed in the order they occur during the year.

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Three-Day Defensive Handgun Course - This is the first of the four levels of handgun training ASAA offers, Handgun Combat Master (HCM) being the highest. The course is a prerequisite for all higher-level ASAA handgun training and the foundation on which they are built. The class is suitable for shooters of all experience levels and physical condition (it's not boot camp) and employs techniques and tactics that were developed to be the most effective way to fight, not to excel in competition.

Originally taught in four days, this highly condensed course provides the student with a complete overview of the subject of combat handgunning and an introduction to the ASAA integrated approach to small arms usage. Includes: when you can/cannot use deadly force for self-defense, the myth of firepower, weapon/equipment selection and modification, tactics, sight picture & alignment, evaluation of the currently popular stances, the "Ready" position and why only one, presentation from the ready and holster, close range high speed shooting, pivots and turns, malfunction clearances, failure to stop drills, tactical and speed loading and why both are usually taught/used incorrectly. Live fire is from 3 to 15 meters. See the bottom of the "Ayoob" page for a special class for current MAG40 or past MAG/LFI students or those unable to attend a weekend class.

Instruction by ASAA Staff    Tuition $495    April 27 - 29May 25 - 27June 22 - 24   Sept 21 - 23 Oct 19 - 21

Intermediate Defensive Handgun Seminar - This two day class not only takes graduates of the "Three Day" course to a higher skill level but also prepares them for ASAA's Advanced Defensive Handgun Course. Because of the short time frame, there is neither classroom lecture nor a formal test. The student's presentation and weapon handling techniques from the 3 Day are honed so they can be performed in shorter time frames. Longer range shooting is introduced with targets shot out to 50 meters and new techniques are introduced including the step back, speed rock, 180-degree pivot and dealing with multiple targets. While the class is too short for those attending to improve their skills to the same level they would in a full four day course, and to be tested against that level, a self-scored exam is conducted at the end of the class to help the student determine what areas need the most work.

Instruction by ASAA Staff    Tuition $350    July 21 - 22

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Master's Handgun Seminar - A one-day handgun training class limited to ASAA handgun course graduates. Hollywood, and those offering  "entertrainment" classes (as labeled by the late Louis Awerbuck) aside, the shooting skills actually needed to win pistol fights are an effective presentation, accurate shot placement and superior weapon handling. This class' goal is to improve the student's abilities in all three areas via the training methods, techniques and drills normally used in the ASAA Handgun Combat Master's course (HCM).

Not only is the HCM far and away the most difficult of the ASAA's handgun courses but the drills involved are extremely relevant to the skills referenced above as to distances / time frame and target sizes. The first part of the day will focus on high-speed presentations from the holster then followed by work on shot placement. As the day progresses responses left, right and rear will be addressed, as will be multiple targets, shooting out to 50 meters, ambidextrous shooting, etc. Not to be forgotten, weapon-handling drills will be inserted between the shooting exercises for a change of pace. The day will end with shooting a full Combat Master's test as it is an excellent means to evaluate both what areas you need to focus on improving and if the equipment you have chosen is up to the task. Standard Combat Master's equipment rules apply and anyone passing the test will be awarded a Combat Master certificate.

Instruction by Chuck Taylor & ASAA Staff    Tuition $185    Aug 10

Advanced Tactical Handgun Seminar- A weekend training class limited to ASAA handgun course graduates. Instruction will include dealing with a variety of realistic self-defense scenarios using the techniques taught in the Defensive Handgun courses (plus additional movement, etc. as appropriate) ranging from attempted muggings, "active shooter" encounters (mall/church/etc.), road rage situations, dealing with multiple opponents plus any specific shooting situations requested by those attending. One handed and weak handed shooting, drawing and weapon manipulation will also be addressed.

This form of scenario-based training, by its nature, limits the number of participants that can be engaging targets simultaneously and the amount of shots fired to resolve the problem presented. Since this is true even if multiple scenarios are run at once, class size will be limited to 14.

Instruction by Chuck Taylor & ASAA Staff   Tuition $395    Aug 11 - 12

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Handgun Clinics - Designed for and limited to graduates of ASAA's defensive handgun courses, this class provides a full day of review and instruction at a minimal cost. Staff instructors tune the student's techniques while conducting ASAA drills at entry level through Master's time frames. Multiple targets, long range shooting, advanced techniques and weapon-handling drills are all addressed.

Instruction by ASAA Staff   Tuition $100   April 7   May 5   June 2   July 7   Aug 4   Sept 1   Sept 29   Nov 3   

Private & Group Instruction - We believe attending our scheduled classes is by far the least expensive and most productive method of mastering the techniques developed and/or advocated by ASAA. We also realize that there are various reasons why an individual or group are unable to do so but still wish to partake of our training. For those falling into this category we can provide instruction either at Blue Trail Range (usually weekdays only) or your facility in using the Pistol, Rifle or Shotgun for self-defense. Cost varies depending on the length of training time (2 hour minimum), group size and location. Contact us for details.


ASAA classes being at other locations around the country can be found by going to their website.

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