Brian Wang, the lead instructor and founder of Monarch Defense, recounts the story of a tragic home invasion, robbery and murder, and how that event forever changed the type of classes that Monarch Defense offers.
At the outset of this story in 2016, Brian has relocated back to his childhood city, San Jose, and at the time, he is exclusively teaching private lessons and private packages.
On a particularly stressful day, he receives a phone call from a woman looking to learn how to use a gun for self defense. The story of why she approaches Brian for knowledge and guidance is backed by a violent, tragic story and a sober reminder of how life is precious and needs to be defended against those who wish to do harm.
In the end, the woman wasn’t able to become a student of Monarch Defense because the private lesson price was too high. After the phone call, Brian thought on his inaccessibility and lack of empathy by running the business the way that he did. With that, he made the decision to change how he teaches firearms to the public.
Now I had a drive, I needed to go out and educate folks
Weekend classes to make it easier for people to make time to come to class. Open enrollment classes with class sizes of 12 – 28, depending on the class. Lower prices to make it more accessible for anyone who wants to learn about firearms.
Thank you for watching this video and allowing us to share an important event that shapes Monarch Defense to this day.
There’s always space for improvement, no matter how long you’ve been in the business.
In this video, we see the shooter go for his mag to reload and fumbles it. Twice! What can we work on here to make sure it doesn’t happen?
Use your hand, not your fingers
The first fumble is due to the shooter losing grip on the magazine through his fingers. When it comes to motor skills in gun handling, we want to use gross motor skills over fine motor skills whenever possible. Using your hand versus using your fingers. While fingers are dexterous and can perform all sorts of tasks, they may not be as reliable in a high stress adrenaline dump situation.
Drive the palm of your hand to the butt of your magazine while lining up your index finger along the front of the magazine.
Index the front of the magazine with your finger
Your hand-eye coordination is very good at lining up your index finger with whatever you want to point at. We line up the front of the magazine along the index finger to indicate to our brain where the front and top of the magazine is. This helps us aim the magazine into the mag well and guide it in smoothly.
Check out the post on our 3 basic handgun manipulations for a video demonstration and tips. Mag in, mag out is one of the basic skills that shooters should master.
Set your gear up for success
There is no best mag pouch or gear that we recommend as gear is a highly personal choice depending on your needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing how to carry your magazines.
How many magazines to carry – It depends on how you want to train. If you want to train concealed carry with one extra mag, then that’s the way to go. When training on the range, we do recommend carrying a few extra mags and rounds in your pockets to refill/replace your mag when you’re off the firing line. That’s purely for efficiency of training at the range.
Firmly secure, but not too tight – You will want your magazines to stay put as you run and move into different shooting positions, but not so tight that it is difficult to get out.
Leave room for your grip – Make sure you’re able to get a good firm grip with your hand when you go for your magazines. Test our your gear at home with a few repetitions.
Orient your magazines in the same direction – When you put your magazines in your carrier, orient them in the same direction so you know how to go for them each time. Even if you only have one magazine in your pocket, be cognizant of how that mag is oriented so it is consistent.
Store your empty mags – ON THE GROUND. Mama Earth will hold them for you until you’re done fighting. There’s no need to retain empty magazines. Just drop them on the ground when they’re empty if you’re in a fighting situation. Tactical reloads have their time and place.
Bonus tip! Mark your magazines so you can tell yours apart from everyone else’s.
About the Teachable Moments series:
When Brian blows the whistle and brings the class in for a teachable moment, we get a chance to learn from someone’s mistake. We’re hoping to encapsulate those moments in posts so more people can learn and improve their firearms safety, handling, marksmanship and overall understanding of self defense. These posts are not meant to shame or ridicule those who make mistakes. Instead, lets take a moment to say “thanks for the lesson in making that mistake. Now I don’t have to make it myself.”
You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.
Have a teachable moment to you’d like to share? Whether it happens in a Monarch Defense class, on your own training time or in real life, we’re up for an opportunity to learn! Send your story and a photo/video (if possible) to firstname.lastname@example.org