Sunday, August 14, 2011

Firearms Training Is Too Important To Be Left To Mall Ninjas

Andrew at Vuurwapen Blog posted a "training" video from American Defense Enterprises as an example of unsafe gun handling. After watching the video, I just cringed to think that people actually wasted their good money on this "training". More importantly, someone is going to get killed if they try it. (Edited - A.D.E. has removed the video from YouTube.)

It also encouraged me to find out more about this "training" company. There are a lot of great training instructors and schools out there that we've all heard or read about: Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, Massad Ayoob, Tom Givens, Clint Smith, Tiger McKee, Dave Spaulding and the list goes on. I had never heard of A.D.E. or American Defense Enterprises which is based in the Los Angeles area but that is why Google exists.

The motto of American Defenses Enterprises is "If you want to shoot like a professional you need to train with professionals!" Here is what they say on their Facebook page about their school:
American Defense Enterprises consists of experienced Special Ops and law enforcement instructors offering world-class training in the entire spectrum of small arms weaponry (handguns, rifles, shotguns). Whether you are an honest citizen concerned with personal safety or an operator whose life depends on proficiency with his weapon, A.D.E. instructors can train you to the highest level you wish to achieve.

American Defense Enterprises offers courses designed to teach and develop the fundamental skills necessary should a lethal confrontation arise. Those who take these courses will be trained to a substantially higher level of skill than the average police officer or military unit.
A.D.E. claims to be "Rated #1 by Homeland Security". However, as a poster on CalGuns Forum who took the time to call DHS found out, there is no such ranking or rating. (Post #25 by ZombieTactics). Can you say "false advertising"?

A.D.E. is headed by Bill Beasley.  One of his former students "Sara" (post #6) claims that he was a former "Special Forces Operator" and the "REAL DEAL".  Beasley is also linked him with reality TV star Spencer Pratt (The Hills) who is better known as the husband of Heidi Montag. Pratt left The Hills to work for A.D.E.'s cyber-security division according to numerous press reports. You can see Beasley in the promo video below:

A.D.E. also promotes their American Warriors Test as "the hardest, most comprehensive test of gun skills in the world today." Tam of View From The Porch has the best comment on this:
And have you seen their "American Warrior Test"? It's the ultimate test of skills. Forget a sub-5 second FAST or a 280+ on the Hackathorn Standards, it takes seven hours just to take the American Warrior Test, which is apparently almost as expensive grueling as earning a Four Weapons Combat Master ticket!
There is a long thread on the Lightfighter.Net Forum about the first video and A.D.E. That forum does have a number of members with both current and former military experience including in Special Operations. To say they are disgusted by what they see is an understatement. One of the commenters, "JAG", works at the range where this company often holds classes and has seen A.D.E. and their instructors up close and personal. He isn't impressed. He says in part:
At my "Range", there is a "company" of people that do "tactical training"... and with all the fliers, and pamphlets that they leave around the range, it doesn't take very long to notice it. One thing I noticed right away, is that one of the employees at the "Range" also wore the similar clothing of "company". I didn't think anything of it, and just focused on learning the specifics of the job. It turns out "she" is an instructor with the "company" on days when she's not working at the "range".

One day, I overheard her talking to a customer about the "company". She was bragging about stories of other people doing tactical things, how they do them wrong, and how their "company" fixes those problems. After her conversation, I started probing.

Me: "How long have you been shooting?"
Her: "Oh, only about 3 years or so..."
Me: "Wow, really? How did you get hooked up with "company"?
Her: "Well, I started shooting, and I was really good, and "owner of company" saw me, and asked me to be an instructor, so I said sure!"
Me: "Wow, that's cool..." Eek

They literally pulled her off the street and made her an instructor.... for their "military and LEO training. She had/has NO .mil or LEO training, and barely knows anything about firearms in general, forget about "tactical training". She learned on a Glock 19, so that's all she knows. All of her students shoot glocks, and that's all she really discusses... because its all she knows. It's the same with the entire "company". Red flag number 1.
While A.D.E. claims many of their instructors - no bios given - are former Special Ops, that is highly doubtful. Instead of attending BUD/S, it is more probable that many attended, as one guy on Lightfighter said, "Basic Foodcourt Demolition School."

Firearms training is serious business. It is far too serious to be left to be a bunch of mall ninjas masquerading as former SEAL/Green Beret/Spec Ops/SWAT operators. As Tam notes, there is no self-regulating accrediting body for training schools. While you can be certified as an instructor in various firearms disciplines by the NRA, that is not the same as an accreditation body for schools which still might not protect students from these ass-clowns.
The complete lack of a self-regulating accrediting body is going to bite the training industry in the ass sooner or later, and the irony is that even having one wouldn't do much good, since there is always a certain subset of trainers who would market themselves as outlaws, teaching SPECOPS SEAL Contractor Dynamic 360° Combat tactics too extreme!! for the other guys, who are a bunch of nancy milquetoasts.
 In the end, it comes down to caveat emptor - buyer beware. If you are going to get training - and you should - check out the school and the instructors beforehand. And don't go to a class with A.D.E.!

UPDATE: pdb at PappaDeltaBravo provides a play-by-play analysis of everything that is wrong about the "training" shown in the first video. pdb points out just how bad - and dangerous - the training from A.D.E. really is.

UPDATE II: Grant Cunningham has a really funny comment on A.D.E. and their promo video.
I think, however, that both Tam and pdb wasted a lot of effort actually analyzing the video. They could have simply used my theorem: quality of instruction in a video is inversely proportional to the sound pressure level of the cheesy heavy metal music used on the soundtrack.

Correlation seems to be high.


  1. The video you have in your post isn't that bad and I was half wondering what you were talking about... until I saw the video posted on Andrew's blog. Not only is someone going to get killed, but the stuff they are showing makes no tactical sense to begin with.

  2. The guy in the still above is the owner/chief instructor of the company.

    Look where his trigger finger is in that freeze frame. That tells me everything I need to know right there.

  3. Is it wrong that watching these videos has made me think of this...

    I hope not, because it feels right!

  4. At least he's honest when he starts the video with "we do dangerous things".

  5. @Laughingdog: I thought the same thing. You can't accuse him of false advertising about that statement!

  6. Jesus wept . . . they're using that instructor as surely as their students. I was watching a training video in an entirely different discipline the other day, and the instructor talked about having a guest over who watched how he dealt with a situation, and remarked, "And the hell of it was, I didn't know enough at the time to be embarrassed by what he'd just seen me do."

    That's her situation. She doesn't have the experience or knowledge to realize that nobody who actually proposed to train gunfighters would just pick somebody who looked like they were doing pretty well at the range that afternoon and offer a job. She doesn't even have the experience or knowledge to be embarrassed to admit to the poster that she got the job that way. If they'd tried that with someone with a little more experience or better guidance from some old-timers, they'd have been told to stick it. (I hope.) Hell, maybe they did.

    These are killers. They're going to kill students. It won't even take much; somebody will stumble, somebody's foot will slip, and they'll get perforated before anyone can believe it's happening. And THEN the fun begins . . . imagine lying on the ground with a gunshot wound at a range a few miles out of town with this particular herd of yokels staring at you with their mouths hanging open, wondering if anyone's going to do something.

  7. Well, the "Her" above has taken her you tube account down now. Funny how that happens.

  8. Beasley likes to tell his students that he has a Special Forces background:

    That’s what his school told me:

    That’s what he told me, too:

    Too bad it’s a total lie!

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