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SIGN UP TODAY: Comprehensive Force-on-Force training tailored to civilians — learn how to avoid, de-escalate, or win a violent conflict and protect innocent life

May 8, 2016






Critical Threat Management

Comprehensive Force-on-Force training to avoid, or if necessary, overcome a violent attack


GSL Defense Training’s Critical Threat Management course integrates multiple layers of practical, defensive tactics to help keep you and your loved ones safer.GSL DT Logo

If you have the misfortune of being involved in a life threatening encounter with a criminal predator, you will need a different set of skills and experiences than are available from even the best concealed carry class, or any day at the range.

Criminal attacks can take the form of attempted armed robbery, battery, home invasion, mugging, or even just a fine, upstanding young gang member given a promotional opportunity and you’re the lucky victim that represents prestige and a promotion for him (or her).

Acting competently and responsibly in potentially dangerous and stressful situations is uncomfortable, emotional, challenging – and at times just plain scary. Force-on-Force training is not something that most people will want to do, but the skills we’ll teach you will help you prevail when you are about to be involved in a violent situation.

Remember, you don’t chose to be a victim.  You wouldn’t knowingly go to a location that you believed would be deadly to you or your loved ones, just as you would never invite a group of thieves and rapists into you home for them to attack your family and steal from you.  Criminal attack is forced upon the innocent by lawless individuals or groups and you are the first responder that can help yourself or those you love.

This class is designed to help you understand the behaviors of those wanting to do you harm.  By identifying those signs and signals, you can take action to remove yourself from their victim pool consideration.  You’ll learn the signals you are sending out to potential predators and the signals you should be sending out.

You’ll learn three areas where you will be most likely to be attacked, and things you can do to make yourself safer in those places.  We’ll show you how to look after your safety and and the safety of loved ones around you.

GSL Defense Training’s Force-on-Force class offers you exactly our name – defensive training – in context and in a way that everyone involved can be safer in life.




What does Force-on-Force training offer?  Proven Results!

Force-on-Force allows safe moving and shooting while interacting with both innocents and bad guy threats.  The bad people are real, thinking people, scattered among innocents.  These are not stationary paper targets as you find on a square range – and they can “hurt” you through Airsoft pellet strikes that will get your attention.

What’s more, just like bad guys in the wild, they don’t wear prison uniforms or signs announcing they are “bad guys”.  The good news is that when you’ve learn to recognize pre-violence indicators and pre-incident cues, you’ll soon see they may as well have a sign on that says “I’m up to no good”.

We get proven results helping people with this course.  You’ll love how it gives you confidence to avoid trouble and keep yourself and your family safer.

GSL Defense Training’s Critical Threat Management course offers:

Stress inoculation

  • Familiarizes you with your body’s reaction as you experience fear and anxiety
  • Experience with the physiological and psychological changes: diminished coordination, tunnel vision, auditory exclusion, tachypsychia (altered perception of time), cognitive dissonance (remembering things out of order), selective memory loss, and other effects of stress
  • Help you make tailor your actions to complement your body’s natural reactions to threats

Mental preparation

  • Creates mental “note cards” or experiences to draw on
  • How to handle stressful situations, witnesses, injured victims, law enforcement, media, and more

Mindset issues

  • Never give up!
  • Command presence
  • Predators, sheep and sheep dogs


  • Use of sound tactics in the form of concealment, cover, and movement
  • The importance of movement
  • De-escalation and disengagement (!!)
  • Effective carry techniques
  • Importance of maintaining reactionary gap
  • Communication skills

Enhanced situational awareness

  • Pre-violence indicators
  • Pre-assault cues
  • Situational awareness strategies

Interactions with perpetrators,witnesses, responding police officers, and the media

Gun Handling and Concealed Carry

You will see what works and doesn’t in gear and clothing, carry techniques and positioning of gear.  Students will be encouraged to “carry” in this course as they plan to carry in everyday life.

One-handed, instinctive shooting and shooting on the move 

Unarmed self-defense tactics taught by Krav Maga instructor

  • Mindset
  • Weapon retention
  • Counter-chokes
  • Strikes
  • The “Fence”

Dynamic critical thinking


bad guys

The bottom line

This course will test your critical decision-making and personal defense skills early on, with over a dozen stress-filled scenarios against real-life adversaries. We will use airsoft guns to provide adrenaline-charged stress similar to what one might encounter in a real-life experience. Students will learn proven tactics and problem-solving skills.

Also included among the lesson plan:

  • Live-fire segment (~150 rounds) to implement & refine new skills using live fire
  • De-escalation & disengagement techniques
  • Mindset considerations
  • Situational awareness strategies
  • BONUS:  Unarmed defense techniques taught by Krav Maga instructor
  • Much more…

Students will have a second try at scenarios similar to those initially faced, along with others, giving them an opportunity to integrate new skills and tactics to live and win.



High quality training at a value price

Training days with GSL Defense Training includes:

  • No range fees
  • Live fire of about 150 rounds to implement and practice new skills
  • Safety equipment
  • Loaner firearms & gear if needed
  • Loaner airsoft guns & safety gear
  • Lunch, snacks and drinks both days
  • And much more

Limited quantities of ammunition in 9mm and .38 Special will be available for purchase during the class for an additional cost.


Prerequisites:  None.  We recommend prior training in the safe handling of firearms.

This class will involve physical contact with others and some physical exertion including jogging or walking briskly for short distances (30 yards at most).  As always, participate as your abilities allow.

Tuition:  $275/person.

Class Location:  Timber Pointe Outdoor Center in Hudson, IL, just north of Bloomington, IL. A map and directions, along with hotel recommendations will be sent with class welcome materials after registration has been received.

Overnight accommodations available.  We will have overnight accommodations available, dormitory-style bunking (with modern restroom facilities and a kitchenette) Saturday evenings for $25/person.  Bring your pillow and a sleeping bag and bunk in an air-conditioned (or heated, depending on conditions) cabin.  Contact us ahead of time about this option.


Course dates:

  • May 21-22, 2016  COMING SOON!  Room for you and your six closest friends as of May 8th .  Sign up today!
  • August 27-28, 2016
  • October 8-9, 2016


Registration form.

Download the registration form here.

Mail in your completed registration form, along with payment to guarantee your slot, to

GSL Defense Training
21 Brookshire Green
Bloomington, IL 61704


A sampling of photos & course evaluations from 2015


Above, our ATM scenario is tough.

“Loved how you set up up with all of us ‘clueless wonders’ going through scenarios screwing up so much made us learn and ingrained it in our brains (hopefully).  Excellent instructors all the way around.  Saw a lot of improvement of situational awareness on second day.  …Perfect place for this class!  Beautiful scenery, very well maintained facilities.  Krav Maga was an awesome addition to class.”  – 38 year old female




“Here comes trouble…”  Our ladies take control when three thugs try to get even for a perceived slight the night before.   Well played, ladies.


“Unbelievably well done.  I learned so much this weekend.  How to train your brain to think during stressful situations.  Most importantly was learning how to avoid escalation.  Krav Maga was awesome.  I will be pursuing more training for both hand combatives and defense training.”  – 45 year old male.



You’re way too close, April!


“Excellent scenarios.  Really appreciated the Easter Seals Camp location, a great facility.  I think the mall scenarios presented som real questions / concerns about concealed carry peoples’ role in this.  …Maybe assign an instructor to two students for the live fire to give suggesions; its a bit much getting input from too many people.”  – 63 year old male.

— A first for us.  A complaint that we have too many instructors coaching students.



Distance equals time.  Time gives you options.  Options mean safety.  No distance = an unsatisfactory ending, especially while flat-footed.


“Scenarios were well-played.  I learned from my mistakes.  Instructors questioned our actions and made suggestions that may have have helped with more successful outcome.   Love the life-fire because I felt comfortable there, but learned more from scenarios.  Oh yes, and the lectures – great!  I was nervous (make that scared) coming in but had fun while learning.  By Sunday, I was looking forward to more scenarios.  The location was perfect!!  Lots of opportunities to space out the scenarios, using cabins, etc.  Enjoy the self-defense but would need lots more training in order to use it confidently.”  – 62-year-old female.



A better way to engage a domestic violence incident if you must get involved.  Yes, Virginia, there are times it’s perfectly legal to shoot someone in the back.


Tell us something we did well:  “The scenarios, empty-hand tactics, presentations and live-fire drills.  The location was great.  Really enjoyed the empty-hand tactics, especially when the instructors helped one-on-one.”  56-year-old female.



Sometimes it’s best just to use the Nike defense.


“Good scenarios.  Location good, plenty of instructors, kept people involved.”  …  “Thoroughly enjoy the GSL Defense Training classes and life-like information that helps everyone realize what can happen.”  – 59-year-old female.



A tough spot.  Sometimes the best advice is to not resist.  Especially when the darn photographer is sitting on your shotgun, inadvertently.  In this case, it worked out for the better.


Something we did well:  “Keeping students motivated.  Self-defense Krav was very interesting.  And supplying loaner gear.  Thanks to Easter Seals for use of the grounds.  It’s a very nice facility.”  –49-year-old male.



Can you see anything wrong here?  Hint:  If you draw down on a drawn gun, it’s not going to end well, especially when the person across from you isn’t holding said gun sideways or one-handed.


“Very well organized and well-balanced material.  The scenario-based training is definitely your core curriculum – live-fire was also core.  The staff instructors and role-players were plentiful and excellent.  The setting at Timber Pointe is perfect.  Keep up the good work.  I will gladly recommend this course & consider future offerings.”  – 61-year-old male.



In the “OH SHUCKS!” moments, stress-induced failures sometimes peek out.


“Location beautiful.  Food good.  Excellent location for drills.  Learned a lot from drills.  The live fire was very good.  Overall it was an exceptional class.  Will highly recommend to others.  A lot of information to think about and digest.  Look forward to attending as an aggressor at a future class.  Great training, nicely done!” 




Ladies helping ladies in the Krav segments.


(Something we did well:)  “Provide valuable feedback from highly knowledgeable instructors.” – 58-year-old male.






This course was wonderful!  The location was amazingly beautiful.  I learned so much from this that will give me more confidence and make me think differently and approach situations differently.”  – 53-year-old female.





Weapon retention, Krav-style.  This instance it was marginally executed (finger on trigger).  But, that’s why we do it more than once to help students learn. 


The choice of the place the class was held was excellent.  Classroom teaching was excellent with the instructors speaking at a level I could understand.  The content of the whole class “Critical Threat Management” is an excellent idea for any person.  Excellent.  The hand-to-hand combatives was excellent.  I can’t pronounce the name of the self-defense technique, however it was excellent for the situations one could encounter.  It is an excellent idea.  -57-year-old male.



Learning to strike faster than someone can react from the “fence”.


“Very well organized and well-balanced material.  The scenario-based training is definitely your core curriculum – live fire was also core.  The staff instructors and role players were plentiful and excellent.  The setting at Timber Pointe is perfect.  Keep up the good work.  I will gladly recommend this course and consider future offerings.”  – 61-year-old male.



Female staff on the Krav to help female students excel.


“Good scenarios, location good, plenty of instructors.  You keep people involved.  Thoroughly enjoy the GSL classes and life-like information that helps everyone realize what can happen.”  – 59-year-old female




We wouldn’t recommend choking our students after taking this course.  It’ll be a really bad day, even before the good girl’s gun comes out.


“The attention to detail by the staff was great.  The spacing of lectures with hands-on and breaks was very well-timed.  I’ve not had training quite like this and the knowledge and experience that was passed on was much appreciated.  The facility was outstanding and so accommodating.  The Krav Maga / combatives were a major draw for me.  I feel what Mr. Martin covered helped me understand the effectiveness of simplicity and gave me things to work on.  Thank you for all your efforts in putting together a great class.”  – 65-year-old female.



Disarms, Krav-style.  It happens pretty quickly.  Blink and you miss it.


“Well thought-out scenarios.  Great location.  Lots of help/instructors.  Great class.  Very well organized for a first class.” – 59-years-young male.



If you have no gun, it might be better to employ the Nike defense away from the bad guy.


“Overall, a great program.  A few flaws, but fixable when looked at.  As a while, great time, lots of fun and I like my many welts.  Ha ha.” – 58-year-old male.



Our role players, aggressors and instructors have fun in this class.  We don’t take ourselves too seriously.  The students enjoy it, too.


The scenarios were true to life.  The class size was right on.  The ratio of students to instructors was perfect.  I thought the instruction was precise and to the point.  I feel I learned a lot – both my faults and things I did correctly.  There’s always room for improvement on my part.” – 60-year-old male.



This is one reason of many why you should practice one-handed shooting.


“Force on Force training was real-world problem solving.  Keep up the good work.”  -unknown aged male.



Looking after a loved one.


Something we did well:  “EVERYTHING!  Great class.  Picked up many skills, corrected poor habits.”  – 66-year-old male.



Learning some fundamental tactics.


“I thought the class went well.  It moved along and there were a lot of scenarios that really made you think.” – 54-year-old male.



Live fire!  Move off the “X”.  We offer 1:1 help or better from experienced, top-notch instructors on the firing line in this class.


“Student to instructor ration was good.  Smaller class size made learning easier.  Good choice of locatoin and good assortment of scenarios.  This class was very well done.  I learned a lot of new things and got to hone skills gained in previous classes.”  – 51-year-old male.



Demonstrating good techniques.


“Good job on the scenarios.  Role-play was very realistic.  Overall, great job.  Good break up in lectures and activities.  Love the Krav Maga portion.  That was bonus!” – 44-year-old female.



Learning instinct shooting.



One-on-one help.






Students, a few of our role players, and instructors at our September 2015 course.  A lot of big smiles there.


Photos and Story from April 2016

After Action Report from April 2016



From a student in the class (in comments):


JM on August 17, 2015 at 10:57 pm

I was a student in this class. To protect my reputation, I won’t say which picture I was in :). It was a lot of fun and I know my skill level improved greatly over the weekend.

Yep, I got shot a lot of times and brought home a couple of pellet bruises, but they’ll heal in a week or so and were a good incentive to do better. Wearing more than a tee shirt would have saved a little pain, but the weather was hot and sunny… really hot. If your pain tolerance is low, just wear more clothing.

The GSL Defense Training crew was excellent. The classroom time was appropriate but not excessive. The role playing and facilities were outstanding. Live fire range time reinforced the skills we picked up using the airsoft. While live fire range time was limited since it was a one weekend class, I still blew through over 150 rounds of ammo and didn’t feel rushed. Those were two very full days of training.

This curriculum was geared to civilians protecting themselves and their loved ones. This is a much more appropriate approach than I’ve seen anywhere else, and from what I’ve seen, this is by far the best force on force training available to the public. It would be a great course for someone new to shooting who just got their CCW as well as those of us who have been shooting recreationally for years.

I predict that in a few years, GSLDT will be known as the go-to place for advanced civilian force on force training.

Since they only have one more class scheduled for this year, I strongly encourage all my CCW friends to get signed up while there are still openings.


And another.

Jan M Cimarossa on August 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm

I thought GSL did a GREAT job, with all aspects of the class. I enjoyed the scenarios, especially the critique after the fact. Very, very helpful on what to do or think about the next time. Also, very enlightening on the law part by Steve Davis, really makes you think about what to do in any case. Thank you guys & gals for a really great weekend. Will do it again.




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Got teens you want to keep safe?

Check out our Personal Protection for Teens Course.




Personal Protection for Teens

GSL Defense Training has taught Personal Protection courses to adults for nearly twenty years and it’s been great.  We’ve been teaching young people the fundamentals of shooting handguns for many years as well.   What could be more fulfilling?

This year, we’re bringing it all together with a one-day course to young people, ages 12 and above.  We want to help them stay safe inside and outside of the home.  We want to share what we have learned and give back to those that know and trust us.

We’ll teach your kids or grandkids the knowledge and skills they can use to prevent and avoid potential trouble and if necessary, how to counter threats to their personal safety and security.


Don’t send your teenager off to college without knowing how to avoid and manage threats. 

Don’t leave your child home alone without a basic understanding of the law of self-defense and a basic understanding of how to use a handgun legally for self-defense.  



Empower the young people in your life with the knowledge, skills and confident attitude to overcome a critical threat.



GSL Defense Training’s Personal Protection for Teens course will include:

  • NRA gun safety rules

We’ll make sure students know and understand those basic firearm safety rules that will keep them safe for life.

  • Safe storage of firearms

How should you store your firearms?  So they are inaccessible to unauthorized persons.  We’ll make sure your teens know and understand this simple, proven method to avoid theft and accidents.

  • The judicious use of deadly force

You don’t want your kids shooting through a door or window when they are scared, do you?  There’s a lot of misinformation out there, including from America’s Vice-President.  We’ll teach your young adults the “rules of the road” when it comes to the judicious use of deadly force, allowing them to act to the standard by which they will be judged.

  • How to avoid becoming a victim

We’ll share with them simple, proven strategies for avoidance and de-escalation of conflict. 

  • Situational awareness

Personal Protection for Teens will teach your loved ones not only about situational awareness, but about positive threat identification.  We’ll teach them pre-assault cues and pre-incident indicators to recognize a potential attack forming and take appropriate action as necessary.

  • Surviving an Active Shooter

While anyone can freeze up in sheer terror in an active shooter incident or other violent attack, we’ll provide strategies and tactics for surviving spree violence.  In short, we’ll teach them not only how to save themselves, but how to save other innocent lives nearby as well.

  • Improvised weapons

Our young people are prohibited by law from carrying firearms, but that doesn’t mean they have to go through life completely unarmed and helpless.  We’ll share common items that will make it through any security screening, that can be used as deadly weapons.  We’ll also coach them on using items commonly found out in the world against attackers.

  • Strategies for home safety

Many of the same strategies we’ve taught adults for almost two decades apply to your teenage family members, but there are others specifically applicable to teens.


  • Defensive shooting basics

If you’re not home and one or more bad people bring violent evil to your residence, do your kids really know how to handle your handguns?  We’ll teach them the fundamentals of shooting both pistols and revolvers effectively in a life-and-death situation.


  • Dealing with bullies

Bullies are everywhere.  We’ll share strategies for dealing with bullies, ranging from avoidance to de-escalation to, if needed physical self-defense.


  • Krav Maga

As time and availability permit, we’ll offer a bonus segment with Krav Maga empty-handed combatives as well.





Tuition is $100 per person for the one-day course running from 9am – 6pm, held in Central Illinois at the DeWitt County Sportsman’s Club located six miles EAST of Clinton, Illinois on Route 10.  Tuition will include course materials, lunch, drinks, snacks, range fees, safety gear as needed, loaner guns as needed and more.

We’re going to encourage parents to bring along the family’s personal defense handgun if they have one, along with 50 rounds of ammunition.  If the registrant teens don’t have suitable handguns, we’ll put them on a loaner and provide the 50 rounds.  Participants will fire 50+ rounds in this class.


Class location: 

DeWitt County Sportsman’s Club near Clinton, IL
DCSC is located 6 miles east of Clinton’s city limit on Route 10.

July 16, 2016 
July 17, 2016
This one-day class will run from 9am – 6:15pm each day.


Yes, mom and dad, you’re welcome to tag along and watch. Parents will be responsible for bringing their own lunch and snacks, along with protective eyewear (sunglasses and prescription glasses are okay) and hearing protection (foam plugs are acceptable).  We’ll have sufficient eye- and ear-protection for registrants, but can’t guarantee we’ll be able to outfit a gaggle of spectators as well.


Download the registration form here.