What is a Gunfighter? This is a question that I get asked a lot. It’s not so much about what a Gunfighter is; it’s about what we are. For many people it is synonymous with SD (self-defense). However, this is simply not true. We are the modern day Samurai or the modern day Knights Templars. See, any Ape can shoot a gun, even more than that any shmuck can learn the basics of safely operating and discharging a firearm, whether it be for sport shooting or SD. But when it comes to being a Gunfighter there are two critical components that are essentially missing from sport shooting and even SD shooting they are: having an Evolving Cognition and Community Service.


Evolving Cognition

Let’s examine the role of having an Evolving Cognition. For those that do not know what Cognition is let us first define it. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) Cognition is defined as:


“The Processes of knowing, including attending, remembering, and reasoning; also the content of the processes, such as concepts and memories.


Again any Ape can discharge a firearm that goes without saying. This is why having an Evolving Cognition is something that is of the most importance. The reason I say this is because it’s really easy for human beings to get caught up into “auto pilot” mode, Group-think, Herd Mentality, and fall victim to the Bystander Effect. All of these examples except for the Bystander Effect they unconsciously do the same thing over and over again either because “that’s the way we did it in the military”, “it’s always been this way”, or “this is the way it should be” or “this is the way that it was taught to me” or my personal favorite “it’s my way or the highway”.


This is something that I see espoused with many “instructors” (that word again ugh).  Having an Evolving Cognition allows the Gunfighter to not only assist and think about events, actions, situations and phenomena directly related to and indirectly related to Gun-Fighting. Another upside to having an Evolving Cognition is that it allows the Gunfighter to reassess and rethink his or her action, events, situation and phenomena within his or her environment in order to facilitate change, augmentation or reinforcement regarding their actions (in and outside the realm of Gun-Fighting) so that they reduce the risk of becoming a liability to themselves and others but more importantly so that they can increase their Fight-Efficiency which increases their chances of winning a gunfight if they were to become engaged in one.


Community Service

Another essential element a Gunfighter must have is a heart for Community Service. That’s right, for the Gunfighter knows it’s not about him. It’s about the Community in which he operates in. See the more you reach out and help your Community by getting involved, reaching out helping the homeless, helping single mother’s, rebuilding infrastructure and creating jobs not only for yourself but for others, the less likely the Gunfighter is going to have to extract his firearm thus the less likely he is going to have to fight.


The key reason behind the Gunfighter performing acts of charity and Community Service is that he or she has the possibility of being an Agent of Positive change within his or her Community. What I’m saying is: don’t start by helping the nation. NO, you start by helping YOUR COMMUNITY.


See, it’s easy to complain, it’s easy to point of flaws in others and it’s too easy to shift the blame from one individual or from one party to the next. So with that said if you’re a Gunfighter and you’re out there reading this. I challenge you to be the change in your Community that you wish to see or be the change that you want to see in your future self. Either way it’s a thankless task but it has to be done. You will find just as I have that helping people is the biggest joy you can get out of life, it is worth more than any amount of money that you could get receive.


Why? Because there is an internal phenomena that abstractly occurs when you reach out and provide for those that cannot provide for themselves no matter what you’re providing. The people within your area of operation need it, the children need it, you need it and most of all the Community you stay in needs it. Remember we are more than guns, they are, you are, and we are VODA.



What we as Gunfighters are looking to do is to Cybernetically learn, interpret, act, analyze and not only repeat (this is where most people stop) but we want to possibly relearn, reinterpret, then act, analyze, rethink and or reflect about either what just occurred or what may be in the forecast “coming down the pipe so we less the likely hood of us being caught blindsided with our pants down by “Life”. When we do this, the Gunfighter finds that he or she becomes more inclined to either avoid, deescalate, and or decrease the risk of having to deploy the firearm in the first place.


That’s right, we are talking about the utilization of Critical Thinking, Logic and the growth and development of Problem Solving Skills here. In doing that the Gunfighter will start to become less emotionally impulsive, less likely to fall victim to cognition biases and skewed logic and lastly, less likely to have run in’s with Law Enforcement. So having an Evolving Cognition is something that is again of the utmost importance.


RULE OF THUMB: BE OPEN MINDED – there’s a world of possibilities out there!


As far as actually pressing the trigger (we don’t squeeze or pull triggers as you are now a VODA Client by reading this) you will now “press” the trigger to minimize any deviations. In addition, we seek to utilize various shooting drills on the range to aid us not letting our emotions be the driving force behind manipulating the trigger. One of my great influencers and Firearm Educators Louis Awerbuck had the best line. He said and I’m paraphrasing:


“We must have a brain behind the weapon for anything other than that you are relying on pure dumb luck.”






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