Training Philosophy

BOLT training focuses on the material and the student.

The material. Physical self-defense, whether with knife, gun or empty hand, will always be a last-ditch act of extreme desperation. It is also a profound responsibility. BOLT pledges to respect these two truths; to teach, as much as humanly possible, things that work when you are scared and overwhelmed.

Therefore, our first commitment is to what works. NOT what fuels a macho fantasy. NOT the things that cater to the fear of naïve students. We pledge to look at the problem of criminal violence as thoroughly and objectively as possible. To give you an understanding of that criminal violence so that you will be confident not only in how to shoot but in when to shoot.

The student. Everyone who comes through the door is different. Some were raised around hunting; some have never held a real firearm. Some will be awed by the responsibility that comes with gun ownership, and an unfortunate few will have become complacent with it. We will teach to you. Because our first commitment is to what works. It doesn’t matter how good our skills or tactics are if we fail to get them into your head. You will be challenged. In some of the courses you may be pushed right to your edge, and you will have the incredible feeling of watching your limits expand.

The Professional Code of Defensive Shooting Instructors
From the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors

1. I am committed to the safety of my students, and hold that the expected benefit of any training activity must significantly outweigh any known or perceived risk of that activity.

2. I believe that it is my responsibility to understand not just what I’m teaching, but WHY I’m teaching any technique or concept, or offering specific advice.

3. I recognize that defensive shooting skills, along with the drills and gear used, are inherently specialized and usually distinct from those of target shooting, competition and hunting endeavors.

4. I will encourage my students to ask questions about course material, and I will answer them with thorough and objective explanations.

5. I understand that integrity and professionalism are subjective traits and I strive to maintain high levels of both. I am capable of, and willing to, articulate the reasons for the way I conduct my courses and how I interact with students & peers.

6. I believe that it is valuable to engage my peers in constructive conversation about differences in technique and concept, with the goal of mutual education and evolution.

7. I believe that the best instructor is an avid student, and I will strive to continually upgrade my own skills and knowledge. As part of this belief, I understand that my own teachings need to be subject to critique and open to evolution.