When I decided to take on the role as host of Personal Defense TV, I was both excited and apprehensive. Excited, because PDTV had been my favorite television show for years and apprehensive because I knew it would be a significant time commitment. As a full-time police officer and regular contributor to many InterMedia Outdoors publications, I didn't exactly have a lot of spare time on my hands.
Having been a fan of PDTV, I admired both previous hosts (Tom Gresham and George Wehby). I realized there's would be tough shoes to fill. However, as an instructor, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share my knowledge with such a wide audience and to train with some of the shooting industry's leading experts.
This season, in addition to hosting, I teach the "Hand-to-Hand" segment, which focuses on unarmed tactics. Even if you're armed, these skills are relevant because carrying a gun does not preclude you from having to fight empty-handed. My goal was to keep the material simple and focus on a handful of concepts that are applicable in a multitude of personal defense situations. This season's hand-to-hand segments will address in-hand and in-holster handgun retention, punch defense, handgun and long gun disarming, multiple assailants, and several other unarmed predicaments you may find yourself in.
Retired Huntington Beach (CA) Police Lt. and National Training Concepts founder R.K. Miller helms the popular "Skills Drills" segment formerly taught by Thunder Ranch's Clint Smith. Although Miller is a high-speed, low-drag kind of guy, he's able to break down complex skills so that they are easily understood by the layperson. R.K.'s smooth delivery and healthy sense of humor make for a relaxed learning environment. The skills drills segments focus on everything from firearm safety, efficient loading and unloading procedures, clearing malfunctions, shooting behind cover and engaging multiple threats. Regardless of your level of skill, R.K. will make you better shooter.
The ever-popular Massad Ayoob is the only returning face from last season, but his segments are significantly different than in years past. In addition to being one of the most prolific authors, shooters and instructors in the industry, Mas is one of the country's foremost expert witnesses in use of force cases. This season in "Legal Defense," Mas provides critical analysis of legal issues pertaining to the use of force in personal defense. Mas' segments cover such topics as knife lethality, carrying spare ammunition, shooting an assailant in the back, targeting the head and hair triggers, among others. The legal defense segment is bound to answer questions you may not have even known you had pertaining to your right to defend yourself.
Popular InterMedia Outdoors writer and former co-host of Handguns TV Jim Tarr heads up the "Survival Tools" segment, where he provides insight into the latest products from Hornady, Stag Arms, Ruger, Springfield Armory, Smith & Wesson, Taurus, Nighthawk, JR Carbine and Viridian, to name a few. Jim's experience as a police officer, private investigator and USPSA Grand Master shooter make him uniquely qualified to put these products to the test. His quirky sense of humor is sure to elicit a laugh or two, but you can hang your hat on the fact that the information he provides is well researched and intended to enable you to make a more informed decision before forking over your hard-earned cash on guns or gear. Jim also helped out with the main segments for the "Competition versus Combat Shooting" episode and the "Home Defense" episode.
Dave Spaulding, 2010 International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) Law Enforcement Trainer of the Year, co-hosted several of the season's main segments. Dave, founder of Handgun Combatives, is a no-nonsense instructor who is more concerned with teaching his students the combative application of the pistol than to shoot pretty targets. Dave is a popular author, television personality and instructor not only because he is very well qualified and highly skilled, but because he is passionate when it comes to teaching law-enforcement officers and legally armed citizens to win a gunfight.
My former SWAT team leader, Lt. Sal DiMercurio, collaborated with me on several of the seasons main segments. Sal influenced my shooting and tactics more than perhaps any other person. He has a knack for pushing students to perform at a higher level than they thought they were capable of. Sal is articulate and extremely passionate about all things tactical. Whether he's explaining the intricacies of a hostage rescue operation to a room full of SWAT operators or demonstrated basic firearm manipulation to a new shooter, Sal's advice is spot-on.
As you can see, there were a lot of changes to PDTV this season. While the previous instructors will be missed, their absence made room for several new instructors committed to taking PDTV to the next level. After watching Week 1, I think you'll become a fan of the new format, as well as a new cadre of instructors. Hopefully, my favorite show will continue to be one of your favorites.
The new season of PDTV begins tonight on The Sportsman Channel. Be sure to tune in and please let us know what you think.