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Training with Tactician Concepts’ Allen Elishewitz, Pt2

Top trainer’s four-day Self-Defense Course focuses on knives, Close-Quarters Shooting, Firing from Vehicles.

Story and Photos by Paul Pawela

The 1969 classic Western movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is loosely based on real-life events,
and there is one powerful scene in the film that sums up Americans when it comes to self-defense and self-preservation. In the movie, one of the members of the outlaw Hole in the Wall gang, Harvey Logan – who was more lethal with a gun than the famed Sundance Kid – challenges the leader of the gang, Butch Cassidy, for his position. Logan, played by actor Ted Cassidy, a mountain of a man, asks Cassidy, played by actor Paul Newman, how they are going to fight to the death: with knives or guns?
Cassidy responds by saying, “I don’t want to shoot with you, Harvey.” To which Logan responds, “Anything you say, Butch,” as he proceeds to pull a huge Bowie knife from behind his back. Bowie knives, as well as neck and boot knives, were commonly carried as backup weapons for the Western cowboy – and still are, for that matter.

After a bit of back-and-forth banter between Logan, Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, played by Robert
Redford, Cassidy approaches his Bowie-armed nemesis, saying, “No, no, not yet. Not until me and Harvey get the rules straightened out.” A surprised Logan counters, “Rules? In a knife fight? No rules!” Cassidy immediately strikes Logan with a boot kick to the groin, sending the big man to his knees, and then replies, “Well, if there ain’t going to be any rules, let’s get the fight started. Someone count. One, two, three, go.” The Sundance Kid quickly says, “One, two, three, go,” at which time Cassidy uses both hands to knock out Logan, finishing the fight and regaining leadership of his gang. What’s the point, you may ask? The point is that Americans, when fighting in lethal encounters, have always relied on trickery, knives and guns, period. And the best way to be successful in a lethal encounter is to prepare, learning combat techniques and weaponry tactics from a trained professional.

WHEN IT COMES to self-defense instructors, Allen Elishewitz is top-notch. I discussed Elishewitz’s company, Tactician Concepts (, his training principles, and his four-day self
defense course in the April issue, and this is part two of that article.
In part one, I discussed the importance of understanding life’s patterns, or common denominators, when it comes to self-defense. In looking at common denominators, a good self-defense instructor is devoid of ego. The better ones are rather humble, and they have a strong belief in God. It is not about whether you believe in God, but whether they do. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, believing in a higher power means they are obligated to be more truthful, more compassionate, more caring and more loving. They do not see students as potential dollar signs, but rather as future friends.
The other reason their belief in God is important is because it gives them incredible confidence when faced with danger, a calmness that is hard to explain. Everyone around them gravitates to them at signs of danger because they are true leaders.

Knowing they have been tested and vetted, they are confident in their warfare skills; they know what works and what doesn’t in the arena of life and-death conflict because they are morally driven and they are bound to do everything lawfully. They also understand that the subject they are teaching must work for both the physically strong and less strong. In a lifetime of training with the who’s who of hall-of-fame instructors, I have only met a handful who meet the above criteria, and Elishewitz is one of those diamonds in the rough. Elishewitz demonstrates his desire to teach life-saving techniques with an ability to make his students comfortably understand the concepts he is teaching.

AS MENTIONED IN the first article, Elishewitz started the first two days of his four-day training course with the knife. The rationale is that the knife is readily available, easily carried and capable of delivering everything from a deterrent scratch to a lethal stab. In a deadly encounter, the knife is the next best thing to a firearm to have on your person. Elishewitz taught defensive and offensive techniques designed to cut or thrust. He went in-depth as to what constitutes a good self-defense knife, such as blade length, shape, strength and deployability. It cannot be emphasized enough the knowledge that Elishewitz has on this subject, as he is a master-class knifemaker and his knives are sought after by just about every special operations unit in the free world.

Throughout the knife class, students were taught proper stance, head and body position, and foot movement that also worked the next day during the tactical firearms portion of the class. Once again, safety was thoroughly discussed before any live-fire shooting began. When it comes to the topic of self-defense, the knife and gun are always emphasized, but we don’t often talk about who or what the threat truly is. The threat is not a cardboard, paper or steel target; no, it is a living, breathing human being who is likely a seasoned repeat offender. Usually, these offenders are committing crimes with one or more
partners. They are sometimes highly skilled and proficient with firearms and sometimes very hard to kill.

The course consisted of a full day of intense firearms training in every conceivable form, including close-quarter shooting, man-on man competition and precision marksmanship competition, with all events being pushed to the limits. At the end of the day was a full debrief on what went on and why, and every participant’s confidence was much higher than when they started.
The final day covered shooting in and out of vehicles. While this type of training is usually done by trained bodyguards, Elishewitz conducted his course with a much more personal touch. He spent time showing students how to properly slip the seatbelt out of position to bring the firearm into play inside the vehicle. He also demonstrated the proper way of getting out of the seatbelt to get into a fight outside the car. Why was so much time devoted to the vehicle? Most people might think that the home is the number one location where one might engage criminals, but in fact it is a vehicle.

Here are some reminders: Emmett Dalton of the famed Dalton Gang was shot 23 times and lived. Cole Younger of the James-Younger Gang was shot 11 times and lived. And during the infamous 1986 FBI Miami shootout, William Matix was shot six times before dying and his partner Michael Platt was shot 12 times before dying (note: kill shots were head shots). Both were highly proficient with firearms and shot around 2,000 rounds a week. Elishewitz fully understands that his students are training to defend themselves against hardened criminals and makes no bones about it when putting his students through realistic, high-pressure drills during firearms training.

ELISHEWITZ UNDERSTANDS THAT a civilian man/woman is still the universal common denominator in the judicious use of deadly force to preserve the individual, close relatives and innocents. People will always be called on to face dangers, whether armed robbery in the home, a carjacking or an active shooter. The real pattern to this is being willing. Elishewitz’s motto that he lives and dies by is, “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” In all areas of self-defense, Allen Elishewitz and Tactician Concepts are hard to beat, and that’s my two cents.

Editor’s note: Author Paul Pawela is a nationally recognized firearms and self-defense expert. For his realistic self defense training, see

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Manage your Hunting Property

It’s terrifying to some, a destructive force that ravages the countryside. However, fire is the best
tool for managing your hunting property when adequately managed.

Using fire to manage land is a technique dating back to when Native Americans freely roamed
our lands. It’s believed that they noticed how the bison and other wildlife grazed heavily on the
fresh sprouts after a burn had occurred due to lightning strikes or it being intentionally set by the

The Benefits of Fire

For thousands of years, fire was the primary way to promote new growth, return nutrients to the
soil, and ensure only the most desirable plants were growing. However, in the last century,
we’ve become scared of fire and rarely use controlled burns to manage our properties.

So we have turned to things like clearing thickets for food plots, spraying, putting out mineral
blocks, and installing corn feeders in the states that allow it. Costing us thousands of dollars a
year, not to mention all the blood, sweat, and tears we pour into hours of working the land.

I’m proposing you save a lot of that money to spend on new camo, 30-30 ammo, or a new deer
stand and use prescribed burning to help keep the wildlife on your land fat and happy.

Below, I’ve gathered some pros of using fire to manage your land.

● Burning is FREE (unless you hire someone to do it)
● Deer, turkey, and many other wild animals thrive after a controlled burn
● Fire allows natural food sources to sprout up, even in places they haven’t been for
● Fire helps some native species sprout and survive
● Fire hurts or kills undesirable species
● Fire is great for pastures and forests
● Prescribed burns reduce the risk of wildfires
● Fire helps restore nutrients to the soil
● Fire improves water quality by allowing more water to gather in the creeks for fish and
other animals to drink instead of being absorbed by shrubs and other non-desirable
● Fire helps control the spread of insects such as ticks and some tree diseases

As you can tell, burning has many positives; however, I must also share some of the downsides
of prescribed burning
with you.

The Drawbacks of Fire

While the benefits of using prescribed burns to manage a property far outweigh the drawbacks,
you should still be aware of the cons.

One of the most significant downsides you’ll have to deal with is complaints from your neighbors
about air quality on the day you burn and a few days after. I recommend informing them that
you plan to burn before you begin so some neighbors will understand, but others will complain
no matter what you do.

The most significant danger is that the fire gets out of control because you haven’t burned the
debris before, turning it into a raging inferno. That’s why you should always let your local fire
department know you plan to burn, and you should create fire breaks throughout your property
to burn in smaller chunks and keep things contained.

Though fire can save you a lot of money, planning and executing a burn will take a lot of time.
You’ll likely need some help from friends and family on the day of the burn.

Unlike spraying and planting food plots, seeing the results from burning could take a year or
two. So you’re playing the long game when using prescribed burns to manage your property,
but in the end, it’s well worth it.

● Complaints from neighbors about air quality and danger
● Prescribed burns can get out of control and cause a wildfire when done incorrectly or
● Creating a prescribed burning plan and implementing the plan is time-consuming
● Sometimes, it takes a few years to see the positive impact of fire
● Fire needs to be used year after year on pastures and every few years in forests
● The time of year you burn will affect the quality of the burn

Now that you know the drawbacks and benefits of prescribed burns, let’s move on to how to use
fire to improve your land for wildlife.

How to Manage Your Land With Fire

So you’re convinced that using fire is the best way to manage your hunting property but have no
idea where to begin?

Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered! I’ve been burning our property since middle school, and I took
several classes on it in college.

While fire must be respected, it doesn’t have to be a terrifying monster. Let’s break burning your
land down into several simple steps.

  1. Determine Your Goals – The first thing you should do is determine what you wish to accomplish by burning. Do you want to thin out an area to make it easier to hunt, manage some invasive species, or help the native plants produce more food for the animals to eat?
    • Your goals will determine what time of year you should burn, how often you should burn, and how much of your property you should burn. Your entire property doesn’t need to be burned every year. It’s best to have a mix of clearings and thickets.
  2. Create a Prescribed Burning Plan – Once you have set your goals, it’s time to devise a prescribed burning plan. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, “Burn plans identify – or prescribe – the best conditions under which trees and other plants will burn to get the best results safely. Burn plans consider temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the dispersal of smoke.”
  3. Make the Fire Breaks Now that you have a plan, it’s time to create the fire lines around the area you plan to burn. I always make a fire break along the edge of our property, 10-20 wide, depending on how much fuel (dead leaves, grass, and trees) is on the ground. I’ll follow that up by creating smaller breaks throughout the property to slow down the fire or stop it from reaching the parts of the land I don’t want to be burned. Though it’s not my favorite method, you can create a fire break by discing the ground. However, I usually cut the grass very short and blow all the clippings toward the area that’s getting burned.
  4. Check the Weather – As the time to burn nears, watch the weather closely. It’s impossible to burn in wet conditions, but you also don’t want to burn during the dry season; otherwise, you risk a greater chance of the fire getting out of control. Wind direction and speed are also essential to pay attention to the days before, during, and after the burn.
  5. Burn – Now, the fun part, at least for me. Let the fire department know you’ll be burning that day, and start by lighting the downwind side of your property first. I prefer using a drip torch to light the fire, but I’ve drug old rags soaked in diesel in a pinch. Always have help, water, or a way to put out the fire on hand.
  6. Watch the New Life Flourish – A few days after you burn, you will see new sprouts of grass, trees, and other plants that deer, turkeys, and countless other animals will consume. Many of these plants are very nutritious for animals, and you’ll notice that they’ll quickly find and graze on these new plants.
  7. Hunt – It’s now time to reap the benefits of your labors. By burning your property, you’ll not only see more deer and turkeys, which means you’ll get to be more picky with the ones you harvest, but you’ll also create a habitat in which they can thrive because they’re getting the nutrients, shelter, and water they need.

Parting Shots

Growing up, I was always mesmerized by fire. I loved helping with the burning season on our
small farm and the surrounding farms. However, it wasn’t until college, while obtaining my
wildlife management degree, that I learned how beneficial fire was to wildlife.

Now that you know the incredible benefits of using fire to manage your property, it’s time to
draw up a prescribed burning plan and get to burning!

About the Author
Chris Dwulet is an avid competitive shooter and handloader. He’s also a principle writer for and runs their Ammunition Guides Podcast on YouTube

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Challenging Judicial Overreach: Conservatives Sound Alarm Over Ruling Granting Gun Rights to Illegal Immigrants


A recent federal court ruling in the Northern District of Illinois, granting Second Amendment rights to illegal immigrants, has sparked outrage among conservatives and raised serious concerns about the safety of law enforcement officers. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman’s decision in U.S. v. Carbajal-Flores has far-reaching implications that could undermine federal firearms regulations and jeopardize public safety.

Unpacking the Ruling: Conservative Critique

The ruling, which found that a federal prohibition on illegal immigrants owning firearms is unconstitutional as applied to defendant Heriberto Carbajal-Flores, has drawn sharp criticism from conservatives. Scott Sweetow, a former senior official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), described the decision as “hugely problematic” for law enforcement and highlighted its potential to create chaos in the enforcement of federal firearms laws.

Dividing Opinions: Controversy Surrounding Second Amendment Rights

The case has divided gun rights activists and ignited debate over the boundaries of firearms regulations in light of the landmark 2022 Supreme Court decision in Bruen. While Judge Coleman acknowledged the federal ban on illegal immigrants as “facially constitutional,” she argued that there is no historical tradition of firearm regulation justifying the government’s deprivation of Second Amendment rights from noncitizens with no history of violent crime.

Conservative Concerns: Upholding the Rule of Law

Conservatives view Coleman’s ruling as deeply flawed and illogical, particularly in its potential to prioritize the rights of illegal immigrants over law-abiding citizens. Sweetow highlighted the absurdity of a legal immigrant being denied the right to carry a firearm while an illegal immigrant involved in reckless gun use is granted that privilege. This decision undermines the rule of law and poses a significant challenge to law enforcement agencies tasked with enforcing firearms regulations.

Undermining Federal Regulations: Practical Implications

The practical implications of Coleman’s decision are dire, according to Sweetow. By granting Second Amendment rights to illegal immigrants, the ruling effectively undermines decades of federal firearms regulations, including the 1968 Gun Control Act and subsequent amendments. Law enforcement agencies now face uncertainty in enforcing laws that may be deemed invalid, leading to potential chaos and compromising public safety.

Call for Action: Appealing the Decision

Conservatives argue that Coleman’s ruling must be appealed to prevent further erosion of federal firearms regulations and ensure the safety of communities. Without a successful appeal, prosecuting criminals for firearm possession will become increasingly challenging, casting doubt on the validity of existing laws and creating confusion among law enforcement officials.

Conservatives stand firm in their commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting the safety of American citizens and law enforcement officers. The decision in U.S. v. Carbajal-Flores represents a dangerous overreach by the judiciary and threatens to undermine the integrity of federal firearms regulations. It is imperative that this ruling be challenged and overturned to prevent further chaos and uphold the principles of justice and public safety.

What do you think of the federal court’s ruling? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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