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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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Federal Appeals Court Upholds California Laws Banning Gun Shows on Public Property


In a 3-0 decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld California laws that ban gun shows at county fairs and other public properties. This ruling overturned a previous decision by a federal judge in October that had blocked the enforcement of these laws.

The laws in question were introduced by Democratic State Senator Dave Min. The first law, which went into effect in January 2022, specifically prohibited gun shows at the Orange County Fair. The second law, effective last year, extended this ban to county fairgrounds on state-owned land throughout California.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Mark Holcomb ruled that these laws violated the rights of gun sellers and potential buyers. He argued that preventing the purchase of firearms at these events infringed upon commercial speech protected by the First Amendment, as lawful gun sales involve such speech.

However, the appeals court took a different view, stating that the laws do not violate the First Amendment. Judge Richard Clifton wrote that the bans simply prohibit sales agreements on public property and do not limit discussions, advertisements, or other speech related to firearms. Clifton noted that a separate, unchallenged state law mandates that the actual purchase of a firearm at a gun show be completed at a licensed gun store, following a 10-day waiting period and a background check.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta praised the ruling, calling it a victory in the fight against gun violence. Bonta emphasized that firearms should not be sold on state-owned property and lauded the decision as a step towards greater public safety.

Gun-control advocates argue that gun shows can make firearms more attractive to children and facilitate “straw purchases,” where individuals buy guns for those who are legally prohibited from owning them.

The case originated from a lawsuit by B&L Productions, a gun show company, which claimed that the ban on fairgrounds sales infringed upon the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The appeals court countered this claim, pointing out that there were six licensed firearms dealers in the same ZIP code as the Orange County Fairgrounds, indicating that the law did not restrict access to firearms.

Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle & Pistol Association and attorney for the plaintiffs, expressed intent to appeal the ruling. Michel criticized the decision, asserting that it discriminates against gun culture and infringes on fundamental rights.

As this legal battle continues, the tension between gun rights advocates and those pushing for stricter gun control measures remains high. This case highlights the ongoing debate over how best to balance public safety concerns with constitutional rights in the United States.

What do you think of the recent appeals court hearing?

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National African American Gun Association (NAAGA) Unveils 2024

Dallas, TX – The National African American Gun Association (NAAGA) is thrilled to announce the 2024
National Summit, a dynamic four-day event dedicated to fostering growth within the 2A community. The
summit is scheduled to take place from July 25th to July 28th and will be hosted at the Dallas/Addison
Marriott Quorum by Galleria in Dallas, TX.

This annual gathering marks NAAGA’s celebration of its 9th anniversary, continuing the organization’s
commitment to the rich tradition of arms in the African American community. NAAGA aims to expose,
educate, and motivate African American men, women, and youth to exercise their 2nd Amendment
rights responsibly.
Exciting Features of the 2024 National Summit:

  • Luxurious Venue: The summit will unfold at the recently renovated Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum
    by Galleria, providing attendees with a sophisticated and comfortable setting.
  • Diverse Programming: With over 50 breakout sessions, attendees can delve into topics such as the
    history of arms in the African American community, youth and gun safety, women in the firearms
    community, political action, situational awareness, personal defense methods, and a dedicated session
    for African American firearms instructors.
  • Entertaining Events: The summit will feature a range of events, including the Sneaker Ball – a night of
    fashion, awards, and dancing; the Queen of Defense Breakfast – an interactive event for women only;
    Family Night at the Black Invitational Rodeo and Bullets and BBQ – a day at the range filled with training,
    fun, food and friendly competition; a social mixer, open range time, hourly gun giveaways, and
    opportunities to explore products from top manufacturers at the Vendors and Exhibits area.
  • Community Engagement: Attendees can connect with thousands of African American gun owners and
    supporters from across the country, fostering education, training, and fellowship.

NAAGA invites all individuals passionate about 2nd Amendment rights, safety, and responsible

firearms ownership to participate in this enriching event. For ticket information and registration, please visit For media inquiries, please email

About the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA)
Founded in 2015, NAAGA stands as a unique brotherhood and sisterhood in the firearms industry. The
organization is dedicated to educating and training the African American community on the rich legacy
of gun ownership, offering support, safety standards, and cultural inspiration.

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New Hampshire House Passes Pro-Gun Bill Protecting Firearm Purchasers’ Privacy


On Thursday, May 30th, the New Hampshire House of Representatives made a significant move in favor of gun rights by passing House Bill 1186, an act designed to protect the privacy of firearm purchasers. The bill now awaits Governor Chris Sununu’s signature, and supporters of the Second Amendment are encouraged to contact the Governor to advocate for this crucial legislation.

Key Provisions of House Bill 1186

House Bill 1186 specifically prohibits the use of a unique merchant category code for transactions involving firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories. This measure is designed to protect the privacy of gun owners by preventing the tracking of gun-related purchases through credit and debit card transactions. The bill also includes a provision for civil penalties for any violations, ensuring that individuals and businesses comply with the new law.

Protecting Gun Owners’ Privacy

If signed into law, HB 1186 will be a vital safeguard for gun owners in New Hampshire. By preventing the creation of a specific merchant category code for firearm-related purchases, the bill ensures that transactions cannot be easily tracked or used to compile a gun registry. This protection is essential in preventing bad actors from using financial data to interfere with lawful gun ownership.

The Importance of HB 1186

The passage of HB 1186 represents a significant victory for gun rights advocates and a reaffirmation of the Second Amendment. The bill addresses a growing concern among gun owners that their purchases could be monitored or restricted through financial institutions. By safeguarding the privacy of these transactions, New Hampshire is taking a strong stance in protecting the rights of its citizens.

The NRA and its members are urging Governor Chris Sununu to sign HB 1186 into law. Supporters of the Second Amendment and gun rights advocates should contact the Governor’s office to express their support for this critical legislation. Prime sponsor Rep. Jason Janvrin (R-Rockingham) and other lawmakers who backed the bill deserve recognition for their efforts to uphold the privacy and rights of Granite Staters.

House Bill 1186 is a crucial piece of legislation that protects the privacy of firearm purchasers and upholds the rights of gun owners in New Hampshire. By preventing the use of specific merchant category codes for gun-related transactions, the bill ensures that financial data cannot be used to create a gun registry or restrict lawful purchases. Governor Chris Sununu’s signature on this bill will be a significant step forward in defending the Second Amendment and protecting the privacy of gun owners.

Contact Governor Chris Sununu today and urge him to sign House Bill 1186 into law. Your voice is essential in ensuring that this critical legislation becomes law and continues to protect the privacy and rights of all gun owners in New Hampshire.

Contact Information for Governor Chris Sununu:

Phone: (603) 271-2121


Make sure to express your support for HB 1186 and emphasize the importance of protecting the privacy and rights of gun owners.

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