Train, train more. Train harder.

Inspired by this post over at SHTFPLAN.

Antifa (link for humor, but truth is oft found in humor) and their ilk are speaking more and more about training, organizing, and learning how to be proficient in hand to hand combat as well as weapons. These are people who are willing to make IEDs out of glass bottles and M-80s and throw them into a crowd, as well as deliver bricks to the face of someone opposing them.

They are willing to be violent, very willing. Just disagreeing with them is enough of a reason for them to become violent. Now granted, I’m not looking to go to events in places that mobs like this congregate, but that’s not the point. I could be caught unaware and be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Shit happens. The point that I want to focus on here is training. How well are you going to fare against them when they up the ante on their training and you are at the wrong place at the wrong time and you just happen to look like someone they hate and do not tolerate?

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Train, train more.

Train harder.

Like I was explaining to a friend a few weeks back. I’m not training to defend myself against a coward who will tuck tail and run as soon as my right cross connects with his chin. No. I’m training for the 350lb gorilla looking motherfucker with his five friends ambushing me, hell-bent on destroying me and doing unspeakable evil to my loved ones. My mindset is this: I am the only one that stands in the way.

Appropriately enough, Tim Kennedy shared a similar sentiment this morning. Emphasis in bold is mine.

If you keep knocking on the devil’s door, at some point he is going to answer it. In that single moment, when you’re going to have to fight for your life, what you do then and there truly won’t matter. There will have been thousands of decisions up to that point that will dictate the outcome. Every one of those decisions contributes to your survival or failure and potential death. Your life may not matter, but those behind you that you are there to protect will face the horrors of evil without you standing in the way. Have you trained? Have you put the blood, sweat, and tears into preparing for this chance to be the defender we need? Your spouse, children, and potentially hundreds of innocent and vulnerable lives, with nothing to stop the violence headed their way but you… what have you done to prepare you for that fight?

I’ll look this devil trying to dish out death straight in the eye and tell him to pick his poison. Either way, he’s going to die.  ~Tim Kennedy

Now, if recently re-enlisted Special Forces/retired UFC MMA fighter Tim Kennedy believes there is no such thing as enough training, and if others like him down the line believe the same, and guys like me who are so low on the totem pole that we’re not even on the radar believe there is no such thing as “enough”… What makes you believe your training is enough?

Train, train more.

Train harder.

There is no such thing as “good enough”. Do not believe for one second that you can “just go to guns” or draw a knife and be guaranteed victory. No, train with the understanding and mindset that there are people out there that can easily take that gun from you and whip you to death with it, or take that knife from you and ventilate your chest cavity with impunity.

Let that sink in.

I am not the baddest, meanest, most lethal motherfucker out there, I am well aware of my shortcomings as well as my proficiency. That being said, every day I am trying to get the edge of my “knife” sharper. To be more resilient, stronger, faster, to endure more and be harder to kill than I was yesterday. This is why I enjoy training with and around guys who are better than me. This is why I seek out training from highly proficient people whenever I can: the range, the gym, the mat. I keep hubris in check and embrace the humility of knowing there are always bigger, stronger, faster, more proficient people out there.

Train, then train more.

Train harder.

Pursue Mastery.

Gear Review: Tier 1 Concealed AGIS Holster

This review is a few months in the making, okay…truth be told, its more like four months in the making. Okay, maybe this should be considered more “informative” since I don’t go through holsters fairly quick and I’m not keen on wanting to review every holster under the sun. So, maybe a little back story?

I like making connections with and supporting local businesses. Granted this means my immediate city, county and surrounding areas, but I personally like to expand that boundary to a reasonable drive time, say within 6-7 hours. Tier 1 falls into the latter category from my location. In late June 2016, I took a road trip just south of Salt Lake City and I had the privilege of meeting Jared, the founder of Tier 1 Concealed, during the second day of Baret Fawbush’s Two Day CCW Fundamental Course. As luck would have it, I was able to be on the firing line with him and witness first hand the skill that he has developed through consistent hard work and discipline. Seriously, check out his Instagram account (@t1cs).

I made a small connection with him that day at the range and have been following him on IG ever since. Having made that small connection, I was definitely interested in purchasing his product and I planned on checking the product out once I returned home. We spoke a few times  through the Instagram DM system regarding his holsters and he is really good at responding, especially when you consider he has 38,000+ followers and must receive a deluge of DMs. Anyways, I have said all that to say this: I have not been compensated in any way for this review, nor has Jared asked me to do it.

In all honesty, his holsters speak for themselves and I could end this “informative” review with that and the statement that follows this colon: They are worth it.

I purchased my holster at full price and told Jared via our Instagram DMs that I would be writing a review after I worked with the holster for a while.

First Impressions

Up until the time I received the Custom Tier 1 Concealed AGIS, which was a few months after meeting Jared in Utah, I had been shooting the Springfield X D .45, 4″service model and using Alien Gear’s Tuck 3.0 IWB holster (a “local” Idaho company) for a few years. As a quick aside, Alien Gear’s “Free Shell Trades For Life” deal is the real thing. I sent my worn 2.0 back and requested a shell for the Glock 19, they delivered and actually upgraded my holster to the 3.0 at no cost. They keep their word and their service is on point. I’ve got to give them major props for that. Now, back to the AGIS.

About a month prior to ordering the AGIS I had traded in my Springfield for the Gen4 Glock19 in 9mm. I’d never had an appendix carry holster before and was excited to see how this holster would work and I didn’t want to order the AGIS until I traded in my pistol.

I ordered a custom AGIS instead of the Quick Ship model because, well, I wanted to choose my colors! Haha. I chose a “Spartan-esque” color scheme: blood-red and dark grey. As you can see below… the color scheme is legit. And if you don’t like it, choose your own, the custom choice has a TON of options!

I completely geeked out at this piece of hardware upon receiving it. Obviously I had to try it on and wear it for a bit. Wearing it in appendix carry was definitely different from what I was used to with the Alien Gear holster. So, after playing with the retention a bit (more on that below) my next step was to break it apart and play with the separate pieces!

I thought Jared’s idea was pretty awesome. A two-in-one holster, having break-away snaps to change the AGIS from an Appendix Carry holster to a “strong side” holster with a spare mag located elsewhere. The first couple times I drove around, this is exactly what I did with the holster. The snaps are secured fairly well but are easy enough to break apart to separate the two pieces.

After the first couple weeks of carrying the AGIS like I used to carry the Alien Gear, I went full Appendix and haven’t looked back. I’ve never had the snaps break-away while carrying Appendix. I still like the idea of switching to strong side with the AGIS, and after using it in both, I would purchase an extra clip to attach to the holster, for me one clip isn’t enough when the holster is broke apart and thankfully the AGIS is able to be modified like that. So, win-win!

Durability & Retention

After wearing it for a while that first day, I took it off and held it upside down over my bed with the Glock in the holster, fully loaded plus the spare mag and shook it hard. Relax, the chamber in the Glock was empty… It took some considerable effort before I was able to get the thing to release the Glock by shaking it! “Out of the box” retention: Damn!

Over the months of use, I’ve played with the retention to find just the right bit of give that I like. It’s slightly looser than how it came from Tier 1, but not by much. The retention is awesome, and with the custom molding specific to my Glock… I love it. Seriously.

I’ve tripped, tumbled and even wrestled with my young son on the lawn, all while carrying. This holster handles like a champ. Seriously, the thing that impressed me the most about it’s retention and even concealment was how it handled at a school function where I took a good tumble. Ok, gravity is one of my mortal enemies… been like that since I was a kid, but I think this small story is worth it.

It was the Fall Celebration at my children’s school, our youngest one was playing in one of those big bouncy houses and it was time to go. He’s four, so, four-year olds don’t want to go when its time. I had to go in and get him. Now, you think you know where this story is going, but nothing happened inside the bouncy house. When I finally got my son out, I got caught up on something, don’t know what or how, but long-story-short we both tumbled backwards and as I am holding him, we did a weird somersault. Firearm stayed perfectly secure the whole time. Nobody was the wiser of me carrying.

Concealment

For concealment, I think pictures are worth more here than what I could say. So, please take a look at the pics below. I will say this one thing: I work in a corporate finance environment where guns are a “no-no”; slacks, shirts, ties, suits, you get the idea. From professional attire to regular “street” wear, I can easily and confidently carry in any environment with this holster. Okay, maybe not the local swim park… my swim trunks don’t support a gun, holster and belt… but other than that, you get the picture.

Driving

I really like the accessibility that the AGIS provides for my Glock while driving, well, once I learned the “best” way to set things up. I learned this trick from Baret Fawbush’s IG account and having done it myself, it is an awesome way to set things up. See the pics below.

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If you look closely at the top image, the seat belt is secured behind the AGIS. This keeps my body secured properly in the vehicle, with the chest harness coming appropriately across my chest and over my shoulder, while allowing me easy access to my firearm.

The middle and last image gives you a look at how everything comes together with seatbelt on and my shirt concealing the firearm to the point of raising the shirt to access the gun. It is a much, much better way than what I was doing, which was just putting on my seatbelt across the front of the AGIS, which actually pushes it further into my belly making purchasing the firearm that much harder in the event of actually needing to get a hold of it in an emergency situation.

Jeans and T-Shirt

So, to be fair, the pics I’ve shown thus far were all taken over the late Fall and Winter. So I have on multiple layers, etc. What about just jeans and a t-shirt?

Look no further.

These pics were taken today, 02/18/17. The undershirt I am wearing is a black Hanes “a-frame”.

So, by now, almost 1500 words in, I’m sure you can tell that I really enjoy this holster from Tier 1 Concealed. If you look on the website, they have a KOPIS design which is a lower profile appendix carry holster without the break-away snaps. I plan on getting that one too but for now, I am highly satisfied with my AGIS and will be using it for a long time to come.

There are things you will have to figure out for yourself, like going to the bathroom at home or in public, but I assume that if you’ve made it this far down the page, you are a “big boy” or “big girl” and you’ll figure that out on your own.

Check out Tier 1 Concealed Holsters HERE

Tier 1 Concealed can be found on Instagram at @tier1concealed and you can check out Jared at @t1cs

Baret Fawbush can be found HERE as well as Instagram at @truexodus

Thanks for reading.

Pursue Mastery.