Life Lessons From Defensive Shooting


Life is a series of choices, in our study of self defense shooting we found that making wise choices before, during, and after the incident was critically important to a successful outcome.  Further researched led us to recognize that there are many simularities between self-defense choices and life choices.  Based on this, we formed Double Tap Academy so that we could share this with others and positively impact many peoples' lives.  


DOUBLE = Self-Defense and Life

Thinking + Actions + Purpose = CHOICES


In the three sections below, we disect the principles that we found in making good choices and provide information from a shooting and life choice perspective.


1.  Purpose (Values) - The first step towards making successful choices is to know what our purpose is.  What is important to us?  What values do we hold most important?  

  • Understand your purpose – Know your goals so that you can effectively work towards them.
    • Shooting:  In a self-defense situation, is your purpose to retreat, defend, escape, protect, or what?  Does your purpose change depending on whose life is in danger: yourself, your spouse, your children, your neighbor, a friend, or a stranger?  Are you prepared to make those choices?  Can you do it in the spur of the moment?  The reality is, you won't have time to make the choice when bad things occur.  You must act immediately.  Also, we must recognize that no one can provide the “right” answer for you.
    • Life:  As humans, one of the most common struggles is “why am I here” or “what is my life’s purpose”.  We know through Jeremiah 29:11 that the Lord has a purpose for each of our lives.  By reviewing one’s talents, passions, and desires; ones purpose becomes clear.  Whose lives do you want to impact?  Who and what do you serve?  Where do you invest your time, talents, and treasures?  Seek to find that purpose.  One valuable tool that can be used is write your own eulogy.  What words do you want people to say about you when you die?  

  • Be responsible – To whom much is given, much is expected.    Parents have responsibility for protecting their children.  Husbands have responsibility for their wives.  Do you recognize, accept, and are prepared for that responsibility?
    • Shooting:   Who depends on you for their safety?  In self-defense situations, understanding one’s responsibilities and being prepared to act is important to one’s success.   Do you accept that responsibility and are you prepared to act?
    • Life:  In life we have lots of responsibilities.  Bosses to their employees.  Neighbors to other neighbors.  Friends to other friends. Christians to the non-believers.  Do you recognize the people who are depending on you?  Do you understand the level of responsibility you have to those people?  Are your actions appropriate to that responsibility level?



Here is what the Bible says about purpose:

  • For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11
  • We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.  2 Corinthians 5:20
  • And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose  Romans 8:28
  • The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.  Proverbs 16:9
  • Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.  So glorify God in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
  • The end of the matter; all has been heard.  Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  Ecclesiastes 12:13
  • You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.  John 15:16
  • Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  1 Timothy 5:8
  • Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.  Psalm 82:4



2.  Think (Educating) - The second step is to define and plan for success.  As part of thinking, we must become accurately and adequately informed about the topic.   

  • Start with the end in mind – Understand what success looks like, so that you can align your actions.
    • Shooting:  In self-defense situations, the end includes:  avoidance when possible, safety of innocent lives, and/or stopping the attack.  Through the conflict, the end may change from avoidance to stopping the attack.  Whatever the end is at that time, the action must align with it.
    • Life:  Want to be a good husband, mother, grandchild, employee, boss, friend, Christ-follower, or citizen?  Start with what good looks like, and then align your actions to achieve that goodness.  It is easy to be a friend by agreeing and empathizing.  However, a true friend cares enough to say what their friend doesn’t want to hear but needs to hear.  They care because they can see what the end looks like and wants to try to avoid it. 
  • Seek wise counselors.  Everyone has an opinion.  No one has all the answers.  Do you seek qualified and informed people when seeking advice or do you seek people who will give you the answers you want?
    • Shooting:  There are many aspects to self-defense situations – when/how to use, legal aspects, performing under stress, and self-defense techniques.  Hunters, police and military personnel, and your friend who has been shooting since he was 12 do not adequately have the combination of knowledge required of a person in a self-defense situation.  Seek advice from several qualified people.  Be very particular about who you are willing to trust your life to.  As you continue to learn, decide what works best for you.    
    • Life:  There is a much greater tendency in life to ask friends and acquaintances for their opinion when faced with a given situation.  However, are they truly qualified?  Do they truly have your best interest at heart?  If you really want advice and want to do the right think / make the right choice, you must be very particular about who provides that advice.  You must be very cautious about the material you read, as like advisors, it will influence how you act.

  • Be confident – Position yourself to be confident in your actions so that you can expecting outstanding results
    • Shooting:  In a self-defense situation, you must know the limits of your abilities.  If you need to take the shot, you need to know that you can make it accurately and without unnecessary risk to others.   When you act, you must act with confidence.  When doubt creeps in, the chances of success greatly diminish.  Trust in our training and practice.
    • Life:  A person who is confident in their actions and approach has a much higher rate of success than a person who doubts their abilities.  Therefore, whatever the life’s task – work, child rearing, creating a painting, playing the piano, or debating a point; the more informed and confident you are the more likely you will succeed in your task.

  • Character matters – Who you are and how you conduct your life?  Everything you do in life can impact how others perceive you.
    • Shooting:  In a self-defense situation, it is likely you will get called into court.  How you conduct your life will play out in the courtroom.  Are you the person with the bumper sticker, “I’m reloading”, “I don’t dial 911”, or “Protected by Smith & Wesson”.  If so, even though you may mean it as a joke it will play out as your looking for trouble. 
    • Life:  Do you make fun of others?  Do others view you as power hungry, greedy, uncaring, not passionate, or irresponsible?  Do you gossip?  Conversely, are you respectful to others; do you care about them, are you offer to help?   

Here is what the Bible says about thinking:

  • As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17
  • All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.  Proverbs 19:20-21
  • Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
  • Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22
  • The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. Proverbs 12:15
  • Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.  Proverbs 13:20
  • One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24



3.  Act - The last step is we must act in a way that is aligned with our purpose and thoughts.

  • Take care of yourself first – Your mind, body, soul, and emotions must be healthy before you can be of any use to others.
    • Shooting:  A mother who is protecting their child from a home invader may be tempted to put themselves between the criminal and the child.  When the criminal attacks the mom, it simply delays the harm coming to the child.  Rather, the mom must do everything they can to protect themselves so that they can defend their child.  She must be mentally and physically prepared to act.  There is no honor or protection of other lives, by being harmed first.
    • Life:  A healthy person is rested, has a balanced life, exercises, is emotionally stable, has good relationships, loves, and is loved.  By investing in our own well-being first, we are best positioned to having a successful life that is of value to others.

  • Aim higher – Identify your target and accept nothing less than accurate hits.
    • Shooting:  Aiming for the bull’s-eye, don’t accept hits in the 9-ring.  When making a brain-stem shot, don’t accept a neck shot.  The results are quite different.
    • Life:  Change the world.  Leave your mark.  Make a positive impact.  Don’t settle for something less than what you can do.  Striving for less is wasting your life.  Accepting less than your potential, results in being disappointed in yourself.

  • Shoot straight – Be honest with yourself and others.
    • Shooting:  Self-defense situations are extremely intense.  Sometimes when talking to investigating officers, people exaggerate or change the facts.  Investigations frequently identify these discrepancies and then one’s character comes into question.  Take time and be accurate.  Do everything to protect your character and reputation.
    • Life:  Your character and reputation reflect who you are.  When you mislead, you may get caught.  At a minimum you lie to yourself.  Protect your character and reputation.

  • Perform consistently – Stress reduces performance.  It is therefore important to achieve optimal performance that the brain is trained to perform the task perfectly.   Repetitious perfect practice is best way to train the brain and body to most effectively and efficiently perform.  We know that practice doesn’t make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect. 
    • Shooting:  Accurate pistol shooting consists of stance, sight picture, grip, sight alignment, and trigger control.  When those 5 components are performed consistently, accurate shots are made. 
    • Life:  Life’s actions should also be performed consistently.  The brain is confused when our actions are inconsistent.  The person striving to be a good pianist must play the piano the same way each time.  The person wanting to live by the Bible cannot do things that are inconsistent with the Bible. 




Here is what the Bible says about actions:

  • Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:1-2
  • As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.  Proverbs 27:19
  • Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  James 3:13-18
  • In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16
  • If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.  James 4:17
  • For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.  2 Corinthians 8:21
  • For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Matthew 6:21
  • You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 1 Corinthians 10:21
  • Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of strands is not quickly broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
  • And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. ...  1 John 2:3-11
  • You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.  You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:13-16

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