An Interview with Eric Konohia On Close Protection


From the very beginning I have tried to make this blog different from all the rest out there. My product reviews are done from the standpoint of the Average Joe and my interviews are done in the spirit of teaching others. I have had the honor of testing many great products and in doing so have seen a need. A good holster doesn’t make you a good CCW holder, training and practice does…Only by admitting and addressing our weaknesses do we grow stronger… I have talked to some pretty high speed armed professionals and will be brining you their insights this week as well as featuring a new offering from Armed Response Training!!

To that end…Welcome to Training Week 2012!


port1I had a chance to talk with Eric Konohia about CCW and some things to consider if you carry a weapon for self defense. He provides a lot of insight into what it means to Carry and the importance of getting professional training. Thanks Eric!

Q.) Drawing on your experience as a trained Close Protection Professional, what advice could you give CPL holders on protecting their family when carrying in public?

A.) Scott, from a personal perspective I utilize the same measurements that I employ when I am with a client. The first rule I use that has absolutely nothing to do with weapons is, I do not take my family places where I know bad things happen. That being said, I never have a false sense of security just because I am carrying. That is a mistake with many CCW holders. The legal and civil responsibilities associated with carrying a weapon should constantly be on your mind.

The biggest suggestion I have for anyone when it comes to protecting your family in public is to take a course that caters to personal protection for the civilian and possibly an executive protection course that teaches specifically to protecting person(s) while armed. Carrying a weapon with a false sense of security coupled with lack of training will bring more harm that safety to a person’s family. Carrying a weapon has more of a responsibility to me than a right.

Q.) When entering what the CPL holder might feel is a hostile situation, where should they place themselves to provide the best achievable position in case of a confrontation? I would think between your family and the threat, but is there a better approach?

A.) If I am put in the scenario that you have given, I am going to always place myself in front of my family to shield them. There is a method that we teach in executive protection, whereby as you are drawing with your dominant hand you are using your off hand to sweep the protectee or family member behind you. The key to this is that you should drill the movement sans the weapon with each family member so that if it ever happens they would have already been through the drill with you. My partner Mark Fair will be offering a defensive weapons course that speaks directly to employing a handgun in a protective situation.

Q.) What are some behaviors they should adopt to better prepare them if a situation goes bad?

A.) Understanding behavior and learning what Gavin deBecker states as the moment of commitment and the moment of recognition. The time the adversary has committed to a violent act and the time you recognize it is the difference between life and death and shoot no shoot. The other thing you may need to come to grips with is that it may be safer to give up your wallet than getting you are your family injured. But the situation will dictate my response. But I can not say that in every situation I am going to draw my weapon with my family present.

Q.) Are there any drills they can practice at the range? At home?

A.) Again, the best advice I can give is taking a course that elevates your heart rate that will closely simulate the adrenaline affect one will experience in a dynamic situation. Shooting paper is great until the paper starts shooting back. Then the, “I never practiced it this way before” pops up and gross and fine motor skills start deteriorating.

If there is one drill I would recommend to everyone it would be to DRY FIRE everyday. Dry firing is important in the absence of being able to go to the range on a regular basis. Dry means empty!

Q.) How do you feel about retention holsters like the SERPA for example?

A.) If you are a person that just puts a holster on and going about your business, I do not recommend the SERPA. There is specific muscle memory that has to be implemented when drawing from a SERPA. I have heard of accident discharges with the SERPA and in fact there are some courses that do not allow SERPA holsters in the course. I have seen experienced guys pulling on their gun while looking for the retention button. You have to practice with the SERPA often. I use a SERPA for my CCW but use the Safariland 6004 for my thigh rig.

Q.) How can one person engage multiple threats in a successful manner?

A.) A stationary target under fire by multiple weapons is more than likely going to get hit even if the adversary is not an expert shooter. Learning to shoot and move and/or shooting from cover or concealment is a training module that no one should try to learn on their own. There are multitudes of videos out there that instruct but you do not get any feedback if you are using bad habits. Personally, I feel that these videos like the Make Ready videos by Panteao are perfect for people who have experience in weapons already.

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2 Responses to An Interview with Eric Konohia On Close Protection

  1. Eric Konohia says:

    Thanks again Scott for allowing me to further spread the word on the importance of training.

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