Concealed Carry can be a touchy subject in many conversations. However, this isn’t one of those conversations. For those that might need a little more info, Concealed Carry is defined this way: “Concealed carry, or carrying a concealed weapon, is the practice of carrying a weapon, either in proximity to or on one’s person or in public places in a manner that hides or conceals the weapon’s presence from the surrounding observers. The opposite of concealed carry is called open carry.” Don’t confuse this with Constitutional Carry, also called “permitless carry” or “unrestricted carry” (a topic for a later conversation), which is defined as: “the legal public carrying of a handgun, either openly or concealed, without a license or permit.” This does not typically refer to the unrestricted carrying of a long gun, a knife, or other weapons and can vary from state to state. Today we’re talking about Concealed Carry, Adapt Academy, Eric Loden, and why you should choose them for your CCW training.
After relocating to Las Vegas I needed to renew my CCW. I looked around and trainers varied from backyard operations training out of hotel rooms to wannabe private military operations. It was actually kind of difficult to identify the trainer(s) that I should use. Then I stumbled on Adapt Academy. One of the first things I noticed is that they don’t spend their marketing dollars and time insulting their competition. They stand by their training being the best and exceeding state requirements. Their website was and is straightforward, pricing a direct match for the competition, but more training for the money. Don’t get this confused with inexpensive or cheap. That’s not what I’m saying. The guys at Adapt Academy know their stuff, care about student safety, and do their best to teach you all they can in the short time they have you in training. That is what matters.
We’re fortunate to have Eric Loden taking some time to answer 10 Questions for us. Eric is the CEO and Director of Training for Adapt Academy and I’ve personally learned from him. Let’s see what Eric has to offer us from the other side of the training room.
Let’s start with, I suspect, your most common question: What’s your background, experience, and certifications?
I began in private security in 1997 and went armed as soon as I turned 18, the one day of certification was far from what I considered enough training to do my job. I felt apprehensive and incredibly unprepared to actually carry on duty, so I sought out additional training which started my secondary career path of instruction, although I didn’t know it at the time. My background in Martial Arts engrained the habit of constant study, and promotion from a student to instructor, so to my firearms education followed the same path. Graduating from Armed Security, into Executive Protection and became the in-house instructor for several agencies throughout the years. In 2008 one of the firearms courses I attended was at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute, and during the course, my skills were recognized by a senior staff member, and I was invited back to audition in their 4-day Instructor Development Program, upon being hired I began my transition from Executive Protection to full-time firearms instructor.
I set several records for the speed in my development and promotion through their ranks to become the fastest, and youngest individual to be promoted to Senior Range Master (at the time). I was also fortunate to study there when I did, as the smaller staff count allowed me to train in, and become certified to teach almost every curriculum they had to offer, as well as being on the curricula committee and helping to develop changes to current training methods for both students and staff.
At Front Sight, I instructed in the following courses.
Rope and Rappel
Handgun Combat Master Prep
I rewrote and instructed the Tactical Scenarios, force-on-force course
How long have you been teaching firearms training?
Almost 20 years, first as the in-house instructor for several security agencies beginning in 2003-2008, Front Sight 2008-2011, and ADAPT since 2011.
What makes you and the Adapt Academy different—what sets you apart from the other available courses?
We want students, not just customers. Many Instructors only see an individual once. We know the statistics on returning students are only about 1% nationwide, and that is for required or mandatory classes. With that in mind, we decided, if we are only going to see you one time, we better make the most of that time. We designed our Concealed Firearms Course to offer more range time than any other company in the State, not only to give more to our students, but as a chance to get to know us, an introduction to our teaching methods, and a preview of what we offer beyond the first class. We are very proud that we have about 5% returning students (2000-2022) (7% Pre-Covid)
Do you teach Civilians, Law Enforcement, or both?
We are nationally certified Law Enforcement Instructors, and Nevada State Certified Firearms Instructors so we do teach both commissioned law enforcement, and private sector security, however, the majority of our classes are focused on civilian training, or when Officers are in plain clothes.
What’s some advice you would like to give a new gun owner?
It always seems self-serving to advise the new gun owner to seek out quality instruction, but there is honesty in that statement. Rather than simply promoting ADAPT, I like to ask the individual what their goals are with owning the firearm. If they are interested in competition, recreation, hunting, or simply collecting…. then I can make the appropriate referrals to other resources as we are primarily focused on self-defense. All firearms owners should know the laws pertaining to the possession, transportation, storage, and legal use of their firearms, however many individuals are not self-motivated to do proper research.
For newbies training for their CCW with you, what should they expect?
We have a very detailed course description and information video on our website, however, we can’t detail it to minute by minute. We do begin the course stressing that we will not be watching animations of how the firearm works, videos on gun cleaning, or incidents that occurred and asking “what could have been done differently?”, these are resources that can be viewed on our website in your spare time. We instead summarize the laws and break down the complicated legal terminology, and then spend the majority of the time with hands-on instruction on the range.
What happens after a student gets their CCW Permit?
We hope they continue their education and training, however as stated earlier, that is not often the case.
What is some good advice you’d like to share with new gun owners?
It always seems self-serving to advise the new gun owner to seek out quality instruction, but there is honesty in that statement. Rather than simply promoting ADAPT, I like to ask the individual what their goals are with owning the firearm. If they are interested in competition, recreation, hunting, or simply collecting…. then I can make the appropriate referrals to other resources as we are primarily focused on self-defense. All firearms owners should know the laws pertaining to the possession, transportation, storage, and legal use of their firearms, however many individuals are not self-motivated to do proper research,
What’s an interesting misconception you encounter regarding CCW, firearms, etc.?
There are many, but some common ones that should be cleared up to prevent good people from getting in bad trouble due to negligence.
- Carrying a concealed firearm on your person in your own home, a bag or case that is non-descript and unsecured is legal without a permit or allowed if you are going to or from the range.
- You need a gun license or permit to buy or own a gun.
- You may use deadly force to protect your physical property.
- You can borrow a gun from a friend
These topics can be answered very simply by attending a course or doing the research yourself. Many people follow incorrect advice from friends, family, or blogs online rather than official government sources.
Lastly, what is the most important lesson you want to share with every student and why?
There is a huge difference between education and training. Simply going to a single class and passing the course may qualify you to carry concealed however it does not prepare you for the huge responsibility that goes along with it. You can go to a gym and be shown how to use the equipment safely, but it takes dedication and repetition to progress your physical skill level. This also says nothing for the mental or psychological aspect of the stress incurred during a life-threatening situation or taking a human life in self-defense. Stay safe, train hard, ADAPT.