A Girls Review on Conceal Carry Training in Northern Virginia

“I’m about to rock your world”

Not a phrase you hear too often, but a completely accurate statement made by instructor/owner John Murphy of FPF Training, who teaches a Concealed Carry for Self Defense class (CCSD) unlike any other I’ve seen in Northern Virginia. Both myself and Instructor Sean packed up our shooting and camping gear for Culpepper VA where John Murphy would rack our brains and slides on the concepts of armed self defense.

Instructor Lindsey training for Conceal Carry in Northern Virginia

We set up camp Friday evening in enough time to enjoy the sun set and campfire. As the only campers we had the range basically to ourselves until Saturday morning at 7:30am when John Murphy arrived to set up for the day.

Instructor Lindsey after setting up our campsite, resting up for more conceal carry training.

Our Conceal Carry training started early Saturday morning with a PowerPoint presentation. The roughly 10 students came from all over the state but most were from Northern Virginia. Completely opposite of my corporate meetings, John Murphy unquestionably captured each persons attention throughout the morning class, this was NOT death by PowerPoint! To say John is extremely engaging would be a huge understatement! It’s clearly evident through John’s passionate story telling that he truly cares about safe and effective firearms instruction and his students.

After the classroom portion on day one, we went outside to the range. The first day range session consisted of dry firing, mastering safe pistol handling and ends with defensive conceal carry shooting techniques. I brought my “favorite kid.” Some people say you shouldn’t pick favorites between your kids, or in this instance my pistols, but my Springfield XDM 9mm is my favorite conceal carry gun! I love the magazine size (19 bullets plus another one chambered), I love the low recoil, and I love the way the gun fits and feels in my hands. I’ve been shooting my XDM for a few years now and I’ve never regretted it once.

The end of day one concluded with conceal carry drawing and firing. I put on a lose rain jacket over my, otherwise open carry hip holster. John helped make the concealed draw a fluid and seemingly second nature response. It was a great day at the range and all parties involved had a great time. Almost everyone then packed up and we met for dinner at a local restaurant.

After a good nights sleep, we got up early again Sunday morning for our second day of training. Just like the previous day, we started with a power point review of the safety and importance of conceal carrying – or as John would say, protecting ourselves from the “Animals” out there. The presentation was extremely informative and helped us put our skills to use and best practice out on the range. On the range we practiced movement drills, assessing our surroundings, and being vocal by calling for help and telling potential animals to “STOP! GO AWAY” – because sometimes, “he don’t look right”!

Instructor Lindsey stands over her target

The icing on the cake for the second day was the moving target! I don’t want to give too much away – because honestly, you should sign up for this course. The gist of this training was a target actually moves towards you as you realize this target could be threat. You give verbal warnings to stop and get back! But if the target charges you, you learn to act FAST! I found this exercise to be as closets real life experience as I hope to ever encounter.


Being a female, I always tend to have a little reservation before going into any intense training. But I’m very comfortable with the basics of manipulating firearms and drawing from the holster. Before taking this class, I’d recommend National Shooters Armed Self Defense Fundamentals class to gain comfort with the basics of conceal carry, then let John Murphy take your instruction to the next level. Johns great at seeing everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. Don’t get me wrong, he does not hold anyone’s hand by any means but he’s able to push you and help you reach your training goals. All in all, I learned a lot and I got more “time on the range” which can ever be a bad thing. Learn, educate, train, and train again! You are the only one holding you back from educating yourself and making a change. Knowledge is power. So get out there and in-power yourself!

Liberty or Death. Don’t Tread on Me.


Posted in Armed Self Defense and Conceal Carry, Firearm Training and Education

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