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What is Tactical Training for Civilians?

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

What is Tactical Training for Civilians

Tactical training for civilians refers to courses open to average citizens that teach self-defense concepts and techniques for personal protection.

With violence and crime filling the news over the last few months, more and more people are now concerned about their own personal safety. Thankfully, there is a whole industry dedicated to teaching civilians—yes, average Joes like you and me—how to protect themselves when we end up in these dangerous situations.

So what is tactical training for civilians? What will you learn from it? And should you enroll in a course?

I’ll be telling you all that and more.


What is Tactical Training for Civilians

In general, tactical training for civilians teaches you how to prepare for and protect yourself from dangerous or life-threatening situations. These teachings are derived from the specialized training regimens given to law enforcement officers and the military, which is why instructors of these courses will usually have some prior experience serving in either field.

Depending on the type and complexity of the course you take, tactical training courses will take anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days.

Depending on the tactical training provider, the venues of these training courses will also vary. Some of the simpler training courses such as close combat or pistol training will usually be done in an indoor facility, while training courses for higher-powered firearms are typically done in an open firing range outdoors.

How Much Does Tactical Training Cost


Just like the length of the course you are enrolling in, tactical training programs tend to be more expensive the more advanced the training is.

For example, an afternoon course on close combat self-defense conducted indoors will typically run you around 70 to 100 US dollars. Meanwhile, an advanced two-day course on high-powered rifle marksmanship can cost well over 200 dollars, not to mention that these courses will typically have prerequisite programs that you have to enroll in separately.

Besides that, you also have to factor in additional costs for equipment and transportation, especially for firearms training courses. While most hand-to-hand combat, edged weapon, and handgun courses will give you training equipment you can rent out for the course, you will be required to bring your own equipment for high-powered weapon training courses.

For these advanced courses, you are also encouraged to bring your own food and drinks as they will typically be conducted in outdoor ranges.

However, not all tactical training courses are quite as expensive. In fact, many police agencies across the United States actually offer basic self-defense training courses free of charge. As they are performed by actual law enforcement officers, these training courses are quite informative, especially with regards to the law and how to exercise your rights.

If you are thinking of enrolling in a tactical training course but are unsure if you are willing to spend much money, these free courses are a great place to start.

What Can You Learn from Tactical Training


It’s important to understand that tactical training for civilians is not just a single course that you simply pick up. Tactical training is a very broad subject that involves many different skill sets. Not only will tactical training improve your physical ability to defend yourself from threats, but it also sharpens your mental acuity and preparedness to take action when there’s danger.

With this in mind, here is a shortlist of the things you can expect to learn from a tactical training course for civilians.

Unarmed Self-Defense.

As most people probably either don’t or can’t carry a weapon with them when they go outside, unarmed self-defense is arguably the most useful skill set one can gain from a tactical training course. Instructors will teach you basic self-defense techniques consisting of punches, grapples, and throws, so you can protect yourself and even fight back against an attacker.

Edged Weapon Training.

In many cases of assaults and robberies, edged weapons—usually knives, but could also be anything sharp—are assailants’ weapons of choice. A tactical training course on edged weapons will get you familiarized with both knives and improvised edged weapons, and you will be taught how to fight effectively with these weapons with a combination of slashes, cuts, and thrusts.

Gun Handling and Marksmanship.

If you are in the fortunate position to own a firearm either for home defense or for concealed carry, a tactical training course will help you to use that firearm effectively in a dangerous situation.

You will get to know your weapon of choice—be it a handgun, rifle, or shotgun—and will be taught how to carry and store it safely. You will also be shown how to efficiently aim, shoot, reload, and maneuver with your weapon.

Tactical Mindset.

Of the things you will learn from a tactical training course, though, none of them are quite as important as having the proper mindset. It is one thing to perform well in combat training, but to be able to do the same under the stress of being threatened with violence or deadly force is another.

By enrolling in a tactical training program, you will be taught to remain calm and focused while under pressure, so you can avoid panicking and adequately defend yourself with the tools that you have at your disposal.

Should You Enroll in a Tactical Training Course for Civilians

The short answer, of course, would be “yes”. If you are ever concerned about your personal safety, there is no reason to not sign up for a self-defense course—even if it’s just the basics.

However, the long answer is a bit more complicated. As I’ve previously mentioned, tactical training courses for civilians do tend to feature the handling and use of deadly weapons such as knives and firearms. And for a lot of people, this kind of training might not be ideal.

The reason for this is that, while you can enroll in tactical training courses (especially those that use weapons), in many countries around the world, the laws in those countries might not actually let you use those weapons for self-defense.

Indeed, most countries outside of the US have strong restrictions on the ownership and use of deadly weapons, often requiring that the gun be registered and that the owner have a permit to use that gun. That is, of course, if you will even be allowed to have a permit at all; many countries like South Korea, Australia, and Denmark do not issue gun licenses for personal protection.

With this in mind, then, I would suggest checking with your local laws first before deciding to enroll in a tactical training course for civilians. Being properly informed of the laws in your country will help you avoid legal issues if you end up using deadly force in a self-defense situation.


It is always better to be safe than sorry. Whether or not you live or work under the threat of violent attacks, it is always good to be prepared for when they do happen.

If you have made it to the end of this article, thank you so much for reading! I hope that this has given you an introduction to tactical training for civilians, and hopefully you are now better informed as to what tactical training course to enroll in.

If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments. Thank you for reading!

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