This is concealed-carry training: how to conceal, retain and access your firearm in any situation.

In general terms, you can think of it as firearms training, defensive pistol, self defense or personal defense. Whatever you call it, the core of our program involves using a concealed firearm for personal protection in the everyday citizen context.


What we bring is the IDS APEX approach to our classes, which is grounded in the idea that your best chance of surviving a defensive encounter is to train appropriately for YOUR context, using the principles of deep and accelerated learning.

This means that even though we spend a lot of time on firearms safety, and specific considerations for concealed carry, overall we provide for anyone who wants to train in effective self defense – armed or unarmed – in their own context.

Do You Carry?

If you are a law-abiding gun owner and carry your firearm concealed for protection, the truth is you need this training. If you have a sub-one-second draw to bullseye at 20 yards, you still need this training. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees our natural right to keep and bear arms. Take that right seriously and take responsibility for being as “well-regulated” as you can be. Look at your context, your daily protection needs, and prioritize your training for the benefit of yourself and those you protect.

Do You Have a Concealed Carry Permit?

You don’t need one in South Dakota, but it’s a good idea to have one anyway for several reasons. That being said, our weekly training course is not eligible for a South Dakota concealed-carry permit. It is for you to learn integrative, effective self defense skills while carrying a concealed firearm.

So if you’ve gone through a SD Concealed-Carry course, our personal defense training is the next logical step to keep your knowledge and skill fresh and accessible. If you haven’t, don’t worry – we also regularly cover the important things from those classes like firearms safety, fundamentals and SD use-of-force law.

Those Who Don’t Carry

We know gun ownership isn’t for everyone, much less concealed-carry for personal protection. One of our main goals is to create a safer community. So we want to train as many good citizens as possible in personal defense. This means if you are an unarmed or lightly-armed citizen, but still wish to learn and practice, you can still enroll in our self defense training course.

  • the forge firearms training
  • firearms class discussion

No Experience Needed

The only thing you need to bring with you is a willingness to learn, your good work ethic, and your good moral character. You begin where you are right now. So mentally check all that apply to you:

  • Never held a gun before
  • I’m a champion 3-gun shooter
  • Own a gun but don’t carry it
  • Never wrestled with someone else
  • Out of shape
  • Years of martial arts experience
  • Carry every day
  • Former/Active military
  • Good moral character
  • Want to learn more

Good. All of you are welcome, as long as you checked the last two boxes. The rest only matters if you let it get in your way. Regardless of where you begin, this is about being better today than you were yesterday. Every new nugget of knowledge, every good rep – it all makes you that much more prepared, and that is why we are here.

What are classes like?

Small, safe, instructive and fun. Each class begins with a safety check, usually followed by a cognitive lesson or some form of discussion. The skills portion makes up the bulk of the class, and rotates through various techniques, scenarios and drills.

Several principles govern our classes.

  • Safety. We have strict rules regarding safety, and our preventive measures are designed to make learning more effective.
  • Humility. There are no egos in this class. Empty your cup as you walk through the door. If everyone in the class is teachable, including the coach, we all win.
  • Failure. Fail fast, fail often. Fail valiantly and spectacularly. Fail with gusto, with passion, and celebrate it. This is the best teacher.
  • No Quitting. No exercise ends until it is over, and no rep stops with failure. Practice to SURVIVE.