Self Defense Shooting Academy – A New Old Way of Training

U.S.A. -( When small businessman Roger Brooking set out to start his own firearms training company, there were a few challenges he was facing. 2020 was an unprecedented year for many reasons and one thing for sure is Americans are waking up to the reality that the 2 nd Amendment and gun ownership is important. Starting a company during the COVID 19 pandemic came with its own obvious and not so obvious issues.

In an interview, Brooking said:

I wanted to be able to put my talents to use in training people in firearms use. With over eight million first-time gun owners I wonder how many of them actually got the much-needed safety and use training that comes with responsible firearm ownership?

When we discussed the challenges that are being dealt with, two were more prevalent because of COVID 19. One, meeting in person during the pandemic. And two, ammunition shortages. Working under adverse situations and having to stay dynamic is something Brooking is accustomed to, with years of experience as a defense contractor in South Africa and Israel.

Brooking explained working with these two challenges:

Let’s face it, there is a virus going on, and regardless of how people feel about it as a whole, many are just not comfortable with meeting in person. Pair that with it being cost-prohibitive to just go to a range and take three hours of shooting lessons due to the ammunition shortage, as firearm instructors, we have a real problem on our hands. Dry fire practice is an overlooked and underutilized method of training. With the correct safety precautions such as ensuring there is no ammunition in the room and the use of barrel safety plugs, dry fire exercises, done remotely, can be invaluable to a new gun owner BEFORE they go the range.

This is how Self Defense Shooting Academy (SDSA) was born. Headquartered in Monmouth County New Jersey, Brooking has built a company that comes to you. If COVID 19 has taught us anything, that is a lot of work can be done remotely, and there is no reason why should not include firearm training. With a catalog of five virtual classes available, ranging from “What type of gun should I get?” to a full-fledged class on “Making a home self-defense plan”, SDSA has everything for beginner and new gun owners.

New Offerings in Development

Brooking puts an emphasis on how there is so much work that can be done prior to getting to the range. And to be fair, he’s right. There are so many topics and things that need to be covered that are not appropriate on the firing line at the gun range. Going over simple things like the firearm handling rules, how a particular firearm functions and works, and how to load a gun using dummy ammunition are all things that can be accomplished via video conference with students.

I asked Roger more about his product and what separates him from just watching videos online and reading articles:

That’s a good question, and yes, you can go and dig through online videos and articles. But something that you’re missing is the feedback loop. You don’t have a chance for an instructor to actually let you know what you are doing wrong and what you are doing right. I also use this opportunity to save time and money by doing many dry fire exercises with my students. To give students an idea of how an SDSA lesson would look, check out the video clip at the beginning.

The learning does not end with virtual classes. Brooking encourages his students to go forward with live fire training. If you’re in the New Jersey area and in his or an affiliate instructor’s service zone, there are opportunities to get the much needed live, hands-on training, after getting that solid virtual foundation. For Brooking, it’s about responsible firearm use and ownership, in addition to the comfort level of in-person interactions that his students may or may not have.

Changing and challenging times require unique and innovative solutions and SDSA looks like it will really fit the bill. To learn more about SDSA and its offerings, you can visit them online at:

About John Petrolino:

John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at on Twitter at @johnpetrolino and on Instagram @jpetrolinoiii .

John Petrolino