The Second Amendment and national security remain hotly debated topics across America. World renowned tactical trainer and self-defense expert Fred Mastison recently sat down with The Inquisitr to discuss self-defense training and the evolving nature of terrorism threats.
Fred Mastison is the founder and president of Force Options Tactical Training Service. He is considered one of the best personal protection and defensive tactical trainers on the globe. He is a Master Instructor in light automatic weapons, a national NRA instructor certified in multiple disciplines, and frequently trains law enforcement agencies on sub machine guns, shot guns, and rifles. The Force Options Tactical Training Service founder also holds at least two dozen self-defense and weapons training certifications.
Fred Mastison Interview
IQ: You have trained in CQB/QD style combatives for more than three decades. How does this extensive self-defense skills training influence the services offered at Force Options?
Fred: My combatives background greatly influences all of the training we offer. Because I have an extensive background in how the body works in a fight, I can translate that to our shooting and edged weapons classes. While some schools focus on individual portions of the kinesiology of a gun fight, we explore the entire spectrum. We obviously do quite a bit of movement and demand attention to your fight space. A more ethereal component that translates over is the philosophy. Modern firearms training should be seen as a “budo,” or martial way. I encourage the development of a complete warrior mind when training with weapons.
IQ: All of your instructors at Force Options Tactical Training are masters in the weapons field. In a utopian society, there would be not be any reason for the average American to need your services – but we do not live in a perfect world. Force Options services are obviously in great demand for the security staff of celebrities, government officials, and company executives, but why should the common citizen sign up for a class?
Fred: The biggest reason the average person should train with us is the same reason SWAT teams and executive protection agents do. We present real world training customized to the specific client’s needs. With our extensive background and decades of experience, we bring a lifetime of real world knowledge to each class—classes professionally presented where students are respected and treated with dignity. We have no need to present ourselves in a boot camp or screaming fashion. As we always say, this is training for the adults in the room.
I am proud to say that Force Options has one of the most diverse course offerings in the world. From our introduction to handgun and basic personal protection classes, to our advanced belt-fed machine gun training, we honestly do offer it all. We provide classes for the first time shooter all the way to advanced and master level training. From soccer moms and dads to hardened SWAT snipers, we teach everyone.
IQ: For the past twenty years, you have worked with a host of elite military and high-profile policing agencies, including the US Army Rangers, US Marshals Service, and the Marine Corps MCAS Miramar PMO detachment. Without revealing anything you should not, please share how the training requirements for such agencies have changed due to an increase in terrorism and national security threats.
Fred: The fundamentals of what I teach have not really changed over the past 20-plus years. What has changed is the intensity and seriousness that students bring to the training now. Obviously there have been leaps forward in technology and integration of that tech into training, and applications are a major part of what we do. What used to be a simple pistol class for police officers now includes awareness of booby traps and the danger of approaching a wounded suspect. Nobody in the industry will share much more beyond that, but suffice it to say, things have indeed changed. For our military clients we teach a simple fact—trust no IP – indigenous personnel.
IQ: What do you consider the most dangerous issues facing the country today?
Fred: I believe there are three major threats facing America today. First is an uninterested general public. A general unwillingness to engage in topics that affect their future creates a band of people that do little more than quote platitudes. They simply do not want to spend the energy to understand the details of anything that does not bite them in the leg.
The second threat is the reckless governmental spending that we are seeing. This is at pretty much every level of government from cities to the federal government. The mixture of an uninformed public and austerity measures that will eventually have to be put in place create an atmosphere similar to Greece.
The last and possibly greatest threat is from militant Islam. The chasm that exists between our cultures cannot be bridged with speeches and apologies. I obviously do not see any major offensive carried out against the US on our own soil. What I do see is decades of terrorism and cultural creep. This has already evidenced itself in Europe and they are suffering for their lack of vision and insistence on political correctness. It is a real problem not only for the West, but for moderate Muslins around the world.
IQ: Do you consider illegal immigrant a national security factor?
Fred: In my experience, illegal immigration has indeed affected the security protocols at many corporations. Companies requiring a secure environment have to spend a great deal more time on background investigations and research before they can make a hire now. This is especially true in industries connected with government and or secure and classified projects.
Many immigrants seeking employment here in the United States do so with falsified or stolen identifications. This makes it difficult to navigate through those here legally and those here using more nefarious means. Illegal immigration is indeed a national security factor. As a resident of Arizona, the idea that the border is somehow “more secure” is laughable at best.