Lethal Force Institute – LFI 1

I had the opportunity to sit in on one day (8 hours) of the 40 hour LFI-1 course taught by Massad Ayoob at the Phoenix Rod & Gun Club in south west Phoenix, Arizona in April of 2009. Massad is a prolific writer and internationally known instructor. While the course material is serious and details can be important, Massads in depth knowledge of the subjects and mastery of the skills involved, makes the information easy to absorb and interesting. Mas is also a quick wit and keeps the class interesting and the students listening with humor and a comfortable teaching style

The LFI-1 is the entry level course at Lethal Force Institute however it covers topics beyond most state CCW requirements along with more hours of range time than most 2 day shooting schools.

The time I spent with this class impressed me. I hope the following review and photos help illustrate the quality of the instruction offered by Lethal Force Institute in the LFI-1 course. If you carry a firearm this class is about the best training you could take for successfull CCW

LFI-I Judicious Use Of Deadly Force
From the Lethal Force Institute website

The most famous LFI course, 40 hours of immersion training that (Lawyers and cops who’ve taken it agree) goes well beyond law school and the police academy in this critical decision-making area. Prevention, intervention and aftermath management are all thoroughly considered. The course includes: when the citizen can and cannot use a gun in self defense…tactics for home defense…street gunfighting tactics…how to take a criminal suspect at gunpoint…selection of guns, ammo, and holsters… psychological preparation for violent encounters…justifying your actions in court. Intensive combat shooting comprises 40% of the course, the remainder being lecture, video and student interaction. 40 hrs.

The class was held at the Phoenix Rod and Gun Club Shooting Range. LFI has been holding their Arizona classes here for many years. The classroom was comfortable and large enough for the 14 students, guests and assistants.

The first day covered introductions, range rules, schedule for the 5 days of the class and of course safety. I was impressed with the range assistants. The range assistants had all worked with Massad in the past (many times) and were graduates of various shooting schools at advanced level instruction.most of them were also national level competitors in the shooting sports

The lecture portion of the day (4 hours) went by quickly with lots of ground covered. Massad explained some of the elements that made up the ‘Stress Fire’ technique, along with a few simple exercises that illustrate why the techniques were developed as they were

Some of the lecture portion was delivered on video which provides consistency and offers great illustration of some practice drills and shooting techniques.

Notes are a key portion of the LFI-1 course. The facility offered plenty of tables for easy note taking. I used the new Surefire II pen which we have been reviewing. It worked well and wrote no matter if I was writing on the table or on the range

There were breaks every hour or so, but no lunch hour. The class room lecture continued through lunchtime, and the class ate during one of the video segments. In my opinion, this adds value since lunch breaks typically last an hour or more when no instruction takes place.

The class moves to the range in the afternoon for evaluation, practice drills, and some hands on learning of the techniques touched on earlier in the day

The Phoenix Rod and Gun Club Shooting Range offers a perfect setting for the shooting portion of the LFI-1 course. There was plenty of room for the entire class on the line at once which kept the class moving at a steady pace


Massad stresses the importance of practicing the skills learned at the class and the history and reasons the suggested techniques have evolved the way they have

Range safety and one on one instruction were both effortlessly delivered by the expert assistants and Massad’s instruction

While CCW instruction is typically not considered marksmanship training, the LFI-1 course does include accurate shooting requirements

This coverage would sometimes conclude a review of a tactical shooting class, however this article covers just one day of the 40 hour, five day LFI-1 course. Homework was assigned to the students as well as some dry fire practice. At the conclusion of the course, passing a written and shooting test are required to graduate.

Every Lethal Force Institute student I have talked to has spoken very highly of the level of instruction, quality of material and value of the LFI classes. The time I spent at the LFI-1 classroom and range proves to me they were correct.

The Lethal Force Institute LFI-1 course offers the best overall course for the average upstanding citizen with a CCW. You will learn both practical and tactical skills and gain the knowledge and confidence to better defend yourself on the street and in a courtroom