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  • Russ

SEMO Shooting and Self Defense

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

The story.

I have always wanted to help people, most of my adult life has been involved in the helping professions. From the military to health care to law enforcement, I have always found fulfillment in giving to others. There were opportunities in each of those career paths which allowed me to help people by teaching them new skills. I really enjoyed sharing knowledge and seeing the empowerment that it brought to people.  With that as my motivation, I decided to start SEMO Shooting and Self Defense to combine my passions for teaching and helping others.

My interest in firearms and personal safety begin at a young age, like many overweight kids I was bullied at school, so I began to study the Korean martial art of Taekwondo. During the same time my interest in firearms emerged through target shooting and hunting with my father. Eventually, I earned black belts in multiple martial arts and pursued training and refinement of my shooting ability. I enhanced these skills by competing in tournaments and shooting competitions.

As time went on and I became known to my family and friends as “The Gun Guy”. People came to me with the same concerns, they wanted to learn self-defense in a practical and simple way. They wanted self-defense techniques that were easy to learn and do without the flash and fluff of many modern martial arts. People were wanting firearms instruction that was given in a respectful manner and directed to their needs. After years of teaching family, friends and acquaintances how to shoot and defend themselves, I realized that teaching personal safety was my passion. So, SEMO Shooting and Self Defense was created.

Why we do what we do.

Too many times I have seen and heard stories of folks who had firearms, but didn’t know how to take care of them, or even load them, none the less shoot. Well meaning friends or relatives told them to get a gun for self defense and maybe even to get a concealed carry permit. Many never learned how to take care of the gun, carry in a safe, effective way or shoot under stress. It was like they thought:  “OK, I have a gun, I’m safe.” and left it at that.  However, when I had even a brief conversation with them, they quickly realized that to own and use a firearm responsibly, they needed training.

So, for the new shooter who knows nothing other than they want to know more, SEMO Shooting and Self Defense is for you.

My mission is to help any law-abiding person who wants to learn how to live a better life through enhancing their personal safety. Whether it is by gaining proficiency with a handgun, understanding the principles of awareness or learning how to escape a bad situation by using unarmed combative skills, I am here to give people the comfort of confidence in an increasingly dangerous world.

How we do what we do.

There are several training options that are suited for many different schedules and training needs. With over 20 years of teaching experience, our staff provides the finest in group instruction with attention to each student. We strive to provide the student with a safe, positive and fun educational experience.

Yes, I said the f-word… Fun! Too many times firearms instructors are thought of as Gunny Hartman types, harsh and angry, ready to belittle their students and make them miserable in their training, as if there was some kind of hazing ritual to belong to the super-secret “gun people” club. Fortunately, most professional instructors are far from that, we want our students to: 1. Be safe, 2. Learn, 3. Enjoy the learning process. When you come to one of our classes prepare to feel welcome, comfortable and valued as a student.

What we do.

SEMO SSD offers a variety of classes that are geared to the Concealed Carry Permit holder, however any firearm owner will find benefit to our classes. We teach techniques that have been proven in real world scenarios in an accessible and easy to understand manner. Our teaching staff is committed to making your experience with us pleasant, fun and informative. We want you to feel our passion for living a life without fear of the unknown, but rather, the confidence to face it knowing that you will prevail when you or your family is in danger.

Courses offered:

What Kind of Gun Do I Need to Buy?

Don’t have a gun of your own and just aren’t sure what to buy? Instead of trying to decide on a major purchase at a gun store, where you may or may not be able to really manipulate the gun to see if you can operate the slide or pull the trigger easily due to a trigger lock on the gun, come out and actually shoot a variety of pistol types and see what you like best before you buy.

We provide a selection of handguns for you to try, 50 rounds of ammunition and targets will be provided. Eye and ear protection are available if you don’t have your own.

National Rifle Association’s Basics of Pistol Shooting

An excellent course we offer for the new shooter or someone wanting to refresh their skills is the National Rifle Association’s Basics of Pistol Shooting. This course is taught by an NRA certified instructor and will cover the basics of safe gun handling and shooting. The course will emphasize the safe and proper handling and use of pistols. Participants will learn about firearm safety, parts and operation, shooting fundamentals, care and cleaning, storage options and more.

Missouri Conceal and Carry

For those wishing to obtain their concealed carry permit, SEMO SSD offers the State of Missouri Conceal and Carry Course.  This course covers the legal requirements to apply for your CCW license. Topics include: Firearms Safety, Fundamentals of Marksmanship, Firearms Care and Storage, State Requirements for Purchase and Ownership, Discussion of Firearms Laws and Use of Force.

Beyond Concealed Carry

Your CCW class taught you about laws and rudimentary firearms use. This class is for the armed citizen who wants to build their skills to carry concealed with confidence. Topics include: Handgun Safety, Situational Awareness, Choosing a Carry Method and more.

The range portion of the class will focus on increasing comfort and confidence with the firearm, as well as: Accurately Engaging the Target, How to Draw From Concealment, Basic Firearm Retention.

Students will be given a customized training program that the student can use to continue building on skills learned in class

Chong-Gi Do

The use of firearms is a perishable skill, you cannot simply shoot once or twice a year and expect to be able to effectively defend yourself. Not only does your accuracy decrease with infrequent practice, please read this closely: not all self-defense situations require use of a firearm! Many times a situation can be resolved with nothing more than a person being aware of their surroundings and not putting themselves in a bad situation. If that is not possible, a Chong-Gi Do student will have the tools and training to effectively deal with the situation, whether it is simply a sharp, resolute command or lethal force.

Chong-Gi Do is a progressive self defense program. We teach use of firearms, defensive weapons and unarmed techniques for personal safety. Chong-Gi Do is accessible to all skill and fitness levels.

Students will progress through five skill levels at their own pace. There are weekly classroom sessions where the fundamentals of marksmanship, unarmed self defense, awareness and safety will be taught.

Each month, students will have a range session where the skills they learned that month will be put to the test in live fire exercises.

Private Lessons

Sometimes a student’s needs do not fit directly into the classes we offer, some will prefer more focused instruction, while others simply want the advantage of one on one instruction to maximize their training time.

During a private lesson, you and your trainer will: quickly identify your needs, establish goals to meet the need and then work toward that goal.

Some of the more common private lesson topics are:

Purse or off body concealed carry Defending the home with a firearm Unarmed self defense for women Personal protection devices: Knife, pepper spray, flashlight, etc. Advanced handgun handling skills Advanced unarmed self defense

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. So What’s Next?

The vision for SEMO Shooting and Self Defense is to become a resource for new and experienced shooters. We will continue to increase our course offerings, with a focus on safety and competence. Personal defense and concealed carry instruction will be the focus of our courses, however, introductory competition and other specialized classes will be rolled out in the future.

If you have any questions, please contact me: Russ Fields, Chief Instructor at: 573-300-0138 or by email at  You can also use the contact form below.

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