Willingness is a state of mind. Readiness is a statement of fact!


About John

John Farnam, police officer and decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, is one of the top defensive firearms instructors in the nation. He has personally trained thousands of federal, state and local law enforcement agency personnel, many private security agencies, foreign governments, and hundred of civilians in safe gun handling and the tactical use of the defensive firearms. He has authored dozens of magazine articles, five books, written several handgun manuals, produced numerous training videos, and has written a model Use of Force Policy. His books, The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning, Second Edition, The Farnam Method of Defensive Rifle and Shotgun Shooting, Second Edition and Guns and Warriors, Volume One have become the standard texts on the subjects. John is a Senior Board Member of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. In June of 1996, he was selected by his peers to receive the renowned "Tactical Advocate of the Year" award from the National Tactical Association. In April of 2009, he was inducted into Black Belt Magazine's "Living Legends." In November of 2011, he was elevated to the rank of Kyoshi Sensei within the American Marital Arts Association.


After graduating from Cornell College with a BA in Biology, I entered the
US Marine Corps Officer Candidate Program. After being commissioned a
Second Lieutenant, I was sent to Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader.
For the next fifty-one days, I was involved in heavy fighting and was awarded
three Purple Hearts.

I served the remainder of my active duty time in the United States,
training Marines.  I remained in the Reserves and went on active duty several times per year
until I retired in 1987.  My branch is still infantry, and my rank at retirement was major.

I have been a police officer since 1971, when I joined the City of Elroy
Police Department as a patrolman.
I am presently a fully commissioned deputy sheriff (Training Officer)
for the Park County, Colorado Sheriff's Office.

I have written articles about defensive shooting and defensive tactics for
several magazines, including:

  • Police Marksman
  • American Handgunner
  • Combat Handguns
  • Combat Handguns
  • Guns and Ammo
  • Soldier of Fortune

I have also written a number of books:

The thrust of my training programs is the encouragement of safe, responsible, and effective use of modern firearms in self-defense.

John Farnam was awarded the prestigious "Tactical Advocate of the Year" title by the American Tactical Shooting Association (ATSA) in June, 1996.  The presentation was made at the conclusion of the Sixth Annual National Invitational held at the Gunsite Training Center in Paulden, Arizona.


Summary of Formal Education

  • American society of Industrial Security, Current Terrorist Tactics, 1982.
  • US Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, 1980.
  • National Rifle Association, Certified Police Armorer, 1980.
  • American Pistol Institute, Practical Defensive Handgun, 1979.
  • National Rifle Association, Certified Police Firearms Instructor, 1977 to present.
  • US Army Infantry Advanced Course, Ft. Benning, Georgia, 1977.
  • Illinois Department of Law Enforcement, Defensive Tactics, 1977.
  • Western Wisconsin Technical Institute, Associate Degree, Mechanical Engineering, 1975.
  • Wisconsin Department of Health, Certified Emergency Medical Technician, 1975.
  • Wisconsin Department of Justice, Motor Vehicle Search and Seizure, 1974.
  • US Marine Corps Institute, Land Mines, Explosives and Demolitions, 1972.
  • Western Wisconsin Technical Institute, Basic Police Certificate, Certified Police Officer, 1971.
  • Wisconsin Department of Justice, Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Enforcement, 1971.
  • US Marine Corps, Officer Candidate School, Basic Branch Qualification Infantry, Commissioned Second Lieutenant, 1968.
  • Cornell College, Iowa, BA Biology, Chemistry, 1967.

Certificates Held

  • NRA Certified Police Firearms Instructor
  • Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors
  • Distinguished Expert, National Forensic Center
  • Individual Voluntary Practical Pistol Instructor
  • Certified Instructor, Certified User, Special Purpose Low-Lethality Anti-Terrorist Munitions (SPLLATM-ASI)
  • Manodnock PR-24 Instructor
  • Glock Pistol Armorer
  • Colorado State Board Private Occupational Credential for Security Services

Professional Memberships

  • Police Marksman Association
  • Distinguished Experts, National Forensic Center
  • International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors
  • American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers
  • National Rifle Association

About Vicki

Vicki Farnam has been teaching firearms for over twenty five years with Defense Training International, Inc at local, state, and federal levels of law enforcement. She has also taught for the US Marine Corps. She has her degree in education for teaching adults. Vicki not only teaches classes with John all around the county, but teaches defensive shooting classes for women only, both law enforcement and non-law enforcement. She also specializes in teaching classes for male law enforcement firearms instructors in teaching female officers. She is a member of both ILEETA (International La Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association) and IALEFI (International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors) and has taught at annual conferences.

About Anthony M. Barrera, M.D.

A.K.A. "Doc Gunn"

Doc Gunn, an actively practicing physician, has over twenty years of practice in Emergency Medicine and is certified by the American Board of Emergency Physicians. He has been a DTI Affiliated Instructor since 1996 and has trained extensively with other prominent national and international instructors, often serving as an Assistant Instructor. He is a NRA Certified Instructor for Pistol, Home Firearm Safety, Personal Protection and Range Safety. He also completed the famed LAPD Handgun Instructor Training School (HITS) under the tutelage of Chief Instructor Lawrence Mudgett. Doc Gunn has taken Tactical Medicine at Gunsite under the Late M-SGT Chris Dwiggins and modified these lessons to pertain to the average police officer or armed citizen who may find him/her-self caught in a gunfight. Ours is a shooting course combined with what a non-medical professional can do to treat a gunshot victim immediately after a shooting.

About Diane

Diane Nicholl grew up where guns were common. She has enjoyed shooting from the time she was ten years old and would go plinking with a .22 single shot rifle. She worked in the field of neurophysiology for 15 years before starting her own business, DTI Publications, Inc. where she teaches firearms courses and publishes firearms training books.

In the early 1990's, Diane started the Annie Oakley Society as a way to help women maintain and improve their shooting skills by providing monthly access to a range. She soon discovered that several female officers in her area were having trouble passing their weapons qualifications so she started offering private and group sessions for them.

Diane is a Colorado POST certified law enforcement firearms instructor and an NRA Training Counselor. She has done extensive research on the use of firearms in crime and self-defense. She is a member of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, the International Association of Women Police and the Colorado Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association.