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Pinnacle Training Academy, More Than Just a CWP

By Anne Waits
web posted July 24, 2014

EDGEFIELD When Mike Lipscomb founded Pinnacle Training Academy in Edgefield County two years ago, he did so with a dual purpose in mind: to provide knowledgeable instruction on the responsibility of firearm use, ownership and storage; and to provide a safe range where people could go and practice using different aspects of shooting. "I felt there was a real need in the county for these things," he said.

"People need to receive proper training with a certified instructor. There are people who never had a course and they might think they can shoot, but they don't practice. Carrying a gun is a huge responsibility and privilege, and if you're going to carry you have to practice. And then, you may want to know the legal aspects of gun ownership and to learn other options."

Lipscomb said he wanted to add value and a service to the county. "We want to teach people the importance of safety in all aspects."

Pinnacle Training Academy is a professional personal development company with respect to firearms training. It not only provides training regarding the South Carolina Concealed Weapons permits, but it offers NRA courses for everyone from beginners to shooting enthusiasts; armed/unarmed self defense courses; and a range of shooting events centered around different times of the year. These events include "Shooting for the Pot of Gold," "Golf and Guns," "Valentines with a Bang" "Run & Gun" and "Three Gun Challenge."

"If you are interested in developing proper knowledge, skill sets and attitude regarding firearms, this is what you 're looking for," Lipscomb said. "We provide one-on-one and group training. We are client-focused and NRA/SLED approved. Our classes are small by design, which allows for more student and instructor interaction. Our training strategy is unique to your needs."
Throughout the courses, Lipscomb stresses what he calls a "quiet confidence."
"You don't need to be loud and boastful about your shooting abilities," he said. "In fact, no one even has to know. It's about you and your own level of confidence in your abilities and decision making."

As owner and primary instructor, Lipscomb brings with him a quarter century of experience in dealing with firearms. He served in the U.S. Navy for six years as a security specialist; with the Department of Energy for five years in the Protective Force; in S.C. Law Enforcement for eight years as a road patrol; with Force Protection Technologies Inc. for five years as a ballistics technician; and with NRA/SLED for two years a a firearms instructor.

An overview of courses that he teaches is as follows: NRA Basic Pistol--provides a student with basic knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to purchase, own and use a handgun safely and includes some range time; SC CWP--includes classroom and range instruction, and at end of course a certificate of training is awarded for submittal to SLED for acquiring a S.C. Concealed Weapons permit; Legal Review--offers up-to-date laws, statutes, pending legislation and case law regarding SC CWP, Self Defense, Defense of Others, Use of Force, Stand Your Ground, Duty to Retreat and Castle Doctrine; Unarmed Self Defense--teaches self defense methods without a weapon using different techniques and using situational awareness guidelines (4 to 6 hours). The more comprehensive courses include the Armed Self Defense and Threat Management Training.

The Armed Self Defense/Handgun is offered in two blocks of 4-hour instruction or as one 8-hour course. It instructs in safety, attitude, awareness, malfunctions, static shooting, multiple targets and shooting on the move. Requirements are a demonstrated handgun knowledge, safety and ability; proper attitude; a pistol (revolver/semi-automatic); 150 rounds of ammo/block or 300 total; a holster; two or more speed loader/mags; appropriate clothing including closed neck shirt and no loose jewelry.
"Obviously, this is a more accelerated course and requires a degree of knowledge," said Lipscob. "This is a pre-requisite for all other advanced training courses."
The Threat Management Training contains some of the same information as the Armed Self Defense  but is not as detailed. It is one 4-hour and one 3-hour block.
"It is a lesser course for someone who doesn't want to spend eight hours on the range," said Lipscomb. "It is actual live fire on the range but doesn't go through all the applications."

The  Women's Only Armed/Unarmed Self Defense Course is the same as the Unarmed and Armed Self Defense Courses except that it deals with some issues unique to women.

John Moore and his wife Sandra, as well as Carroll Clark, took the SC CWP course and were well satisfied.

"He (Lipscomb) did a very good job," said Moore. "It was very informative and very relevant. I would definitely recommend him to others."

Clark said he was pleasantly surprised that the course was so much fun.
"Mike is very knowledgeable about what he does," he said. "He was wonderful at teaching and explaining."

For further information, contact Lipscomb at 803-480-5660 or 803-275-9487 or go to www.pinnacle-training-academy.net. Pinnacle Training is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday by appointment only.

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