This is not your average shooting range. It's Escondido's old police department, and it has been taken over by the Warfighter Academy.
The instructors, all retired Marines and Navy SEALs, are training men, women and children as young as 13 real-world gunfighting often associated with the military or law enforcement.
“We train like your life depends on it,” said Matt Quinn, a Warfighter Academy instructor and retired Marine.
Carol Bright, a stay-at-home mom, is one of several female students at the academy. Just like any other parent, her children are her life, and her biggest worry is that their safety could be compromised. For Bright and other students, the training provides peace of mind. She knows if she ever finds herself and her family in a situation, she’ll know what to do.
“I come home with bruises…on my arms and legs, but I do it because I have to,” Bright said.
If it seems extreme, imagine being home at night and hearing someone breaking into your home. The first thing you must do is make sure your family is safe. Once you do, you might find yourself face-to-face with an intruder. That's when the training comes in handy.
“Somebody comes in my home at night…you’re amped…and you need to think strategic,” said Dave Maynard, a retired Navy SEAL and master instructor at Warfighter Academy. “You need to control your breathing. You need to trust and know your gear. That’s what’s going to bring you through.”
The skills taught don't only involve guns. Students learn to think strategically versus emotionally, using anything they have -- even a flashlight.
The cost is similar to a monthly gym membership, which can be tailored to your needs.