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Report from Oath Keepers Board member David Helms, Vice President in charge of nation-wide CPT:

I recently traveled to Van Buren, AR to do a little training with Rick Moon. Rick is a Special Forces veteran, former DHS agent and the co-founder of Xiphos Defense Group. He is also the Arkansas State Chapter President for Oath Keepers.

Rick offers various dynamic training courses but I have mobility issues so we mostly stuck with pistol and carbine training. Everyone can stand a review, right? It was certainly the case with me.

We started the day with a safety briefing and went over range rules. (A quick aside here; Rick has a nice range. It was once the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department range and it has everything you need for a good day of shooting.) Rick then covered the basics of shooting. Again, we can all stand a review from time-to-time. Rick also offers some things you don’t often get in a basic handgun course; threat evaluation, threat indicators, stress resolution and a no-nonsense section on killing. As Rick points out, if you’re going to carry a weapon for self-defense you better have your head wrapped around the concept of killing. He then went through an explanation of all the various drills we would be covering once we stepped on the range.

On the range we started with a few rounds to check zero and then we got to the fun stuff. Everything starts and ends with a 360 degree security scan, as well it should. We worked both from holstered starting positions and from position SUL. If you aren’t familiar with that term it is the starting position with the weapon held at chest level, near the body and angled down at about thirty-five degrees. From these two positions we worked on engaging targets near and far, straight ahead and at oblique angles. We worked on polishing all the basics while Rick made suggestions on possible improvements to bad habits that develop as we grow older and less attentive to form. Surely I’m not the only one out there who, on some level, begins to have a subconscious thought that this has been done so many times that it no longer needs thought or improvement. Wrong.

We finished the morning by working on strong hand/weak hand shooting and weapon manipulation, mag changes using tactical and combat reloading concepts, dynamic shooting, Holcomb drills and intermediate and advanced shooting stances and positions.

We then took a lunch break during which Rick gave me the opportunity to ask questions and also gave a quick overview of the afternoon’s activities. After lunch we again sat down and went over safety and range rules very quickly and then Rick gave an in depth description of what we would accomplish the rest of the day. Once we stepped to the range we did a quick weapon zero and began the course work.

We covered mag changes, weapon stoppages and malfunctions, moving and engaging targets in buddy pairs, down weapon drills in buddy pairs, lateral movement while shooting and break contact drills. I fired about 450 rounds through the old AK and had great, walloping, gobs of fun all afternoon.

I’d like to spend a few moments on Rick’s teaching style. Rick exemplifies the term “quiet professional”. I don’t mean that he is taciturn, we had great conversations all day. What I mean is that he is very calm and very relaxed in his presentation. Whether it be introducing the material or correcting a mistake Rick is always calm. It is obvious that he has been there and done that and drama simply isn’t necessary. He is also really good at using humor to make corrections or point out errors. At one point I went through a course of fire that just didn’t work out for me. My timing was off, my movements were not fluid and my shooting just sucked. After I cleared the range and safed my weapon I heard Rick say “Well, you’ve got your warning shots down.” That was just what I needed to break the cycle of self-flagellation that I was just about to begin.

Speaking of shooting badly (which I did a lot of that day) Rick did an interesting thing. When he set up the targets at the beginning of the day he placed a standard silhouette target on the stands and then placed a tiny copy of a silhouette in the center, just over the X. We didn’t talk about this at all. He just did it and we moved on with the training. All day long I was beating myself up when I’d miss one of those little freakin’ targets. At the end of the day Rick pointed out that even when I missed the little fellow I was still in the ten ring on the standard target. Huh. Aim small, miss small, right? I thought that was a really effective way to improve someone’s shooting without them even realizing you were doing so.

In closing I’d just like to say that anyone who has the opportunity to do so would benefit from taking a class with Rick Moon. I know I’ll be going back. Soon.

Here is Rick’s biography and a brief overview of his business and services:

Rick Moon


82nd Airborne

Special Forces

Law Enforcement





Threat Assessment Officer

Security-Canine Explosive Interdiction Team

V.I.P.R. (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response

PSD (Personal Security Detachment)

Firearms and Tactics Instructor

Arkansas Concealed Handgun 19+yrs

Military & Law Enforcement


Arkansas Handgun Academy

Palmar Firearms Academy

Hard Target Defensive Handgun Instructor Course

President Arkansas Chapter of Oath Keepers

Association of Threat Assessment Professionals

International Association of Counterterrorism & Security Professionals

National Rifle Association

Co-founder-Xiphos Defense Group


Established 2013

Van Buren, Arkansas

Ph: 479-763-6517

Rick Moon   Co-Founder


Threat Assessment

CARVER Threat Matrix


Individual Threat Assessment &


S.T.A.T.S. (Sanctuary Threat Assessment

& Tactical Security)

Level I   Developing A Church Security


Level II  Active Listening, Pain

Compliance and Joint Manipulation


Level III Use of Firearms in a Chaotic

and Close Environment

Firearms Courses

Arkansas Concealed Handgun Course

Basic, Intermediate (Handgun Theory),

Advanced Handgun Course

Women’s Handgun Course

Basic and Advanced Shotgun

Basic, Intermediate and Advanced


F.I.R.E. (Force Initiated Reactive

Environment) Coming 2015


CQB (Close Quarters Combat)

Team Movement and Response

State of Texas Branch

Coming 2015

All Courses Previously Listed

Level II  Texas Unarmed Security

Specialist Certification

Level III  Texas Armed Security

Specialist Certification

Level IV.  Texas Personal Protection

Specialist Certification

Advanced Personal Protection Course






  1. Local to the area, been through several of Ricks classes. Nothing but good things to say. The man knows his shit.

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