Business Profile: Atlantic Tactical teaches the art of self-protection

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R.S. Mitchell is a friendly man, talkative and welcoming.

But he’s no easy target.

The owner of Atlantic Tactical, and husband of the proprietor of Mitchell’s Martial Arts, Melody Mitchell, knows how to protect himself and wants to teach that skill.

It might be as simple as teaching students to carry a Sharpie pen with them, to jab an assailant under the chin, in the stomach or chest, just long enough to get away.

Maybe it’s reminding them to carry a flashlight when they’re walking in the dark, since it, too, can be used as a weapon.

Or, for those who are interested, it could be instructing proper gun handling.

Experts at Atlantic Tactical teach gun techniques and have a full wall-sized simulation screen that allows students to practice, or play target-shooting games, depending on their interests and goals.

NRA classes are taught, as well as Concealed Carry. Students learn what to do to protect others from loaded firearms. Children are directed not to touch if they see a gun, and to immediately tell an adult.

Some people have birthday parties there, at the South Division Street location, originally Skateland. They can shoot targets or zombies on video. Businessmen and businesswoman can take part in team building.

Serious shooters can practice and novices can master how to shoot a gun.

There’s a video on the simulation screen, in a large, private room, that lets the shooter,  using a realistic pistol with a laser beam, react to an intruder in the house, to a man threatening a woman in a truck, to someone breaking in from the outside.

“It’s the easiest way to train people, the safest way. I really felt it was the easiest way to alleviate anxiety,” Mitchell said about the simulation screen that was installed in June.

Safety is paramount. Students receive a handout with these rules:

  • Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

“A gun is the last defensive weapon. It’s something in your arsenal,” said Mitchell, who’s been associated with martial arts 60 years and whose father had a black belt in karate.

“I believe in the Second Amendment, that you should be allowed to own a gun for your protection, for pleasure, for self-defense. If you use it for self-defense, you really need to know to use it. Do no harm unless it’s absolutely necessary, but don’t put yourself in harm’s way,” he said, explaining confrontation often results from fear and inflated egos.

National Rifle Association shooting courses are offered at Atlantic Tactical. Each student is evaluated and specific training suggested.

At Mitchell’s Martial Arts next door, students have the benefit of 250 years of professional  experience. Safety classes are offered and tips given, like how to park the car and the best way to trim bushes around the house. Call 410-341-3333.

Bob Rovin, instructor and marketing director at Atlantic Tactical, said the goal is to teach students to be careful enough so they don’t have to use a gun, but if it’s needed, to know how to handle it.

“Guns aren’t evil. Evil people make guns evil,” Mitchell said.

“We live in an illusion of safety. I want to be able to defend my family and myself and to do it safely.”

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