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NTS Course Testimonials

I am a forty year veteran of U.S. Army Special Forces and civilian law enforcement and have known Jeff Johnsgaard for approximately ten years and found him to be a highly skilled martial arts and law enforcement trainer. I have been to his classes and trained with him and can testify he has few equals in his fields of expertise; which include but are not limited to: offensive/ defensive firearm training, lock flow baton tactics and empty handed defense against attack by edged weapons (TAGG); a course he developed himself. Additionally, Mr. Johnsgaard is in superb shape and is an expert in aerobic conditioning and nutritional consultation.

Allan R. Hoffman

Special Forces (Ret.)

I have recently finished a 5 day Basic CAR Instructor course with Jeff. I am from Italy and am in the private security and training fields here and in South America. I have no problem traveling anywhere in the world to receive quality training and once meeting Jeff and seeing CAR first hand from a qualified instructor I was glad I made the decision to come.

Jeff has immediately showed a great skill and huge knowledge, in addition to being extremely energetic and qualified instructor. He made class time and range time interesting and informative.

The CAR System really works, and is extremely useful in close quarter scenarios where is possible to maximize and take advantage of every single technique that I have learnt.

I am sure that CAR System can be applied at huge variety of situations from close protection and physical scenarios to weapon retention and for that reason is a great tool to have and know.

Jeff was easy to contact and made planning for course no problem. From hotel to firearm rentals it was made easy for me. 

Now that I have finished the course and am back working in other countries Jeff has still made it easy to contact him and help me continue my training and teaching of the CAR System. Email, phone calls and on line video web sessions have helped me immensely.

I look forward to doing instructing my first CAR course soon.

Simone Russo


Attended the 5 Day Basic C.A.R. Instructor Course:

Jeff was the Master Instructor for the course that I attended. This is the first time receiving C.A.R. instruction through a Master Instructor in the C.A.R. system, instead of a self-proclaimed instructor, non-certified instructor, and /or even the You Tube Masters. Receiving credible instruction is hard to find. But when it is available, it is worth all the effort to attend it. Jeff definitely surpassed my expectations when it came down to his demonstrations and instruction in which he established that credibility.

Receiving proper and correct instruction through Jeff was much more beneficial than just following the comments and assumptions said about the C.A.R. shooting system throughout the shooting community.

I’m accustomed to different instruction either through the various courses and schools I have attended, or the various instructions I have provided over the years in multiple platforms either Marine Corp based or civilian and Jeff’s method is definitely not your common standard. The structure and instruction were skillfully approached for the student level attending the course. Jeff was able to see the individual capabilities and skill level of each of the students. I was glad that he was flexible to ensure the class was not a common cookie cutter method of instruction. Jeff would go out of his way to ensure each student received training according to their expectations or their specific line of work. Something that is definitely not seen very often by instructors.

The Basic Instructor course may be introductory in nature due to the system, but the level of expectancy and competency is not at all beginner level. There must be some level of fundamental weapon manipulations and marksmanship required to adjust to this system. In order to take the C.A.R. system and add it to your firearms skills, you must be able to step back and understand how the system is an enhancer to your current skills. Not a replacement to the Modern Technique and/or Traditional style of shooting that is taught throughout the world as many have alluded to. This is something hard for many to grasp due to the many years of being taught a certain way of shooting.

The C.A.R. system is an amazing force multiplier to weapon manipulations and marksmanship. It is easy to see why many will dismiss the shooting system at first glance and will quickly criticize the methodology behind the techniques of the C.A.R. system. The fact that the C.A.R. system is easily adaptable through proper training has great benefits to different types of shooters from body types, handicaps, and experience level. Once the system is understood, practiced and incorporated into your abilities. There is a level of calmness in knowing that if the time arises when you need to put them to the test, and regardless of the conditions, you can go ahead and know that a great system is available for you to tap into.

The reality is that gunfights are not in ideal conditions as many will believe, train, and hope to have. Perhaps the harsh truth is that majority of incidents will happen in under than ideal conditions like on a unexpected location, determined assailants, undesirable lighting conditions, and multiple environmental variables like bystanders, distance, obstacles, weather and your mindset. Because of the different variables and changing situations that happen every day, whether at work or in your normal day in life. Having the capability and skills to change with the situation will allow you to come above that situation by not becoming a victim of being unprepared. For that reason I will continue to enhance all aspects of my shooting skills, to include ensuring that this amazing shooting system is incorporated to the level where I can fall back, transition into and from without hesitation.

Victor M.

SSgt/ Active Duty /United States Marine Corps

Marksmanship Training Unit

Chief Instructor

“I’m a civilian shooter and long time Weaver stance practitioner, who just completed Jeff Johnsgaard’s 2 – day Center Axis Relock class. I can tell you that the C.A.R. System integrates perfectly into my preferred shooting stance. While vastly improving my ability to rapidly put accurate shots on target from the draw in close quarters. Jeff’s instruction style is fun and informative, with just the right balance between class and range time. I am convinced that the C.A.R. System is a superior retention and stability stance that works extremely well in tight spaces. Jeff leverages his extensive martial arts background to break down why, anatomically, C.A.R. works and makes it easy to understand. By the end of the class, the initially strange looking stance, felt completely natural. I would recommend taking this class to anyone who has an open mind and the desire to learn something new that really works. This class is easily worth the money, and I look forward to further offerings from Jeff.”

 R.K. Sills

Testimonial for 5 Day CAR Basic Instructor Course

Jeff Johnsgaard as an instructor

Jeff has incredible breadth and depth of both knowledge and experience. His thoroughly impressive skill with firearms and hands on defensive tactics give his lessons impact. When explaining a technique he always emphasizes the reasons behind it and he asks students to think about why they use a particular skill, technique or approach. He teaches with a positive attitude and compliments students on their strong points as well as coaches on needed areas. Safety concerns drive behavior during training and he endeavors to make the training relevant to each student and their unique situation. 

CAR System

I went to my first CAR class at the invitation of a professional friend who demonstrated a CAR technique during another course’s Force on Force session. The technique worked well and really impressed me. Yes, at first CAR seems weird because the stance is unfamiliar to shooters. But, after deciding to give CAR an honest try, I found it natural for my body. I can see the application and definitely am now a convert. In 20 years of self defense firearms training, I’ve taken classes from Awerbuck, Farnam, Hackathorn, Ayoob, Roger Phillips, and Dale Fricke, and had instructors who were trained by Cooper, Suarez and Taylor: all people with good things to teach. But CAR makes shooting easier, particularly in close quarters and in dynamic situations mimicking a gunfight. It addresses so many scenarios with a fluid and seamless response that it really makes sense. Getting fast hits on threats from different angles and on the move came without stress or fatigue on my arms, shoulders and back which allowed my feet to do their job. I am already finding myself going to a “CAR position” naturally, especially in a vehicle.

What Jeff Cooper called the Modern Technique required an adjustment in attitude since it was new and different. But because IT WAS BETTER people started using it. Add 40 years. Now CAR has the benefit of decades of experience and research that proves threats occur at close range and movement is dynamic. CAR addresses this by working with the way our bodies naturally move. IT IS BETTER. Fairbairn and Sykes, and later Applegate, spoke about working with the body’s natural reaction to a threat and CAR continues that line of reasoning. 

Two aspects of CAR that will get your immediate attention are the extremely fast time from a scan position to an aimed fire position, and an ability to respond to threats while in a vehicle with a 360 field of fire from a two-handed, supported position. People who say CAR is not safe have either not used it or have been trained improperly. Gunfights themselves are not safe and we still observe the Four Rules.

The last noteworthy point I found in CAR is the unmatched weapon retention platform. Countering gun grabs and being better able to react and protect your pistol in crowds and other environments is a must for civilians and law enforcement alike. I have never seen weapon retention techniques so effective for people of any size or physical ability.

If you want to increase your defensive skills contact Jeff. Take a class from him and give CAR an honest evaluation after training with a qualified instructor.

Dan Ashmore

Thank you for the five day course, it exceeded my expectations. As you know, I went to it with very little handgun experience having only had my CCW for a year. Honestly I was a little apprehensive about whether I should be there or not. I have taken range safety training but have never taken a tactical shooting course and I was afraid I would be holding everyone else up from learning or simply not have the background to learn your teachings. How wrong I was. I appreciate how you handled this and also how the other students helped too. It was a very collaborative learning environment.

I knew that I was not ready to be an instructor, but I wanted to get the extra training time in and in retrospect taking the 5 day Basic Instructor course was a great way to practice the fundamentals much more. It was definitely intense. You had me doing things that I didn’t expect or imagine that I could do like shooting multiple rounds…fast and accurately, using various shooting positions and combinations, drawing, holstering, etc. 

Above all, I appreciate how safe that it was and how intentional you were about safety.

I definitely recommend this course if you are looking to advance your firearms self protection training and Mr. Johnsgaard was an excellent instructor.

I’m ready for the next one and look forward to working toward earning my Basic Instructor level.

See you soon!

William F.

In reference to Jeff Johnsgaard and the Center Axis Relock (CAR) System:

I took the 5 day CAR Basic Instructor course with NTS. Jeff focused on the six key core concepts relating to CAR: Reacting, Reducing, Reloading, Recovering, Returning, and Retention. Each of these concepts was covered and practiced in a classroom environment in a combination of lecture and hands-on practice with blue pistol trainers.

Jeff is one the best instructors I have had the privilege of training under in both an academic and real-world environment. His attention to detail and ability to communicate information are second to none.

During my time in the class, Jeff provided the highest quality instruction that I have ever received. He is a practical, no-none-sense person who has the ability to keep the class on target and moving through the material at a brisk yet focused pace. The curriculum was well designed and perfectly executed, allowing the students to observe, practice, and absorb the techniques being taught.

The techniques developed in the CAR System and taught by Jeff are forward-thinking and are based around scientific and anatomical evidence of how the human body reacts and operates under stress. What I found most impressive about the CAR System is that it developed techniques that employ the weapon around the natural body mechanics of the operator rather than forcing the shooter to conform around the weapon. 

There is much to be said of Jeff’s personal character as well. Jeff displays all the necessary traits that are key to being a good instructor. He has excellent communication skills that give him the ability to transfer the information to each student in a way that they will understand. His analytical abilities allow him to accurately assess what mistakes each student is making and what solution needs to be applied to correct it. He is very patient and invests the necessary amount of time and instruction to ensure that the student understands and can execute the project. He is also a very decent person with a great sense of humor and is a pleasure with which to work.

I can say personally, that Jeff Johnsgaard is by far one of the best instructors or teachers that I ever had or ever will have the privilege or pleasure of training under. I highly recommend the CAR System and Jeff Johnsgaard’s services to anyone – whether they be military, law enforcement, or a responsible armed citizen – who carries a handgun for personal protection.


Peyton L.

US Department of Defense

This course was definitely one of the best I have ever attended. Great Job!

The material was both informative and very relevant to the law enforcement and security training fields. Subjects ranged from refining basic shooting fundamentals, tactical shooting and a weapon retention platform that is unparalleled.

On the course I can say that you will develop a skill set that is equal to no other. My reloads and rapid fire increased exponentially. They will push you to personal point of failure and then give you the techniques to go above and beyond. This course is a must for every individual who is serious about their growth in weapon manipulation and combat shooting. I look forward to attending more classes in the future.

Center Axis Relock is the pinnacle of shooting systems and I fully expect to see a huge growth in its application and deployment in the near future. A must attend course for anyone serious about training.

I look forward to continuing my Instructor Level training and hosting another course soon.

Thanks again.

Joshua S.

Deputy Sherriff

I just attended a Basic CAR End User course, for my second time. The course was a great refresher after I had a two year break in training. Jeff and his instructor staff are phenomenal. They are consummate professionals and did a fantastic job with a class of beginners to experienced shooters. The CAR System is such an easy to learn skill that my entire class was successfully completing stress drills and dynamic shooting exercises before the courses end. Jeff's course gives you the skills and techniques to truly get you ready to protect yourself and loved ones, whether on the job or out and about with your family. The course is a fantastic value and I am already planning on attending the next available 5 day instructor course.

Todd W

Simply put, Center Axis Relock works. I surprised myself with how easy it was to pick up, and how safely it can be utilized. I have never been a stellar marksman, but I found myself shooting tight groups, while on the move, by the end of the first day. The CAR system makes sense for military, law enforcement, or any individual who might find themselves in a close quarter combat situation. Jeff was an excellent instructor and worked hard to ensure our class was solid in their grasp of material. I highly recommend both Jeff Johnsgaard and the Center Axis Relock System to those who are serious about adding valuable tools to their operational skillset.

Ian H.

Deputy Sheriff

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