Some Things in the Works for 2018 with Deus Ex Machina

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

I just finished my last few courses for 2017 and have begun looking at 2018.

I ran a pretty light schedule in 2016 and 2017 due to having some family issues that needed my attention. Those things have fallen into place and I am looking to pick up some lost momentum. I have been looking at the market and trying to figure out what moves need to be made to regain that momentum. I just kept coming back to the same thing over and over again……the basics, marketing, and creating a new student base. The market is flooded with the guys coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan and selling out courses across the nation is a thing in my past. I’m not saying that I can never get back to that, what I am saying is that it will take a lot of hard work, a really good plan of action, some definite adjustments, and a strong relationship with really good people.

The basic courses and the building of a new student base has always been an obstacle that I had trouble with. The biggest problem was actually having a facility to make that happen. On the most part, my range has always been good to me, but that is not the facility that I am speaking of. What I am talking about is a place with a classroom, an indoor training area, and a place that is professional and functional. What I am talking about is a place to get out of the extreme weather conditions of Las Vegas, where the newer students can be comfortable enough to invest the time to get a proper introduction and for older students to gather, network, train, and build a community.

This one issue has dogged me for years. This one issue is an obstacle that has held me back from being able to do what I know needs to be done.

Tonight I went to check out Deus Ex Machina’s new gun smith shop and met with a couple of the founding business owners Ben and Kerry . While being showed around, it became clear that a mutually beneficial relationship between us could be very good for all parties involved. Small classes can be held in the conference room, large classes can be held in the large shop. Gun smith service, armorer courses, training groups, knife courses, CCW courses, seminars, lectures, women’s introductory courses, medical courses and UTM training, can all be done here.

This is something that we have talked about for over a year, but all parties involved have been very busy. It look as if things may finally be falling into place.

Here are a few photo’s showing the facility. The one photo that is missing would be the 2 large roll up doors and the spacious training area.

We are in the beginning stages of coming up with a plan on how to make a huge impact on the Las Vegas Market. I will keep you apprised as we hopefully nail it down.

Some Issues with my 2017 Schedule

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts.

Unfortunately, some over-saturation issues have arisen with my home range, Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club (BRPC.) I consider myself very lucky to have had such an outstanding relationship with my home range for over 11 years. But, due to a huge number of new Instructors coming over from other ranges, this easy and prefect relationship has become more difficult and less ideal. I do not write this as a form of complaint, I write this so all of my students understand that my world has substantially changed. These changes will directly affect the scheduling of my classes and the convenience of my students. I will continue my outstanding relationship with BRPC, but it will not be with the same ease, regularity, and convenience as it was in the past.

I will no longer be able to schedule courses months in advance. There will only be a 60 day notice between securing the range and running the course. I will no longer be able to schedule courses on the courtesy ranges, on the weekends, except for the two Instructors bay. I will no longer be able to schedule longer range courses on the weekends. The competition to schedule courses has increased significantly.

With that said, I will be needing to re-evaluating everything that I have done in the past, in regards to my local courses.

I am putting out an open call to all of my students, to see if there is anything that they can do to facilitate securing a range, in order for me to continue teaching courses on a regular basis and that will allow for me to schedule courses well in advance. The guidelines for hosting a course can be found here.

I am also putting out an open call for securing venues to teach my CQB courses. Those guidelines can be found here.

Together we can overcome this set back and do what needs to be done to make it nothing more than a minor obstacle.


By Roger Phillips, Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

“This is Sparta!”

Once again, it looks as if we are off to a great start and should hit 300 members very soon.

The four founding members are very happy with how things are going. While the member numbers are simply growing at a steady rate, it is the content, the activity, and the behavior that has us absolutely thrilled! We want to thank everyone for understanding our vision and helping us keep on mission with the use of appropriate behavior inside of The Pride.

We want to look at this as a clean slate for everyone involved, including the four founding members. Whatever may have transpired between any of us in the past, is in the past. It is all about who we are in the here and now. You are welcome to move forward how you like, as long as it is done in a positive fashion. Look forward, not rearward.

I do not attempt to speak for the other three founding members, but for me 2014 is all about the building of a future for my family and myself. It is time to step up and do things as I believe they should be done. As many of you know 2014 will be a very busy year for me, but I am going to move forward in as positive fashion as possible. The building of the future may take me away from running as many courses as I usually run, that is simply the reality of opening a new chapter in your life. All I ask for is everyone’s patience as I work past the things that simply have to be done. I will get back to my normal work load as soon as some issues are resolved.

So many people have thanked the founding four for this forum. The fact is, that you all make this forum what it is. As a member of the founding four, I would like to thank all of the contributing members, because the successful start of this forum makes it perfectly clear to me that I will continue to be a successful Instructor. As I take care of the things that have to be done……..I will not have fallen off the face of the earth…….I will have not been successfully erased.

I want to make sure that you all know how much that means to me.

Thank you, Roger Phillips

The High Road and For Those Not in The Know

By Roger Phillips, Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

As a fighter, taking the high road is tough! Especially when people who have no idea what is going on except the lies that are being told and accepted as if they were the truth, with nothing more than hearing one side of the story being told by a proven liar. I was hoping to just be allowed to take my material, my knowledge, my philosophy, and my accomplishments and get on with my life. But it is clear that is not going to happen, due to all of the lies being spread about me being a thief, a liar, and a traitor.

After consulting with my attorney, we feel that the time is right to get some things out in the open that only a few people know.

First things first, for anyone that believes that I resigned because of new standards……….do not believe every ridiculous thing that you have heard! For those that have read “My Story” here is the continuation of those very facts.

All of the material from my Point Shooting Progressions Courses (PSP family of courses) is protected material inside of my contract. I have received financial compensation for every point shooting course taught by my former employer and his Instructors,  per my contract. My contract states that I certify the Instructors to teach my material, inside of the courses that I authorize. This is how it has been laid out for years. Paying me for my material is an admission that  the material is in fact mine.  For the dissemination of that material to be expanded past the contractual agreement requires my authorization, which I have not and will not give.

A decent man would have honored that contract. A decent man would have discussed his intentions to revise the contract. But there was no discussion. I was just informed that my courses were no longer offered and that my material was going to be integrated into all of the other courses, without my authorization. The Close Range Gunfighting (CRG) was now going to be taught as a new course that was to be, as the organization put it…….”PSP heavy.” When this scheme was announced, along with many other ridiculous schemes at the time, the Instructors were told “do not complain, if you do not like it, send in your resignation.”

Well, guess what? I did not like it and I did not need to work with an organization that would break a contract so easily, so I finished my courses and resigned. This treatment and behavior did not surprise me one bit, because I walked into this organization with my eyes wide open. There was never any doubt how this relationship was going to end, it was going to end the same way that all of the organizations relationships end…….badly. After Fuller, Housel, Swain, and Fricke, this is the exact behavior that I expected. No shock, no sense of betrayal……..just business as usual for the organization. You see, I am not so weak as to play the false “victim card” like my counterpart.

The fact is that the PSP courses were found to be a better courses than the CRG courses. This is a quote directly from the organization. “Many students would call and ask the front office, Which course should I take? I heard the PSP is better than the CRG.”

The fact is, I made a name for myself writing my own curriculum’s, teaching my own courses, and it did not sit well with the fragile little egos. This is especially true when I would out sell the name Instructor, head to head, in his own back yard. I knew as soon as that became common place, I was going to be made gone.

I have sat back and been called a thief, a traitor, and a liar all because I would not stand for being treated with such “in your face disrespect.” I resigned due to my contract being broken and more moves being made to break my contracts even further more. I resigned because my work and my material was being handed over to the rest of the Instructors, without compensation, who have either not received the training  or not received the authorization to teach anything past “Introduction to Point Shooting” or “Point Shooting Gunfight Skills.” There has only been one other Instructor authorized the teach the PSP material and that was my very close friend, Corinna Coplin inside of her Women’s Only courses. That was done because Corinna may just get one single chance to give the female protectors, the very best material that we can find.

As far as the “Non Compete” contract……….”THE LAW IS THE LAW” and unless you know the laws for non competes in Arizona regarding subcontractors, you may want to hold your opinions until the courts make their decision. I am absolutely confident that the contract is unenforceable.

There is only two standards that I could not meet. One, is that I would not stick around and be treated with such absolute disrespect.  The second one, I refused to be disrespectful to my students and friends, I refused to accept doing just about anything for money, I refused to have no honor or integrity.

So, for those not in the know, be very careful who you trust for your information. They could be screaming from the roof tops in order to cover up a truth that they do not want brought into the light of day.

When people talk about liar, thief, and traitor, they may want to actually know what the contracts look like, what they cover, how they read, and how they have been broken. I will fight this and I will win! I will also remember every unkind word spoken and by whom.

Please spread this truth far and wide through likes, shares, and comments.

My one post to address the things being said………

By Don Robison

Over the last couple of days I’ve had well over 200 messages from students, online friends and even people I don’t know and have never met. All of them were asking if what Gabe Suarez was saying was true.  In one word, no. I would like to leave it at one word, but I can’t abide by a grown man lying to try to minimize the damage to his wallet so to address one lie. Gabe knows exactly why I left his organization. Here is a copy of the reply I sent him on 14 November when he emailed and asked if he and I “had an issue”

Read more from Don Robison here

The High Road and Telling My Story

By Roger Phillips, Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

I have receive many inquires on “what is going on” and have only spoken to a select few friends on exactly what led to my resignation, my setting out on my own, and my joining the alliance of trainers under Paragon Pride. As a group, Paragon Pride has made the decision to take the high road and to not get into an internet war responding to each and every attack that is being launch against us. We feel that the vast majority of “good people” will see the attacks for what they are and will differentiate between the pathological and obvious lies/distortions/exaggerations and the actual truth.

I have waited patiently for the advice of my council to address the mountain of questions that I am being asked by my friends and students. I would like to take the time and address some of the main questions and then hopefully put this behind me and get on to doing what it is that I do…….training really good people in matters of life and death. Before I get into the meat of the issue, I would like to make one comment.

I use to be exactly where I was supposed to be, but things change. Right now, I have moved on to exactly where I am supposed to be. Change is inevitable, and one must strive to either enact necessary change or to positively respond to the changes that are happening around them. Change is good when it is addressed in the appropriate manner. I could not be happier with the changes that are going on right now. This is the time to stand up and show people exactly what I am made of.

There are two major issues/decisions that came up that made it impossible for me to not resign. It does not matter if the decisions were made to “shake the tree to see what falls out, or if it was a direct attempt to personally force me to move on. Either way, “it is what it is” and I do not take business decisions personally. If somebody makes a business decision that negatively affects me, I immediately begin weighing out my options and developing a plan of action. “Sitting back and taking it” has never been an option in my world. In my opinion, positively responding  to the business decisions is the only course of action.

There are two very distinct strategies in scheduling  your courses. One is to schedule very few courses in order to limit the supply and therefore create a demand for the courses. This is done to maximize the amount of money that you make, for each and every day on the range. This is something that I absolutely disagree with. It is a shortsighted strategy that does not take a number of things into consideration. The other strategy is to put up a moderate number of courses, stay busy, keep your name out there, establish yourself as a force to be reckoned with, and not worry about how much money you can make in each and every day of instructing. This is a strategy that is all about creating your future, it is one that takes the focus off of the short money, and puts the focus on the long money. This has been the strategy that I have successfully used for the last five or six years. This strategy does two very distinct things, it helps establish the Instructors reputation and it affords the students the opportunity to have a good number of choices and options, to find the best training opportunity for themselves. Are there times that my strategy leads to a course that has low enrollments? Yes it does. But the benefits far outweigh the negatives, because it is not just about the short money. In my opinion, low enrollment courses are essential to the advancement of the art and the advancement of the student/Instructor relationship.

Sure, I do enjoy big paychecks……who doesn’t? But on the other hand, I also enjoy small courses where The Pride can workshop skill sets and concepts in the advancement of the art. This is where the future is forged, this is where the personal connections are cemented, and this is an essential part of any successful  Instructor. Do not moan and complain about your low numbers, go into the course with the positive attitude that today is the day that the advancement of the art is going to take another kick in the pants.

Notice that only one of these strategies actually benefits the student in any way.

Notice that only one of these strategies can actually be used by an Instructor that wants to make a name for himself.

For 2014, I was told that I was only going to be allowed to teach four local courses and four traveling courses. But when you look at the way the traveling course program was set up, it became very clear that all of the traveling courses were being decimated, due to a financial punishment of any person that wanted to host a course.  If you want to host a course, you have to give up one of your allocated courses. I roughly teach between twelve and eighteen courses a year and now I was being told that I can only teach four local courses, because the other four traveling courses are not even possible due to this business decisions to punish people for wanting to host traveling Instructors.

With only being allocated four realistic courses, it became crystal clear that I would have to run a lot more courses than I usually do under my business, Fight Focused Concepts. No big deal I could make that adjustment.

Little did I know that it was not just “how many courses I was teaching, it was much more about “how successful I had become.”

The second business decision, and the one that absolutely forced my hand to resign, was the official dumping of all of my “Specialist” courses.  It became perfectly clear that the five to six years that was  told to “stand up, stand out, do whatever you feel you should do to become a name Instructor” was now being replaced with “sit down, shut up, and get in line as a good little (insert franchise name) worker.” It would seem that the positive act of doing exactly what I was told to do was now being seen as negative act of creating a sub-culture. The positive act of making a name for myself was now seen as negative act of creating a fiefdom.

One has to ask themselves, why would somebody dump an extremely lucrative portion of their business? The answer is clear when you understand that, in reality, they never wanted for you to become a “name” Instructor because that takes away from the attempted branding of the company. So, instead of embracing my accomplishment, they decided to try to erase my accomplishments.

I have put my heart and soul into my specialty and I have created my own training philosophy. The idea of letting somebody attempt to erase that work is absolutely unacceptable to me. They can attack me from whatever angle they want, but my friends and students know who I am, what I have accomplished, and who I am going to be as I move toward the future.

I stuck around to fulfill my contract and to teach the last few courses out of respect for my students. The lack of respect, integrity, and honor that I have witnessed during this same time period further solidifies the soundness of my decision. I want to once again, have pride in what I do, pride in who I am associated with, and pride in how my customers are treated. I have learned much over the last year about the paragon of customer service in my other job, the contrasts that I see between my two respective jobs is something that I could not accept. I will be bringing the same level of customer service to both of my jobs and the only way to do that is cutting out the absolute disrespect that I have witnessed in the past.

I am proud to announce my moving forward by the official scheduling of my first local course.  This is just the start! I will also be looking to travel to a few select venues in 2014 and now is the time to contact me to lock those plans down.

You can register for my course here

You can request a traveling course by contacting me here . Those that have already broached the subject with me are at the top of the list.

I am also putting out a public call for CQB venues. If you have a venue contact me at my E-mail address above.

The date for the Extreme Night Fighter course  will need to change due to the legal wrangling that have stalled our attempts. I want at least a three-month window to get this course scheduled and will announce it as soon as I work out the logistics.

Please spread this word far and wide through shares, likes, and follows.

Welcome To Fight Focused Concepts Blog


By Roger Phillips, Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

I have had many people contact me, concerned over the fact that most of my writings have been deleted and that I no longer have a place to write. I assure you all that this is not a problem that I did not foresee. All of my writings have been saved and will once again become available to anyone that is interested in reading them. Along with the older material, I have been holding back on publishing the new material that I have developed and written. Over time I will get all of these writings up on the blog.

As it stands, I have many irons in the fire and everything will be unveiled when the timing is right.