The Artemis Defense Institute offers a vigorous academic program relating to weapons training, tactics, judgmental use-of-force, situational awareness, and survivability of deadly force encounters. The pedagogy training involves the heavy use of simulated weapons training and use-of-force simulators. After significant exposure to the training modules on the simulators, the trainee is then exposed to live-fire training. This is then looped back into continual simulator-based training followed by live-fire packages.
Since opening the doors in 2013, the Artemis Defense Institute has trained over 20,000 students. During this time, methodologies, practical limitations, and pedagogical structures were tested, and explored. This, ultimately, resulted in the development of VR (virtual reality) platforms for expanded training.
This White Paper explores the success and methods used in simulation-based training as it directly relates to weapons mastery, tactics proficiency, and, ultimately, survivability in a deadly force encounter.
The Artemis Defense Institute was founded by Sandy Sunu Lieberman1In the interest of full disclosure of preexisting relationships, Sandy Sunu Lieberman and one of this report’s authors, Steven Lieberman, are a married couple. in 2013. The purpose at the time of inception was to provide a training venue focused on simulation-based weapons and simulation-based judgmental use-of-force training. The primary market for these services were local law enforcement, as well as military trainees. Soon after opening, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department became a contract client for Artemis.
In 2014 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling from a three-judge panel in Peruta v San Diego (742 F. 3d 1144, 1172)2This case was ultimately overturned En Banc, but reversed by the ruling in NYRPA v Bruen (597 U.S. ___ (2022). The magnitude of this case cannot be overstated. It was accepted by OCSD3Peruta stood for the proposition that a law-abiding citizen articulating they had a “general interest in self-defense” had through judicial notice articulated the requisite “good cause” for issuance of a concealed weapons permit. and, as a result, the Sheriff began a process of issuing concealed carry permits to the general public. The Artemis Defense Institute, already a contract vendor for OCSD, was asked to become a CCW training provider.
To accommodate the needs of the public for repetitive training, the Artemis Defense Institute implemented a multi-tiered training program that encouraged clients to become monthly members and participate in once or twice a week continual developmental training.
Sandy Sunu Lieberman, along with many of the Artemis Defense Institute Instructor Cadre, had identified a pervasive problem in the firearms training community. Most training continues to be offered in a seminar based format. Clients take relatively short disparate classes where only a percentage of the information is retained, then exit the training spectrum for months or even years at a time. Ms. Sunu Lieberman envisioned a program that encouraged constant, consistent, repetitive training with purpose, similar to that offered through a martial arts program.
New participants at Artemis are placed in a progressive series of classes labeled Pistol 1, Pistol 2, and Pistol 3 (Pistol Series). These classes are two and a half hours long and go over the basic steps in weapon manipulations, shooting theory, and weapon safety. All of these classes are taught using real firearms with simulated recoil that are dedicated and retrofitted to be used on a non-ballistic digital shooting range. The possibility for a catastrophic mistake is eliminated and errors can be addressed and corrected in a controlled, safe environment. After a client has gone through the Pistol Series, they are advanced to a repetitive course called Transitions. Here the client hones their weapon manipulation skills and ingrates the safety protocols necessary for live-fire shooting. Once a client has reached an objective level of proficiency, they are introduced to a series of courses labeled 4M44M stands for Marksmanship, Mindset, Manipulation, and Movement.. These group classes are supplemented by both live-fire courses taught at a secondary location. Private, customized training, as well as individual judgmental use-of-force through scenarios, are offered on the 300-degree surround theatre and VR immersive system (Orion Training System).
During the entirety of the history of the Artemis Defense Institute, metrics have been used to measure client success, as well as the viability of the training program. Some of the real world success stories will be discussed in this White Paper.
The Artemis Defense Institute opened to the public in 2013. Through the use of simulation-based training platforms, clients were provided safety, weapons instruction, tactics instruction, and judgmental use-of-force training in a simulated non-ballistic environment. When individual trainees had reached an objective level of proficiency and safety, they would then be introduced to live-fire training at a secondary location.
In 2019 the Artemis Defense Institute began to develop technology using research and collected data since 2013, with the goal of introducing a virtual reality based training platform. In 2021 that program was unveiled to Artemis Defense Institute members as the Orion Training System. Using the VR based platform and proprietary training pedagogy5In this paper the use of the word “pedagogy” refers to the different constructs used in the training curriculum. Sub-categories of Constructivist, Reflective, Collaborative, Integrative and Inquiry are all incorporated into the more general construct of “pedagogy”., along with a modular training system, trainees have been instructed in room-clearing exercises, low-light training, movement, and cognitive decision making.
Through the use of the Orion Training System’s unique debriefing system, clients have the ability to step inside the targets and see themselves in playback. They can observe their body presentations through doorways and see their weapon presentations from a third-party perspective.
In 2022 the Orion Training System began a secondary phase that included expanding the capabilities of the system to include projection based training opportunities. This advancement allows multiple trainees to work on marksmanship, weapon manipulations, and movement drills without the use of head mounted displays (HMDs). It also allows for the introduction of animated, human targets for more dynamic judgmental use-of-force training.
In 2022 John “Tig” Tiegen, one of the CIA contractors who defended the U.S. Embassy and CIA compounds in Benghazi, Libya during the September 11, 2012 attacks, took part in a demonstration of the system at a law enforcement conference in Solano, California. This led to the first outside partnership between Mr. Tiegen and the Artemis Defense Institute. Mr. Tiegen currently is in possession of a unit, which he uses as a demonstration tool for other industry professionals.
Multiple clients have benefited through the training offered at the Artemis Defense Institute, from becoming proficient in the use of firearms, up to and including clients who have survived violent criminal assaults that forced them to deploy deadly force.
INDIVIDUAL CASE STUDIES
SUBJECT 1: ROGER F.
Roger F.6All names of individuals have been semi redacted to allow for anonymity. became a member of the Artemis Defense Institute in 2016. He went through the standard program of Pistol 1, Pistol 2, Pistol 3, Transitions and 4M. His membership level allowed for two group classes per week, which he made a priority to attend. He also had one monthly private training session per month. During that time he worked diligently in perfecting his pistol handling skills and became extremely proficient in all of his tactical exercises. In 2018 he attended a CCW Initial applicant class. The instructors and fellow students at the Artemis Defense Institute had assumed he already had a concealed weapons permit. He revealed in the class that he had purposely withheld applying for one until he felt “he was ready”.
During the live-fire qualification shoot, multiple students were on the firing line simultaneously qualifying on their pistols. Most of the students in the class had chosen to attend based on online reviews and recommendations from former students. None of the participants were members at Artemis, and most had never participated in any formal training at Artemis until that class.
Roger F. stood out among his shooting companions as having an extremely high level of shooting acumen. This allowed the range personnel to focus their attention on the other novice shooters. Roger F.’s target had an extremely tight grouping and he easily passed the qualification shoot. His retrieved target showed evidence of a shooter who
had fired thousands of rounds downrange and had a high proficiency with the pistol. Upon showing the range personnel the target, Roger F. announced that this was the first time he had “ever fired a live gun”. The range staff all agreed the thousands of “digital” simulation-based rounds that he had shot at the Artemis Defense Institute directly translated to superior marksmanship skills under live-fire conditions.
Enter your email to access the rest of the White Paper & receive updates.
- 1In the interest of full disclosure of preexisting relationships, Sandy Sunu Lieberman and one of this report’s authors, Steven Lieberman, are a married couple.
- 2This case was ultimately overturned En Banc, but reversed by the ruling in NYRPA v Bruen (597 U.S. ___ (2022)
- 3Peruta stood for the proposition that a law-abiding citizen articulating they had a “general interest in self-defense” had through judicial notice articulated the requisite “good cause” for issuance of a concealed weapons permit.
- 44M stands for Marksmanship, Mindset, Manipulation, and Movement.
- 5In this paper the use of the word “pedagogy” refers to the different constructs used in the training curriculum. Sub-categories of Constructivist, Reflective, Collaborative, Integrative and Inquiry are all incorporated into the more general construct of “pedagogy”.
- 6All names of individuals have been semi redacted to allow for anonymity.