In addition to Firearms and Survival Training, we also support Boy Scouts, 4H programs and other volunteer activities that promote youth development and the shooting sports. As state instructors for 4H Shooting Sports, we travel to support counties and volunteer efforts to train youth throughout the state and the western US.
June 2018 Community Youth Shooting Sports (Safety First Shooting Assoc, Winton CA. Monthly volunteer program where community youth are taught basic safety and marksmanship in Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, Archery, Muzzle Loading, and Western Action shooting sports. In WA shooting, participants choose an “Alias”, Mike’s Grandson went with “Tonto” from the Lone Ranger.)
Dave, I just wanted to thank you for you for working with my grandson these past two Western Action Shooting sessions. “Tonto’ really enjoyed the experience – learning gun safety, learning a bit of old west history, and of course he enjoyed the hands on shooting. You were firm in what needs to be accomplished, clear in your directions, attentive as the shooters took their turn, knowledgeable about the history an lore of the old west, creative in assigning or assisting the shooters pick their alias, validated shooters technique when shooting, and demonstrated appropriate safety techniques when handling the weapons.
As an individual who well remembers my years as a competitive marksman, I greatly appreciate your patience and skill with ‘Tonto’. – Mike C
June 2018 VTAC
What can I say, if you’re interested in self defense and want to learn more by adding vehicle’s into the equation, there’s so much you would never even think about or be able to learn & practice without professional instructors and a safe setting… Especially in the era of YouTube experts, nothing is more important than going out there and actually getting “hands on” experience. For the knowledge passed along, experience and price, I don’t believe there’s a better option available. – M Farmer
April 2018 California 4H Archery Leader Certification
Dave, Thank You for a very informative archery course. I gained a lot of knowledge from the small basic amount I came with. Looking forward to a great year of archery. Thank you, -Jennifer P. El Dorado County 4H
Good Day Dave, Thank you for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm about archery. You are an excellent instructor and role model that I hope to emulate. I look forward to attending the shooting sports leader conference in 2019. Take care. Respectfully, -Steve Veveiros, Volunteer Napa County 4-H
April 2018 NRA Pistol Instructor
Hello Dave, I wanted to thank you for an informative, educational, fun, interesting great class… I realize all the hours, the expense, the hours, the effort and the hours, including time away from family it takes to put a class and class curriculum together. O’ did I mention the hours…lol! Thank you again Dave and I look forward to your next class… – Bob Quevedo
“It was fun and very informative” – Reinhard L.
March 2018 Defensive Shotgun
Well if you haven’t signed up already do it now.. I’ve taken a handful of classes with Hammer Stryke and I’m signed up for another. These guys Dave, John, Steve and the rest of the team know their shit when it comes to self reliance and firearms training; their also some of the nicest badasses you’ll meet. Last class I took was defensive shotgun. I’ve shot a 12g for 25 years + but never been put in positions or situations that you’ll go through on the range with Hammer Stryke. From the different shotgun types, the ammo and where, when and how they should be used to storing, reloading, cleaning your defensive shotgun. It’s easy to shoot at clays or paper targets right? Yeah that’s what everyone thinks until they put a timer on you and say go and the hair on your neck stands up and your nerves start shaking. Now just imagine if there was an intruder in your home with your family what your nerves will do. Bottom line get out and train, because talent you may have naturally, but skill is only developed by hours and hours of beating on your craft. All in all it’s a great time with good people/Friends and I’ll be back for more..
Thank you Hammer Stryke!
February 2018 CSON
Every time I take a Hammer Strike course I leave with more information than I know what to do with!
CSON challenged my husband and I to look at our emergency preparedness plans and our teamwork skills to overcome possible threats to our family and our homestead. It is amazing how many things they can teach you in two short days. How much knowledge they can pass on. Every class we take improves our technical skills, ability to detect and solve possible issue’s we may face and perfect our emergency loadout gear. I truly appreciate the knowledge, experience, technical skills and the opportunity put myself and my equipment to the test! You guys are AMAZING! – Tabie Tabrizi 714-655-9408
August 2017 Combat Medicine –
I have been shooting since I was 4 years old. I have been a CCW holder for 4 years. I had no idea the vital knowledge gap I had! Defensive medicine was one of the most amazing, educational, intense, and FUN things I have ever done! Three days well spent! – Tabie Tabrizi 714-655-9408
June 2017 Private course – CCW/ group training
My family and I took a private firearms training class together. We were all at different levels of skill, but Dave and John were able to make sure that those who were behind caught up and those who were ahead improved on fundamentals (not an easy feat considering the degree of skill differences). We all felt that we got everything possible out of the experience! By the end of the day, each of us had improved dramatically and had a super fun day! – Tabie Tabrizi 714-655-9408
February 2017 Gun Fighter 1
I think we have taken this class four times now and every time we take it, we improve! GF1 keeps my fundamentals up to speed and always keeps me improving! It’s my go to class! – Tabie Tabrizi 714-655-9408
February 2017 AR Tactical
Dave and John, First off thank you so much for the classes last week I had a blast and what I learned was absolutely invaluable. You guys are awesome and I feel very blessed to have mentors such as yourselves. I can’t wait to take more classes. Again thanks for everything – you guys Rock! See you next in a Month or so. ~Mo
January 2017 Defensive Handgun and CCW Training
My husband, grown son and I attended our first Hammerstryke class last weekend. First day was CCW training and a couple of hours of range time. Second day was a private all range time lesson for us focused on firearm handling, shooting, safety and group dynamics. From the time we got there to the time we left, my whole family felt valued and respected by the whole Hammerstryke team. A lot of firearms related professionals have an attitude but not these people. They were warm, patient, caring and above all, superbly knowledgeable. I have taken other classes elsewhere but the subtle nuances I learned here coupled with real life practical instruction is beyond compare. It was baby steps for us but Dave and his team can take you to any level you want to go. They are infinitely qualified. If you ever invest money in yourself in either firearms or survival, spend it here at Hammerstryke. You won’t be sorry you did. These guys are the real deal. – Sharon Currie, Santa Barbara area, California
January 2017 CCW Training
I just got home from your class and I realized I didn’t get a chance to thank you. You and your instructors made the class enjoyable and very educating. I hope to attend some of your advanced classes in the future. I hope to run into you in town sometime! Sincerely, Kyle Griffith
Hunter Education Training
My wife, my son, and I had a great time at the Hunter’s Safety class yesterday. Dave is an outstanding individual, and teacher. A 10 hour class has a the potential to drag out, and become monotonous. Dave did a great job of keeping a 10 hour class fun and enjoyable. Dave also did an exceptional job of keeping the younger kids engaged and involved in the class. If he can do that kind of work in a 10 hour class setting, I’m excited to see what he can do with the practical courses. Thank you Dave! – Matt Holway
Old West Shooting Experience
Yeh got back to England sat thought I would let you know about hammer stryke had great time with Dave and his brother dead professional thanks lads – Douglas Spraggon
2 Day Rifle/Pistol Training
Hey Dave, and John,
Thanks again for a great 2-day class. I had a great time and learned a lot.
Chris Cheng (Author “Shoot to Win” | History Channel’s Top Shot Champion | www.TopShotChris.com)
Survival/Escape and Evasion
I posted a Blog recently and mentioned one of my favorite websites in the article. If you haven’t been to his page, you should. Ivarr thanked me below.
Dave I just followed a link back from a visitor that came here from your page at an article you wrote about my page.. THANK YOU SIR..
I cannot express my thanks and appreciation for your kind words. Most people come here and think I’m off my rocker or meds and don’t pay a bit of attention to any of the content, asking me to point out what it is I’m doing here because they are too lazy to look around. You did not.. Thank you Sir..
Ivarr Bergmann (http://www.the-edelweiss-never-quits.net)
11:03 PM on August 20, 2015
June 2015 – CCW Class
I want to thank everyone at Hammer Stryke for an amazing CCW class. The classroom teachings were incredibly informing as well as very interesting and well presented…I left with no questions unanswered (and I had a lot going into this class!); Dave covered everything very thoroughly. I was not experienced in gun handling going into this class so was very anxious about going to the shooting range for this aspect of the class. I was SO relieved that Dave noticed I was struggling and took me aside to work with me one on one..that made all the difference in the world to me and made this a 100% successful experience, his help was invaluable for me. By the way, I am a 65 year young woman..life can’t be lived in fear, but in preparedness and confidence. Thank you all again! – A.W.
May 2015 – Family classes
We are aware that the world is changing fast; be it civil unrest, terrorist attack, fire, flood, earthquake or an asteroid.
I knew my family needed some classes to acquire the skills to survive whatever may come our way. After trying to involve family to get some type of group classes; I soon found there was no interest. I spoke to Dave and he put together a class schedule for my family (Husband 42, Wife 38, 2 daughters 12 & 5 and son age 8).
It has been a complete change of lifestyle and continues to change daily. We are still concerned about the changing world but we have learned many new skills to deal with it.
It is my recommendation that if you don’t have a family plan, or even if you do have one – put it to the test with Hammerstryke and they will make sure it works.
Thank you Dave and crew!
Rick & Andrea W.
April 2015 – Defensive Pistol Training
We first visited Hammer Stryke when inquiring to do our CCW class training. We met Dave who was very knowledgeable and made us exited to move forward with our class. The CCW class at Hammer Stryke is first class and above the rest. Dave taught us everything we needed to know about being a responsible and confident conceal carry citizen. The class also included shooting techniques. Thanks Dave! Our second class with Hammer Stryke was a private class with John, who gave my family (Me, wife, son) advanced pistol training. The improvement we saw from the beginning of the class to when we finished was amazing. I can say John and Dave really taught us how to shoot, they are true professionals! We are looking forward to many more classes in the future. I highly recommend Hammer Stryke.
-James, Tiffany, and Christian Lopez
Sept 2014 – Small Group Survival Tactics
Small Unit Survival TTP’s – My weekend was amazing! Yeah the ladies were outnumbered 2 to 8 (big surprise) but oh well because we held our own out there! Lots of new skills to keep practicing and building on. This class was such a huge eye opener for me as far as how unprepared my family and I are if there was to be any natural disaster or some terrible conspiracy theory situation (mom, that’s your department) to happen and we had to resort to living out in the woods and protect ourselves. Very interesting skills and concepts that are a must to share and practice with your family members in case of an emergency – Christina F.
Sept 2014 – Small Group Survival Tactics
My son – Keenan – gave glowing reviews on the teaching you and your bro delivered.
I’m former USAR TF-7 and wilderness SAR with Butte County S.O.
Thanks for helping my kid move forward.
Ron Lopez, RN, PI
Registered Nurse (Lic. #403925)
& Licensed Private Investigator (Lic. #26739)
Specializing in medical forensics
March 2014 – CCW Class
Just had my second CCW renewal with Hammer Stryke. I have had several renewal classes over the years, but Hammer Stryke in my opinion is the most informative class I have ever taken. I encourage anybody who is looking to take their initial or renewal class with Hammer Stryke
Aug 2014 – Gun Fighting 102
Good Afternoon John:
Just want to thank you for sharing your technique in Gun Fighting and Awareness. The boys and I really enjoyed the class and have not stopped talking about it between us. We are making plans for another awesome training course.
Thanks again and look forward to future training
SWSI Owner/ Project
July 2014 – Map and Compass Class / Mariposa Secrets & Legends Walking Tour
My husband, my 3 year old son and I recently took 2 classes with Yosemite Survival. We took the Map and Compass reading class and the Nature walk around Mariposa. Both were so much fun and FULL of so much useful information.
The Map and Compass class was an all day event. We learned how to read a map the correct way. As well as the difference between the different types of maps. Then we learned all about Compasses and how to use them. Dave and Dan also taught us how to find where we were on a map and how to correctly inform someone where we are if hurt or lost in the middle of nowhere. We then spent the 2nd half of the day doing courses out in the woods. Going from clue to clue using bearings on the compass and maps. We left the fun filled day hot and tired but sure we would be ok if we ever needed to depend on a map or compass lost out in the woods.
The Nature walk in Mariposa was about 2 hours and super fun. We got to learn some great history and stories about our town, and how it was back in the day. The best thing about this is that both Dan and Dave’s families where here back then so they know a whole LOT of good stories. From there we went for a walk along the creek and learned some gold history and about what native plants you can live off of, and use for medical uses if need be. SO MUCH INFO!We now want to take the whole day class about eating in the wild.
Dan and Dave do an AMAZING job at teaching. They really know how to teach in a way that you can absorb what they are saying. One thing we love about them is that they really care that you learn what they are teaching. They believe in what they are teaching!
Feb 2014 – Private Training
I had a BLAST working with you! I am very grateful that you have chosen to teach firearms. Your knowledge, training and mostly your prospective on real life training is BAR NONE! I am hooked, I’m a fan and here for the long haul. I came home so excited last night. My family is on board. You are by FAR, the best at what you do. I greatly appreciate you keeping me in the loop. I will be taking the gun fighter class. Then we’ll be there for the family course. Thanks again! Hollie
Feb 2014 – CCW Training
You were right in thinking I was almost overwhelmed at the end of the day. But what an incisive, insightful, remarkable day Saturday was! Back in the day, I worked at a wonderful level and attended many seminars.
I am happy to note that you– your knowledge and your passion – are right at the top.
While I have had exposure to many categories over the years, I had not stepped through the doors you opened. I will always remember Connie telling me about, “indexing”. It is now an indelible action. What a gift.
Well, I have recovered from being taken aback so I will schedule an appointment. It is excellent that you are reaching all demographics. At any rate, the day was dazzling, not likely to be forgotten. Your work is profoundly important.
Oct 2013 – Gun Fighter 101
Please give me a heads up when you set a date for a gunfighter 102 class. 101 was awesome thanks! – Shawn Mills
Oct 2013 – Defensive Medicine 103
Took a 3 day tactical medicine course. Was really tough but the instructors from NorCal MedTac and Hammer Stryke were awesome. They did a great job and the training was intense. Definitely took me out of my comfort zone. Thanks guys for a fantastic class even though I have a few new aches and pains. – Rick Blackwell
We had a great time the class was excellent – Russ C.
Dear Dave, John and Connie, 20 January 2013
A big THANK YOU for such a fantastic experience today! We knew that the class portion would be more in depth than other CCW classes, but yours far exceeded our expectations. You really communicated the responsibility that a CCW holder caries. There are so many factors and consequences to weigh and consider prior to firing that gun. You made it clear that we need to think and prepare for those consequences _before_ we might be in a situation that requires action. One would hope that any gun owner would be so informed at a minimum! Thank you for tasking us to think and discuss these details.
When the range time came we were again pleasantly surprised. You were very thorough on the scenarios under which we were asked to shoot the targets. It was much more realistic that just standing and shooting at a stationary target. We learned a lot on how we might further our training to become more skilled and proficient. Your teaching methods demonstrated your willingness to help each of us as an individual if needed or requested.
We appreciated your availability for additional instruction/training once all the qualifications and class were concluded. We learned so much more and enjoyed the extra treat. We left the range as the sun was setting thankful and appreciative that we were able to participate in your course. We look forward to the next class or practice opportunity to learn more of your expertise.
Thank you for a valuable experience, Julie and Randy Richard
John and Dave, Re: Defensive Shotgun Class
I wanted to send you guys a note to say that Jacob and I really enjoyed the class on Saturday. Both Classroom and range time were done very well. We have since spent a lot of time discussing the class and things we need to work on. Not to mention it was a lot good safe fun. – Brent
John and Dave are awesome instructors! Very informative, professional and FUN! Like their brand of “KoolAid”! – Shayna De Bry
Hi Dave, I just wanted to thank you again for running a top notch class. I was impressed with the NRA course itself – but more with your knowledge, professionalism and how you ran the class. I felt like you actually cared if you taught us well – and not just getting us through the class. I learned more in your class than I expected, and I walked away feeling more confident as an Instructor. I will be recommending several of my friends and family to take the Basic Pistol course with Hammer Stryke, as there are no NRA classes in Fresno. – Eric Swisher
Dave & John, I wanted to tell you both how much I appreciate your training program. Even though I probably won’t get a CCW permit, it was well worth taking your course. I’ve learned so much. I’ve never had any formal instruction on shooting a hand gun. Both of you are excellent instructors and had a lot of patience. The talk on avoiding high crime areas and situations was also very informative. – Best Regards, Klaus
I wanted to thank you for the CCW course. This was by far the most informative self defense class I have attended. Many people do not realize the social and moral responsibility of owning and using a defensive weapon. You made that clear to all who attended your class. The classroom information was excellent and very well presented. The range session was a great experience and I am looking forward to more sessions with you. Thanks for the excellent program you and your staff provide. – Steve Andersen
We want to take this opportunity to share the many professional qualities we experienced while training with Dave Givens. Our first training encounter with Dave was during his one day CCW class where he shared his wealth of knowledge on the complex laws of concealed carry and the emotional situations that can arise. He was well prepared and presented the information thoroughly while keeping us engaged. He invited questions and a chance to consider different types of holsters and methods of carry. While at the range the priority was always safety first. Dave communicated his instructions and made the expectations clear. To name just a few skills we learned were proper stance, draw, identifying threats and non threats, shooting with our weak hand, retreating while shooting, communicating to others in a combative situation, how to be the best witness and clearing a misfire. All though this class was intense it was an eye opener and a cool experience.
We learned so much from the first class that we decided to take his Couples Defensive Training Course. Once again Dave and his staff were helpful and courteous while sharing their expertise. They shared ways to be prepared at home and away, to include our families and be aware of our surroundings. At the range we practiced our communications skills as a couple both verbal and non, muzzle & trigger control and how to work together as a team. The restaurant scenario at the range was realistic with its design and multiple targets. We practiced reloading while our partner continued to engage threats in our attempt to safely evacuate. All practice was done in a controlled, safe and reassuring environment. The range time was a blast, no pun intended. They made this serious class very fun and exciting.
We highly recommend anyone looking for firearm training to contact Dave Givens at Hammer Stryke. In fact we have referred him to our friends on multiple occasions. We look forward to our next training encounter including spending time in his mobile live fire simulator. – Earl and Launa Gann
May Couples Defense Class
So yesterday, Vern and I went through a couples self defense training with Hammer Stryke Self-Reliance Training, Inc / Hammer Stryke. I have to say, I LOVE Dave’s trainings, but this training was particularly AWESOME!!!!! Five exclamations, serious.
The class was a lesson about coming together in a stressful situation and working through the problem. It prompted some very important discussions about what we would do if we found ourselves in various situations alone and what we would do if there were guests/children in the house. Men, if you think your lady is going to wait where you left her, not knowing what happened to you or your children–let me straighten you out! lol
I would highly recommend the class, especially for couples who are comfortable with a pistol. With that said, Dave tailors the scenarios for different experience levels. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed the class and scenarios we went through. I had the opportunity to strengthen some basic skills, plus learned a whole new skillset for working with a partner.
If you’re interested in hearing more about the details, feel free to talk with me or Vern Alvarado. Of course, you can also contact Dave through the Hammer Stryke links above. – Andrea and Vern Alvarado
Thanks to the ladies who came out to the range today! Didn’t get a pic of the whole group but had an awesome time with u all. Special thanks to Hammerstryke for making gun safety fun along with helping us perfect our skills:)
April CCW Training
Just a note to say thanks from Melinda & me. We had a great time at the private CCW class. I was expecting a real good class after meeting you but this went beyond our expectations by far. I came in thinking I knew most stuff but I came away with a whole new perspective & view. I had not looked at or even thought about several areas that you brought up and covered thoroughly. We feel confident and well informed now. I would highly recommend this class to anyone and we plan on taking more of your courses. Also thank you for the training and advise that you gave my daughter that one day. I know you didn’t have to but you did and we very much appreciate that. Once again it is Hammer Stryke going above and beyond what they have to.
Weyman & Melinda
Mar 17th, 2012 NRA Range Safety Officer Certification
Just wanted to thank you and John again for the great class. I realize that it’s a super compact format and really hard to cover even half of what an RSO needs to know but I felt like I learned a ton and will continue that. Of special interest to me was the malfunction / stoppage section with the actual firearms. I’ve never seen most of those firearms and it encouraged me to keep learning about firearm mechanics. I felt like I knew US Military firearms pretty thoroughly and was humbled at how little I knew about the foreign models you had there.
It was great to get some hands on experience with those different types of firearms and I’d feel a lot more comfortable helping a shooter with a malfunction on those type of arms. Definitely a lot left to learn though. – Weston Waterson
Feb 19th, 2012 California Concealed Weapon Permit Training
Thank you Hammer Stryke for a great day of shooting! Who knew a CCW class could be such fun! I learned new things and was able to build my confidence with my new gun. Can’t wait to do some couples shooting. Thank You! – Stacey Williams
Dec 11th Personal Protection in the Home Class
Dave: I want to personally thank you and the two Johns for the outstanding training I attended today. Your presentation, knowledge and
technical expertise made this class hit home with me as to not only how much I didn’t know, and how poorly I was able to perform in the scenarios at the range. Shooting the bad guy between the knees isn’t going to help me much at all.
You guys are a great bunch of people, and I see the dedication in you to what you do and the passion you have to teach the people in your classes all this so very important information. My eyes were opened very wide and I’ll be thinking of these things for a long time to come. I’ll also be spending a lot more time at the range practicing what I need to know. All thanks to whet I was shown today.
Please keep me informed as to upcoming classes and events so I can participate, and keep the learning curve alive.
Merry Christmas to all of you and thanks again. – Mark Brandwein
Nov 22nd, 2011 Private Handgun Selection Class
“Thank you to both of you for coming over yesterday. Everything was VERY helpful. I feel confident that the 686 will work for me. It has all the requirements I am seeking, and I look forward to participating in some of the shooting events at the local clubs. Many thanks, once again! Have a great Thanksgiving! -Ingrid”
Nov 6th, 2011 NRA Personal Protection in the Home Class
As an adrenaline state self-defense instructor I truly appreciated the the Personal Protection in the Home training. The lecture portions on legal issues, emotional aftermath of shooting someone, best types of personal safety guns, purchasing a gun, making your home safer, defensive confrontations & marksmanship, cover & concealment greatly enhanced my knowledge base.
The training with laser practice guns and at the shooting range was much more realistic than target shooting at a range. Rapid fire shooting, shooting from the hip or belly and shooting from cover even created an “adrenalized” state or “stress training” learning environment which is an ideal environment for learning self defense. This will definitely lessen a natural “freeze” response I may have in a real-life attack situation when I may need to use a loaded gun to defend myself.
They did an excellent job of reinforcing the use of a loaded gun to protect yourself or you loved ones as a LAST RESORT and clearly explained all the ramifications of such use.
I highly recommend this training course to anyone who is considering using a pistol or handgun for personal protection in the home or who already has a handgun but may not have had adrenaline-state training to help them use the weapon calmly, confidently and effectively when necessary.
Erica C. Neuman, M.S.
Executive Director / Instructor
IMPACT Bay Area
Ph. 510-208-0474510-208-0474 / email@example.com
See our Schedule of Classes or Book a Private Class.
Give the Gift of Safety & Confidence! Buy a Self Defense Class Gift Certificate today.
04 November, 2011 Mariposa co Women’s Personal Protection and Health Awareness Event
Hammer Stryke, You guys are probably the most organized and together group that I have run into in many years. Keep it up! I
had a GREAT time on Saturday, and would gladly do it again. And the girls in my family, and their friends who attended, are still talking about it.
They are going to try to get a group together to go to a class with you.
Regards, Mick Herman, President Motherlode Pistol Club
02 November, 2011 Merced Co and Mariposa Co Women’s Personal Protection and Health Awareness Event
In addition, we would like to extend a BIG thank you to the organizer of this event, Dave Givens with Hammer Stryke. Also, thank you to all the many volunteers who donated their time to provide excellent training to all the participants.
One more, huge thank you, to all the sponsors of this event including River Oaks Range (Safety First Shooting Association), Mariposa Co. Fish and Game Protective Association Range, Hammer Stryke Self-Reliance Training, Inc., Sintex Security Services and Training Academy, and Tap Associates, Inc.
And lastly, thank you to ALL who helped to raise money by supporting our gun raffle, and misc. raffle at the events. With your support, we were able to raise a total of $3,100.00 for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life!
29 October, 2011 Mariposa Women’s Personal Protection and Health Awareness Event
“Dave et all, You did a great job!
It was a fun day for us, I hope it was for you all also! Thanks for letting me shoot the Tazer. I called my husband in Montana when I got home
and asked Santa to bring me one. He said it sounded like I had more fun today than he did. I love it when that happens!”
-Name withheld by HSSRT
13 October, 2011
“Dear Dave, Thank you very much for you time and talents
yesterday. I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot about how to handle my
new pistol. I look forward to taking your CWP class and have called my friend
who also wants to take the class. Thank you.”
-Name withheld by HSSRT