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Rest in Peace Louis Awerbuck

“Mindset is the absolute criterion in a fight. The weaponry is almost irrelevant.” Louis Awerbuck

Yesterday we lost one of the great ones. Louis Awerbuck, who immigrated to the United States nearly 3 decades ago from South Africa, was by all accounts one of the top firearms instructors in the country, if not the world. A friend, contemporary and disciple of the late Col. Jeff Cooper, Awerbuck was a veterans of the SADF's 1 Spesiale Diens Bataljon who taught firearms for years through his company, Yavapai Academy, of Prescott AZ.

Awerbuck got his start as instructor here in the U.S. at Gunsite. Col. Cooper put him on his list of shooting masters who hold a “Doctorate in Firearms.” He had tremendous influence on a number of people, due in no small part to his excellent and prolific writing. In many ways Awerbuck's mien was “classically Afrikaaner”; dry, unexpectedly and quietly witty, occasionally wry.

He is the author of Tactical Reality, More Tactical Reality, The Defensive Shotgun, Hit or Myth and Plowshares Into Swords. He co-authored other books and is featured in many videos (like this one on mindset and this one on the shotgun) as well.

There are a lot of things that could be said about Louis Awerbuck, but as I was not fortunate enough to know him I'll leave that to the men he left behind – Denny Hansen, Pat Rogers, Pat Goodale, Steve Fisher and others. They are all in much better positions to comment than I am. What I will say is this – I put off training with Col. Cooper while he was still with us for several years and missed out on learning from one of the greats. I was fortunate enough to train with Cirillo the Great before we lost him, but as with Cooper I kept putting off taking a class with Awerbuck for reasons that seem far less legitimate or pressing now.

Equipment fails or breaks or is lost, but wisdom, if you heed it, is lifelong. Men like Awerbuck, Cooper and Cirillo have – had – a depth of knowledge and life experience far different than that of the ‘Young Guard' that is replacing them. There are other instructors out there who are, improbably, still passing their wisdom along to students half, a third, a quarter their age. Make them your mentors while you can, even if it means holding off on buying that new rifle or taking that long weekend vacation.

The truth of this lies on several levels, and not just when it comes to training.

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Rest in Peace Louis Awerbuck

I will advise RECOIL readers if and when there is a way to pay their respects or support to Awerbuck's family if and as details develop. In the meantime, to those of you who knew him and counted him as a friend, my condolences for your loss. Feeble as that is, it is sincere. We are, without a doubt, diminished.

The Firing Line - Instructors from GunsiteYou can read a previous interview with Louis Awerbuck here. There is anothers on US Concealed Carry.

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