Dave Spaulding is an expert on combat shooting and a man who needs no introduction, but we’ll give him one anyway.

Spaulding is a professional firearms instructor with nearly four decades of law enforcement and federal security experience. In that capacity, he’s worked in patrol, crime scene investigations, court security, violent and property crime investigations, undercover operations, SWAT, training and dignitary protection.

In 2010, he was awarded the Law Enforcement Trainer of the Year Award from the International Law Enforcement Trainer and Educators Association (ILEETA). He’s graduated from many of the top shooting schools you know and love—including Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, Crucible, Sig Sauer Academy, Mid-South Institute of Self-Defense Shooting and others—and has instructed students from around the world in realistic combat shooting. He’s also the founder of Handgun Combatives, a renowned firearms training company based in Dayton, Ohio.

In the video above, Dave breaks down the ins and outs of effective combat shooting. First, it’s about much more than learning the shooting “fundamentals” of grip, stance, trigger control, etc. The way Spaulding sees it, it’s all about mindset.

“You have to have a combative mindset,” Spaulding says. “You have to be ready and willing to engage in combat and take someone’s life.”

Wise words from a master. Check out the clip above for a few other pearls of combat shooting wisdom from Dave Spaulding.

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