History of the Armed Defense Training Association
ADTA Founding Member
Vice President, 2011-2012
The concept of the Armed Defense Training Association was founded on December 31, 2010 at the first, casual meeting and discussion by our founding members Jerry Galland, Chad Hiatt, Byron Hiller, Matthew Jarvis, Mark Knapp, and Ed Streit. Following a well-received article Mark had written for the local community newspaper, the Federal Way Mirror, these original six Federal Way residents felt the need to establish an organization to promote shooting sports in Federal Way, self-defense skills training, and the development of local facilities for responsible gun owners.
In January 2011, they formed the ADTA, and conducted two successful community invitational meetings at the local library (each filled to the capacity of the meeting rooms). Very quickly, the ADTA grew from an abstract concept to a vibrant organization of over 50 involved members. The ADTA made an immediate splash in the community, and was featured in a very positive front-page story in the Federal Way Mirror on February 23, 2011; the same local newspaper in which Mark's original article had appeared.
The ADTA concept formalized into conducting regular shooting exercises and practice events at amiable local ranges, where the ADTA reserved the entire range for the club's use during the event, permitting flexible use of the range for more advanced exercises than typically available to the typical range patron. In mid-2011, to help coordinate its growing membership, the ADTA set up its online website supporting events signup, article publishing, and membership management, and payment processing. In the second half of 2011, the ADTA began holding regular monthly membership meetings, with the public invited and all members and guests welcome to learn more about the organization.
In early 2012, in addition to a review and discussion of events and club business, the regular membership meetings evolved into open-to-the-public workshops and demonstrations on firearms-related topics, including supervised dry-practice and introductory hand-to-hand exercises. In April 2012, the ADTA held its first New Shooters' Clinic, a hands-on introduction to handguns intended for the general public, followed by a live-fire range event with an equal number of ADTA member-mentors and new-shooter participants. Every participant took home their best target from the event, and every target had a near-perfect defensive group shot from twenty feet away.
Expanding our resources, the ADTA established a Range Safety Officer training program, free to ADTA club members. With our average of twenty events per year involving firearms, the ADTA RSO program both gave ADTA members another opportunity to gain valuble skills and to be involved, as well as spread some of the responsibilities further across our all-volunteer organization.
In mid 2012, following the significant success of Federal Way resident and FWPD Commander Kyle Sumpter on the History Channel's Top Shot 2012 series, Kyle conducted an ADTA-organized public presentation to an eager audience of nearly one hundred avid and interested shooters. To as much as his regular duties and responsibilities permit, Kyle accepted an advisory position with the ADTA to offer his ongoing insights on our exercises and training opportunities.
Now, at the second half of 2012, the ADTA is looking forward to the opening of not just one but two new local shooting ranges in Federal Way by the end of the year. The ADTA is communicating with the owners of both ranges, and ADTA members are participating in the planning and design phases of one, thanks to the active involvement of owner Bud Piel with the ADTA. ADTA's community outreach continues, with a presence at the local Federal Way Farmer's Market in June, another New Shooters' Clinic in July, and the Washington Arms Collectors show in October. We're continuing to develop our ADTA Range Safety Officer program, and are working on an ADTA Instructor program to help more ADTA members feel comfortable leading exercises and sharing their experience and expertise.
The best is yet to come!