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Defense Associates

Overview and Staff

Though a separate business entity, for all practical purposes Defense Associates is an extension of Chuck Taylor's American Small Arms Academy (ASAA) and the Massad Ayoob Group (MAG). Our firearms and lethal force management courses are ASAA and MAG programs, which differ from those offered by most other schools in numerous ways, and it is they who issue the certificates our graduates receive.

Today, most instructors and/or organizations offering firearms training base their instruction entirely on training they received in law enforcement or military, their success in competitive shooting matches or the numerous courses they have taken at various nationally known training schools. We believe that this approach has numerous shortcomings.

Generally, neither the police nor military are known for their cutting edge techniques; additionally their tactics are often unsuited to civilian needs. Competition techniques can often be suicidal on the street and taking shooting courses does not train one to conduct them. We also do not believe that a curriculum created by combining pieces of courses taught by other schools is either ethical or likely to produce superior results.

Our approach was somewhat different. Once we realized that educating our clients on how and when to properly use their firearms was much more satisfying than selling guns to them, we set about to convince the best instructors available to train us to teach for them. Chuck Taylor and Massad Ayoob were the founders of two of the most respected schools in the country and with whom we already had a working relationship. Both offer the most relevant training available, courses not designed for their entertainment value or to incorporate the latest fad, but to develop the skills time has proven the students actually need. The techniques taught, both firearms and legal, have been constantly improved over the last three decades and have been proven successful time and again in actual gunfights and court rooms. Also you will shoot less and learn more than in most other schools
. A good “rule of thumb” is that a training program’s effectiveness is inversely proportionate to the number of rounds fired in it. While a certain amount of actual live fire is of course necessary to develop the desired skills it is much less than most schools engage in. Anyone can fill class time with shooting, but in truth live fire should be a validation that the weapon handling and shooting fundamentals taught have been properly assimilated and correctly developed. 

In addition, both schools conduct a meaningful test at the end of every course. Without such testing the student can neither evaluate the effectiveness of the training nor provide proof of absorbing it if it is needed in court. After a substantial period of training, our Senior Staff became the only instructors ever authorized by both ASAA and MAG/LFI to conduct firearms training without the presence of Taylor or Ayoob. (Additional information of both schools can be found on their individual pages on this site.)   

To attend any of our classes you must preregister. Repeat students can do so by phone or mail. First time students must submit either a copy of their carry permit (CCW), law enforcement I.D. or a character reference from either a judge, lawyer or police department stating they have no history of criminal or violent behavior, drug use or alcohol abuse. An enrollment form can be printed from our "Training Application" page. Space availability, date changes, additional classes, etc. can be found on our Training Update page.

Students should have a basic knowledge of firearms safety and the operation of their weapon(s) before attending class. ASAA handgun courses must be taken in sequence and for safety reasons the Three-Day Handgun course is a prerequisite for the Handgun Clinics or Tactical Seminars.

If you need additional information about any of our courses please feel free to contact us via email or to call from 6 PM to 10 PM Monday through Thursday.


Frank Cornwall 
Mr. Cornwall is one of two ASAA Senior Staff members instructing on the East Coast. He began working with ASAA in 1986 and LFI the following year. He was appointed the regional training coordinator for both schools in 1990. In 1992 he became one of only a dozen shooters to successfully complete the ASAA Combat Master (Handgun) course since it was devised in 1981, the following year he become one of five, off-site ASAA instructors. He is one of only two people who is both an ASAA Rifle & Pistol Instructor and authorized to conduct the firearms training for MAG40.

Mr. Cornwall has been certified by the National Law Enforcement Training Center as a Handgun Retention and Disarming Instructor and holds NRA Instructor ratings for Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun. He is full voting member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) and a NRA Endowment Member. He recently became the first instructor in CT to be certified by Simunition specifically under their new civilian Range Program.


Gary Nalband
Mr. Nalband is one of two ASAA Senior Staff members instructing on the East Coast. He became a range officer and assistant instructor at ASAA and LFI courses in Connecticut in 1988. In 1992 he became one of the first twelve to successfully complete the ASAA Combat Master (Handgun) course and the following year completed training to become one of only five, off-site ASAA instructors. He is one of only two people who is certified both as ASAA Rifle & Pistol Instructor and to conduct firearms training for LFI1 and the first ASAA Combat Master / LFI3 graduate.

Mr. Nalband is a certified NRA Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun Instructor and Life member.

Auxiliary Staff
Depending on the class & its size one or more Defense Associates trained assistant instructors may be in attendance. All these instructors have multiple year training experience before assisting in instruction.


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