World Black Belt Living Legends

John S. Farnam

John S. Farnam

What can possibly be said about the legendary John Farnam that hasn't already been said many times by many people in many places?

That Mr. Farnam is without doubt or question one of if not the finest small arms and tactics instructors in the business; a fact known by all who are truly knowledgeable of the subject. Imitated by many - surpassed by none, John's student roster is star studded, Masters who sit at the throne of a true Grandmaster.

Been there - done that. A U. S. Marine Infantry Officer awarded three purple hearts for wounds received in action in Vietnam, retiring with the rank of Major. Law Enforcement and Training Officer, consultant and trainer of law enforcement and military agencies and units domestic and friendly foreign, John's word is typically final and there are generally no higher appeals. And his incredible wealth of knowledge and wisdom, techniques, tactics and strategies are likewise shared with law abiding citizens

Awarded the prestigious "Tactical Advocate Of The Year" title by The American Tactical Shooting Association (ATSA) in June 1996, John's credentials were hard earned, all of which combined reflect only a snapshot of a very big picture.


  • Cornell College, Iowa, BA Biology, Chemistry, 1967
  • U.S.M.C. Commissioned Second Lieutenant, 1968
  • Wisconsin Dept. Of Justice, Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Enforcement, 1971
  • Western Wisconsin Technical Institute. Certified Police Officer, 1971
  • U. S. Marine Corps Institute, Land Mines, Explosives and Demolitions, 1972
  • Wisconsin Dept. Of Justice, Motor Vehicle Search And Seizure, 1974
  • Wisconsin Dept. Of Health, Certified Emergency Medical Technician, 1975
  • Western Wisconsin Technical Institute, Associate Degree, Mechanical Engineering, 1975
  • Illinois Dept. Of Law Enforcement, Defensive Tactics, 1977
  • U. S. Army Infantry Advanced Course, Ft. Benning, Georgia, 1977
  • National Rifle Assn. Certified Police Instructor, 1977 to present
  • American Pistol Institute, Practical Defensive Handgun, 1979
  • National Rifle Assn. Certified Police Armorer, 1980
  • U. S. Army Command And General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, 1980
  • American Society Of Industrial Security, Current Terrorist Tactics, 1982


  • NRA Certified Police Firearms Instructor
  • Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, International Assn. Of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors
  • Distinguished Expert, National Forensic Center
  • Individual Voluntary Practical Pistol Instructor
  • Certified Instructor, Certified User, Special Purpose Low-Lethality
  • Anti-Terrorist Munitions (SPLLATM-ASI)
  • Monadnock PR-24 Instructor
  • Glock Pistol Armorer
  • Colorado State Board Private Occupational Credential For Security Services


  • Police Marksman Association
  • Distinguished Experts, National Forensic Center
  • International Assn. Of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors
  • American Society Of Law Enforcement Trainers
  • National Rifle Association

John's prolific pen has authored such works as:

  • "The Street - Smart Gun Book"
  • "The Farnam Method Of Defensive Handgunning"
  • "Guns & Warriors"

    John's words have graced the pages of

  • Police Marksman
  • American Handgunner
  • Combat Handguns
  • Guns and Ammo
  • Soldier Of Fortune

What makes John S. Farnam a true Living Legend?

Dr. Richard L. (Rick) Wigginton, Martial Arts Grandmaster and Living Legend, himself an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor had this to say.

The most impressive character trait of John Farnam is that he doesn't seek to impress anyone. He seeks only to inspire and he does so by setting the example and leading the charge. You won't find John Farnam "in the rear with the gear." As an old Marine Staff Non-Commissioned Officer, the greatest compliment I can pay a retired Officer is to say that I'd follow his lead in battle anywhere, anytime and in any place. John is a man that "I'd ride the river with." I've known only three other men in sixty years that I'd trust with my life and that's what a Westerner does when he "rides the river" with another. In fifty plus years of Martial Arts study I've been fortunate of having been blessed with the opportunity to study with a few great teachers and among that elite fraternity there are but two that I have called mentor. John Farnam is one of the two, a Martial Artist who quotes from the Go Rin No Sho and the Sun Tsu with the ease that politicians forget campaign promises.

In an era when Martial Arts are confused with theatrics, "reel" with "real" and fantasy is all too often accepted as reality; when our arts are flooded with more "talk the talk" than "walk the walk," John goes quietly about the business of continuous improvement. Not content to rest on the laurels of reputation and past triumphs, John forges ahead, a true Sensei, always seeking a better way. "Willingness is a state of mind, readiness is a statement of fact. Find a way to win, not to lose, there is precious little time to do both. We learn not by success but by failure and by failing in training we learn to not practice our mistakes," says John.

John S. Farnam is a modern day Samurai, a Sensei whose teachings have saved countless lives, documented time and time again by students who have "faced the elephant" and lived to tell the tales. John embodies all that is good and noble in the American male, a patriot who calls it like it is less fluff and sugar coated window dressing, for John has no use for gimmicks and gadgets, bells and whistles. John Farnam's spurs were earned by his skills.

I respect and admire John Farnam. But more importantly, I count my friends on my fingers with digits to spare. I use the word friend sparingly. John Farnam is my friend and if ever a man earned the title of LIVING LEGEND, it is the man we honor, JOHN S. FARNAM.

Mr. Farnam may be contacted as follows:

Mail: P.O. Box 917
La Porte, Co. 80535

24 hour Voice/Message: 970-482-2520
24 hour Fax: 970-482-0548
E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.<br

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