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Interview with Scott Jedlinski of Modern Samurai Project

By now, we hope you’ve read our review of the Modern Samurai Project Red-Dot Pistol Course. In case you were curious, here’s some more information about “Jedi” (known in the real world as Scott Jedlinski). From the “About” section at Modern Samurai Project:

Lifelong martial artist (TKD, Muay Thai, BJJ), no LEO or military experience (save being an Air Force brat) I have received  training from people I consider to be the best in the industry such as Matt Jacques, John Murphy, Chris Sizelove, Aaron Brumley, Steve Fisher, Ernest Langdon, Gabe White, Aaron Cowan, Ben Stoeger, Tim Herron, and many others.

I am a Master class shooter in USPSA. I am the 16th recipient of the F.A.S.T Drill coin. I am a three stripe Purple Belt under Tony Passos. I do Strength & Mobility training three times a week. 


Surprised to see the martial arts training listed as part of Jedlinski’s background? Don’t be. Many skills honed in the martial arts are directly transferable to shooting. The discipline required to put in the work and practice, taking instruction from those that know more than you, learning the best ways to improve; all of this should sound pretty familiar to those dedicated to improving their self-defense plans.

Jedlinski himself will tell you, “Another question I get is the influence of martial arts, especially Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, in my shooting and instruction. A lesson I learn from my BJJ Professor, Tony Passos, a while ago was that the 'body works the way the body works.' The laws of physics and kinesiology are the same regardless of the physical activity. In my opinion, no other activity stresses that lesson through efficiency more than BJJ. The application to shooting was easy, because in the end, shooting is a martial art.

Jedlinski uses much of his martial-arts background in his class, helping students overcome what he terms “useless frenetic motion” in every stage of the draw, presentation and trigger press. Jedlinski takes time to have students go over various aspects of physical motion to illustrate his points—he had us pair up and instructed us to move our eyes around and see how difficult it was to get the other person off-balance, for example. When your eyes are forward, it’s hard to move hands off-center; when your eyes are looking up or down, it’s much easier to redirect. Unless and until you actually do this sort of exercise, you just don’t realize how important it is.

One more line from Jedlinski’s self-description needs to be pulled out here:

I am considered by many to be an SME of the red dot equipped pistol. 

This is both a significant understatement and evidence of his humble nature. When our contributor Caleb Giddings was tasked with writing up a Handbook on running a red-dot-equipped pistol, he turned to Jedlinski for instruction. When a Top Shot like Giddings seeks out a trainer, it’s worth notice. Not only does Jedlinski know his material inside and out, though, he’s a rather talented instructor. Perhaps his own explanation for getting into instruction will shed some light on his training mindset:

"I often get the question of how or why I got into instructing. The answer is simple, my friend John Johnston of Ballistic Radio and Matt Landfair of Primary and Secondary dragged me kicking and screaming into it! Their encouragement and persistence were vital in making the leap. Seriously though, I have always enjoyed teaching to better develop my own understanding of the process of getting better."

Having had the opportunity to train with Jedlinski and Modern Samurai Project, I’ll vouch that his teaching method is both effective and useful. Breaking decades-old habits is hard, but hardly insurmountable, and with proper instruction from quality teachers like Jedlinski, even an old dog can learn some new tricks. Even if you’re not a fan of red-dots on pistol, you can still learn much from this “Jedi.”

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