About Firearm Training Institute

Founded by David Matthews

At Firearm Training Institute (FTI), our team strives to provide the highest level of cutting edge instruction in the most up to date and progressive firearms skills and tactics. The FTI instructor cadre is composed of a small team of NRA Instructors and NRA Training Counselors who all possess extensive backgrounds in civilian and military operations.

FTI is an industry leader in cutting edge and realistic training. All programs come under the direct supervision of the Director and NRA Training Instructor, David G. Matthews. He proudly oversees a highly skilled cadre of world-class instructors who are committed to developing the best and brightest possible instructors and students!

We guarantee that you will encounter the highest level of professionalism in all of our courses and that the skills you learn will greatly enhance your operational effectiveness and weapons handling techniques.

If you are interested in becoming a NRA Instructor, we offer all of the NRA Instructor Level Courses to students who possess and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitude. Please contact us for more information.
 

 

Meet Our Instructors

 

david_matthewsDAVID MATTHEWS
DIRECTOR / NRA Training Counselor

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Firearm Training Institute (FTI) is owned and operated by David Matthews, a veteran of the U.S Army, Law Enforcement, and a lifelong hunter, fisherman, and firearms handling and training expert.

Mr. Matthews has over 50 years experience in the field of firearms handling, tactics and law enforcement for and in the State of California. During his diverse career, he has studied with the industry’s foremost and well respected instructors and tacticians.

David is one of California’s top master firearms and tactics instructors and holds certifications from a wide variety of agencies and schools that are highly recognized throughout the United States. These Instructor Development Schools include FBI, CA Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, ASP, NRA, and Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification just to name a few.

David’s years of experience and methods of teaching cutting edge tactics takes his courses to a level rarely seen.

David is dedicated to providing the highest quality professional training available whether for law enforcement agencies or private citizens, large seminars or private lessons, basic or advanced, with an emphasis on friendly hands-on instruction that is simple, effective, affordable, reality-based, motivating, empowering, and most importantly, FUN!
 

 

ernie_hernandez_jrERNIE A. HERNANDEZ JR.
NRA Training Counselor

Ernie is a combat Vet with 10 years of military experience. Since leaving Military service, Ernie has been on the road to build his real world gun fighting knowledge by frequent and realistic training. By learning from some of the most talented instructors in the industry and developing his own expertise in the field, Ernie has become a top tier Instructor in the Defensive Industry. Ernie is an NRA Training Counselor that teaches and mentors, Instructors and Instructor Candidates in several NRA disciplines. With such a wide range of experience, Ernie is an In Demand Instructor and has taught Coast to Coast, also in the UK and Europe. Ernie has Instructor credentials from such places as:
 
 

· Blackwater
· Department of Defense
· California POST
· California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
· Department of Justice
· NRA Law Enforcement Division
· LMS Defense
· I.C.E. Training Company
 

 

karen_kKAREN KOCHHEISER
Instructor

Karen Kochheiser joined Firearm Training Institute in 2013 as one of our Cadre of instructors. Karen specializes in classes and instruction for women only, but is available for training in any capacity.

Her first real introduction to firearms was in college but her enhanced training began once she decided to obtain her Concealed Carry Weapons permit. She participated in weekly training sessions in elevated stress “situations” with a number of other women, to keep up their CCW skills. When another NRA Instructor suggested she should teach others the valuable skills she had learned, she began teaching formalized training classes. Her primary focus is teaching women, she can share her experience and expertise in training and other aspects of being a CCW permit holder as a woman. Karen also has her Security Guard/ Firearms card and has worked in the field of executive protection.

Education, Training and Certifications:

· NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
· NRA Personal Protection In the Home
· NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home
· NRA Range Safety Officer
· NRA Chief Range Safety Officer Instructor
· California Department of Justice Firearms Instructor
· Red Cross CPR and First Aid Certified
· ICE Training, Executive Protection
· Front Sight, Pistol
· Defensive Firearms Training, Close Quarter Combat Carbine
· Premier Tactical Training, Vehicle Assault and Advanced CCW Training
· C.A.T.S. – Center Axis Relock Pistol Training
 

 

jay_groverJAY GROVER
Instructor

Jay Grover’s keen interest in firearms training stems from his decades-long love of the outdoors. He was fishing and bow-hunting way before he began pistol and rifle training. In the early 90s, Jay began hunting deer, wild boar, elk, and upland game bird. He has hunted in California, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.

For the past couple of years he has taken multiple training courses in order to secure a California Concealed Firearm License (CCW), and to further his education in Instructor quality courses.

Education, Training and Certifications:
 

· NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
· NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home
· NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
· CA DOJ Handgun Safety Instructor
· California Concealed Firearm License (CCW) class
· Arizona Concealed Firearm Permit
· Utah Concealed Firearm Permit
· Front Sight, Defensive Handgun (2 day)
· Front Sight, Defensive Handgun (4 day)
· CPR, First Aid and AED certified.
 

 

jene_salasJENE SALAS
Instructor

Having come to a love of firearms later in life, Jene Salas has embraced the training and discipline with enthusiasm and skill. Over the last year he has worked closely with FTI, David Matthews and Ernie Hernandez to become not only a proficient shooter but a proficient and skilled instructor.

Jene holds classes in the Fremont area and he and his wife Kris, are a team that will not only educate you but provide excellent training.

Instructor Certifications:
 
 

· NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
· NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
· CA DOJ Certified Handgun Safety Instructor

Personal Certifications:

· NRA Basic Pistol
· NRA Basic Rifle
· NRA Basic Shotgun
· NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home
· NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home
· CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Hunter Safety Course
· California & Out of State Concealed Handgun License (CCW)
 

 

vince_schwartzVINCE SCHWARTZ
Instructor

Vince Schwartz joined Firearm Training Institute in 2013 as a Range Safety Officer. Since that time Vince has expanded his role with us.

His introduction to shooting was in the deserts of California and Nevada as a kid with his parents and now he shares his enjoyment and passion for shooting sports with his family.

Vince began to take instructor level courses in order to share that passion for shooting and shooting safety.

Education, Training and Certifications:
 
 

· NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
· NRA Certified Shotgun Instructor
· NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home
· NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home
· NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
· CA DOJ Certified Instructor
· First Aid Instructor, BLS & ACLS Instructor