Bourne in the Desert

If you’ve got a week, Denise Bixler wants to turn you into Jason Bourne.

Okay, maybe I’m over-selling it.

Ms. Bixler, of BixPros,  is only offering you a chance to learn edged, impact, and hand-to-hand techniques with legendary ex-CIA non-ballistic weapons expert Steve Tarani, combat carbine with Navy SEAL Chief (retired) Chris White, and handguns with some guy named Rob Leatham, who might have several dozen USPSA championships under his belt.


When you’re done with the five-and-a-half day experience, you will not look like Matt Damon, or be able to speak innumerable foreign languages fluently, or have hidden safety deposit boxes tashed in exotic locations around the world.


* * *

There are some people in the world who simply have a talent for meeting other people and establishing fascinating social networks, and Denise Bixler is one of those people.

Bixler first ran into Steve Tarani while undergoing training as a Sheriff’s Auxiliary in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with the sheriff’s and police departments.  She didn’t have experience with any sort of self-defense courses at the time, but quickly took to the training and began to thoroughly enjoy it. She took additional courses through Tarani, and thorough him, she eventually met retired Navy SEAL Chief Chris White, who served on SEAL Team 1, SEAL Team 2, and DEVGRU (SEAL Team 6).

She also took classes at Gunsite Academy, and somewhere along her training progression hatched the idea of combining multiple disciplines into an unparalleled self-defense cross-training event taught by the “best of the best.”

Tarani and White both quickly came on board with the idea, but Bixler wanted to get a professional competition handgun shooter into the mix… and it just didn’t seem all that plausible.


After all, “gamers” and tactical shooters don’t always speak the same language, and there’s sometimes a heated rivalry between them.

Then Bixler’s knack for networking came into play again.

She ran into Rob Leatham at a range in Scottsdale, Arizona, and pitched him on the idea of an integrated class teaching integrated self-defense from hand-to-hand range out to 200 yards. Leatham, who has helped train elite military shooters when he not out on the competition circuit, jumped at the chance.

The Evolution of Shooting will be held April 10-16, 2016 at Gunsite Academy, the granddaddy of all firearms training schools, in the high desert outside Paulden, Arizona.

  • Learn current in-theater combat carbine skills from USN SEAL Team Chief Chris White (Ret.)
  • Learn the closely held secrets of going from a mediocre handgunner to a competition master from internationally ranked 26 time USPSA National Champion Rob Leatham.
  • Learn how to protect yourself and your family when firearms are not an option, using improvised edged, impact and flexible weapons from ex-CIA non-ballistic weapons expert Steve Tarani.

Everything is included in the class.

  • Five and a half days of Professional Training
  • All ammunition
  • Six nights of private accommodations
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks EVERY DAY
  • Range Assistants
  • Opportunities to earn great prizes from sponsors including:
    • Devil Dog Arms
    • Aimpoint
    • Safariland
    • Benchmade
  • Guest speakers: Bill Rogers (enough said!) and Dr Steven Bucci – former Under Secretary of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld
  • There are still a few seats left for this concierge-level event, but only a few.

If you’re interested in this unique experience, you can read more about it here.

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