Thank you for taking the time to visit Safety Solutions Academy North East Ohio’s premier defensive firearm training school and home of the best Ohio Concealed Carry courses in the state.

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The Origins of Safety Solutions Academy

In 2010, I began the process of creating Safety Solutions Academy to fill a need for quality, professional, Defensive Firearms Instruction. As the defensive firearms industry has continued to explode it has become even more evident that Safety Solutions Academy was an important tool needed to fill the instructional void that exists when it comes to the defensive use of firearms and information surrounding concealed carry.

Safety Solutions Academy works to helps its clients understand the realities of the defensive use of guns. We take a hard look at:

  • What you can do to avoid ever having to use a gun to defend yourself.
  • What guns are best for defensive use and what makes them better than all the rest.
  • How you can best prepare for a spontaneous scenario where you are forced to use your firearm for protection.
  • What other skills are important when it comes to your personal security.
  • Many other topics.

Safety Solutions Academy Courses

Advanced ccwThe majority of our clients benefit the most from attending Safety Solutions Academy Courses in person after they have used our virtual content to improve their skills on their own.

Follow this link to  find a list of our courses along with important course information.

Although Safety Solutions Academy is based in North Eastern Ohio, (not far from Cleveland,) we regularly have students travel from around the country to train with us and request our services at their location.  Safety solutions Academy Courses are taught in more than a dozen States annually and we would love to have you as our guest in Cleveland or come and train you at your facility.

Travel To Train With Safety Solutions Academy

Click the link here to find out more about traveling to train with Safety Solutions Academy.

Here is where you should click to find out about SSA Courses that are coming to your area.

Host a Safety Solutions Academy Course

If there aren’t any SSA Defensive Firearms Training Courses in your area follow this link to host a course.


SSA CHIPSafety Solutions Academy Content

This hard look takes places on our blog and podcast, the YouTube channel, our social media outlets and in our in person courses.  Our widespread approach means that our content is available to most everyone regardless of physical location, financial means, or free time.  If you are interested in learning more about your personal security, Safety Solutions Academy has content available to you.  Check out the far right of this page for our most popular and our most recent posts.

SSA Podcast

The Safety Solutions Academy Podcast is a great way to digest quality information related to the use of defensive firearms and your personal safety.  With more than 300 episodes you are sure to find content that is helpful to you and your family.

Please listen, subscribe and let me know what you would like to hear covered on the SSA Podcast.

You can find the podcast right here on the SSA page, and also on

SSA YouTube Channel

With over 100 videos, the SSA YouTube channel is another source of SSA’s free content.  This video shuld give you a good idea of what to expect from YouTube.


Leave Comment
  1. Eric

    Saw an article showing that you are having problems as a result of operation choke point.
    The corruption in the government is out of control, I live in an area where the economy was deliberately collapsed negatively impacting the state following a catastrophic hurricane that struck the island on 9/11/1992.
    As a result of this collapse Steve Case of AOL was able to acquire a large landholding named Grove Farm around the same time that AOL was merging with Time Warner.
    People involved in the economic collapse along with some of their associates became very influential in the Clinton White House around the time the law changes allegedly responsible for the accounting scandal were coming about.
    As well as the law changes and repeals that would bring about the subprime mortgage meltdown.
    If you go to it will bring you to supporting documentation as well as articles and excerpts of arrest records and court documents as to whom some of the principals involved were.
    If people aren’t alarmed as to what is going on they’re going to deserve the reeducation they in all probability about to get, that they in all probability will not survive.
    Perhaps I’m an alarmist however when corruption has gotten to bad anywhere, something has always given.
    When that happens all hell generally occurs.

  2. Thomas Joseph

    For so I want to say this was a very thorough class. Paul took as much time as needed. In fact ,this 12 hour class took us 13+hours because Paul took as much time as we needed to answer as many as we had. I am going to take his second class as well. Only suggestion I would make besides taking this class with Paul, is to wait before you purchase a firearm. Thanks again Paul. Be safe, Tom Joseph

  3. Jonathan

    I am commenting on the video “Why Carry Concealed”

    I have been carrying concealed for over a year, I feel comfortable carrying. I peractice everyday drawing from my IWB appendix with my Sig Sauer P239 in 9mm, as well as a TDI Ka-Bar knife in a cross draw.

    The reasons why I carry is obvious, for protection of my life and members of my family. I intend to use the tactic of evade and escape as my first chose, however if I can’t I’ll do what I feel is the most appropriate to save my life. I also carry when I walk my dogs for protection against coyotes (an aggressively growing population in my area).

  4. Paul Hogan

    Hey, I just listened to “Selecting the Best Defensive Firearms Instructor” Podcast, where both you and Rob Pincus touched upon a lot of important points. It is so important to do your homework as a student to find out what type of training you are looking for, find the correct/knowledgeable instructor, and in my opinion as a student to find an instructor you can connect with. It does no one any good if the best instructor can’t deliver the message and/or the student can’t receive the information. I come with a background in the fire service, and also law enforcement, so I’ve seen my share of good, bad, and outstanding instructors. when I come to a class, I set the bar for them pretty damn high and the instructor has no idea. It might have been mentioned (I was doing Dad duties while listening to Podcast) but I again go to that connection. I certainly don’t expect to have that best buddy type friendship, but having sent questions via email or discussions via social media and the potential instructor/knowledgeable person respond goes a long way (both of you have done this and I believe it lends to your professionalism & being “teachers” more than just “instructors”. And being a teacher of any subject you must be learning and developing as you hone your craft.
    As a student, we too must be willing to grow, take different points of view into consideration, and be open to new ideas. I have been a responsibly armed citizen that carries everyday for the past 7 years. I know that I have to push myself to be open to other instructor methodologies. Personally, I hate change, but I know that I must grow to learn. I have to go to a class with an open mind. I have had the mental conversation back & forth of “That’s not how DeVito taught me, so I’m not doing it!” versus “”Just try it and see”. (disclaimer: I’ve taken intro to CFS w/ DRFT 2 times and the 1 day CFS w/ Matt DeVito and I have really done well with CFS, it has made me a better shooter). So in the end I’ve made the decision to be open to instructors that have a delivery style that I trust and key in on. Everyone is different, and this is how it works for me. Now while I have not trained w/ either Rob or you yet, there is a huge trust factor from your relationship w/ DRFT, your content on the internet, and feedback from other students.
    If there is one thing I could add before closing, I’d really like to see some development in training towards left handed shooters. I realize that we are small in numbers, and we tend to be the black sheep, but I cannot count the number of times I’ve missed a concept or had to have an instructor back up because I was too busy trying to process the information in reverse. I know numbers wise it’s not a priority, but it is important to me and I’d like to see quality instructors out there.
    Thanks for your time, keep up the good work, and I hope to see you on the range someday!

    Thanks & be safe!
    Paul Hogan

    • PaulCarlson

      It is certainly a numbers game. 100% of left handed shooters need to have quality information about how their lefthandedicity impacts their use of the specific firearm that they are using. I’m glad you had instructors back up to make sure you got the info you needed.

      Thanks for the comment Paul!

  5. Tom Revolinsky

    I recently attended at CCW Class with Paul as a refresher as my wife and son in law who were also taking the class. My wife is not a gun person and was really anxious about taking the class. Paul did an excellent job of putting her at ease and getting her comfortable with the material. During the life fire portion Paul was able to rapidly build her confidence in her gun handling and shooting ability. By the end of class she was drawing from a holster and getting consistent hits on paper.

    I wish I had received his instruction on gun fit, gun selection, caliber choice and holster selection in my original class. I would have saved hundreds of dollars . He presents his thoughts using well thought out logic based upon science and observations by the FBI and other top trainers. What is really interesting is how he explains how his view progressed though out the years and why his ideas have changed. The why is key !

    Another key training point. This is the first CCW Class I have taken where a holster draw is taught. Thanks Paul for helping my family begin the process of training to learn how to CCW and be responsible gun owners.

    • PaulCarlson

      Tom – Thanks for the great feedback and for trusting your family’s safety to Safety Solutions Academy! I am looking forward to training with all of you in the near future!

  6. Terttu Revolinsky

    My husband, son in law, and I just took Paul’s CCW class yesterday! I went with some fear and doubt because shooting is really out of my element! I was afraid I would not understand what he was saying and would fail the shooting aspect of the course!Paul made me and the others feel totally comfortable and was so willing to answer any questions we had no matter how trivial they seemed! And he always added humor to his explanations! He was so patient with all of us! There was a non English speaking person in our class and he always made sure he understood everything he said ! I learned so much from. Paul and the 10 1/2 hours went by fairly fast! He went over the time limit to make sure he went over all the material! I would never have been able to make it that long with anyone but Paul! He is an excellent instructor! If. I take any other classes, I will be taking them with him!! Thanks, Paul!

    • PaulCarlson

      Terttu – Working you and others in your situation is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. Thank you for having an open mind and allowing me the opportunity to teach you. It was awesome to watch your rapid progression both in the classroom and on the range! I look forward to spending more time with you!

  7. jorgej martinez

    Im happy that i went to the class with paul carlson because he is one off the cooles guy and professional person i meet and he take the time to explaind every question and concerns u got about concel carrying and he take time with each person in the class to help you

  8. ronald vasitas

    My wife and I attended the CCW class on October 17. We found the class time to be very instructional and very relaxed. Paul has excellent teaching skills, with a firm approach, yet a humble attitude and character about him. The facts were presented fully with ample opportunity for questions to be answered. He is a very down to earth instructor with vast knowledge and experience in this field. The hands on portion on the shooting range was invaluable. Through Paul’s tactful and thorough instruction, my wife and I, although never handling a gun before felt more confident that if put in that position, we would know what to do. Any mistakes or incorrect judgements on our part, Paul handled with authority and tact and never once left us feeling embarrassed. The correction was the most valuable. Correction is where true learning takes place and mistakes in this arena can be deadly. We are going this evening to a local shooting range to keep all that we learned fresh in our minds. We look forward to other classes Paul has to offer and we thank him so much for this opportunity.

  9. Drita Willcox

    My husband and I truly enjoyed taking Paul’s class. We, definitely, learned a lot, although I got more of an education than I expected since I was only interested in learning about using and keeping a gun at home for protection. The concealed and carry education I received was a bit overwhelming since I never considered carrying a weapon, but I am glad I got this education. I would rather know more than not enough. The only thing I would have liked to have was the correct weapon to fit me so I would know exactly what weapon to buy. The two that I used where difficult to manage, although I did appreciate him having weapons for us to rent. I appreciated most his emphasis on safety in the class. Paul was attentive to everyone’s questions, concerns and comments and encouraged people to ask questions for clarification. He was very knowledgable on the topic and helped us understand also. We all left there satisfied with our education. Thank you Paul and keep up the awesome work!! Drita and Jim Willcox

  10. Joe Tondo

    I wished I had the course before I bought my equipment, Paul takes you through what to use in way of guns, ammo, holsters, everything you should know before you buy. Paul takes his time with the classroom and shooting range parts with each student. Paul does not rush, nor rush the student.
    I learn much more than expected, because Paul is so well versed in the whole arena of self defense. Don’t waste your money going anywhere else, this is the man and place to learn not only CCW but self defense.
    Paul uses very well planned and has everything well thought out before anyone shows up. Every step of the class is like a new breath of fresh air. This man knows what he is doing, how to present it, teach it, makes everyone feel good about themselves.
    My first thought when I heard I needed to have a holster was, why? I am going to carry my weapon on me, Paul taught us how to keep the weapon safe on your person, while traveling AND the thing I never thought I would EVER do is draw a weapon on someone from a holster, Man Paul you are right you need the right holster.
    I have to travel about 80 miles to the class, now I would travel 3 times that far to attend one of his classes.
    Once more I am going to say do not waste you money on anyone else’s classes. GO WITH THIS MAN.
    Thanks Paul

  11. Bernard Robinson Jr

    My dad and I took Paul’s CCW course and were highly impressed by Paul’s expertise, knowledge, professionalism, patience . We enjoyed the class at Gander Mountain and we both learned a lot . Paul is an expert. I would highly suggest to others to sign up for his classes. My dad and I plan on taking more classes and gaining more knowledge from Paul in the future.

  12. Micah Colister

    Paul is wonderful. Very professional, personable, and a competent TEACHER. All your questions will be answered, and you will leave feeling informed and confident in your knowledge and mindset for carrying a concealed handgun. If you’re on the fence for another class because it’s closer or cheaper, make the right decision and get your time/money’s worth by learning from a real professional who cares about his job and your life.

    • PaulCarlson

      Micah – Very kind words. I was wondering what you were doing in the back of the classroom while I was chatting with those last few students at the end of class. The fact that after a long day you took the time to review the class right then is awesome. Thank you.

      Please let me know what I can do to help you in the future and have a very Happy Holiday Season!


  13. Garry Smith

    I took the Fundamentals of Concealed Carry and Ohio CCW with Paul. I had been contemplating taking a class for over 15 years and finally “bit the bullet” and did it. Paul is an awesome instructor. The information I received this past Saturday was above and beyond my expectations. I strongly recommend others to get enrolled in one of his classes.
    (Paul’s wife is also to be commended for the great cookies she sent to the class).

    • PaulCarlson

      Garry – It was a pleasure having you out this weekend for the Ohio CCW Class. I am pleased that you found it to be a quality class and my wife enjoyed your final comment!

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