The Well Armed Woman Shooting Team
I am so exited to announce the formation of The Well Armed Woman Shooting Team! You may be wondering: "I thought TWAW was about empowering women for their personal protection?" Well you are right and that's exactly why we have formed the team! You see, nothing hones our defensive firearm skills better than competitive shooting. The adrenaline, the movement, having to think and respond quickly on your feet, all help to grow our self-defensive skills.
My concern has been that there is a disconnect between competitive shooting and women. My desire is to help pave the way to remove the perceived hurdles and open the door for more women to get involved. To do that, this great team of ladies will be ambassadors and connect with women all over the country. They will introduce the different disciplines and show them just how fun it can be and that it is an option for ANY woman at any skill level. The purpose of The Well Armed Woman Shooting Team isn't to win trophies, it is to spread the rewards and joys of training, and to encourage women to join in!
The Well Armed Woman Shooting Team is a group of regular women, just like you and me, with a wide range of shooting skills. They will compete in a variety of competitions and styles around the country and will share their experiences, challenges, accomplishments and insights with us.
I hope these women inspire you and help to begin to break down the walls that may be keeping you from some great training and some great fun!
Follow The Well Armed Woman Shooting Team on the team Facebook page!
Here are links to a number of competitive shooting organizations where you can find out more information, join and find scheudled events in your area.
Meet the shooters
Karla Pohl TX - Team Captain
"I am excited to represent TWAW because I whole-hardheartedly believe in being able to equip, empower and educate women in self-defense and become more self-confident."
Even as a little kid, I loved to compete. It did not matter what it was. Growing up and until just recently, I showed horses in 3-day event and even competed internationally. Around 3 years ago, after teaching all day in a small town high school, I turned on the Dallas news to hear there was a triple murder in this very town I taught in. I thought I was safe living in a town of 600 and teaching in a rural small high school. Being single, I figured it was time I learned to defend myself. I learned how to shoot and a year later became an NRA certified instructor. I was missing competing horses so I decided to try competitive shooting and I was hooked. I enjoy USPSA, IDPA, and Steel Challenge sanctioned matches. I also do the local zombie matches too. I have found competitive shooting hones my skills and gives me the opportunity to react and shoot under stress. Competitive shooting teaches you to think on your feet and react quickly and accurately with your shots. It increases your self-confidence and how you handle yourself in stressful situations.
Beth Alcazar - AL
"I’m so honored to be a part of the inaugural TWAW Shooting Team; it’s an incredible learning, connecting, and transforming experience!"
NRA- and USCCA-certified instructor, author of the “Pacifiers & Peacemakers” blog, and featured writer for Concealed Carry Magazine, Beth Alcazar is passionate about using her experience and enthusiasm to share safe and responsible firearms ownership and usage with others. As a woman and a mother, she values the role of co-leader of the Trussville T.W.A.W. Shooting Chapter and loves offering classes designed to address the specific needs women have regarding firearms use, training, and concealed carry. As a member of the 2015 TWAW Shooting Team, Beth competes in IDPA and Steel Challenge matches but also has her eye on USPSA and 3 Gun. She views competitions as a great platform for sharing challenges faced and lessons learned... and for showing others that if she can do it, they can, too! Beth and her husband live near Birmingham, Alabama, with their son and two daughters.
Beth Mastorovich - PA
"I love being able to see the joy and sense of accomplishment on ladies' faces when they realize they can: they can shoot, they can defend themselves and most importantly that they can depend on themselves!"
Ten years ago, when I started dating my now husband, Matt, I had never touched a gun before in my life! However Matt had been in the Army, is currently a police officer and had hunted his whole life. He had heard about a sport called Cowboy Action Shooting and wanted to check out what it was all about and I decided to go along to spend time with him. The match we watched was the last one for the season and Matt became obsessed with getting ready to start shooting when the season started again in April. The new season rolled around and Matt went shooting and I went to provide support. Well, half way into the season, he was not content with allowing me to just hang on the side lines. After a little bit of cajoling, I finally agreed to have him take me to the range for a lesson, so as to not make a fool out of myself!! I want to say that after the first time on the range that I was hooked, but my sore shoulder, from not being told how to properly brace the shotgun, had me hesitant. I still went to the shoot later that month and had a good time, I was not the fastest or able to hit all of the targets, but I also wasn't half bad! Slowly, Matt and I went from shooting once a month to twice a month to now we shoot at least three times a month plus travel to at least seven large competitions each year! I have been blessed to have placed well in the majority of my competitions including 3rd place Ladies Gunfighter at Winter Range (National Competition) and Top Overall Lady at the PA State Shoot! What has me hooked is being able to push myself to do better and to be able to help new shooters with teaching them skills that I have learned from those that taught me! I also love the people that I compete with as they are some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting! I can not imagine my life now without shooting, whether it is in competitions or just plinking at the range! I look forward to pushing myself to become a better shooter as well as trying as many new sports as possible and introducing women into the world of firearms and competitive shooting!
Shannan Chada - MI
"I am excited to help get TWAW recognized in many new arenas and help women can find a group nearby or encourage them to start one of their own."
I started shooting in 2002 at a local gun club doing mostly bowling pin matches. I was elected to the Board of Directors of the gun club and started running an annual ladies days and have been for the past 12 years. A few years ago I became a certified NRA instructor and love teaching the basics of gun safety and how to shoot.
In 2003 I was introduced to USPSA at a local level and in 2008 I started traveling & shooting competitively in Open and Single Stack divisions. I truly enjoy the competition and the friendships and I try to pass on my knowledge to newer shooters while absorbing everything I can from those more experienced. I also shoot IDPA, Steel Challenge and 3-Gun – I guess I’ll do anything that involves the shooting sports.
Naomi Moss - CA
"Empowering women is what brought me to The Well Armed Woman and being a part of the shooting team is The Well Armed Woman fun behind the gun!"
Seven years ago, my husband wanted me to get a gun for protection. I thought he was being sweet and a little over protective, but I still went along with it. I walked out the store 10 days later (thanks CA) with a Glock 19 after touching about a million guns. Well…maybe just 10, but it took forever to decide! Then once home, I didn’t touch it for months. After shooting a couple of times at cans, I got to watch an IDPA match. I was hooked before I shot a single stage. My first match in January 2009 was fun and I’ve been shooting ever since. Often I’m the only lady shooting, but that is changing and I hope to introduce more ladies to the sport. I’ve been in the top 5 of most accurate and have won my division in SSP. Last year, my competitive nature brought me to local Sporting Clay tournaments where I have been the high lady shooter. Look out 3 gun, here I come!
Shooting IDPA matches introduced me to more defensive firearms training and classes. After attending a few classes as a student, I decided to pursue becoming an instructor. I now teach NRA Courses, California and Utah CCW along with Hunter Education. In March 2014 I became The Well Armed Woman So Valley chapter leader in Bakersfield, CA.
Deanna Messer - AZ
I am excited to be an ambassador of TWAW and have the opportunity to encourage, educate and empower women in developing skills in shooting that will carry over into building areas of self-confidence that are yet undiscovered and new awareness in their lives.
After an unfortunate home invasion, I found myself seriously wanting to learn to shoot. I really didn’t know anything about guns except for the latest Clint Eastwood movie, ‘Dirty Harry’. (I’m dating myself.) Befriended by a couple of local police I was off to a local grocery store to buy my .357 Magnum revolver and first box of ammunition. No forms or background checks to complete and I made my purchase (Yes, it was a different time!). I had an old borrowed leather holster, safety glasses and hearing protectors. The first round I shot was a surprise but it hit the bullseye and the next thing I knew, I was on a Utah shooting team with a bunch of cowboys and cops, and the only woman in the gang.
After I met my husband, who did not shoot, my gun was retired to a ‘just in case’ home protection firearm. Seventeen years fast forward and with a move to the Philadelphia area interest in shooting and self-protection was renewed and he asked me to teach him how to shoot. Skills need to be kept up, and mine were like the dust bunnies that hide in the back of a closet. We signed up for NRA classes to learn safe gun handling. We then joined a local indoor shooting range where we honed our newly learned skills a couple of times a week, but I found after 30-40 rounds I had enough of that fun.
My husband was invited to go to an IDPA match with someone at work and while I was at home nursing a bad cold he was off for a day of shooting. He returned home with a huge grin on his face and said: “you are going to love this!” Yep, he was right. My first IDPA was in 2011. I shot it with my trusty, old revolver. And even though I was really slow, I was safe. In 2012 I became an IDPA Safety Officer and have SO’d many local matches and a few sanctioned matches.
The rest is history, I was hooked. After much research and shooting different guns I settled on a Glock 17 as my competition gun. Weekends were filled with 1-2 local IDPA matches in the NE Pennsylvania area, plus spending one weekday at an indoor range. After our move to AZ in 2014, we now get in a couple of IDPA matches a month (I might have to work in some USPSA and steel matches) and are weekly regulars at the local indoor range plus members at the local out-door range. Every year I manage to take additional classes to improve my pistol skills, and have taken some tactical shotgun and rifle classes. Next, I’d love to try some 3 gun competitions. Stay safe and shoot straight!
My husband taught me to shoot many years ago. First plinking with a pistol then sporting clays. When Conceal Carry was past in WI I started taking a few NRA classes for more training. The two Gentlemen teaching the classes are the Match Directors for IDPA in that area and ask me to come join and that's how the addiction and passion started.
I have competed in IDPA for 6 years and was quickly taking high Lady and the Local Matches and moved up to Sharpshooter and shot a few USPSA Matches.
3 years ago I started 3gun and it stole my heart. Since then my husband and I spent every weekend traveling, shooting as many matches as we can becoming 3gun nation members and meeting the most amazing people and forming awesome friendships from all over.
Competitions shooting has made me a well rounded shooter, giving me amazing gun handling skills and how to shoot under stress. It's my passion and there is no place I would rather be is on a gun range!
My focus now is on 3gun and USPSA and getting more women into
Shooting and sharing everything I've learned along the way