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This is a discussion on BAD Training within the Training forums, part of the General category; I have been pretty careful who I go to for training. However, I've heard some horror stories about high cost ...
06-07-2005, 12:07 PM #1
I have been pretty careful who I go to for training.
However, I've heard some horror stories about high cost paper pushers that don't teach you anything.
While I am not going to list names because I don't have any first hand experience, please, if you had a bad experience, tell us what happened. First, so we know what is going on out there, and second, so we all learn from mistakes of others.
06-07-2005, 02:38 PM #2
After lobbying to have a training forum I have mostly refrained myself from posting much here, however, this is probably as good as time and place as any to put forth a few opinions. I certainly don't want to this to be taken out of context or ruffle any feathers. The following is my opinion only.
Mr. Jim Conway's thread gave a good indication of why armed individuals should acquire some type of training. This thread brings up another very important point. What is good training, what is bad training? What type of training should I do? What type of training do I NEED? I'm sorry, but you can't sling a dead cat without hitting someone's new and improved, most reliable, save your life, tactical training school.
I'm sure most people have heard, or read, about Thunder Ranch, Front Sight, Blackwater, Defensive Edge, etc, etc, etc. Now, bear in mind, I have no opinion of these institutions as I've not attended any of them. They may all be the greatest thing since sliced bread, I don't know. It just seems there's more 'training schools' out there these days than gut-buster videos. All being taught by 'ex-spurts' (ex - Force SEaL Recon Ranger Commando's). Ironically, I probably fall into the same category - former LEO-HRT unit, former Marine, former Paramedic, former defensive tactics instructor, etc.
I've no doubt than many of these individuals and organizations are top-notch. I guess what I want to get down to is the earlier question you must ask yourself, "What type of training do I really need". Obviously, the individual who is new to firearms needs a basic introduction and firearm safety course such as a NRA course of instruction may provide. After that you have to figure out what your intentions are and choose a training facility that meets your requirements and caters to your needs with quality instructors. And, by quality instructor, I mean a person who has experience but more importantly knows how to transfer his knowledge to you. I've been privileged to know and work with individuals who were very skilled and knowledgeable but couldn't teach to save their life. I've also had the misfortune to observe some very fine teachers that had no clue of the subject matter. You don't want a VW to pull a horse trailer any more than you need Hummer to run to the corner store.
Bottom line, pay less attention to marketing and more attention to curriculum. I've seen people trying to 'reinvent the wheel' to offer something no one else has and attach a hefty price tag to it. More expensive isn't always more better. Conversely, sometimes you get what you pay for. Reviews are also great but pay heed to who's giving the review. Some schools are just damn fun to go to and have a lot of merit in their own right. However, do you need to go to a five-day school on room clearing when all you employ is a trusty shotty for home defense?
Figure out what you are realistically likely to face and seek that training accordingly. I believe armed civilians are a vital part of crime prevention and homeland security. However, in today's day and age, formal training is more paramount as less and less of societies youth is properly introduced to firearms at an early age. It is also paramount that you practice on a regular basis what you learn from your formal training.
I've spouted enough. Questions and criticisms welcome.
(Not edited for spelling or grammar)
06-07-2005, 03:10 PM #3
Not all types of training fits the needs of a given person.
I used to belong to a gun club where everyone there (except a couple of LEOs) ONLY used guns for target shooting and maybe hunting. Only about a handful of people in that club even believed in self defense and had any interest in CCW. Their needs were strictly to learn to shoot pistol matches and how to "lead" a bird in skeet/trap.
In the crowded Northeast (there are some areas that aren't crowded, but the vast majority of us are crammed in areas where public shooting isn't possible or legal), we could never justify in a courtroom any >50' distance shooting even in self defense. Therefore, IMNSHO a defensive carbine course would be fun but would have no practical value unless you are LEO/Military.
For those that CCW, a good defensive handgun course is essential learning.
A good course in unarmed combat (fending off knives, etc.) would also be invaluable to most anyone who ventures outside their home.
One of the big curses in these parts are that none of the gun clubs will let you practice defensive shooting techniques. They are afraid of liability, they are too close to inhabited buildings, etc. Our sand pits where you used to be able to just walk in and blast away, are all gone . . . most are now housing or industrial developments.
06-07-2005, 04:05 PM #4
Len - excellent points and what I was alluding to but figured I had rambled too much already.
It is unfortunate that even firearms ranges are becoming more and more restrictive. Partly due to residential encroachment and partly due to 'Highspeed Hanks'. This is another (legitimate) reason that training schools are flourishing.
However, I believe there are options and would hope these schools would enlighten their students to them. First of all, I believe there is less of a gap between 'combat v. competition' than most realize. I submit that the discipline learned in competition, or "target" shooting, has a direct carry over to defensive / offensive shooting techniques.
For example, jerk the trigger while firing at a 50' bullseye target and you'll miss outright. Now, introduce adrenalin, surprise and fear for your life at 12' and jerk the trigger. You will, again, miss your target only this time it has greater consequences. My opinion is that competitive target shooting is a continued refinement of basic marksmanship skills and prinicples. It is necessary to realize the adaptations required to utilize those principles in other forms shooting disciplines.
ALL serious competitive shooters practice more in their living room than actually on the range. Known as dry-firing, or snapping-in if you're a Jarhead like me, is one of the best methods to retain or improve upon your particular area of concern. I wrote a program of defensive tactics in which I defined the survival triangle as, "Tactical Awareness - Mental Conditioning - Survival Tactics" (all copywrited, BTW). I defined the triangle in this manner so it applies to any situation using whatever tools you have at hand. You'll notice that Awareness and Conditioning are 2/3's of the triangle. (I know I'm preaching to the choir with you, Len, but is for the benefit of our audience.)
The point being, that even after you've attended a quality course, and your range won't allow you to do to things like double-tap, you can still train by applying proper marksmanship principles at the range while continuing to develop a proper mindset. I occasionally participate in an IDPA match. I really don'y care about score or the 'gamers' there trying to get bragging rights. I simply use it as another tool in maintaining and improving my battle skills. Again, the proper mindset.
Like Len said, a defensive carbine course, or a 3-gun match is fun as all get-out, but does little to improve your defensive skills for personal pistol protection.
06-07-2005, 09:51 PM #5
Sadly, not all Safety courses that people take are good ones either. I know a few that fall WAY short of what the NRA BP course teaches (what Ed and I teach) - and the sad part is they cost more than we do for less training in less time. <shiver>"They say gun owners are compensating for something. They're right. I'm compensating because I'm smaller and weaker than violent criminals."
Don't make me release the flying monkeys!!
06-08-2005, 07:38 AM #6
Is all you and your hubby teach the basic safety course? Or do you offer any other courses that us newer shooters would benefit from?
06-15-2005, 11:26 PM #7
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
- Las Vegas, NV
As a student and an instructor, my observations about instructors can really be boiled down to a couple of catagories, in order of preference (IMO):
1. Real World Experience and solid instruction. The level of instruction is not really a direct result of their world experience, but their ability to articulate contemporary tactics and techniques to a wide audience with varying skill level. The ability to show real-world applicability is a must and more important than having seen the elephant to make it relevant or any more applicable.
2. No real world, but articulate. There are folks out there who are excellent instructors, have the ability and skills but lack the "credibility" of having various acronyms next to their name. The only elephant they have seen was in a circus.
3. Old School. Not chronological age, but their knowledge is dated. Tactics and techniques change over time, as does the nature of our adversaries (including legal issues). IMHO, instructors need more training than your "regular" student.
4. Real World, but the inability to instruct. These folks may have all the skills and experience in the world all the while riding the elephant, but lacking the ability to articulate them to a group of students is a disservice.
Obvously, everyone wants to have an instructor in the first tier. But, it takes time to find those folks.
06-18-2005, 07:52 PM #8
Frankly I get confused by the plethora of training schools and systems. Although initially any training is probably better then none as time goes on I would like training to fit my needs more closely. As an example about a year ago I took a Combat Handgun class and I learned a lot. By the end of the class I was shooting much better, had learned to draw from a holster, how to reload, shooting while advancing ot retreating, clearing jams, some close quarters stuff etc. Also a lot of safety emphasis. It was great fun and I learned a lot. However, for the class one had to have a semi auto with a belt holster, two extra mags with mag holder and this was what the training was based on. Again, good stuff. Except, I am a business man and I carry a j-frame in a pocket holster. I never carry a semi auto in a belt holster with a mag holder and I probably never will. I shoot 1 - 2 times per week and I practice with my carry gun. I look at the curriculums of many schools and I read about room clearing, night shooting, SWAT techniques and a host of other stuff that I am not sure relates to me. Don't get me wrong I would love to go to Thunder Ranch or Gunsite, but mostly I work at my business and have little time. I want more training, but would like it to be relevent to my needs. I am not a competitive shooter. My interest is in personal protection. I would like to shoot my snubby better and learn tactics that address what I might run into. My goal is to attend at least one training event per year, more if I can. I will avail myself of what is good and convenient, but I have not seen anything that quite fits the bill. I think my next class will be one of Masad Ayoobs. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
06-21-2005, 01:26 AM #9
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
Hiya Goose! I was just looking at the upcoming schedule of events over at http://www.neshooters.com. which led me to check out Gabe Suarez's site (http://www.suarezinternational.com). I noticed on his "Courses" page that he advertises a Concealed Carry Enhancement class that sounds like it would fit what you're looking for (http://www.suarezinternational.com/courses.html). He specifically mentions that revolvers are welcome.
Of course, it doesn't look like it's scheduled, and I doubt you want to drop seven bills on a day of private training out in Arizona (but what do I know? I could be very wrong), but I figured it would be nice to know that there are classes out there that seem to meet your needs.
I don't know what it would take, but perhaps you could get a large enough group interested in a particular course to organize a scheduled class with a trainer like Suarez. Anywho, just some things I noticed that I figured might interest you.
08-28-2005, 03:22 PM #10
i dont post much but i read all the posts on training in this fourm and others fourms.
i have been shooting for about 30 years or so. my father gave me his (bad habits )at a early age. i was about ten the first time i when shooting.and like all cops kids it was poilce training and it was good. my father was a leo for 35 years full time on the job and a firearms instructor for the town i live in. he is ret. from the job and runs his gunshop full time now . then one day i meet uncle jim.
my father good friend.(jim conway) and jim started shooting every sunday at tyngsboro sportsman club with the guys . (jim has been well train at gunsite
with the (master of the 1911 ) jeff copper. and front sights and many other
training school ). so the first sunday he show up i was talking to jim about shooting and just the normal range talk. ba ba ba . then he started talking about trigger control and reset.and i said( reset???????) well to make this long story short . i started to train with him and shooting every sunday. i learn more from him in a month then idid in years .so i started to take traning class .i toke jim crews class last year
and randy cain class this year. it was like waking up to a whole new world of shootting . i shoot much better then ever had. and have more fun. so i think taking some type of trainig is the best thing you can do for yourself.
my 2 cents.