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More silly gun school things that will get you killed


Shooting at the big range in heaven
NES Member
Jul 30, 2005
Metrowest, MA & Points South and West
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More Silly Gun School Things That Will Get You Killed, by Gabe Suarez

The first installment of this was well-received...by most people. Of course, as expected, disciples of those who fall into the categories we discussed were vociferously defending their positions. But also, ten silly gun school things that will get you killed was not enough and some correspondents noted that there are more. So here we go......

More gun school stuff that will get you killed:

11). Excessively Over Simplifying.

Some take the "Keep It Simple Stupid" idea too far. The notion that one can rely on a single technique to solve everything does not work. "Use this block and you'll be able to defeat all knife attacks", says one. "This CQB drill will save you when the other man is on top of you", says another as he rocks back off balance to get his gun on target. "Rubbish!", I say. What will you if you've only trained to block high and he goes low? Rather that the dictum, Keep It Simple, we should say, keep it as simple as a complex situation will allow.

12). Over-specializing on one solution to all problems. (hammer and nail syndrome)

This is a form of over-simplifying, but as it relates to a conceptual rather than technical perspective. Now I have no issue with men like Jim Crews teaching pure shooting, or Bill Rogers using his school to pass on speed shooting skills. Much the same can be said of the many competitive shooters that teach what they know. However, these men are honestly telling their students what they will be teaching them, and none of them are disguising it as something else. Jim Crews, for example, is a very gifted trainer and has brought up students to a high level of shooting skill faster than anyone I know (including some very notable trainers), yet he will be the first to say that he is not teaching gunfighting, but gun skills only.

If you want to learn "just shooting", cool, go to a "just shooting school". But if you want to learn how to fight, and someone offers "just shooting solutions", you'll know you just got ripped off.

13). Ignoring the confrontation management phase.

Sure there are pure ambushes. If you are standing around jaw-jacking with your girlfriend and a thug walks up behind you and smokes your melon with a bottle, there is nothing you can do about it no matter what you are carrying. However, many more confrontations are telegraphed by the bad guy. There is the interview/probing phase where you can diffuse/negate target/ whatever you want to call it and it involves much more that taking your "proper stance" preemptively.
This calls for an understanding of thug culture which very few trainers possess.

14). Teaching to the LCD.

The LCD means Lowest Common Denominator. Teaching as if students were all LCD is most often seen in police circles or by police trainers who are saddled with stupid uninterested conscripts on a daily basis. They assume all students are stupid beings who will shoot themselves at the first opportunity. Such courses will teach you nothing of value, insult your intelligence, and get you accustomed to verbal abuse by trainers with very little to actually teach. Rather, a modern school should teach to the highest denominator...that is teach to the appropriate level, but understand that there ARE in fact advanced civilian students who CAN be trusted to be safe and sound gunfighters.

15). Guru worship.

Ah! Now there is the heavy one. Recently a student asked about becoming a Suarez International Trainer. He said, "I believe in you". I stopped and corrected him, "Don't believe in me, believe in what we are doing". Guru worship has stagnated more shooters than you can shake a stick at. Sometimes they begin carrying the same gun as the guru, even talking like him. I remember one man with a college degree who spoke in broken English when he taught class...mimicking his instructor so much. I see the same thing in the gun world today. Respecting those who have gone before does not mean you must worship them. I respect what Jeff Cooper and Rex Applegate have done, as well as the works of Jim Cirillo, etc., but worship? No thanks. Learn what you are taught, be thankful for it, but keep only what is useful to you. And above all else...be your own man!

16). Allowing fear of liability to dictate policy.

"We'd like to train more realistically, but we don't want to get sued". Look, we are teaching you to win a fight not to feel good about yourself. Sometimes you must manage risk rather than avoid it. If we were to allow attorneys to dictate what we taught in class we would have everyone walking around with unloaded guns, and pretending to shoot. Is that a stupid thing? I sure think so. In today's world anyone can sue anyone. If as an instructor you wish to avoid the possibility, then close your doors and go sell donuts.


The list is growing isn't it. Alas, rather than seeing the light bulb, many are simply arguing that our conclusions are wrong. Well, I don't care about that because I do not teach them. Those of you whom I do teach, I can promise you the most realistic, bull-poop free training I know how to deliver. My goal is to prepare you to win your gunfight, not to sell targets, guns or agendas. As my good friend Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny is fond of saying, The Adventure Continues.

Now, I really must get back to work.

Gabe Suarez
Suarez International USA, Inc.
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