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One for the Instructors...

Mar 9, 2005
Haverhill, MA
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Okay guys... have you ever had a student who's also a martial arts geek and every time you show him how to hold the pistol, or do this or that, he then shows you a martial arts move and tells you he understands what you mean because it's similar to "this" ??

E Gods! by the time we were done I was ready to deck him! And I'm fairly patient...well, except when it comes to liberals. :D
Lynne, I must say I have read many of your post' and as far as I am concearned you are one of the coolest females out there (don't take offense hubby, she's a keeper).
There are three ways to do this task: the right way, the wrong way and my way. While you are part of my Corps you will do it my way.

Seriously, I've had similar cases. I've talked to them privately during a break and told them that, while this would be interesting if it were just the two of us with our broad experience, it can be distracting and confusing to the majority of students without such a background.

How about trying to show a Master Sergeant with 20+ years in who can’t hit a target @ 7 yards with a M9 what he is doing wrong. Being a Corporal at the time, apparently I didn’t know what I was talking about.

His weapon stove piped, I cleared it and slipped a dummy round in and gave it back to the old salty dog. Bang…. Bang…. click…. as he about stabbed the target with the shot anticipation. I believe his words were “Hmmm maybe you have something there….”

Can't say that I've had the pleasure of such a 'fine' student in my classes. Not to say that I've never taught anyone with martial arts experience (speaking of another industry with all kinds of training styles) But not anyone who was trying to 'help' like that. However, I have been in his shoes and I know how it feels to relate one to the other.

A little background... I have some fairly good hand to hand training. (Ask Jon Green someday about my 'solution' to his ATM scenerio) I helped out with a good friend of mine teaching the Night Class at Keefe Tech High School in Framingham in an 'unarmed' self-defense for women class. I was basically the guy in the Red Man suit that got beat up every week, but he also felt that I needed to be just as proficient in the techniques as he was, so I picked up a lot in the several years I assisted him. The techniques were a mix of grabs, locks, redirects and focused strikes that were easy to learn and effective.

When I took my handgun retension course, I found that many of the techniques I learned in avoiding knife, gun and club attacks easily worked in that regard as well. I found more than once in learning a technique I'd naturally revert to similar moves that I had known and practiced for years. I found the experience very difficult as I had to really fight the temptation to just 'do it my way' and actually follow the instruction.

But, unlike your student, I made the effort to try to confrom to the training. The instructor appreciated it as well after that first 'surprise'. Seriously, I did pick up some great techniques, but I have to admit that there are some I don't think I could ever do because it is so natural for me to do it differently. No more or less effective in preventing someone getting to my firearm, just a difference in style.

I've had the student come to a basic firearms class solely because the chief required it and felt sorry that he was bored to tears for most of it. Usually they are good sports and enjoy the time as best they can. However, I get the occational person who thinks they know it all.

Instead of coming down on them and possibly creating an adversarial relationship, I try to get them to help instruct. I'll purposely place them in a group with lesser experienced students and ask them to help me demonstrate the skill or technique I'm trying to show. Usually this increases the enthusiasm and they strive to really perfect their own tecnique so that they look as proficient as they feel they are. In the end, I think they end up learning a thing or two dispite themselves.

Now I can't say that this always works. I had one old timer who actually field stripped a 1911 on me before I realized what he was doing. I swear if I had offered him a blindfold and pulled out a stopwatch, he'd have been happier than pig in mud. But he was highly disruptive to what we were trying to teach. In the end, I did have to use the fact that it was MY class and I needed him to please stick to the lesson at hand to keep control. It was not an enjoyable class for me as I was constantly on the alert for this guy and as a result I'm sure I missed many of the side encounters with my students that make most of the classes far more then the sum of the core teachings.

I think you did well Lynne. The fact that you are not up on charges for assault and battery is proof. We've all had, or will have that student from hell that really tests our skills in areas that have nothing to do with the material being taught.

Remember, if things are really that bad and the class is suffering, you can always pull out the ace in the hole. Ask them to leave and return their check. It is also not fair to the others in the class - You have to maintain the standards of your program.

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