Professional Firearms Trainers CAN Be “Glock Guys”

…..Or “SIG guys”, or “Smith & Wesson guys”, or “XD guys”, or “Ruger guys”, or some kind of combination of all or some of the above.

Let me explain. I recently read an article titled, “…Pro Firearms Trainers are Not ‘Glock Guys’…”

In the article, the author made a few points that, as a “Pro Trainer” (Defensive Firearms Instructor), – someone to whom people pay money in exchange for the sharing of my opinions, viewpoints, knowledge, and skills – I happen to disagree with. Primarily, I am referring to his implication that the “pro trainer” has an obligation to essentially condone less than optimal gear choices made by his or her students, because, presumably, all choices are equally valid. Continue reading

Why?

As a trainer, do you have a reason for teaching everything you teach? Do you have a reason for why you include every skill, concept, idea, or tactic in your curriculum? Can you articulate those reasons? Are you prepared to explain, in a detailed manner, why you teach each skill or concept in the precise manner you teach them and why, in your opinion, “your way” is the best for your students? And furthermore, are you able to articulate how you arrived at your current conclusions? Continue reading

“Where can I get the quickest, cheapest class?”

Yes, you read that right. Here are a few of the questions I’ve seen posted on social media sites in just the past week:

  • “My mom wants to get her CCW permit for Christmas. Who offers the lowest priced course?”
  • “Can anyone tell me more about the online Virginia CCW course? I like the idea of being able to just pass an online test and get a non-resident permit, and it looks like I can get it real cheap.”
  • “Where can I get a fast, cheap CCW class in the St. Louis area?”
  • “Who has the best price on a concealed carry permit class?”

I think you get the idea. You could probably look through gun forums and gun pages on social media sites and find hundreds of similar questions from just the last couple weeks alone. Continue reading

Is “blended learning” really the “future” of firearms training?

I recently read a blog post where the author opined that “blended learning” is the “future” of firearms training. As someone who has provided countless hours of in-person firearms training to a few thousand students, and who has also taken part in “blended learning” formatted instruction, this line of thought bothers me a bit. Continue reading

An Alternative To The Top 5 Excuses

In my work as an instructor, I get the chance to talk to a lot of people who are taking state mandated firearms training in order to qualify for a state-issued CCW permit.  My organization “polls” every student after every class in the form of a verbal “debrief” and through the use of a printed Feedback Form that is handed out for students to provide an evaluation of the training they received.  On the form, we ask them, A) if they are interested in taking more training, B) what additional classes they are interested in taking, and C) if they would like for us to contact them when those classes get added to our schedule.  Around 90% of respondents indicate that they do wish to take more training, and about 75% of those ask to be contacted when those classes come up on our schedule.  While those rather large numbers seem like something to get excited about, unfortunately, the number of those people who actually elect to take any follow-up training is much lower.  While I can’t account for students who go on to take additional training from other instructors, the number of them that return to my organization for additional training is only in the 5 – 7 percentile range, and I believe it’s reasonable to assume that, at best, only an additional 1 – 2% seek out additional training from other sources.

On that note, I’ve made it a point to ask people why they don’t take additional training, even though they, at one time, recognized the need.  Continue reading

Expanding on The Plausibility Principle

It’s something I see and hear pretty often.  As someone who conducts a fairly substantial number of Instructor Development Courses throughout the year, it is fairly common to discuss various training experiences with the candidates who come through these courses during breaks or over lunch.  Most everyone likes to talk about the different classes they have taken from different instructors; what they liked and didn’t like, what kind of gear everyone was using, the different scenarios presented in the training exercises, the kind of techniques taught – as gun people, and especially as gun people who like to train, these are things that interest us.

So it came as no surprise when, during a recent conversation I was having with a young man attending one of my classes, he started talking about a “Tactical Carbine” class he attended earlier in the year.  Continue reading

Haters, Fan Boys, and Valid Instruction

“He’s a fraud!  He teaches all of that stuff, but he’s never had any experience using any of it in real life!” – This was a comment I read a few days ago made by some anonymous poster on the internet, directed at fairly well-known defensive shooting instructor.  Best I could tell, the implication from this poster was that if an instructor hasn’t personally used each and every tactic, technique, or skill he or she teaches in a “combat” situation or in a “gunfight”, then not only is the tactic, technique, or skill invalid, but the instructor is also a fraud.  Continue reading