An Instructor is Not a Beaver

I have been an instructor for about sixteen years now and I have been fortunate enough to turn some good students into great friends over those years.  I am delighted to see these same folks come back to class after class but I would be doing them a huge disservice if I didn’t encourage them to obtain training from other instructors.

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Why Don’t You Take a Class?

Have you ever considered taking a defensive shooting course?  I’m talking about a course that goes well beyond the basic firearms safety and operation taught in most concealed carry classes.  Most people that take a concealed carry class or other basic firearms course never consider continuing their training.  Others think about it but never do it.  Then there are those that buy a gun for “self-defense” but never take any formal training of any kind.

How can you expect to use a firearm as a defensive tool with minimal or no training?  How can you expect a basic firearms safety course to prepare you for a life and death fight with a gun?

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“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

The Greatest Gift… Almost

Kimber Meme

Every year as we near the Christmas season, I see memes such as the one posted above all over Facebook.  Honestly, I would love it if someone bought me a new gun for Christmas and, admittedly, I get the slightest twinge of jealousy as I see my friends posing with their new “toys” in front of the Christmas tree.

But does giving someone a gun really tell them how much you care?

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AAR – Martial Arms Tactical Vehicle Gun Fighting Skills

Date: 9/26/2015
Instructor: Steve Collins

Some have asked why I would spend my time taking a course like this a second time.  The answer is simple; there’s no way to adequately remember the lessons learned in such a course by going through only once.  Too much time passes from the beginning of the course to the end of the day and there isn’t sufficient time to take notes even if note taking were more practical on an outdoor range.

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A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action

Tactical Ted is my favorite hypothetical person.  Despite his complete and utter lack of any formal training, he considers himself to be an “operator” and, unlike me, he knows every answer to every question in the defensive shooting world.  Sometimes Ted shoots only occasionally and sometimes he shoots every week.  Sometimes he shoots competitively and sometimes just for fun.  In spite of all of his shooting experience (or lack thereof), Ted is all knowing.

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