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Covert Mission
January 17, 2008, 06:21 PM
Well, I don't visit here often anymore, after being a regular for years. Here's a question to rattle the cage though, and stimulate some discussion:

Why does it seem like more than a few "name" instructors have inordinately large, or even massive, egos? (And no, I won't name names...they or the readers may know who I am talking about, and I am not here to "call out" any one individual). This observation is based both on personal experiences and numerous firsthand accounts from highly trusted sources, some of them very capable mil and LE vets and trainers themselves, who have remained humble. And yes, I took Psych 101, so I know that a healthy ego is important. Not talking about that.

Some of the Egos of whom I speak have respectable and in some cases remarkable credentials from past (or current) lives as active duty military or LE, including special operations and SWAT. That’s excellent…bravo. Giving credit where it's due, I commend you and thank you for your public service and service to country. You are the ones George Orwell referred to as (in paraphrase), the "rough men doing violence on our behalf so that we may sleep peacefully in our beds.” That said, there are tens of thousands of other mil and LE veterans who also were/are excellent in their respective, also very important, roles.

That experience and those credentials doesn't make you a God though, except maybe in your own mind, or the ultimate word on anything, imo. No one trainer is The Oracle of Tactical Truth to whom I will pay obeisance. If you are good or excellent in your post-SF/SWAT/LE role as a trainer, and can share that experience in an effective, powerful , respectful way without condescending to, belittling, or otherwise denigrating your students (or other good and proven instructors) or without otherwise being an arse, I will come to learn from you gratefully and part with my hard earned dollars and precious time.

I know and have trained with several "name" instructors who have had excellent, distinguished LE or Mil careers and now train us, Joe Lunchbox and Jane Minivan. They are humble, self-deprecating, appreciative, courteous and professional, though maybe not household names because they don't self-promote obsessively. One of these shakes his head upon hearing some of the horror stories about these egomaniacal trainers, peers in nearly every way except for attitude (and who may even lack something in teaching ability or personal skill, though they probably wouldn’t admit it). The opinion of this one is: "It's ridiculous and silly. Who needs to act that way? These guys put their pants on one leg at a time, I've done the same stuff in my past life, and until they can demonstrate their water walking, I'm not in awe." Maybe the problem is that they believe their own PR, which might be autobiographical and even embellished at times.

One source reported a story of a "big name" trainer (who was renting this instructor's home range for the weekend) who said loudly and with disgust within earshot of the resident ROs and others (and this after volunteering himself to help afterward to clean up the range and his own class’s mess himself), "I didn't know I was coming here to be a range n*gger." Exact quote. The range’s owner, who was amazed, was chastised later by a third, outside instructor (who had apparently heard a complaint from the “star”) for letting the "star" clean up after himself, by saying essentially "Don't you know who this guy is?" This "star" is a well known trainer and author who is published and touted in the gun rags and is a so-called guru in the tactical teaching and defensive pistol community. Another self-impressed trainer, on another day, said to my friend's RO who was standing close by respectfully listening to the Ego talk, "Get the f*ck away from my stuff." Sounds more like cliche movie stars behaving badly.

I believe, and sociologists support the theory, that we are living in an age of rampant and increasing narcissism and egotism. It makes life very unpleasant to deal with people like this. (As an aside, in my earlier 1st career I was acknowledged for a time as being near top of my profession on a national level but didn’t I consider that, or myself, as being any more special than anyone else who did their job well and worked hard (like my favorite plumber), something I always respect. Especially talented people who remain humble.

In that career I met people from all walks of life who were respected and recognized for being very talented, among the best at what they did. Some were celebrities and quite a few were actually truly famous. Some were nice people, many were not (usually the temporarily or newly famous were not, and the longtime famous were nicer). I don’t have the time of day for the jerks, beyond what I must tolerate for some required purpose, and even less if I am paying for their services. This old adage is true, I think: You can tell the character of a person by how they treat the waiter (or cab driver, or bodyguard, or clerk, or…). Certainly you can tell by how they treat their paying customers, and worthy colleagues.

Get over yourselves, egomaniacs.

Erik
January 17, 2008, 07:19 PM
One way I attempt to seperate the crowd is looking for statements to the effect that they are teaching "A way, not THE way."

And there's no excuse for the behavior you cited.

Avenger11
January 17, 2008, 07:22 PM
And the purpose of this thread is WHAT??

Covert Mission
January 17, 2008, 07:41 PM
This purpose is this, if I have to explain:

Caveat emptor...buyer beware. Most of us have both limited time and training dollars, and it is very frustrating to spend them on someone who proves to be an unpleasant egomaniac, even if their instruction is adequate. It certainly dampens my enthusiasm.

Fortunately, we have the web (errornet, disinformation cowpath, whatever other nicknames it may have earned through its known pitfalls) as a way to try and research and hopefully validate that a chosen instructor has a good rep, is professional and knowledgeable AND a good teacher, and would be worth one's time and money.

In addition, maybe instructors who have developed an earned rep regarding their ego problem will read this or posts like it and reflect on adjustments they may need to make in their "program". Many of them are skilled and talented, and could otherwise provide a positive experience. That may be wishful thinking; I know, I was married to a highly narcissistic person who still is, in spite of being called out for it! It's a pathology.

On the other hand, some people like being abused or condescended to (to be near The Master), and are even willing to pay for it. I call that masochism! YMMV

Erik: I agree..there is always more than one good way.

David Armstrong
January 17, 2008, 08:45 PM
It has been my experience, having been both inside and outside the training instructor environment, that those who have the most "ego" are actually those who have the LEAST verified experience. "Warriors" who have never been in military uniform, much less a war. "Gunfight Survivors" who count shooting dogs as a gunfight, and have never fought a BG one on one. LE "trainers" who never worked for an agency larger than 10 officers, yet push ther LE experience. Those instructors really have only one thing to sell, that image they have cultivated.

My $.02.

Covert Mission
January 17, 2008, 09:05 PM
David: I agree that there may be a good number of those out there. That's even worse! HBTHDT (haven't been there, haven't done that, but will fake it).

I still contend--in fact know--that some of those to whom I refer HAVE been there and done it, which is wonderful but doesn't justify being arrogant and/or obnoxious. I prefer the real deal "quiet professional" who doesn't have to blow their own horn all the time. I heard that Jim Cirillo, RIP, was one like that, or that's what I recall reading anyway.

Humility seems in short supply in the world at large, so if it's short in the small tactical orbit, I guess it's no surprise.

ps: I have enjoyed many of your posts in the past, fwiw

David Armstrong
January 17, 2008, 09:12 PM
I still contend--in fact know--that some of those to whom I refer HAVE been there and done it, which is wonderful but doesn't justify being arrogant and/or obnoxious.
Yes, you are right, there are those out there that have BTDT and have the ego problem. Perhaps they haven't BT as much or DT as much as the quiet pros??
I heard that Jim Cirillo, RIP, was one like that, or that's what I recall reading anyway.
Yes. I only met Jim a couple of times, but he was a very quiet, confident man.
ps: I have enjoyed many of your posts in the past, fwiw
Thank you! That is something always nice to know.

Perldog007
January 18, 2008, 08:19 AM
I took psych 101 too, and am with the O.P. on this one. The B@S@$$ mindset may be appropriate for military training, but even there it ain't needed in all cases. Case in point our Company Commander in NRTC Orlando. A real bad man, hardly ever raised his voice and only launched into the tough guy tirades for comic relief.

Only ran across a few spec ops types in the Navy, quiet men they were. Worked with two high speed low drag types in private security, once again, quiet humble souls.

Actually only ever knew two loudmouths who could back it up. One a force recon Gunny who was just that way, another a cab driver in Atlantic City. Both acted like total posers, yet both were verifiable warriors.

Maybe some instructors think it is expected of them. The problem for me is, as soon as the act comes out I discount the actor. Not always the right thing to do but usually is.

Captain38
January 18, 2008, 08:47 AM
We need to try NOT to reject VALID information just because it's delivered by someone with less than an ideal personality. I think we can all see the truth in the old adage, "it AIN'T brag IF you can back it up!"

I've seen Jim Cirillo and his son, "Little Jim", a former police officer who frequently accompanied his dad when he took his shooting classes on the road, parody a certain other "name" trainer for being too pompous, but when it came down to whether or not this particular individual knew what he was talking about, they both agreed that he, indeed, DID!

Fremmer
January 18, 2008, 11:26 AM
I don't know why an instructor would act that way. I just know I don't ever want to receive instruction from an ego-maniac.

Could those of you who have taken classes from a non-ego-maniac, would you kindly post the names of the good non-psycho intructors, so that we know this info for the future?

Covert Mission
January 18, 2008, 11:46 AM
Captain38:

You liked Cirillo I take it. I wish I'd had the chance to learn from him.

I think it's appropriate to politely disagree (or agree to disagree) with another instructors point of view, or maybe even to call BS if you honestly believe it's dangerous or incompetent and can articulate why, and remain professional doing so. You can also "damn someone with faint (or no) praise."

I appreciate those who have BTDT...I love hearing and learning from those great war stories. I just don't like them with too heavy a dose of pomposity or ego. That's just me.

Here's an EM from a friend who read this post. He's an ex-Marine, a firearms trainer too, and a good guy:

"Hey, Ego Maniacal Tactical Training (EMTT) - is a fact of life in the firearms training business. One needs a healthy ego but too much of it sprayed on your students and ROs is unprofessional. I have seen it and survived it. I have also seen one egomaniac back down when faced with the prospect of a bad course review or students walking out on his class. I knew Jim Cirillo briefly in the mid 90's. He was a down-to-earth guy for all his experience...BTW, this ego thing extends into other fields of endeavor. I've seen and been in non-firearms classes where the instructor's arrogance far outweighed his/her ability to teach. In one case it was so bad that only three out of a class of 16 showed up the second day."

ISC
January 18, 2008, 06:17 PM
Some instructers are full of crap and try to cover it up with swagger.

Some have alot of knowledge but a lousy instructional technique.

Some are just egomaniacs in general and that's completely independent of their experience or qualifications

I will say this though. When you are in charge of a training evolution with potentially life threatenin consequences and your students' previous training and discipline levels are an unkown factor, maintaining complete control over the environment can prevent a tragedy. People can be really stupid, and assuming that they know what they are doing can cause fatal accidents. I've seen students do really retarded things and relaxing control of the environment is a bad idea until you know the level of professionalism of the students.

Avenger11
January 18, 2008, 07:23 PM
Covert,
Sounds like you wouldn't be happy with any instructor, because you already know it all! Ego is not a bad thing if you recall the Freudian teachings in Psychology 101. Ego to me means pride and self confidence in your command of a given subject. When it becomes arrogant, self-serving, and condescending, then it shows insecurity and immaturity on the part of the instructor or the student. I have alot of respect for those that are willing to put in the time and effort to impart their knowledge to others. Have little respect for those that just want to whine!

Covert Mission
January 18, 2008, 08:35 PM
Avenger: That's funny!

How did you possibly infer that from my post? I'm talking about instructors' attitude and professionalism. I never referred once to the quantity or type of instruction I've had, which is more than a little, with more than a few instructors. In spite of that training, I have tons to learn and old stuff to re-learn and practice.

Ex: I just did a training module with SIMS the other day, doing building clearing with my agency's LT in charge of the tac team. Team movement, bad guy role players shooting back, hostages etc. Totally an eye opener, and it made me realize what I didn't know or don't know well (even though I'd done numerous non-SIMS drills like it), so that at least now I know more of what I don't know. I have lots more to learn, always.

As my former sensei used to say in class--he was a (8th Dan?) shihan jujutsu man-- "Sometimes a teacher, always a student."

Everyone needs a healthy ego to survive and excel. Too much is, well...too much!

20nickels
January 18, 2008, 09:20 PM
One of my favorite quotes from my father, a war veteran; "self praise stinks".

Double Naught Spy
January 18, 2008, 09:31 PM
Why does it seem like more than a few "name" instructors have inordinately large, or even massive, egos? (And no, I won't name names...they or the readers may know who I am talking about, and I am not here to "call out" any one individual). This observation is based both on personal experiences and numerous firsthand accounts from highly trusted sources, some of them very capable mil and LE vets and trainers themselves, who have remained humble. And yes, I took Psych 101, so I know that a healthy ego is important. Not talking about that.

Interesting thread. One of the things I have noticed is that most of the instructors that I have had for "defense" or "combat" shooting have usually included somewhere in their introduction that they are _________ (various descriptors, but "egomaniacal" covers it pretty well. Then they usually justify their position by saying something like it is common in the gun instruction profession. In every case but one, the instructor's egomaniacal description has been spot on. In the one case where it wasn't the guy wasn't actually egomaniacal at all. I think he just said it so that he would sound like all the other instructors.

I really love it when instructors go into detail how their instruction is superior to X schools/instructors, or their techniques or tactics are superior. As it turns out for the traditional schools, they teach about 90% the same stuff with variations on emphasis of key points. The 10% difference is in the verbal perspectives and subtle differences. Of course, this doesn't apply to the specialty style schools that do point shooting, central axis relock, and bend over and fire between your legs ninja tactics.

One instructor, when he was about to run down one of his competion, would start of his monologue on the competition with, "Well God bless so and so. You know he would tell you...." The opening of "God bless" basically meant that was his was of being politically correct and not openly calling the other instructor an idiot, moron, or incompetent. However, the point was clear anyway.

Covert, since you are a former sensei, you might appreciate this. One instructor I had talked about all of his training with several dojos and how he had developed an almost 6th sense to know what was going on around him. Talking about development of supernatural powers is pretty egomaniacal in my book. He even claimed to have something of "field" around him in which he could sense field disruptions...which explained his 6th sense. So I walked up behind him several times in class and stood within inches of him until his 6th sense would kick in, which was usually when he would accidentally bump into me or somebody would point at me or speak to me. With all that 6th sense, he never understood he was being called out on his claims.

Along similar lines, I have enjoyed toying with instructors who claim to be in condition yellow 100% of the time and how they maintain constant situational awareness. Talk about your egomaniacs. This one particular instructor had about 8 of us on the firing line and giving us firing commads and then chewed us out when none of us realized that he had become a threat because he had drawn a knife. We weren't aware and we needed to be shown our incompetence. I don't know about you, but I never considered my instructors as a threat, but several times over the two days, when he would be chatting with a student, I would stand behind him with a drawn knife until somebody, usually the person he was speaking with, would point out that I was behind him. This guy didn't like me when the class was done, but for the stupid stunt he pulled and for which he yelled at us, I just figured I needed to learn how a real professional maintains condition yellow total situational awareness all the time. What I learned was that it was a slow process and that it involves having somebody else tell you what is going on behind you.

I have spent a lot of money with egomaniacal instructors and after a few classes under my belt, their posturing has started to seem very childish to me and I have no problem with trying to validate their amazing claims. Its my money being spent.

oldbillthundercheif
January 18, 2008, 10:03 PM
I could probably count all the egomaniac instructors I have ever met on one hand. I would need a pretty good sized notebook to write out the names of all the good-natured, friendly, funny, highly talented instructors I have met.

I don't even have a clue who you could be talking about. The chumps usually don't last long as instructors except in some police departments that don't have the manpower or cash to train or hire a new one, and even then it's pretty rare to run across a real rube.

Covert Mission
January 19, 2008, 11:38 AM
DoubleNaught: good thoughts, imo.

OldBill: They are out there in good numbers, I believe, but more importantly, some of the most notable big egos are also big names in the firearms training business...you draw your own conclusions as to which came first.

This egomaniac is everywhere around us, I believe. I just point it out here specifically relevant to firearms training, which can be expensive. I want to spend my money with the right people. FWIW.

StuntManMike
January 19, 2008, 05:11 PM
Instead of naming the ones with the ego problems, how about a list of those who are down to earth in this thread?

Covert Mission
January 19, 2008, 05:38 PM
Good idea. I will put one forth; in my own experience a very professional, talented instructor and a gentleman: Pat Goodale, of Practical Firearms Training http://www.pgpft.com

with this disclaimer: I have worked with Pat as an RO, and as his employee in another venture. I built and maintain his website. We are friends also, in no small part because I respect him and how he does business and treats people, both on and off the range. His instruction is excellent, and I get no money for endorsing him. I wouldn't endorse him otherwise...I'm not a paid lobbyist.

Tartaruga
January 19, 2008, 05:57 PM
I would love to hear praise for "the real deal" instructors!

Lurper
January 19, 2008, 06:02 PM
Egomaniacal probably isn't the best word to describe those whom you are talking about. Condescending or rude perhaps. One can be an egomaniac or even an egotist without being rude or condescending to students or others. To achieve a high level of success requires a strong ego and sense of self-confidence. It is a fine line between confidence and arrogance and it usually isn't the possessor who decides what side of the line he falls on. That doesn't excuse rude behavior however.

In my experience, it is former LE and Military who are the worst. They tend to teach like they are teaching a class of recruits. That is precisely the reason our company got the contract to teach at Bass Pro Shops. They didn't want that type of atmosphere.

Oddly enough, the best shooters in the world usually put on the best classes (whether they have the fanciest facility or not) and can outshoot all of the so called "tactical" instructors.

The type of incidents you describe are just plain poor manners and lack of professionalism.

James K
January 19, 2008, 10:33 PM
How about this thought. Those who know something can teach it. Those who don't know and can't teach yell at their students for not learning.

FWIW, I believe ex-military instructors are dangerous, whether teaching police or civilian firearms classes. Bless the military, and I support our troops, but they acquire a "them and us" mindset, where everyone not in "our" uniform is a target to be shot. If they can't leave that behind, their ideas and their training will be very bad for a cop or an armed civilian.

Jim

T. O'Heir
January 19, 2008, 11:27 PM
Well, having met some of the 'big name' IPSC shooters/celebrities at Second Chance, only two(other than Dick Davis) stand out as the least bit friendly or classy. Ayoob is one. Miculek the other. Not one of the rest of them would even talk to the other shooters.
Mr. Ayoob sat down with myself and my buddy one afternoon and attempted to start a conversation. We were kind of shocked/awed and didn't say a word. My much belated apologies to Mr. Ayoob.
The next year, my buddy beat Mr. Miculek in a man on man shoot off(long before he set the records). Mr. Miculek had his hand out in congratulations before my buddy knew he had won.
"...acquire a "them and us" mindset..." So do cops. Mind you, up here at least, most cops can't shoot worth beans. Most don't shoot for recreation and they don't want to.
Teaching anything technical requires a great deal of patience. It's very easy to forget that your students don't know the terminology or that they're there to learn it. Any instructor who yells and hollers shouldn't be teaching anybody, anything. Especially to neophytes.

Lurper
January 19, 2008, 11:46 PM
Well, having met some of the 'big name' IPSC shooters/celebrities at Second Chance, only two(other than Dick Davis) stand out as the least bit friendly or classy.
Having shot with them for years, I'd have to disagree. Most of them are friendly and classsy. Leatham, Enos, Shaw, Jarrett, McCormick, Koenig, Burner, Miculek are all first class individuals. Can't say the same for some of the new shooters and not for some of the "Tactical" crowd either.

oldbillthundercheif
January 19, 2008, 11:47 PM
Not one of the rest of them would even talk to the other shooters

Was this before or after the match? If it was before, I don't blame them at all. Competitors have all types of different ways of getting ready to shoot and very few of them involve shooting the breeze with random folks. Hell, a lot of them do a full-match visualization type thing where they may as well be on another planet.

If you guys think practical pistol folks are touchy, you should go to an olympic smallbore match sometime and try to start conversations. You will be cursed out in many languages. The same goes for even approaching another competitor's gear. It took them a damn long time to get everything just how they want it and if you look like you are going to touch something they will not be happy. That's just the way it is.

Would you jabber at Brian Urlacher and fondle his equipment before a Bears game when he was trying to get ready?

I would not, and I would not have a problem with him launching you into the stands if you tried to.

Live with it. These guys are serious about their sport.

Covert Mission
January 20, 2008, 02:02 AM
Lurper:

I've been to several Steel Challenges at my old home range, and watched the big dogs in action and off the line. Most of the names you mention seemed to be good guys, and have a good reputation for being decent people, and I observed that myself (and the organizers of that event spoke highly of many of those people). I know people who have taken classes with Jarrett, and rave about him. Leatham is purported to be a super nice guy. They must not think they have anything to prove (they don't!), or boast about...their accomplishments speak for themselves. Some of my pals shot the USPSA Nationals this year and had good things to say about many in the "Super Squad."

I should edit my first post in this thread and be more specific, maybe. I know there are many instructors out there who are both good teachers, accomplished professionals and good, decent people (hopefully, you know who you are). I got my BVDs in a bunch recently after hearing some first-hand stories from friends in the business, or students, who have been apalled by the bad behavior and egocentric nonsense by some big names in the tac shooting world. Some of these guys were mil spec-ops or had serious LE careers. Living in the past, maybe? I'm no shrink...don't have a clue sometimes why some people can be such frequent buttheads.

kgpcr
January 20, 2008, 05:05 PM
Many are legends in thier own mind. The guys i knew in the Corps that were the meat eaters were not the cocky dicks with swagger. they taught us that if you are a bad ass you dont need to prove it to any one! When we would come back from an op we would talk about it but not to talk tough but to learn and to blow off some of the steam. When we got back stateside we never talked tough and cocky. We proved to ourselves what we were and did not need to prove it to any one else. We were just good Marines, Nothing more nothing less.

Lurper
January 20, 2008, 08:44 PM
Todd, Rob and Brian are all close friends. I shot with all of the people I mentioned as a member of the Super Squad back when I was shooting. Todd and I used to practice in my backyard. All of the guys I mentioned have strong egos. Of all of them, perhaps myself, John Shaw and J. Michael Plaxco are the most "egotistical" (although I am nowhere near as egotistical as them lol). My passion for what I know borders on evangelicism which some people interpret to mean I am egotistical. I am also known for being blunt and upfront about things which also puts some people off. I constanly tell people (students and others) that "there may not be one way to shoot, but there is a 'best way' ." That puts some people off, but I can support that claim. I learned years ago not to even bother trying to sound modest because no matter what I said, someone always thought I had a big ego. Now I just tell people that up front. I have had students come up to me after a class and say things like " I thought you were full of **it when you were talking about some of that stuff until I saw you shoot". I'll be the first to tell you that I promote myself - if I don't, who will? To some that is egotistical, to me I just speak facts.

Having said all of that though, I am never condescending to students nor do I intimdate them or berate them like some instructors. In fact I have a good reputation as a teacher for women shooters. Behaving like you are god's gift to shooting and belittleing your students is IMHO kinda dumb and it really speaks volumes about the instructor.

Casimer
January 20, 2008, 09:15 PM
Oddly enough, the best shooters in the world usually put on the best classes (whether they have the fanciest facility or not) and can outshoot all of the so called "tactical" instructors.

I'd attended a clinic put on by Brian Zins and Andy Moody. Brian is the 8 time national BE champion and current record holder. Andy was Brian's coach in the Marine pistol team and is a record holder for (IIRC) rapid fire pistol. He also has a pretty extensive resume in small arms training for the Marines and law enforcement.

Neither of these guys portray the sort of behavior that the OP mentions. They were both friendly and courteous. The clinic is based on the Marine program. Its format provided for a lot of one-on-one consultation on the line. They were working directly w/ shooters who possessed a range of capabilities. Both of them were pretty firm about enforcing certain fundamentals, and would call you on mistakes in the class sessions. But they did this in a way that didn't embarrass anyone.

USMCGrunt
January 21, 2008, 12:41 AM
FWIW, I believe ex-military instructors are dangerous, whether teaching police or civilian firearms classes. Bless the military, and I support our troops, but they acquire a "them and us" mindset, where everyone not in "our" uniform is a target to be shot. If they can't leave that behind, their ideas and their training will be very bad for a cop or an armed civilian.

Jim


Thanks for painting all of us with such a broad brush!:mad:

kgpcr
January 21, 2008, 10:28 PM
USMC GRUNT
he has a point! They will never be Marines! That does not make them a reject just have not had the training we have. As for him painting with a broad brush he sure does. If he knew what it was all about he would not talk that way. I will take a Gunny with combat under his belt any day over Ayoob or what ever that guys name is. I know how the Gunny will act and he will be with me come hell or high water. I would bet my life on it time and time again. That is the guy i want to train from he has been there! Yes Military are different. We have to be.

Nnobby45
January 21, 2008, 11:55 PM
Some would argue that the "ego" of the instructor isn't as important as the students' ability to learn in spite of it. Sounds like a fair trade to me.:cool:

wayneinFL
January 22, 2008, 12:55 AM
As far as the IPSC shooters, I can't think of a single master or grandmaster class shooter I've ever had a problem with. All down to earth guys. Todd Jarrett is one of the nicest, most down to earth guys I've ever met, in or out of the shooting sports.

A few of the wannabe's though...

And looking at motivation instead of personality- why would any of the world class shooters display bad attitudes anyway? Most of them sell instruction or equipment. Why discourage potential customers?

USMCGrunt
January 22, 2008, 06:58 PM
Actually, I'm an Air Force instructor these days. Hey, somebody's got to show them how to shoot!:D But again, when you talk about military instructors, that term "military" encompasses all branches of the military. Does he know that we're not allowed to cuss at all in a class? One of my fellow instructors at work was critiqued by a student because he used the word "crap" in his class when he was talking about "nomenclature, characteristic and all that other crap". It depends on the audience. When it comes to cop or special operator classes, we can be a bit more crude but when it comes to say a base populace class where you have students from other areas such as services or medical and students with higher ranks (so far a 2-star is my highest ranking student) you tone it down.
As far as the "us and them" mentality, that used to be the case years ago during the cold war era. Today when you have to consider non-combatants, rules of engagement and LOAC, our shooters can't develop that mentality. Obviously that poster has either never been in a military class or has been in one so long ago that he's dealing with dated information.

David Armstrong
January 23, 2008, 01:18 PM
I will take a Gunny with combat under his belt any day over Ayoob or what ever that guys name is.
I think the issue may be one of what do you want to learn? If I want to learn combat tactics and techniques, I may look for that well-qualified and experienced combat vet. But if I am wanting to learn the legal issues and tactical problems of concealed carry in the city, Ayoob would probably be the better choice. It is a matter of matching up the instructor with your needs. There are some LSHD egomaniac instructor out there that I don't mind recommending at all to people that are looking for a type of training. But someone looking for a different set of skills I might advise them to stay very far away and find somebody else.

Lurper
January 23, 2008, 01:38 PM
I will take a Gunny with combat under his belt any day over Ayoob or what ever that guys name is.
If you want to learn how to fight a war, that is fine. But if you want to learn skills that apply to civilians that's a different story. Very little of what we learn in the military carries over to "combat" as it applies to civilians. As DA pointed out, this is even more important if you want to learn the legal aspect and precedents.

kgpcr
January 23, 2008, 07:45 PM
You are so right. One teaches law and the other teaches how to stay alive. Two totaly different things.

Derius_T
January 23, 2008, 10:33 PM
kgpcr wrote:

You are so right. One teaches law and the other teaches how to stay alive. Two totaly different things.

The point is, that military combat tactics and civilian sport shooters, are two totally different creatures. If you want to learn combat, go with the gunney by all means, but if you want to learn technique ans skill as it pertains to competition shooting, you go to a competition shooter.

Most of the world class competition marksmen are faster, more accurate, and have a superior knowledge of their chosen weapons. There are not many people from ANY profession who can "out shoot" these guys in their environment.

Now stick them in a "combat" environment, and their skills would most likely not count for much, but that does not detract from their superior skill with a firearm when it comes to competition shooting. Not many gunnies would out shoot them on their turf. :rolleyes:

Lurper
January 24, 2008, 12:29 AM
One teaches law and the other teaches how to stay alive. Two totaly different things.
Two totally different things: combat as it applies to the Gunny and combat as it applies to ccw holders. What the Gunny learned in Nam or the big sandbox bears no relevance to what John Q needs. The military and LE communities have always lagged behind the civilan community when it comes to pistolcraft. A pistol is a secondary weapon for the military, the rules of engagement, tactics, technique, equipment and even the battlefield are different. The legal aspect is another aspect of the battlefield for John Q. Being alive is the main objective, being alive and in prison for 30 years is a far distant second even though it's still better than dead.

Most of the world class competition marksmen are faster, more accurate, and have a superior knowledge of their chosen weapons. There are not many people from ANY profession who can "out shoot" them
The sentence should stop there. I always have to laugh when I hear someone say "Rob Leatham might be great on the 'sqaure range' but put him on the street and he aint sh**!" What a crock, as if by some magical power his shooting ability fades if he isn't on the range. I've beat Rob on occasion, but I'd rather face any Gunny anytime than face Rob in a gunfight.

TexasSeaRay
January 24, 2008, 01:18 AM
he has a point! They will never be Marines! That does not make them a reject just have not had the training we have. As for him painting with a broad brush he sure does. If he knew what it was all about he would not talk that way. I will take a Gunny with combat under his belt any day over Ayoob or what ever that guys name is. I know how the Gunny will act and he will be with me come hell or high water. I would bet my life on it time and time again. That is the guy i want to train from he has been there! Yes Military are different. We have to be.

I accompanied a couple, who are friends with my wife and myself, to one of these hotdog, expensive training schools. Couple of the instructors came out, introduced themselves and regaled us with all their qualifications, teaching experience and how many "SEALs, Green Berets, Delta operators, Air Force parajumpers, Rangers, SWAT teams, task forces, HRT, USMS SOG, et al" they've trained.

I asked them one question: "That's all fine and dandy, but what have YOU done on the battlefied or street when it counted?"

Silence.

Then the predictable "Well, that's not what's important, what's important is. . ." blah blah blah.

We left.

Good instructors impress you with good instruction, solid techniques and honest answers--even if those answers occasionally include the words, "I don't know."

Bad instructors try to impress you with fancy "tactical" words and phrases, name-dropping and credentials.

That's why if at all possible, I'll refer a military/LE instructor who's smelled gunsmoke and lived to tell about it over one who hasn't. They have a perspective that is simply not possible to have without having experienced what they have.

Jeff

STLRN
January 24, 2008, 06:01 AM
I always have to laugh when I hear someone say "Rob Leatham might be great on the 'sqaure range' but put him on the street and he aint sh**!" What a crock, as if by some magical power his shooting ability fades if he isn't on the range.

I know of a reserve CWO who shot on the Marine Corps pistol team, who missed a guy at under 10 meters with his M9. The guy was an awesome shot at the range, normally shot in the 398-400 range out 400 on qualification, but throw some stress in, the guy shooting back and moving and even the best shots loose allot of their ability.

Derius_T
January 24, 2008, 08:28 AM
Lurper wrote:

The sentence should stop there. I always have to laugh when I hear someone say "Rob Leatham might be great on the 'sqaure range' but put him on the street and he aint sh**!" What a crock, as if by some magical power his shooting ability fades if he isn't on the range. I've beat Rob on occasion, but I'd rather face any Gunny anytime than face Rob in a gunfight.

lol. I know what you are saying, and I wasn't trying to imply that at all. But that being said, alot of your "civilian" shooters I could see having trouble in a "military engagement" scenario. Its all different there. I think the mindset would be affected so as to affect the ability to use the ability as it were....:cool:

(if you follow all that I'm truely impressed, cuz I'm not even sure I do!) :D:D:D

kgpcr
January 24, 2008, 11:22 PM
When the feecal matter hits the blades i will take the guy with combat training. You have to be able to think under extreme stress and be able to opperate. Rob Latham is a hell of a shot and i would not want to face him in a gun fight!!! On the same hand if i had to go into a gun fight i would rather go with the Gunny! I know for damn sure he is not going to run when it gets thick! Gun skills are only one part of the package, very important but only one part

easyG
January 25, 2008, 11:17 AM
I will take a Gunny with combat under his belt any day over Ayoob or what ever that guys name is.

I'm always a little uncomfortable when folks heap praise upon "combat vets".

The very phrase "combat vet" can mean a whole lot of different things....
The combat vet could be a true warrior in every sense of the word; someone who has survived numerous battles and who has met and destroyed the enemy time and time again.
Or it could mean the guy who was in a combat theater but was never actually under enemy fire.

Take the Field Artillery for example.....traditionally, when it come to ground forces (especially before the invention of aircraft), few folks killed more of the enemy than the artillery....that's why Arty is still called the "king of the battle" even today....but in quite a few battles the red-legs themselves were not in direct danger, especially when they were hammering an enemy force that did not have artillery of their own to return fire.

And what about those on the receiving end of the artillery barrage?
Many a Soldier and many a Marine are considered "combat vets" simply because they survived such a barrage.
But all they did was dig in, and hold on, and were lucky enough to not get killed.

And some combat vets did see and kill the enemy and survive the battle, but not necessarily because they were great warriors themselves, but because they were just lucky enough to be in the company of some truely great warrior comrades when the battle erupted.

Now don't misunderstand me....I'm certainly not bashing combat vets, or even those military personnel who never had the chance to be in combat.
What I'm saying is this: just because someone is a "combat vet", they don't instantly win my trust or admiration.
And there are many cops on the streets who have experienced far worse than many "combat vets".


EasyG
(and yes, I'm a "combat vet")

Scorch
January 25, 2008, 12:38 PM
Why does it seem like more than a few "name" instructors have inordinately large, or even massive, egos?Without those massive egos, the sheer pressure and stress of getting in front of all of us and spouting on and on about how they will turn us into combat-ready anti-terrorists, along with the constant rejection and ridicule from people who don't buy into their fear-mongering, would crush their psyches. Of course there are enough people who will pay these trainers massive amounts of cash and sing their praises that any rejection is seen as us being misguided.

Derius_T
January 25, 2008, 02:34 PM
easyg wrote:

Now don't misunderstand me....I'm certainly not bashing combat vets, or even those military personnel who never had the chance to be in combat. What I'm saying is this: just because someone is a "combat vet", they don't instantly win my trust or admiration. And there are many cops on the streets who have experienced far worse than many "combat vets".

I think I have to agree with that whole-heartedly. (As well as most of the rest of your message for that matter)

I myself personally know veterans who hardly ever even held a rifle, let alone lept naked over baracades, knife in teeth, facing down the hordes. (although I know a few of those too! well, maybe not the naked part. :D)

That being said, to blindly place your life in the hands of ANYONE, based on your perceived notion of their ability, is taking a huge risk. Give me a guy who I KNOW FOR A FACT, that if he gets the shot, he will put the BG down post haste. Vet, cop, or armchair warrior.

I'm a combat vet myself, but I'm no Mack Bolan. (thats for you 70's guys) :D
I'm no Spartan either. I WILL RETREAT, if me or mine is not in immediate danger to do so. I will save them at any cost, call me what you will. Now, if the only way they live is if I stand and take whatever comes, while they run, then there I stand. God Himself would have to move me. But now I blather on....:p

Stevie-Ray
January 25, 2008, 03:43 PM
Does he know that we're not allowed to cuss at all in a class? One of my fellow instructors at work was critiqued by a student because he used the word "crap" in his class when he was talking about "nomenclature, characteristic and all that other crap".Are you kidding me? Crap, between "zero tolerance" and "political correctness" I don't know which is going to be first to destroy this country.

I haven't taken any premium classes but, my CCW instructor was, I thought, a little tyrannical in that he screamed at us to keep quiet while he was giving personal instruction to a single student, using words like "teaching kindergarten." Most of us were zooming through the class as we weren't learning much more than we already knew through various knowledge bases like this or previous classes. Lets face it, probably most of us simply need the signed paper and new laws that have taken effect, many not even the latter when they keep up on such things. You are not going to keep a class of >100 perfectly quiet when they are not even hearing what is being said. As I saw the instructor in later years after the class, he was a quite decent guy with valuable information on tap for the asking. I later chalked the class up to just one of his bad days. It's possible that some or many of these instructors are simply having bad days. After all, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and criticism seems far louder than praise in any aspect of life. Just a thought.

Personally, I would love to attend one of Mas Ayoob's classes. Maybe someday.

Chui
January 30, 2008, 12:36 PM
Well, I can assure you that Andy Stanford is most certainly NOT one of the egomaniacal types you describe - and I've been a student in several who are just as you describe.

In fact, Andy does NOT self-proclaim to be one of the "high speed, low drag" types yet he is a phenomenal instructor. I call him an "Earth Man" as opposed to the "Super Men" who I sense are rather dark souls. Don't get me wrong, I actively seek their experience, too, but I dispose of the "attitude" which ranges from bigotry, arrogance, pride and delusion for some that I've experienced and from others which I received second hand.

I think I've said enough. Carry on.

Chui
January 30, 2008, 01:49 PM
I had the opportunity to meet Jerry Miculek at a S&W Day event at my local toy store. He stated he was from Lafayette, LA and I told him I was from Baton Rouge, LA. We sat and talked off and on for several hours. When he asked what I liked and why he figured I was an engineer and we began to speak design features, etc and we spoke for an hour. He's a topnotch guy.

Lurper, I'd love to spend time with you, too, man. I think you'd have lots to tell! And I'd be all ears! :thumbsup:

Skyguy
February 2, 2008, 08:37 PM
Talkin about 'egomaniacs'.

I had a current trainer and former swat person say he shotgunned a guy to death and went home, drank a Corona and slept like a baby.

Now, that's a goofball.
.

STLRN
February 3, 2008, 05:32 AM
Why is that, I haven't felt any remorse for the people I shot or blew up. Some people do, some don't. If you are wired that way, it is just the way you are.

Skyguy
February 3, 2008, 10:59 AM
If you are wired that way, it is just the way you are.

Gimme a break; shotgunned a guy to death and went home, drank a Corona and slept like a baby.

Too much machismo there. I say his 'wires' are crossed.....
.

STLRN
February 3, 2008, 11:59 AM
Nothing weird about it at. Just because some people are just sensitive about killing doesn't mean we all are. But the bottom line is neither you, nor I know the full circumstances and there are high percentage of guys out there that just deserve to die.

HuntAndFish
February 3, 2008, 05:58 PM
and there are high percentage of guys out there that just deserve to die.

You're saying that 70% or 80% of us deserve it? Or are you talking about a specific demographic element?

STLRN
February 3, 2008, 06:07 PM
It's of a specific demographic, for cops they tend to run into those people more than the rest of us.

David Armstrong
February 3, 2008, 07:50 PM
Why is that, I haven't felt any remorse for the people I shot or blew up. Some people do, some don't.
Well said. In spite of the media and other sources, lots of folkls don't feel remorse for doing what is necessary. I only felt bad once ater a shooting, and that was that it was rather senseless and involved a kid. No need for it, but the kid panicked and forced something simple to turn into a bad situation. Sorta sad. Everybody else--no problems on my end!

Skyguy
February 8, 2008, 12:42 PM
It's been said that the remorseless, badass type people are actually showing the signs of an anti-social personality disorder, a mental illness.

Surely a current trainer and former swat person who proudly says that he shotgunned a guy to death, then went home, drank a Corona and slept like a baby fits into that mold.

It's just not normal or emotionally healthy to have 'no remorse' for ending a life...any life. Self defense, survival, kill or be killed merely mitigates the issues that we combat veterans live with.
.

matthew temkin
February 8, 2008, 02:04 PM
Sorry SkyGuy, but that is BS.
Cirillo never felt any remorse for killing bad guys and my dad's only remorse in WW2 is that he did not get to kill even more Germans than he did.

Thumper
February 8, 2008, 02:24 PM
It's just not normal or emotionally healthy to have 'no remorse' for ending a life...any life. Self defense, survival, kill or be killed merely mitigates the issues that we combat veterans live with.

With respect, you're wrong, podna. Whether it offends your sensibilities or not, some deaths should be celebrated and the killer honored.

Violence on it's face is not inherrently evil.

Complacency in the face of evil is.

Lurper
February 8, 2008, 11:51 PM
It's just not normal or emotionally healthy to have 'no remorse' for ending a life...any life.
Not true for everyone sky. I know plenty of healthy, well rounded, mentally stable and successful people who will tell you otherwise. Whatever you feel, it is normal. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's normal to feel elation after surviving a gunfight. Also, remorse, revulsion and many other emotions. But, not everyone will feel them. That doesn't mean they are sociopathic or mentally unbalanced. So much of the idea that we should feel remorse comes from the mechanics of socialization: media, church, family, culture, etc. In our society, we are told "you should feel remorse when you kill someone." That is based on our religious and cultural values. What can happen is when you truly feel elation, you think there is something wrong with you when in reality what you are feeling is normal. There is nothing wrong with not feeling remorse for killing someone or feeling it. They are both normal and acceptable.

TexasSeaRay
February 9, 2008, 12:02 AM
It's been said that the remorseless, badass type people are actually showing the signs of an anti-social personality disorder, a mental illness.

Surely a current trainer and former swat person who proudly says that he shotgunned a guy to death, then went home, drank a Corona and slept like a baby fits into that mold.

It's just not normal or emotionally healthy to have 'no remorse' for ending a life...any life.

Have to respectfully disagree.

Jeff

DonR101395
February 9, 2008, 12:05 AM
It's been said that the remorseless, badass type people are actually showing the signs of an anti-social personality disorder, a mental illness.

Surely a current trainer and former swat person who proudly says that he shotgunned a guy to death, then went home, drank a Corona and slept like a baby fits into that mold.

It's just not normal or emotionally healthy to have 'no remorse' for ending a life...any life. Self defense, survival, kill or be killed merely mitigates the issues that we combat veterans live with.


One opinion, I also would have to disagree with.

kraven
February 9, 2008, 10:49 AM
I think that the regard for human life most of us have is really due to our socialization into a modern society.
Think about how many thousands of years our ancestors HAD to kill other humans to keep their food, lives, families, and homes/borders.

The current social prohibitions we have here in the Western Hemisphere are pretty incongruous with our history as a species. And, I would argue that they're incongruous with our basic nature. Ever seen a baby get mad at another baby? They come out swinging because we have a basic instinct to keep what's ours and defend ourselves with force.

However, in the opinion of one of my friends from Fort Benning, one of the most difficult things to make new recruits understand is that they are there to possibly kill someone.

Now, I'm not discounting that a great number of our fellow citizens aren't reprogrammed to believe a new set of values. And, I'm not discounting that Skyguy doesn't genuinely feel that remorse should be a part of being normal.

But, to say that remorse is the appropriate response to the act of killing someone for any human seems to ignore a lot of history and a lot of basic human instinct that is triggered by self-defense.

While guilt may be very real to some, it doesn't have to be the most valid response for everyone. Certainly, I wouldn't rubber stamp anyone as being callous or oversensitive for either. I'm more amazed that our society can spawn people who can "shotgun someone to death, go home, drink a corona, and sleep like a baby" and another who sobs inconsolably because someone on TV got a free house built for them in 7 days.

Covert Mission
February 11, 2008, 01:30 AM
I've never had to shoot or kill anyone, I'm glad to say. But, anyone who carries CCW or is LE should have done some mental preparation for that possible event.

I have a very good friend who is about to retire from LE, after 30+
years with LA County SO. He's a homicide detective for over 15 years, so he's familiar with all sides of death. When he was in patrol 20 years ago, he rolled to an armed robbery at a Stop 'n Rob, and as he pulled up the BG was running out the door and started dumping rounds at him. My pal shot better, and dropped him with his Python.

He's not a touchy feely guy by any means, nor is he a super macho. Just a thoughtful, conservative cop, good family man, good friend. He said to me once, about the shooting: "You know, I think about it a few times a week. I don't feel bad about killing him...in fact, I had no choice and he was trying to kill me. But I think about it all the time."

It seems to me that's how I'd feel (I hope). I'd think about it, know I'd done the right thing, had no choice, but wouldn't brag about it, I hope. Better him than me.

In reading some of Col. Dave Grossman's writing on killing ( http://www.killology.com/ ) the military has spent a lot of effort to counteract the natural human aversion to killing, in order to train better soldiers. IIRC, the # of shots fired vs. enemy casualties in WWII was a high ratio compared to VietNam and now, as we've figured out how to train people to kill more readily. Interesting topic.

dawg23
February 14, 2008, 11:22 AM
Having read this far into this thread, I have to say that I've seen more over-sized egos in the three previous pages than I've seen among the instructors I have trained with.

All good instructors will have a "healthy" ego. And yes, I've had a couple that struck me as being a little "over the top." But I never got the sense that they were excessively enthralled with themselves because of their training/LEO/military experience....but more had the feeling that they were just wired that way.

Let me quickly add that even those who seemed to be "overly egotistical" (and I am certainly not qualified to make that assessment, so I'll re-phrase to say "Those who seemed to have personalities that were different from mine") had a lot of good stuff to teach. If you go to a class worried about egos, or worried about how many BG's the instructor has shot, you may want to re-examine your agenda and your criteria.

I am not at all concerned with an instructor's military experience, and care little about LEO experience unless it is pertinent to the topics being taught (such as situational awareness). I am far more concerned with two things: Can he perform, and can he teach ? If the answer to either is "No," then I may have made a poor choice.

A little research prior to enrolling, and then showing up with an open mind, will go a long way to making sure that your training experience is a good one. Most people never even enroll in a class (other than, perhaps their CCW class), and seem satisfied to get their "training" at forums such as this one. I'm one of those weird people who think that these forums are great, but are no substitute for training

buzz_knox
February 14, 2008, 11:25 AM
It's just not normal or emotionally healthy to have 'no remorse' for ending a life...any life. Self defense, survival, kill or be killed merely mitigates the issues that we combat veterans live with.

I've known more than a few people who were combat vets or had otherwise killed in the line of duty. The one that was the most torn up about it was also the most emotionally unstable of the bunch.

Most vets I've talked to or read interviews of get torn up about their comrades who were killed or wounded, or the civilians who get caught in the crossfire. Enemy casualties fall in the category of "it was him or me, and I'm glad it was him."

Rob Pincus
February 15, 2008, 12:23 AM
Having read this far into this thread, I have to say that I've seen more over-sized egos in the three previous pages than I've seen among the instructors I have trained with.

Well said.... as was the rest of your post, Dawg....

Skyguy
February 15, 2008, 11:45 AM
Interesting, macho-man, testosterone laced, hearsay responses so far.

Problem is....the responses have the same credibility as a man telling someone what it's like to have a baby; all hearsay, no experience. You can watch movies and tv, read books, talk to mothers, even pretend/train at giving birth....but it's just not the same as doing it.

I'll say it again so we don't lose track of the whole point of this thread: 'egomaniacal instructors'.

"I had a current trainer and former swat person say he shotgunned a guy to death, went home, drank a Corona and slept like a baby."

Some wires are crossed there and religion ain't gonna make it better.
.

STLRN
February 15, 2008, 04:33 PM
No I think it is you who think you have a lock on what all men who make battle should feel. But as many who have also been there and done that have said, that is an incorrect view.

I never felt any guilt for what I have done and if CENTCOM rule 1A would have allowed I would have had beer afterward.

kraven
February 15, 2008, 05:49 PM
ok, let me give you the condensed version.
No two people will come away from the experience with the exact same response to it.
Who is to say what the appropriate response is for that person?

As for egomaniacal instructors, generally the ones who don't have anything to prove and work harder at being teachers than icons are the ones I get the most from, but I don't need a father figure.

mjoy64
February 15, 2008, 08:24 PM
Interesting, macho-man, testosterone laced, hearsay responses so far.

Problem is....the responses have the same credibility as a man telling someone what it's like to have a baby; all hearsay, no experience. You can watch movies and tv, read books, talk to mothers, even pretend/train at giving birth....but it's just not the same as doing it.

I'll say it again so we don't lose track of the whole point of this thread: 'egomaniacal instructors'.

"I had a current trainer and former swat person say he shotgunned a guy to death, went home, drank a Corona and slept like a baby."

Some wires are crossed there and religion ain't gonna make it better.
.

I think the problem with your anecdote is linking ego with someone not feeling remorse for taking a life. These are almost entirely unrelated topics. I do think it is a window into your view of the world though.

The other disconcerting issue is that you threw this quote out and gave no context. Could you be right in the one case you were physically present? Yes. Is anyone that contests your assertion wrong? I don't think so.

TexasSeaRay
February 15, 2008, 09:47 PM
Most vets I've talked to or read interviews of get torn up about their comrades who were killed or wounded, or the civilians who get caught in the crossfire. Enemy casualties fall in the category of "it was him or me, and I'm glad it was him."

+1

The older I get, I find myself seeing and hearing things that remind me of buddies I lost. And even all these years later, it still hurts.

As for as the guys who were on the other side and are no longer, I don't think about them much at all.

But I do get tired of unmarried marriage counselors insisting that if you don't break down and cry or have nightmares or need weekly shrink sesssions for having done your job and your duty, you're a sociopath or testosterone filled or emotionally deficient.

I don't think that about the different soldiers, sailors and airmen that saved my life during various operations, and they don't think that about me or my buddies who did likewise.

And theirs is the only opinion I really give a hoot about.

Jeff