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threegun
August 5, 2008, 06:18 AM
For years I have trained using exercises taught at schools like Gun site and Thunder ranch as well as others taken from videos and reading. I recently began adding some things that allow me to move very quickly while still getting good hits on target. However I have never had any formal training.

My question is to those who have attended a formal shooting school. If you obtained all the information taught (much from folks who actually attended) would the course still be worth the money? Why?

I ask because I out perform friends, two of which have attended multiple expensive shooting schools, in every exercises.

Could I gain mentally or perhaps gain by an instructor pointing out any quirks?

Keltyke
August 5, 2008, 06:39 AM
would the course still be worth the money? Why?

I haven't taken one of these courses, but I feel qualified to answer. I've taken guitar and karate. Both need correct techniques to do properly. An instructor can teach this.

Practicing using bad habits simply makes for bad knowledge/ability. An instructor can catch those bad habits and correct them.

threegun
August 5, 2008, 10:54 AM
Is it necessary to have bad habits eliminated by an instructor? I have had several great shooter identify problems and offer solutions.

What type of bad habits aside from firearm handling and grip are there?

Say for example I run my LRRF drill. I draw, run, and fire in the direction my partner calls until he changes my direction either left, right, rear, or forward. I can't figure what bad habits could be identified so long as my grip is proper and handling safe.

Give me some examples so I may identify them myself please.

fm2
August 5, 2008, 01:58 PM
If you obtained all the information taught (much from folks who actually attended) would the course still be worth the money? Why?

If you want to progress and attend some advanced classes you usually have to go throught the basic course offered. It also depends what your goals are. If you want to get better at IDPA, maybe look for a class with top people in that sport. If you are interested in self defense then look to people who teach from that context.

Could I gain mentally or perhaps gain by an instructor pointing out any quirks? Yes to both, if you have an open mind. An instructor has experienced eyes, so they can see things some people miss.

What type of bad habits aside from firearm handling and grip are there? Lots. LOL, sight allignment, triggercontrol, drawstroke and body mechanics come to mind.

evan1293
August 5, 2008, 02:20 PM
Take some formal training. You probably won't see a huge improvement from doing so but its kind of like the 80 / 20 rule. You learn 80% of a skill quickly, the remaining 20% takes virtually a life time. At your level, training will probably help refine your skills rather than teach you a host of new ones.

The biggest reason to take some training. Its a lot of fun!:D

Glenn E. Meyer
August 5, 2008, 02:51 PM
Are you interested in pure shooting technique classes or tactical application classes?

Folks offer both. You often can't see your own mistakes or learn new techniques to move up to a new level. The tac classes are really a different beast than the competition classes.

For example, I've seen folks who self-taught one finger typing and are very fast. Then, there are folks who learn touch typing and can beat them in speed.

It's fun. Do both.

Capt Charlie
August 5, 2008, 04:44 PM
It's kinda like seeing a doctor. A second opinion never hurts ;).

Seriously, even if you're video taping yourself for a self-critique, a good instructor might catch small things you might miss. You can either use what he says or dismiss it, but either way, there's more potential for improvement with a good instructor.

I've noted too that a fast paced class helps a lot with rapid decision making and walking and chewing gum at the same time :D.

threegun
August 5, 2008, 05:33 PM
The biggest reason to take some training. Its a lot of fun!

Its expensive too:eek:.

Years ago when I couldn't afford to go I had to do the next best thing which was self teach using as much information as possible from professional sources. I would often team with friends and coworkers. Now I can afford to attend but I don't feel that I will learn enough to justify the cost.

Yes it will be fun and to answer Glenn I'm only interested in gun fight survival.

Now you guys have me wondering if I'm leaving speed on the table by some bad techniques.

Capt Charlie, After years of shooting threegun matches I have definitely learned to chew gum and walk at the same time. These guys set up some really tricky arrays and its easy to get left behind so to speak. I lost what would have been my 1st first place finish some eight years ago because I forgot to shoot a target 3 yrds away.

Scattergun Bob
August 5, 2008, 06:42 PM
Take a level 1 tactical carbine class from Clint Smith at thunder ranch. I think you will find there is a world of difference between the "game" and training for the street.

And no I do not think you can get the full effect from some one who took the class once and is now ready to revile all. You will get your moneys worth.

Good Luck & Be Safe

James K
August 5, 2008, 07:30 PM
I think the "learn on your own" approach will work OK as far as the mechanics of handling a gun go. But the good courses in self-defense teach a lot more - legal issues, liability, and other aspects of carrying and using a gun that you can't get on your own. Most people here and on other sites concentrate on the mechanics; in other words they learn a lot about how to shoot, and choose to remain ignorant of when (and when not) to shoot. That way can spell trouble if or when you draw that gun for real.

Of course, those considerations generally don't apply to range firing, especially to bullseye target, so that kind of shooting can be learned on your own.

I might also suggest that the worst way to learn either the mechanics or other aspects of self-defense is to rely on the absurd nonsense put out by most gun rags.

Jim

Glenn E. Meyer
August 5, 2008, 08:24 PM
I certainly understand expense. Going to TR or Gunsite is very expensive. One should examine the local environment.

For example, in TX - one can spend $350 for a weekend tac class with quality local trainers or a well known guest.

If one totals up the expense of ammo, etc. for matches and are frugle for half a year - you could save for it. That's my plan. Or I do some extra work.

It's well worth it.

threegun
August 6, 2008, 06:09 AM
I want to try sweatnbullets Fluid Threat Response course. I find the static drills offered by the big schools to be useful but boring. My mindset is geared toward getting proficient at shooting while on the move. I understand the benefits of using cover however many times it isn't readily available and movement may increase survival rates. Shooting while moving should further increase survival rates. Shooting while moving real fast should bump survival even more.

Glenn, In the last formal training you attended can you give a brief summary of the drills you ran? I'm curious to see if things have changed much with respect to curriculum.

Jim, I agree with the legal issue. I already have researched the issue with respect to Florida. Recently things changed slightly further benefiting the law abiding citizens of my state. Now I am not required to retreat from potential trouble before I can use deadly force. I am still obligated to adhere to the same strict justifications.....fear of death or great bodily injury. When I decide this justification has been reached is my own decision and one I must make at the time. I don't want anything to cause hesitation at this point. I want to survive the attack period. I'll deal with court and potential prison latter.

Scattergun bob, I play the gun games for fun and a little time behind the wheel so to speak. Admittedly I don't dedicate nearly as much time to my AR as she deserves, I have and occasionally run drills designed to maximize the platforms effectiveness.

To put something in perspective........I rarely practice for threegun, IDPA, IPSC, PPC, Balloon shoots, Bowling pin matches etc. I shoot many of them simply for fun and some stressful gun time. See I get really twisted in the guts before even a lowly PPC match. Shooting with tons of folks watching you......embarrassed if you miss......especially a reactive target (not in PPC)LOL.....and all with a timer on your butt. Most of my practice is for self defense.

Double Naught Spy
August 6, 2008, 07:54 AM
I ask because I out perform friends, two of which have attended multiple expensive shooting schools, in every exercises.

You need to find a set of friends with a higher skill set. No offense, but you may be judging yourself against a poor sample. For example, my grandmother was smarter than most college educated folk, but she only had a second grade education. Does that mean school isn't a good thing?

Could I gain mentally or perhaps gain by an instructor pointing out any quirks?

Of course.

Glenn E. Meyer
August 6, 2008, 10:06 AM
Tactical courses are not so much about drills as situational responses. There's a disconnect here between technical handgun skills and the larger picture of action in dynamic situations.

Besides, as folks pointed out - running drills on your own is good but it's better to be observed by experts. I will demur on listing drills for that reason -plenty of media already exist for that.

In a sense it is like a DVD with sexual activity to observe alone vs. the real thing with other participants. The former only goes so far in one's development - pardon my earthy metaphor. :D

Big Don
August 6, 2008, 12:22 PM
threegun, have you given any thought about one-on-one training with one of the instructors you respect? Perhaps this would be the best use of your funds; tailor the training to what you think you need, with the instructor having the leeway to make changes based on what he/she observes while working with you?
The reason I suggest this is I'm at the point where I don't want to take a class with other people taking up the instructor's time. I want that time so the training is concentrated on me and my faults and I'm about ready to invest in that, knowing it will cost more but also knowing I will get more "bang for my buck."
Don

Glenn E. Meyer
August 6, 2008, 12:38 PM
One on one training is great for gun handling technique but is not for tactical applications.

We need clarity - is it handling technique or tactical applications. Gun fight survival needs more than handling technique as it is part of a more complex interaction.

Tac classes usually assume some level of handling competency so they can move to the application.

So I'm confused as to end state of the proposed training. Drilling on techniques with paper or steel targets - no matter how complex the scenarios lacks the interactional component of FOF, FATS or other simulation based courses.

David Armstrong
August 6, 2008, 02:53 PM
Well, let's have a little storytime. I grew up shooting a lot. Read everything I could on it. became a fairly good shot with rifle and handgun. Went into the military, got military training in rifle and handgun, etc. Got to train with some SAS guys in what we tend now to call "Israeli Technique Shooting." Became a police officer. Went to Academy, got LE training, etc. Served as a member of the Nat'l Guard shooting team. I was a firearms instructor for both military and LE. Generally outshot everybody I knew that wasn't also on a competition team. Still read just about everything I could get my hands on about shooting. Then I went to my first professional firearms trainer and found out just how little I knew and how much of what I did know was wrong. So yes, I'd suggest thta no matter how well-intentioned, one will not get the quality/caliber of training one gets at a professional firearms school anywhere else. Haaving said that, I also caution that there are a number of 4th and 5th generation trainers out there that you'd be better off buying a videa than going to them. My $.02.

threegun
August 6, 2008, 05:42 PM
You need to find a set of friends with a higher skill set. No offense, but you may be judging yourself against a poor sample

They are excellent shooters but you are right perhaps they stink compared to professional instructors. Which means I stink LOL.

threegun, have you given any thought about one-on-one training with one of the instructors you respect?

No but I am trying to work a deal with the range that I (R.O.) at. If I can get them to host a Course........I can get a free entry. I'm gonna go to the next club meeting and ask the club officers.

David,
Then I went to my first professional firearms trainer and found out just how little I knew and how much of what I did know was wrong.

Can you give a brief listing of what you learned at that first session and what they corrected you on?

Would you have felt the same if you already knew and practiced the curriculum of that first school?

I know we butt heads on a few issues David but please be honest. I only have x amount of play money and it is divided between competitive bass fishing and shooting.

I can do it all from engaging multiple targets to shooting on the move. From what to do if the gun malfunctions to what to do if the bullets fail to stop. Transitioning from one platform to another willingly and after a failure. From weapon retention to point shooting. I run scenario based drills also. Plus much more that I can't think of now. Whats missing beside the critiquing of any bad habits or time consuming unnecessary movements?

Thanks in advance.

Maximus856
August 7, 2008, 11:11 AM
In reply to david armstrong... Is it really wrong or were your techniques just differant. I was teaching room clearing the other day with my sgt. overwatching. I was on my last group and another sgt. came up and straight up called the tactics crap. Why? Just because it wasnt how he was taught. Now both had to been iraq multiple times, and both have actually used their training. And both are still here. Get my drift? Oh and I know civilian and military training is differant, but the principle of training is the same.

Not bagging on schooling at all. But differant people are taught differant ways, and in the end if a technique works for you then use it. I'm not saying accept a lesser technique or try to polish your already crappy techniques (generally speaking) but don't think your not adequate because you werent taught by the gungods themselves. They did afterall come up with these techniques by doing what?.. putting rounds down range.

-Max.

pax
August 7, 2008, 12:34 PM
threegun ~

Save your money. You wouldn't learn a thing in class. Guys who go in knowing it all never do.

pax

Glenn E. Meyer
August 7, 2008, 01:22 PM
Let's try this a different way. Drills vs. simulation training seems to be a hangup here.

So you are going to be a fireman. I've read about all kinds of simulation training and stress - only done the FOF stuff however but the idea is the same.

Reading about fireman:

1. They need to learn the equipment very well. They can watch videos and hear lectures on the equipment.
2. They practice with the equipment on the equivalent of paper punching targets.
3. THEN, they go into simulated fires under smoke pressure, heat, noise, confusion, interacting with other fireman, panicked victims, injured folks.

So does this suggest that all the gun handling drills are not sufficient if one really is concerned about the higher end of gun fight survival?

Why do the military and police all go to shoot houses, FOF, FATS, etc. ?

Because drills aren't enough. Why do FOGs really interested in the issues manage to do significant FOF (granted it costs) besides just techniques classes and competitions (which are very useful) - it is because the stress innoculation, seeing yourself screw up, facing thinking opponents in a range across the force continuum is different from a match, a video or drill.

Would you think it is sufficient for the fireman or woman not to have the simulation experience given what we know about training disaster/crisis/stress responses now?

Simulation under stress is crucial to modern training regimes - folks relearn that lesson all the time.

DCJS Instructor
August 7, 2008, 11:18 PM
For years I have trained using exercises taught at schools like Gun site and Thunder ranch as well as others taken from videos and reading. I recently began adding some things that allow me to move very quickly while still getting good hits on target. However I have never had any formal training.

My question is to those who have attended a formal shooting school. If you obtained all the information taught (much from folks who actually attended) would the course still be worth the money? Why?

I ask because I out perform friends, two of which have attended multiple expensive shooting schools, in every exercises.

Could I gain mentally or perhaps gain by an instructor pointing out any quirks?

Threegun,

I get 5-10 calls a day from potential students asking about what kind of Handgun training the person should take.

I simply ask what do they want to get out of the class? Do they want to become more accurate with target shooting? Do they want to learn how to clear rooms (CQB)? Do they want to learn how to FIGHT with a Handgun?

Please not that I clearly define the learning objectives of every course I teach at the beginning of the class and then review them at the end to make sure my students have met the objective.

Any Instructor who is worth a darn should be willing to discuss with you what you expect from the training you want to take and guide you to the proper course to fit your particular need.

Having said that I will tell you that I get More students for my Advanced Handgun Courses than I do for the Basic Handgun Course. I hear all the time I have been shooting for years. The fact is 60% are not up to par to take an Advanced class. I hear all the time you just want me to take the Basic course so you can make more money........So I do a basic Range Skills test at the beginning of the course and if they can not pass they do not train in that class. It is not fair to the folks who are up to speed with the skill set.

So as an Instructor I would ask you to clearly define what you want to learn so that YOU can get the most from your training dollar.

I will send students to other schools if I can not help them. Because in this business your reputation as an instructor is all you have.

I had a discussion with a good friend and fellow BW instructor Scotty N. the other day and this is what he said: 5 different instructors will teach the same class with the same power point the same range drills and the same course objectives and if the same person took the same class from all 5 instructors each class would be different………….

Make sure you VET the credential of the instructor who is teaching the course……Just because someone can shoot very well, that will not make them an instructor. Just because someone was a cop or in the military this alone will not make them a good instructor.

Anyone can call the line…….It takes an Instructor to fix what is broken.

Just my $0.02

threegun
August 8, 2008, 07:52 PM
Pax,

Save your money. You wouldn't learn a thing in class. Guys who go in knowing it all never do.

Did I say I know it all? Or did I ask a question of folks who have attended the actual courses? Maybe you will answer this question. If you already knew and practiced using much of the same curriculum as was being taught at say school X is there a benefit enough to warrant the expense? If yes please list what if you would be so kind.

For the record Pax I am a sponge when it comes to learning something new and improved. Your assumption wasn't really cool.

threegun
August 8, 2008, 08:05 PM
DCJS, I you have the same flunk out percentage with competitive shooters or just guys saying they've been shooting for years.

To take your advanced course what does your pre class test involve?

Right now I'm working on shooting on the move. Not the traditional half walk used to maintain a stable shooting platform like I've seen on videos but a full run in any direction. My focus is on advanced self defense shooting and tactics.

Striker071
August 9, 2008, 12:36 AM
I can say I learned to shoot from my dad as a young man... had someone in the military give me some advice ( couldnt really call it instruction). Went in the military and worked with some SOCOM folks and made me a better shooter. Got some more instruction that led me back to basics and made me a consistent shooter. If you go into a course thinking that you know nothing and leave your ego at the door you will win hands down. Are you at the level of a basic handgun course or rifle course .. I would say no. What I think is that we can all learn something from someone. Sometimes you will also meet others at these courses that might have a idea that will work for you and make things work for you better. Take as many courses as you can if you like shooting... each course will be different and each course will provide something for your personal tool box.

Double Naught Spy
August 9, 2008, 05:27 AM
I ask because I out perform friends, two of which have attended multiple expensive shooting schools, in every exercises.

They are excellent shooters but you are right perhaps they stink compared to professional instructors.

Let's see...they are "excellent" shooters, but you outperform them in every exercises, so that must make you an amazing shooter...and yet they potentially stink (your word) compared to professional instructors.

I will say it again. I think you are setting your standards too low. What you are suggesting as "excellent" sounds mediocre at best.

Case and point, what I considered to be really good shooting for me 5 years ago is not really good shooting for me now. Such evaluative standards are often quite fluid.

pax
August 9, 2008, 10:11 AM
threegun,

My apologies. I did not realize I was assuming. I was reacting to your first post, where you said:

I ask because I out perform friends, two of which have attended multiple expensive shooting schools, in every exercises.

Others have pointed out that your friends may not be the best yardstick. I'll go one step further and say that your friends probably shoot better than they would shoot if they hadn't had that formal training. If they started with less natural talent than you, or if they have practiced significantly less than you, their trained shooting might still fall behind your natural talent. But that doesn't mean that you couldn't improve past that point, only that they haven't done so yet.

And my assumption that you already know how to shoot also came from this post, where you said:

Say for example I run my LRRF drill. I draw, run, and fire in the direction my partner calls until he changes my direction either left, right, rear, or forward. I can't figure what bad habits could be identified so long as my grip is proper and handling safe.

There's an assumption about your own ability somewhere in there...

And I was reacting to this post, where you said:

Now I can afford to attend but I don't feel that I will learn enough to justify the cost.

And to this comment:

After years of shooting threegun matches I have definitely learned to chew gum and walk at the same time.

Good. (I'm steadily resisting the temptation to open up the ancient and never-to-be-settled discussion about whether competition is really good preparation for self defense. Truly? Competition shooters usually shoot better than non-competition shooters, and often have better gun handling skills. But their mindset tends to go to pot, and they often have ingrained dangerous habits -- not dangerous gun handling habits, for they're usually exceptionally safe gun handlers -- but dangerous physical habits like barely getting halfheartedly behind cover.)

And then you posted:

I can do it all from engaging multiple targets to shooting on the move. From what to do if the gun malfunctions to what to do if the bullets fail to stop. Transitioning from one platform to another willingly and after a failure. From weapon retention to point shooting. I run scenario based drills also. Plus much more that I can't think of now.

So I don't really think I was assuming much when I said you'd go into a class knowing it all. From all the above, it sure sounds as if you are convinced you already know everything you need to know.

So why in the world would you pay good money to have an instructor tell you that you don't? :confused:

Whats missing beside the critiquing of any bad habits or time consuming unnecessary movements?

Seriously and I am not being sarcastic here. This is exactly analogous to a cook asking her guests: "Now, what's wrong with the meal, except for the little bit of poison I mixed into the main dish and the pile of dirt-covered rocks I put on your plates alongside it?"

The presence of bad habits = danger = poison.

The presence of time consuming unnecessary movements = stuff you actively do not want = dirt-covered rocks on your dinner plate.

pax

eldogg4life
August 9, 2008, 01:16 PM
I am a firm believer that you're never too smart or too dumb to learn somrthing new. Just make sure that you express your needs better to the instructor. He can't give you what you want if you can't express to him/her what you need. Good Luck!!!

threegun
August 10, 2008, 06:08 AM
PAX, I got you. I shoot competitions for fun. I have used my carry gun (although I just bought a smith custom PPC 9mm) or a slightly modified version of it for every competition except one ( I took first place A division in a PPC match with my new smithy). I'm not one of those guys who pours himself into the competitive world. For me its basically to expose myself to shooting under pressure. Most of my shoot/gun handling time is spent focusing on developing the skills and tactics to survive a shootout.

Were on Earth did you guys gather that I think that I will learn nothing from a training course offered by a professional instructor? I'm just trying to determine if I will learn enough to justify the cost since I have been using much of the same on my own for years. Heck the fact that I even posed the original question should be an indicator that I am willing to learn........that alone shoots holes (pardon the pun) in the "he knows it all" claims.

I just don't want to pay a thousand bucks to do what I already do. i was hoping that you guys would post some of what stood out to you when you actually took a course. Perhaps list some of the activities that really opened your eyes. I'm not very good with using words to get a point across but I wasn't trying to sound snobby or know it all ish.

Double Naught, I will say it again. I think you are setting your standards too low. What you are suggesting as "excellent" sounds mediocre at best.

I really curious as to how you can make a judgment either way. At least I can base my statement on what I have seen.

To all, I apologize if I have ruffled any feathers as it wasn't my intention. I'm just a cheap old pawn broker wanting to squeeze as much as I can from every penny.

Erik
August 10, 2008, 03:43 PM
OK, cutting past everything, much of it a good read, I'll answer off of the 1st post:

"If you obtained all the information taught (much from folks who actually attended) would the course still be worth the money? Why?"

Yes, the course would still be worth the money, because it isn't the material but the instruction of the material that matters.

"Could I gain mentally or perhaps gain by an instructor pointing out any quirks?"

Yes, end of any serious discussion.

The question as to what level and type of training would be best suit you is almost impossible to answer in the forums though, unfortunately. Planning to walk before running is sound, even for those convinced of that they run well; and maybe they are correct. After all, it is better to cover familiar ground in an environment where you can learn something than to find yourself in an environment where the material and the ability to work within expectations is beyond you. Then there are issues of fit, or lack of it, but that can be even more complicated, as many a person doesn't know or want to admit where they do not belong. In those cases, hope for adequate vetting; when performed correctly it protects both the integrity of the class and the checkbook. Case in point, I recently attended training where someone had to... disenroll. An expensive and time consuming prospect, to be sure.

threegun
August 10, 2008, 08:23 PM
Eric, Thanks for answering without the not so nice comments. Could you give this one a whirl?

i was hoping that you guys would post some of what stood out to you when you actually took a course. Perhaps list some of the activities that really opened your eyes.

Provided the training you attended was of the self defense with firearms type.

Glenn E. Meyer
August 10, 2008, 10:00 PM
Something you don't learn at a match or just a gun handling / nonreaction - nonintelligent class.

1. Do you freeze with a live opponent? I've seen a 'martial' artist expert get knocked on his ass as he couldn't respond effectively or go for his gun when he should of. Seen it a few times.

2. Be in a simulated incident with a gun with a jam built in to the situation. Have to clear under pressure.

3. Come around a corner and face 4 opponents - nice lesson on not checking where you are going.

4. Dealing with intense police presence after a shoot - with real, big, professional and intimidating police dealing with you - when you are being told to breathe as you are turning blue.

I could list a few more that are more oriented towards using your brain, facing stress, etc.

That's what I get out of training for 'gun fight' survival as compared to competition or pure gun handling skills exercises (which I love also).

Erik
August 10, 2008, 11:42 PM
"Eric, Thanks for answering without the not so nice comments. Could you give this one a whirl?"

No problem and I'll take a stab at it.

"I was hoping that you guys would post some of what stood out to you when you actually took a course. Perhaps list some of the activities that really opened your eyes."

You really shouldn't get too hung up on "the activities." There are lots of top tier athletes, and they all have (1) a coach, if not several, and (2) progressive training routines which include building from and re-examining their fundementals as necessary. And most of those activities are useless without someone assisting in providing artificial stress to some degree. Who said, "training without stress is excercise?" I'm not sure, but I agree.

Take swimming. Pretty simple training, right? But to hear an olympian explain the nuances of finger placement as she dives into the water or the important of one kicking rhythm vs. anothor you wouldn't necessarily find it so.

threegun
August 11, 2008, 05:46 AM
Glenn,
Do you freeze with a live opponent?

I haven't been in a gun fight (thankfully). The time I thought it was going to happen I reacted.....drew and almost fired.

Be in a simulated incident with a gun with a jam built in to the situation. Have to clear under pressure.


Regularly however only while running drills. Also practiced forced transition from pistol to rifle and visa versa. The only pressure was getting mocked by friends though.

Come around a corner and face 4 opponents - nice lesson on not checking where you are going.

So far I have had exquisite situational awareness. Haven't done any surprise attacks though.

I get your drift though. Unfortunately I can't simulate those things on my own. If my buddies attacked me I would start laughing as it just wouldn't seem right. Seems if I knew it was fake it wouldn't be so helpful. If it caused pain it would be very difficult to remain civil. Thats one reason I hate to spar.

Thanks for focusing my mind on what else is offered in the formal courses.

Erik, Thanks.

threegun
August 11, 2008, 05:47 AM
Glenn, If you have more brain training and some time please post them.

kraigwy
August 11, 2008, 10:01 AM
ThreeGun: If you want brain or Mental Training ( which I believe is 90% of shooting) Go to the CMP website and check out their book store. They have several books on shooting and mental training, put out by the Army Marksmanship Unit. The ISU (International Shooting Union) is big on mental training. CMP has several books on this subject and are reasonably priced. like about $6.95 on the average.

One thing you dont want to forget is continuing training in the fundamentals. Practice Bullseye Pistol (for pistol) and High Power for rifle. Keep your fundamentals while you play with your combat or defence type training.

Don't scorn at conventional target shooting (bullseye and high power rifle). You go to the range with these guys, they'll eat your lunch at your combat game.

Its like all these sniper rifle shooting fellows and their sub minute groups. The 10-X ring on the high power target is about 2 mins. I've been shooting highpower for 30 years, I've seen few clean 600 or 1000 yard. When the rubber meets the road, its what the actual target tells you, not what you get from a bench with sandbagged rifles.

Same with Bullseye Pistol. Try shootng the NRA Slow fire 50 yard target. Its a bit smaller then your combat style targets fired at 7-15 yards.

In my younger days as a police officer. We use to go out for coffee after shift. I picked the best pistol shooter on our shift and challenged him to shoot to see who pays coffee. I bought a hell of a lot of coffee, but in the end he was buying the coffee.

To keep myself humbe, I shoot the NRA 50 yard SF target with my little 642 pocket pistol. Do I do any good, NOPE, but it sure tighten's my groups at 15 yards with that little revolver.

Learn the mental aspect. Don't ever let up on the fundamentals.

I have problems with a lot of the PRIVATE Shooting Schools, but that warrants another Topic.

Glenn E. Meyer
August 11, 2008, 10:34 AM
The thing about 'brain training' is that almost every source I know from different disciplines and situations is that emergency training needs to be practiced in realistic simulation.

That is part and parcel of also practicing the fundamentals of gun handling as folks have pointed out.

One can read every book and watch every video.

I think we are going nowhere in this discussion.

For a complete package you need:

1. The basic and advanced technical skills
2. A solid knowledge base that can be gained from lectures, classes, books and videos.
3. Testing on the basics and advanced skills. While most folks think that one needs expert opinion beyond self-evaluation, that isn't getting through.
3. Experience and testing in as close to the end game scenario as possible. The end game scenario - what is that? It seems that 3G wants to claim that competition is sufficient while that flies in the face of what we know about training.

So that's my take on 'brain training'.

threegun
August 11, 2008, 05:38 PM
It seems that 3G wants to claim that competition is sufficient while that flies in the face of what we know about training.

The late Jim Cirillo did just fine in gunfights with only competition and lowly Police Pistol Combat at that.

Quote from Massad Ayoob as he talked about Cirillo..... He noted hunters made good stakeout men, not because they were accustomed to shooting for blood so much as because they were accustomed to waiting patiently and keeping their focus as they looked for certain signs. Best of all, he said, were the hunters who were also competition shooters, because when the gunfire started, shooting under pressure was already second nature for them.

Jim Cirillo's first gunfight....again quoting Ayoob on Cirillo...Jim told me at the beginning of the fight he was so scared his tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth; but when his .38 came up and he saw a sight picture, a strange calm seemed to descend upon him, as if something was telling him he was in his world, on his tuff, now. Automatic pilot took over as his finger rolled the trigger, the way it did in PPC matches, of which he had already won so many

Apparently Jim Cirillo didn't get the memo that competition was not sufficient Glenn.

Erik
August 11, 2008, 06:30 PM
Citing the legendary few who excellend in spite of their poor training as proof that training is not necessary is a straw man argument. Legendary few who often argued and participated the rest of their lives to bring about improvements in training, by the way. Jim Cirillo certainly did.

"Apparently Jim Cirillo didn't get the memo that competition was not sufficient Glenn."

Apparently he did, given what he wrote and taught; i.e. he didn't repackage PPC and competitive materials, that is for certain.

threegun
August 11, 2008, 07:19 PM
You say he excelled despite his poor training.....he on the other hand says he excelled because of his competitive training.

He went on to say that guys who hunted and competed were also well suited for stakeout work and shooting it out.

Sure he sought better training and basically anything that would give him and his comrades an edge. I'm not on a high risk stake out team and I'm always looking for an edge. Problem is I don't make a living teaching this stuff nor do I have department funds to spend on my training. I must select what training will give me the most bang for my buck.

I have noticed however that if you don't have FOF training you are considered not prepared for a gun fight. I disagree with this as did legendary gun fight survivor Cirillo. The weight of his disagreement backed by 17 shootouts. Perhaps FOF will make one better but don't poop on those who have other forms of shooting under pressure.

Besides when you know that the 4 guys attacking you are not going to hurt you....much LOL.........it just isn't the same.

Erik
August 11, 2008, 11:00 PM
This is probably a thread drift. But it is your thread.

Yes, he excelled despite his poor training. Law enforcement training circa the time frame he received it coupled with the target training equaling "poor." It was Jim Cirillo, not Jim Cirillo's training, in a nut shell.

And... his second career was as a trainer; first for the feds, then later for the private sector. Where (again) his niche was a bit more than relating how "competitive training" coupled with basic police training can carry the day; "a bit more" being a gross understatement. He was practically an icon for year at FLETC, instructing there and being involved in course developement from 1976-1991 iirc.

If you want insight into what Jim Cirillo thought about winning gun fights, look to the training programs he had a hand in, whether branded his own or some government agency's programs.

Research it. They didn't/don't resemble repackaged target training programs:

An emphasis on mindset.
An emphasis on tactics.
A sight continuum, though he didn't call it that.
Downed defender/officer drills.
Gun handling skills.
Emphasis on integration of skill sets.
Etc.

He's been described as dated but with a wealth of general knowledge. I recommend focusing on the word "wealth" and using the word "dated" to place some of his work in context.

Note he's not exactly the average gamer or target shooter:
http://www.downrange.tv/player.htm?bcpid=452320104&bclid=459256134&bctid=1155072970

If you think a warrior like Jim Cirillo wouldn't approve of the modern advances in the field of training, advances built on his work, well... I humbly submit that you'd be mistaken.

Erik
August 11, 2008, 11:14 PM
Which brings us back to: Yes, end of any serious discussion.

You should invest in quality training. Quality training is often relative to the shooter, and vice versa. But... You'll be selling yourself short to avoid it because you might be beyond it. "It" being defined as a given course. Because you'll get far more from instruction than you will from media. Invest in classes, and once xompetency is achieved an proven, the media can help flesh things out.

threegun
August 12, 2008, 06:27 AM
Erik, Like you, I am confident that Cirillo would have taken kindly to advanced training offered these days. I'm not arguing that this stuff doesn't help make one better. I'm simply rebutting the line of thinking here on TFL by some that only FOF training will suffice in gunfight preparation.

It seems that 3G wants to claim that competition is sufficient while that flies in the face of what we know about training.

See here Glenn takes a jab at me. I used Cirillo because of the weight given his statements by all the gunfights he survived. He claims competition was sufficient...so who am I and better yet who is Glenn to say otherwise.

Also you keep on saying that Cirillo survived and excelled despite his training when the man himself said that he survived because of his competitive experience. He clearly articulated how frightened he was making him human. He experienced a mental phenomenon that many of us will experience in some form on judgment day. He went into auto pilot mode and reverted to his competitive experience which was enough to carry the day.....17 times.....and against multiple foes on occasion.

I'm all for more advanced training. I started this post to figure out if it would be worth the money because I already use advanced tactics in practice. It seems that most of you feel that I would benefit a bunch. Based on the limited things posted I think I'll benefit but not enough to justify the costs. An excess of 2000 bucks with ammo and travel expenses.

Erik
August 12, 2008, 09:21 AM
FOF the crucible of serious training; affording trainers and practitioners the opportunity to test and evaluate a broad spectrum of skill sets, abilities, and assumptions before it is written into police and after action reports. Many a participant has been forced to accept realities they denied or where unaware of, and adjust as necessary. Many a trainer has beenf orced to acecpt the realities they denied or where unaware of about what they were teaching; some adjust, some do not. It is the scrimaging of the training world prior to the actual game, in a sense.

On Cirillo: There is much more to Jim Cirillo's notions of what makes for an adequately prepared gunfighter than participation in comptetive shooting. Again, if you want insight into what Jim Cirillo thought about winning gun fights, look to the training programs he had a hand in, whether branded his own or some government agency's programs.

Look, I understand the realities of financial constraints, and the thought process that you're going through: evaluating if the gains will be worth the expenditures of time and money. Most people here do. It comes back to the net - it is almost impossible to recommend trainers and courses without an understanding of where a given person is at mentally, physically, knolwedge, skill, and abilty wise. (And that's just the half of it.)

pax
August 12, 2008, 10:06 AM
I used Cirillo because of the weight given his statements by all the gunfights he survived. He claims competition was sufficient...so who am I and better yet who is Glenn to say otherwise.


Cirillo NEVER claimed competition was sufficient.

He claimed it was necessary.

There is a huge difference between those two.

Jim devoted the greater part of his life to training others how to survive lethal encounters. He did not do this for the joy of it (though he was one of the most joyful people I ever met). He did it because he thought professional training was a necessary and essential compoenent of equipping people to survive criminal attacks.

pax

bds32
August 12, 2008, 10:15 AM
I think a school like Thunder Ranch would be worth the money. You may know alot already but you will definitely pick up more useful things.

But, if you never go, just keep training hard yourself and learning from other resources. I would imagine that there are alot great shooters out there that have not attended schools.

threegun
August 12, 2008, 03:31 PM
Pax,

Cirillo NEVER claimed competition was sufficient

You are correct I miss spoke. He did specifically cite his competitive experience with helping him not only survive but win his first gun fight. That would suggest to me that competition was sufficient in this case for a man to win a gun fight. I'm horrible with writing as you can see.

He also said that the stress of shooting competitively made shooting for life and limb much easier.


Erik, When you attend a FOF course do you think you might die? Do you think you might be seriously injured? How then can we expect FOF to rise to the pressure of real life? Is FOF similar to sparring in boxing & karate? If it is similar then it wouldn't rise to the level of competition (for me anyway) and definitely wouldn't rise to the level of a real fight.

I was always more nervous before a competition than any sparring practice. I can't imagine FOF being opposite. At a shooting match I get so nervous that I literally have to used the bathroom as I wait my turn. I didn't feel that nervous when we would run flurries in Karate......when half the class attacks one student. I did get the crud beat out of me though.

threegun
August 12, 2008, 03:32 PM
BDS32, Thanks.....I'm gonna keep training until my bones won't let me LOL.

Erik
August 12, 2008, 06:03 PM
3G,
FOF training runs the gamut from mild to extreme, aimed at students across a wide specrum of physical and technical ability, as with most other training disciplines. Matching yourself to the environment is just as important here as with any other dicipline.

Just a taste of the types of things which help seperate the theoretical, or the gaming, from the practical. Conversely, just the types of things which prove the theoretical and the gaming as practical.

Every one of these could include non-lethal marking weapons, though they don't necessarily have to, by the way.

http://www.vimeo.com/1072283

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BpEzI7mleY

http://www.usshootingacademy.com/training_course.aspx?id=9

But... I understand that gun-centric folks frequently echew such stuff, and it certainly isn't for everyone.

threegun
August 12, 2008, 07:23 PM
If I was a LEO I would definitely dabble deeper into MMA.

The little bit of training I get now is from my kids (which they get from karate class one night a week). The last session my 12 year old accidentally elbowed me on the lower eyebrow ridge producing a grape sized knot that soon turned into a shiner. I was made fun of for a week. Daddy beaten up by a 12 year old. Really it was accidental.

Erik
August 12, 2008, 10:09 PM
Don't under estimate those kids. My boys figured out high-low ambushes and my back hasn't been quite the same since. :eek:

threegun
August 13, 2008, 06:11 AM
I have finally figured out that I simply cannot play MMA ground games with them. I have been kicked in the groin, elbowed in the eye, knee on fingers, and the worst was a knee to the cheek bone. Forty year old body takes days for the aching to stop.

I wrestled a coworker and we ended up paying for a new showcase. It was pretty close despite me giving up 15 years and 30 pounds. I was hurting for a week.....he was ready for round two the next day LOL.

Definitely fun but my body just can't Handel the rigors of it.

David Armstrong
August 13, 2008, 01:19 PM
In reply to david armstrong... Is it really wrong or were your techniques just differant.
Some of both. Lots of times the issue is just "different." But sometimes yes, it is just flat "wrong" to do it that way. You may still be able to accomplish the goal, but it is still the wrong way. My $.02.

David Armstrong
August 13, 2008, 01:28 PM
Can you give a brief listing of what you learned at that first session and what they corrected you on?
As it has been 20+ years and lots of classes, probably not. Some things that really leap out, though, without actually remembering if it was first classes or later on, are a much better draw stroke with the handgun, for example, and a lot of rifle manipulation things with the long gun.
Would you have felt the same if you already knew and practiced the curriculum of that first school?
Probably, but that is speculation. How would you know the curriculum and proper practice of the school without going to the school? Contrary to what many seem to think, reading a book, watching a video, or talking about it with somebody else is not the same.
I can do it all ....
Given your obviously limited knowledge of DGUs and tactics as demonstrated in previous posts, you can't do it all, etc. etc. That is my point. I could do it all. That is, I thought I could do it all until I found out that I really couldn't do it all. In fact, the more I learn the more I realize how much more there is to learn.

The late Jim Cirillo did just fine in gunfights with only competition and lowly Police Pistol Combat at that.
That is a gross misstatement. Jim did far more than "only competition" to prepare himself for gunfights. Competition was only one part of the picture, not the only part.
I have noticed however that if you don't have FOF training you are considered not prepared for a gun fight. I disagree with this as did legendary gun fight survivor Cirillo.
You have this outrageous habit of taking things out of context and/or adding 1+1 and getting 97. Jim did NOT disagree with FoF training, he advocated it quite strongly. And while they didn't have the tools to do things the way we do now, Jim also trained using the techniques available at the time to simulate shooting incidents as closely as possible.

threegun
August 13, 2008, 04:02 PM
David, My point was that Jim credited his gunfight success with his competitive experience . If he was successful in a gunfight and felt that his success was due to his competitive experience then Jim could not have thought that only FOF trained fellows are prepared for a gun fight. He had to have thought that competitive training was enough to win a gunfight. Since it carried him through.

Jim also looked for every edge he could and there is no doubt that he would push for higher training.

Given your obviously limited knowledge of DGUs and tactics as demonstrated in previous posts, you can't do it all,

With all due respect David you have no idea of what I know or don't know with regard to tactics. Just because I don't allow statistics to guide my every move, something you obviously can't resist doing, doesn't mean I don't understand them. I never argued against your stats only your religious adherence to those stats. BTW since the stats you tout suggest that I will probably never need to stop a determined attacker, you should be consistent and say that I don't need the training. The same stats that cause you to recommend puny calibers as primary.

When I say I can do it all it doesn't mean I have done it all. Deal with what was said not with what you think was said.....sound familiar? You name the firearm excersise....guess what David I can do it.

Thanks for the tip on gun manipulation and draw stroke.

threegun
August 13, 2008, 04:12 PM
Also I didn't say Cirillo disagreed with FOF training. My nasty habit of understanding what was said instead of what you think was said is rubbing off. I said that Cirillo would disagree that one needed FOF to be prepared for a gunfight. Cirillo said competition shooter made great stakeout men because when the poop hit the fan they knew how to shoot under pressure. He credited comp shooting with gunfight survival.

David Armstrong
August 13, 2008, 05:54 PM
David, My point was that Jim credited his gunfight success with his competitive experience .
And my point is that your point is not correct. Jim credited part of his gunfight success to competition, not the whole thing. His competition probably wouldn't have made much difference if he also hadn't practiced a lot, had the right mindset, and several other factors.
With all due respect David you have no idea of what I know or don't know with regard to tactics.
With all due respect, I've seen what you have said and advocated hear and in other places, and I base my comments on that. If you actually do have a understanding of the issues I have not seen it reflected in your writings.
Just because I don't allow statistics to guide my every move, something you obviously can't resist doing, doesn't mean I don't understand them.
Sigh. For about the 100th time, no, I don't allow statisitics to guide my every move. They are one factor that I consider in my decision making process. For you to continue to state otherwise is dishonest.
you should be consistent and say that I don't need the training.
Whether you need the training or not is something I have not addressed. I have said that you would learn something by taking the training. I have been consistent in suggesting that you need to learn something about this stuff if you are going to talk about it so much.
The same stats that cause you to recommend puny calibers as primary.
Sigh. Once again, for about the 100th time, I do not recommend puny calibers as primary. For you to continue to say otherwise is dishonest.
When I say I can do it all it doesn't mean I have done it all. Deal with what was said not with what you think was said.....sound familiar?
Ummm, I almost hate to do this, but I did not say that you had done it all, I said that you can't do it all. Deal with what was said, not what you think was said.
You name the firearm excersise....guess what David I can do it.
Well gosh, I guess that settles it. Pax was right: "Save your money. You wouldn't learn a thing in class. Guys who go in knowing it all never do."
I said that Cirillo would disagree that one needed FOF to be prepared for a gunfight.
And again you would be wrong. Jim strongly supported FoF as gunfight prep. Again, you might want to quit trying to use little bits and snippets of things when you make these claims of yours and instead try to get the full picture.
He credited comp shooting with gunfight survival.
As several people have already told you, that is not correct. Competition was only one notch in a big wheel. For you to continue to claim these beliefs and ideas as Jim's that he would strongly disagree with is worse than dishonest, and is frankly rather insulting to those of us who actually knew him and talked with him and were trained by him.

mikejonestkd
August 13, 2008, 06:40 PM
Just spent 15 minutes reading this thread from start to finish.

My advice? Save your money.

Pax said it best on page one, and I mean absolutely no disrespect to the OP at all. After over 20 years of teaching the martial arts I recognize the OP's mindset. he already has the tools and mindset that he feels he needs.

pax
August 13, 2008, 11:02 PM
Closed for deteriorating civility -- plus the thread has reached the point of diminishing returns.

Thanks for the good conversation, everyone.

pax