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View Poll Results: Train with Massad Ayoob or Clint Smith?
Massad Ayoob 15 40.54%
Clint Smith 22 59.46%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 20, 2010, 07:52 AM   #1
EdInk
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M. Ayoob or Clint Smith?

I was curious, if anyone has trained with either Massad Ayoob or Clint Smith?

If so, was it worth it? Describe their teaching style.
If both, who did you think was better (in terms of the course).
If NOT, who do you THINK you'd prefer? Why?
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Old June 20, 2010, 10:58 AM   #2
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yes
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Old June 20, 2010, 11:08 AM   #3
Glenn E. Meyer
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1. Be polite

2. The OP asks the questions of folks who have actually trained with both - so if you haven't, then spare us.

3. Folks who have ranted in similar threads have gotten severe consequences.

4. Trained with Ayoob - LFI-1, Stressfire - highly recommended. The legal advice and paradigm are worthwhile and useful introduction to those who are serious students of this art. Heard him speak and shot with him.

No downside to his classes and many positive. Met Smith casually, never trained with him. So no opinion on him.
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Old June 20, 2010, 11:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
4. Trained with Ayoob - LFI-1, Stressfire - highly recommended. The legal advice and paradigm are worthwhile and useful introduction to those who are serious students of this art. Heard him speak and shot with him.

No downside to his classes and many positive. Met Smith casually, never trained with him. So no opinion on him.
I put in bold what I would've said if I didn't have a quote to work from.

I assisted with Mas' new MAG 40 class, and found it to be similar to his LFI 1 class. Both are very good, MAG/LFI, and Mas has an exstensive body of published work to draw from.

I too have yet to train with Clint Smith, but due to Mas' body of work I would recommend him as the first "high dollar gun school" I would take if one thinks they may have to use a gun for defensive usage. I've found that his teaching has helped me to articulate things better, even things not pertaining to defensive usage of a firearm. That to me says his course is darn good and helps to give you a good "grounding" on the subject matter.

Once I had the legal stuff fairly well covered I would start looking at other courses, like Clint Smith's. I've heard that he covers the legal stuff pretty well too, but not to the depths that Mas does, nor is it what he is known for. Most of us cannot afford to attend training at the "high dollar" schools on a whim, or at the drop of a hat. Therefore I think it is imperative that one make the best choice they can. Lots of people can teach you how to shoot, not everyone can teach you when to shoot, and why.

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Old June 20, 2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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I've trained with Clint Smith on several occasions.

He focuses heavily on fundamentals, and does an excellent job teaching the importance of laying a solid foundation for skill. His instruction is a bit dogmatic, and I've found that I've evolved in my own training beyond the point where I find Thunder Ranch to be the best use of my training time, but Clint is an excellent instructor, and certainly a "can't go wrong" training opportunity. For those who find Oregon to be out of reach geographically, Clint also teaches occasionally at Tiger McKee's Shootrite Academy in Alabama, and Tiger is one of Clint's disciples so to speak, having a very similar teaching style and set of instruction.

Never trained with Mas Ayoob, so no opinion there.
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Old June 20, 2010, 01:57 PM   #6
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What about Jim Wilson or some of the other GunSite trainers?
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Old June 20, 2010, 05:34 PM   #7
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I regret that when Clint had Thunder Ranch in Texas I didn't go! Now he is way way off on the west coast!

I've had LFI-1 under Ayoob. Very good class and welll worth it. But if you have read everything Ayoob has written you will find most of the class is the same stuff as for the legal side. Now that is not all that bad, after all if he said one thing and wrote the other we would have our doubts about him, right?


If you want street smarts as well as shooting, you could do much worse than Ayoob! Clint Smith seems to be more technical as for how to run weapons during the actual encounter.

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Old June 20, 2010, 05:47 PM   #8
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While both are good i would have to go with the Marine who has actually pulled a trigger and understands what that is all about. Of course being a Marine i am partial to him but you cant beat a Marine with combat time. He understands what happens when you are in a real firefight because he has been there. Both are very good just one has been there.
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Old June 20, 2010, 05:57 PM   #9
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One could argue that being a cop and IDPA champion for years would be more relative for civilian situations. They both seem very knowledgeable instructors.

I think I'll just invest in the Thunder Ranch DVDs for now.
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Old June 20, 2010, 10:37 PM   #10
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I took LFI-1 in October of 2008. Last month I was in Sierra Vista, AZ, along with BikerRN, helping with Mas' MAG40 class.

I've found Mas' LFI-1/MAG40 class to be extremely worthwhile and heartily recommend them.

I've not trained with Clint Smith. I have been to Gunsite. I would love to take a class at Thunder Ranch.

My general take on things is that if you have a gun for self defense and can take only one "major school" class, I'd suggest that MAG40 with Mas be that class. In saying that, I'm not trying to take anything away from Clint Smith, with whom I have not trained, or Gunsite, which I really like and would gladly go back to. But the reason I recommend Mas' class if you can only take one is that I don't know of anyone else who covers the legal and social side of the use of force in self defense as thoroughly or as authoritatively as Mas.
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Old June 21, 2010, 12:37 AM   #11
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I cant afford either, so there!
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Old June 21, 2010, 09:54 AM   #12
Glenn E. Meyer
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Want to stay with folks who can answer the question by having experience with them?

Opinions that you would rather train with Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, RCMP aren't answering the question.
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Old June 21, 2010, 10:41 AM   #13
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You can see both of them on personal defense TV and get an idea of their teaching styles.

They both have segments on almost every episode. Mass is a little over the top.... I mean.... I'm all about living in condition yellow. But he takes a tactical approach to walking over a small bridge that crosses a creek. (I really saw this on one of his segments)

I'd put them on par with one another.
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Old June 21, 2010, 04:52 PM   #14
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In depth firearms training; use of force tactics...

I've never had the time or the funds/$$$ to take top level classes the way I would like.
I would take training classes from both Ayoob & Smith. I have read many, many articles by Massad Ayoob over the years and I agree with about 90% of his methods/tactics/etc.
Clint Smith seems more apt with form/tactics/firearms mechanics than Massad Ayoob. I've watched a few Smith training videos and got that impression.
MAG, Thunder Ranch, Gunsite, Valhalla, Mid-South, SIG Sauer Academy(NH) etc all have merit and are worth the $$$.
As CCW rates go up and more firearms are sold, new "instructors" have started to pop up but unless they have great "bona-fides" I would save up or plan to go to a "top gun" training center.
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Old June 21, 2010, 06:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Mass is a little over the top.... I mean.... I'm all about living in condition yellow. But he takes a tactical approach to walking over a small bridge that crosses a creek.
I'm told I do that as well, so I don't have a problem with that. Maybe that's part of the reason I've always wanted to train with Mas. Someday I will, for sure.
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Old June 21, 2010, 07:51 PM   #16
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Several years ago, I took the Thunder Ranch Advanced Pistol class with my older daughter. Clint and his team gave us a great training experience. I've been recommending Thunder Ranch to my own graduates ever since. You won't go wrong with Clint Smith's training.

For most, it will be more about content and curriculum than about the personalities of the instructors. Thunder Ranch is a major in How and a minor in When, while Massad Ayoob Group is a major in When and a minor in How. Assessing your own needs in that regard should be toward the top of the list when making the choice.

best wishes to all,
Mas
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Old June 21, 2010, 10:20 PM   #17
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I think that is a succinct and accurate answer, graciously given.
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Old June 22, 2010, 06:11 AM   #18
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One thing you do have to say about Mas is he does have class! That was a great post Mas!
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Old August 1, 2010, 06:39 PM   #19
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Spent a week at Thunder Ranch. Clint and his staff are 110% professional folks that really seem to care about what they teach and making sure the student understands and can perform. IMO, if you're serious about using a firearm for any defensive purpose, you should attend a school of this level. Opting not to shows me that you're not serious enough to get the best to protect those that are most important to you.
The DVD's are ok as a refresher, but with nobody there to critique you...
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