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Old June 19, 2010, 08:13 AM   #26
smince
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I don't agree with the idea that a American citizen cannot arm himself unless he attends a name brand combat class.
No, but if you are going to carry seriously, I think it is prudent to gain all the experience and knowledge you can.

As I stated earlier, I learned a lot from hands-on with an instructor that I hadn't learned in years of reading and watching DVD's. Was I trained 'enough' to handle something if it came along before taking any classes? All I can say is 'maybe'.

Do I have better knowledge now? Yes, I do.
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Old June 19, 2010, 03:30 PM   #27
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I plan on taking a class or two.However, I wonder if some of the attitude against people that don't take classes isn't marketing hype.
This attitude is only shared by those who haven't taken classes from legitimate instructors. I'm sorry, but standing in a booth blasting away at a stationary target does nothing to improve your defensive skills.
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Old June 19, 2010, 04:11 PM   #28
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ranbur?

Yeah... it does.
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Old June 19, 2010, 05:36 PM   #29
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I'm sorry, but standing in a booth blasting away at a stationary target does nothing to improve your defensive skills.
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Yeah... it does.
I'm with ranburr on this one.

It may help you shoot better, tighter groups. Which does absolutely nothing to the attacker that is upon you before you can even get your gun up and aimed (or even out of the holster for that matter).
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Old June 19, 2010, 06:53 PM   #30
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I have watched people draw their guns out of the holster and muzzle flash themselves and others and shoot three - four rounds and not even hit an FBI Q-Target from 5' away because the gun wasnt lined up with their arm properly. They had stated "I just took the NRA Home safety course and that was more than they will ever need for instruction, it's not rocket science you know." I packed my gear up and left.

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Old June 19, 2010, 08:57 PM   #31
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I'm in agreement with ranburr. Shooting at a stationary target in an indoor firing lane doesn't compare to quality training by an instructor. Not even close to comparison.
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Old June 20, 2010, 01:54 AM   #32
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ranbur?

Yeah... it does.

Please elaborate.
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Old June 20, 2010, 09:33 AM   #33
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OK Please keep in mind that this is only my opinion...

Shooting live ammo at any target from your service, or personal protection gun will establish habits, and muscle memory.

The proper sight picture is a habit. Regular practice at any target will able the shooter a faster aqisition of the sight picture.

Presentation, and grip are habit, and promote muscle memory. In a self defense situation I believe that economy of movement, and an ingrained natural grip will serve the shooter well.

Under stress we tend to rely on our learned behaviour, and muscle memory. If things are happening very fast we can not afford to do a mental review.

I'm not suggesting that there is no need for formal training. In fact I truely believe anyone who carries a firearm on a regular basis would be a fool to not get some formal training. Problems I have with some formal training is too much information. To rigid a regimen. Instructors who cant see the forrest for the trees.

I am not an instructor. I am an instructee, with experience.

I believe that practice makes perfect.

I dont feel the need to pay someone to tell me that I'm hitting the bullseye wrong.


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Old June 20, 2010, 12:13 PM   #34
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As I said, I am not against training per se. I have signed up for a class, and plan on taking a Suarez class. I am doing it for two reasons. First, I think improving my self defense skills is a good idea. Second, I think it will be fun.

Not having taken any classes to this point, I do not believe I should not carry a gun. Nor do I think that I will not prevail,if called upon to defend myself or my family.

First, very few bad guys are trained operators. Second, the armed victim has the element of surprise, in that the bad guy is not expecting a fight. Third, I have watched a number of DVDs. Fourth, I have practiced shooting and moving. Fifth, I have shot handguns since I was a kid.

Sixth and most importantly, I have read about many plain ole citizens defending themselves without formal training. If you listen to the marketing, you would be led to believe that none of these people would have been successful, since they did not have high end training.

Again I am not saying that training is not valuable. Someone that has been trained definitely has more skills than someone that has not been. I just don't buy into the idea that everyone needs to go to a high end class, or they should not be armed.
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Old June 20, 2010, 02:14 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Glenn Dee
I'm not suggesting that there is no need for formal training. In fact I truely believe anyone who carries a firearm on a regular basis would be a fool to not get some formal training.
Sounds like you mean anyone except you :
Quote:
Problems I have with some formal training is too much information. To rigid a regimen. Instructors who cant see the forrest for the trees...I dont feel the need to pay someone to tell me that I'm hitting the bullseye wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by skifast
and plan on taking a Suarez class
Plan on having some of your sacred cows slaughtered
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Old June 20, 2010, 03:21 PM   #36
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Glenn Dee,

You are describing skills that will make you a first rate target shooter. Not much more than that.

Skifast,

Once you get into a class with Gabe, you are going to discover how little you really know.
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Old June 20, 2010, 03:21 PM   #37
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Skifast,

When you get to take a class, if it’s a good one, you may be surprised? By the time I first attended Gunsite, I already had over a decade of conventional pistol and service rifle match shooting behind me, and had placed nationally in air pistol in '89. So, I figured I was well prepared to defend hearth and home. After the basic pistol class at Gunsite, I felt like I’d known next to nothing, previously. I had used how I imagined self-defense scenarios playing out to rationalize the adequacy of my preparation. In fact, I hadn't known even a minority percentage of what was important to dominate an armed confrontation of the self-defense kind. I also realized there was a lot more to learn. A one-week class isn’t enough to get it all, but it is sure enough to create a huge advantage over an untrained opponent.

The value of the training certainly wasn't just about the combat mode shooting mechanics. That may even be the least of it. It was the mindset lecture, which Cooper validated beyond the taped version with stories from his own experiences and those of his students, and more in the Q&A session afterward. It was the live fire simulators I couldn’t access any equivalent to on my own. It was simple things like how to go around corners or open a door that weren’t concrete to me before attending class and actually trying them in the Fun House. But more than that, it was the psychological advantage of getting individual critiquing from experienced instructors who had “seen the elephant” (a Gunsite instructor requirement) and have them express confidence that what I could demonstrate to them was ready for prime time. No imagination needed to fill in holes.

On the other hand, the bullseye background certainly eased my training. In my 250 class, I was the only student to clean the school target during final exam day. In both rifle classes I took, I won the shoot-offs at the end of class. That was the advantage of the service rifle match background. It made it easier for me, for example, to make standing snap shots on 100 yard poppers. That was psychological. A Highpower match doesn't involve snap shooting, but the popper just looked mammoth compared to the bullseye on an SR-1 target, so I couldn’t believe it wasn’t easy to hit, so it was.

I agree that range practice is valuable for neurological reasons. Anything you can do to grow brain connections that bypass conscious processing will speed things up in a pinch. Not even range time, but just dry fire practice can do a lot because you get better feedback about muzzle disturbance when it isn’t masked by recoil. Also, it mitigates association between dropping the hammer and muzzle blast and recoil, and that helps neutralize anticipating the recoil. The old bullseye shooter’s rule of thumb was to dry fire three rounds for every live round down range.

Gunsite promoted dry fire practice, too. They even teach safety measures for it. Their experience was you could typically go no more than two weeks without pressing a trigger before you started to lose your edge. Muscle memory has maintenance overhead that has to be met, as any competitive athlete can tell you.

When I took my NRA rifle instructor training, the councilor conducting it was Web Wright, who had a bronze star from combat in Vietnam and, at the time, still had a couple of world records standing in 300 meter International rifle. He said he’d been asked whether he found combat or match shooting stress more difficult to manage. He said, hands down, matches were tougher. In combat everything went into slow motion and in all the noise and confusion he went on auto-pilot. There wasn’t time to think, so he just did what needed to be done. In a match, though, there was all the time in the world to think about what could go wrong, and to let that affect your performance.

So, match shooting, and not just individual practice has training benefits. As Kraig said, it’s not an either/or choice. You can participate in all forms of training and practice and it can all benefit your shooting.
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Old June 20, 2010, 03:36 PM   #38
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Smince.


Nope I meant everyone. Including me. In my origonal post on this thread I mentioned that I have been trained by my employer. I recieved training at least twice a year, and sometimes as many as four times a year. Depending on the assignment.

I am not a huge fan of know all, done all, our way or the highway super schools. But thats just my personal prefference.

As far as becoming a first rate target shooter? why not? In a self defense situation.. The B/G is a target... no? ...

Maybe I should attend one of these courses. I might have a change of heart.

My opinions are based on my own experiences and those of the people I have worked with. Though few they are. It works for me.


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Old June 20, 2010, 10:02 PM   #39
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One of the fellows at that first Gunsite pistol class I took, which was about half private and half public sector students, was a hostage rescue team member from a friendly nation. He had just come from a week of training with former West German Stasi, and was off for some kind of intensive training week with our Green Berets after the class. He said he trained 9 months a year then was on call for 3.

An apocryphal tale: When I studied Chinese martial arts with the late Dr. Fred Wu, he liked to give an opening lecture to students in which he described an island where scorpions and a certain species of snake and a certain species of bird lived. The snake knew to climb to the birds nest when it was away and would ambush and kill it when it returned. The bird knew to get behind the scorpion and bite off the sting to get a meal. But because the snake always took its prey head on, when confronted by the scorpion it was stung and died. So the snake defeats the bird who defeats the scorpion who defeats the snake. Which has the superior style?

One size never fits all. Exposure to different ideas and doctrine are how you find what fits you. Part of the role of instructors is to instill their system, which is impossible to do in an orderly and timely fashion if the class is full of obstructionists. So, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Embrace it. See what you can learn that way? But never hesitate to learn something different, regardless of how much brag the source does or doesn't put on it. You never know when or where you will encounter some little thing that makes a light go on.
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Old June 20, 2010, 10:36 PM   #40
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[QUOTE]West German Stasi[/QUOTE


Stasi were East German.
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Old June 20, 2010, 10:40 PM   #41
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As far as becoming a first rate target shooter? why not? In a self defense situation.. The B/G is a target... no? ...
Yes.....a MOVING target that isn't going to just stand there 7 yards away and more than likely isn't shaped like the sihlouette you're used to shooting. On top of that, I've never seen a still piece of paper induce stress and variable parameters in preferred lighting.
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Old June 21, 2010, 12:50 AM   #42
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All your points are true Tuttle. I must agree. I still say that shooting at stationary targets with your service/SD gun reinforces your skills. Training is good, realistic practice is good, shooting paper is good.
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Old June 21, 2010, 03:15 AM   #43
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Well, I’ve been a nobody instructor for awhile and I like to consider myself as competent, but would never say that I could approach the level, or type of instruction you can get at a big-name school. I had a fondness for Gunsite because of Cooper. He was a great man in my book. Not just because of his level of experience and his way of saying things, but for his desire to teach what he had learned. That desire is what I believe made him a great teacher, imo. To be clear, I never took a course from him and met him only in passing. I didn’t have the money to go to Gunsite until his health was failing, and that took away a lot of the desire since it was him that I looked up to. Though I had respect for the man for many reasons, the main reason I looked up to him as an instructor was his desire to teach. This was evident to me when he personally and fully answered letters and questions from nobody instructors … that he knew he wouldn’t make a dime off of. As long as the big names have that desire in addition to their knowledge base, they would make a truly great instructor imo, and I'd bet the current owners of Gunsite are ... due to the place's history … but what you can learn from them is still entirely up to you.

The clear advantage of the big names is that you pretty much know they have a superior knowledge base from which to teach and great facilities for a wide range of simulated situations, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a great teacher. The nobodys are often an "unknown quantity" in that respect, and the standard NRA courses leave much to be desired in many areas, imo. The straight-NRA courses are geared toward safety and paper punching because that’s what they’re designed to be. The "Personal Protection" course is a PC kindergarten-level thing imo, but I understand the reasoning behind it being so. (and why I teach an addendum that I make sure the student knows is not sanctioned by NRA) They’re a good place to begin, inexpensive, and will easily put you in the top ten percent of the population … if you have an instructor with the desire to teach and has the sense to say "I don’t know" when he doesn’t, and you’re willing to learn from him.

One thing for sure … If you are convinced that only a big name will meet your needs, by all means ignore the smaller instructors and go to a big name because you are correct. No instructor can teach someone that doesn’t have confidence in them.

I’ve met guys that I think I could have taught a few things if they had been willing to listen. I’ve even told a couple of ‘em that I couldn’t teach them anything, unless they were willing to set aside a few ideas or "techniques" for awhile. (some have "learned wrong" or insist on trying to run before they can walk) I think those guys I dropped just decided that I couldn’t teach them because they had already advanced above my abilities due to DVDs, magazine articles, and such. Dunno, maybe they were right, but none were able to show it imo.
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Old June 21, 2010, 08:31 AM   #44
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People discussing the relative value of training who have not yet taken a class from a nationally known professional instructor are like virgins talking about sex...

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Old June 21, 2010, 09:52 AM   #45
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Thanks for that insight, Lee !

Anyway - there's more to using a gun than hitting the bullseye. It's been said repeatedly. Wonder why the Army, AF, etc. always returns to realistic simulation training after some initial dismal war fighting results?
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Old June 21, 2010, 09:56 AM   #46
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good one LEE ! … can be taken a couple of ways there …

but nah, you’re still a virgin until you get in a real-life situation. Instructors are just sex-ed teachers. Gym coach vs. Dr. Ruth maybe. Won’t even get into what the training devices and practice are like ...
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Old June 21, 2010, 10:06 AM   #47
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Ranburr,

Right. Even as a kid I had some sort of mental block about transposing East and West with respect to Germany, and have always gotten corrected. It doesn't happen with any other geographical location. It seems I haven't outgrown that quirk. I never transpose the two anywhere else and am never surprised to hear it stated correctly. So I can't account for it?

What the hostage rescue team fellow said was that when the wall fell, it was found the Stasi had two kinds of member: the corrupt command structure and the operatives who were, by western standards, rather intense (I believe he used the word "crazy"). He said, as near as he could tell, the new government had dismissed the former and kept the latter. He described their original training including exercises western countries would not allow for safety reasons. I recall he described them doing serial diving rolls over barriers with a pistol in each hand, coming up out of the roll to shoot a target with each gun over the shoulders of the fellow who'd preceded him in the roll, and who was standing their waiting for him to do it. He said they had a lot of scars from training mishaps. He seemed pretty impressed with the results of their training if not enthusiastic about prescribing it for anybody.

This fellow, by the way, and to my surprise, only took second place in the shoot-off at the end of that class week, despite all that heavy training history. The winner was the fellow who eliminated me earlier. He was a California sheriff's department firearms instructor. I don't recall for which county, but it was apparently a large enough one to have him work full time at the position. He clearly practiced a lot. He was not in nearly as good physical shape as the HRT member and would have lost a rappelling contest with him in a heartbeat, but was older and probably a little calmer, which can pay dividends under match pressure.

One of the topics that has always interested me regarding firearms training, is personality type and how that influences the kind of training you respond to and can apply. Why it is, at one extreme, you can get a gunfight between two trained detectives and a drug dealer inside an elevator car in which all guns are emptied and nobody is hit except the detective who shot himself in the bicep while reloading (no, I can't figure out how to do that, either), but at the other extreme have Delf "Jelly" Bryce jump into a room where Jay Ray O'Donnell is in prone position across a bed with an innocent woman next to him as cover and a cocked 1911 already pointing at Bryce's midriff, yet Bryce draws and puts 5 .44 Specials into O'Donnell's head from the hip faster than O'Donnell can react to press the trigger? You couldn't write either case for a movie and have anyone believe it.

After J. Edgar Hoover acquired Bryce from the Oklahoma City PD, Bryce did some training work in addition to his work as an agent. I believe he introduced the FBI crouch position, but am prepared to be corrected on that point. But Bryce was never able to train other agents to do what he could do in a gunfight. The reason the FBI later went to two-hand hold training was the inability to get the one-hand instinct approach to hit consistently in actual fights. As Jack Weaver said, "a pretty quick hit is better than a lightning fast miss", so the compromise was made.

I have a suspicion that to be a Jelly Bryce or Bill Jordan or any other effective hip shot requires a personality that gets low numbers in a fear quotient test. I don't know what psychological conditioning the Stasi did, but undoubtedly they selected candidates and may have had a high elimination rate? But I'm meandering off into speculation. The bottom line is that something has to keep these folks from getting to the extreme fight or flight response state characterized by heart rates above the normal athletic range and by total loss of fine motor coordination.

I agree with Animal and Lee. When I took my first Gunsite class in '92, Cooper said he was, by then, getting a letter about twice a month that began with the words, "it works". He had over 5000 "ticket holders" (graduated students) by then, many police and military, so feedback from the field had become regular. Indeed, he and the other instructors made a point of asking us to provide detailed reports of any incident we became involved in, including those which did not come to actual gun play (the most common domestic type; situations resolved by attitude rather than combat) because that feedback helped provide improvements to the system. Statistically significant feedback is one big advantage an established school with a large student base has.

Not wanting to see the effectiveness record change is one reason Cooper was very careful about making changes to doctrine or equipment or anything else in the system. We I first met him he was wearing a molded plastic half-holster he said he'd been trying, and after about three years of satisfactory use he felt he was just about ready to give it the thumbs up. But not quite.
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Old June 22, 2010, 12:10 AM   #48
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Unclenick,

I only caught the East/West thing because I spent some time with them after the wall came. Their human intelligence files were pretty staggering. The sheer number of spies that they had at every level in the west would blow your mind. This includes massive numbers on essentially every U.S. and Nato military base in the west (including my own HQ). Most of these turncoats were not true believers, rather they were ordinary people who had family being threatened in the east. I never thought much of the Stasi for their skills or training (though they were at a higher level than the GRU/KGB). What the Stasi had going for them was the fact that they really had no rules to hold them back.
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Old June 22, 2010, 12:39 AM   #49
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Nice thread ya got here

Quote:
Would you pay alot less for Instruction by someone who has taken Instructor courses from big name schools, or would you rather pay the big bucks and get the same material?
I have not done a big name school, but my participation in a local gun club has taught me a lot from people who are very helpful. I can't say what kind of training I would receive at a school, but I have shot IPSC scenarios,large bore rifle, small bore rifle, and cowboy scenarios. I'm not saying that it's a substitute for a one of those fancy schools, but if I ever find myself in one: The learning curve will not be as steep.
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Old June 22, 2010, 01:03 AM   #50
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Quote:
First, very few bad guys are trained operators.
Train as if you intend to meet a professional, not an amateur. Hoping that you get the 'new' bad guy is foolishness.
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