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View Poll Results: Have you ever attended a training course and if so how often?
Never done formal training don't see the need. 10 13.33%
Never but would like to or plan on it in the near future. 10 13.33%
1 or 2 classes over my lifetime. 28 37.33%
1 or 2 classes a year. 6 8.00%
As often as I can more than 10 in my lifetime. 21 28.00%
Voters: 75. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 29, 2018, 11:13 PM   #26
TunnelRat
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PPGMD - I hear what you are saying. Seems lots of vets (and often wannabe fakers) decided to start a training school. There is however good training out there if you know where to look and have access to it.

For me it is much more useful to learn good ways to avoid trouble and deal with trouble rather than shooting accurately and fast. Shooting accurately and fast is merely one way of dealing with a problem; however it really should never be the focus of a good defensive strategy.
I could take this same comment and say that instead of buying a firearm in the first place you're better off taking classes on deescalation, given the low probability of using a firearm defensively.

None of this has to be mutually exclusive. We are all limited in time and money, but thinking of ways to deescalate a situation doesn't mean you can't spend time building accuracy and shooting faster. True defensive courses should go into more than shoot eveything. All that said, in the unlikely and unfortunate event when deescalation fails and you do have to use your firearm being able to use it effectively is important. Just because I can use it effectively doesn't mean I go looking for trouble.

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Old May 30, 2018, 02:03 AM   #27
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collectors

I will likely catch a world of flak for this, but .........

There seems to me to be a great deal of formal training snobbery that goes on. Sooner or later you'll hear folks boasting of who they've trained with, where there going next month, etc. They'll mention how many classes they've had, what they'd like to do next........heck, look at the posts in this thread.

Some of these folks I call "collectors". They've been to Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, and local classes as well. Their pedigree looks pretty good. But good papers does not mean a dog will hunt.

Remember that not everyone can afford to attend the elite schools, and the cost of same, and there and back, can be quite high. Not everyone gets sent by their agency to train assorted instructors and classes. When we start commenting to the effect that "everyone needs a class in thus and such", are we beginning to tread on the grounds of elitism and firearms ownership? Only those that can afford training should have a firearm for SD?

Owning a firearm does not insure proper use and safety. But a lack of formal training pedigree does not imply incompetence either.
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Old May 30, 2018, 04:33 AM   #28
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I will likely catch a world of flak for this, but .........
You're not the only one who thinks like you do so I wouldn't worry about it.

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Some of these folks I call "collectors". They've been to Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, and local classes as well. Their pedigree looks pretty good. But good papers does not mean a dog will hunt.
I agree with this to a point but on the other hand I think the better armed you are mentally (I mean training and lessons) the better you will be physically. The mind controls it all. It's like anything else. Golf, tennis, skiing, horseshoes, tiddlywinks, darts.....etc. The more you practice the better you get. The more you learn from experts the better you get. I think that people want to share their experiences in training and courses they take and that's wonderful. I love to share that I learned to shoot as a small girl on a ranch. We would shoot at bottles on the fence posts. Then I moved up to lizards and birds. I never wanted to shoot anything else. And I quit enjoying killing the lizards and birds too. But I learned a lot about guns at a young age. I've experienced tragedy as well..... the loss of a friend who died playing Russian roulette at age 14.

I think training is a wonderful thing and I am very happy for those who can afford it and have the inclination to want to improve to the max.

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Owning a firearm does not insure proper use and safety. But a lack of formal training pedigree does not imply incompetence either.
LOL. I know what you are saying here but I think there's got to be a happy medium in their somewhere. Training courses are a good thing. Certainly not mandatory, but no one can honestly say they don't have the potential to make you better. I know, as an example, that I personally am not nearly as competent as I could be if I were to take more training courses.
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Old May 30, 2018, 07:25 AM   #29
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I've said multiple times on this forum that everything is a balance of time and money. Even those that are more fortunate are typically limited in time. For me personally I can take as many courses as I can because I am within driving distance of one of these schools. It dramatically reduces the costs on my end. I also don't have any competing hobbies when it comes to disposable income and until recently didn't have a busy family life.

The reality is training costs money, and the people that can go multiple times are typically wealthier than not. Do I think just because someone doesn't have training that he or she shouldn't be allowed to own a firearm? No. That to me is a fundamental right. I do think people sometimes lose track of the purpose of training. Training shouldn't be about proving how good you are to others. It should be about improving your own skills. The measure of how you did in a course isn't how many people you were better than, but how you're doing at the end of the day as opposed to the beginning. The reality is for many people training makes an objective improvement in their shooting.

One issue I do have is I encounter a number of people at ranges that tell me they don't have the time or money for training. This is typically after that person just got done showing off a new firearm. The number of people I know that burn plenty of money on buying guns but next to no money training with them is concerning. I also used to be one of those people. Even one basic course a year, or one more involved course every couple of years, is something and when you take the cost as a percentage of what many spend shooting in a year it often isn't that high. There seems to be an attitude that you should be able to progress completely on your own and that training is a waste. Even professional athletes have coaches and trainers.

And lastly, and this isn't directed at people here, but there are those that won't do training simply because it means confronting the mental image they've built of themselves and seeing if it lives up to reality. For some folks there is an ego factor.

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Old May 30, 2018, 08:24 AM   #30
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Old May 30, 2018, 06:44 PM   #31
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Unconventional, that is another sentiment I fully agree with. Outside of the military there are practically no uses for offensive action. You can learn things from a class that teaches offensive action but most often it seems to be the wrong thing.
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Old May 30, 2018, 08:59 PM   #32
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Unconventional, that is another sentiment I fully agree with. Outside of the military there are practically no uses for offensive action. You can learn things from a class that teaches offensive action but most often it seems to be the wrong thing.
Counter attacks are a thing. If you are really being attacked then backing yourself into a corner or staying in place isn't always possible and isn't always the best course of action. There's a difference between provoking an attack and responding to one.

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Old May 31, 2018, 10:19 AM   #33
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This is an interesting thread. I'm in the camp with limited formal training due to budget constraints. I hope to be able to take a FoF training course, knowing the value, but I can't justify the cost at this time. Even my shooting has been reduced lately to save money.

I am always baffled by those who think training is fine for the rest of the gun carrying world, but unnecessary for them. I am fortunate to know and shoot with guys who have taught me in many informal sessions at a private outdoor range that allows for dynamic training. One of the things I've learned is being good with a gun does not mean a person is prepared to deal with an armed assailant. Another is that there are people who carry a gun who don't have a clue, and owning all the latest and greatest weapons doesn't change that.

I would agree that there are some who are far too willing to make sure you know they have spent many dollars to achieve their high speed, low drag status. I think being able to afford training with the best instructors available is a great thing, and I would regularly do so if I had the resources. There are some here who frequently advocate that sort of training, and I appreciate their efforts to inform. There are others who seem more interested in beating their chests. We can't all be as humble as I am!
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Old May 31, 2018, 01:26 PM   #34
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This is an interesting thread. I'm in the camp with limited formal training due to budget constraints. I hope to be able to take a FoF training course, knowing the value, but I can't justify the cost at this time. Even my shooting has been reduced lately to save money.

I am always baffled by those who think training is fine for the rest of the gun carrying world, but unnecessary for them. I am fortunate to know and shoot with guys who have taught me in many informal sessions at a private outdoor range that allows for dynamic training. One of the things I've learned is being good with a gun does not mean a person is prepared to deal with an armed assailant. Another is that there are people who carry a gun who don't have a clue, and owning all the latest and greatest weapons doesn't change that.

I would agree that there are some who are far too willing to make sure you know they have spent many dollars to achieve their high speed, low drag status. I think being able to afford training with the best instructors available is a great thing, and I would regularly do so if I had the resources. There are some here who frequently advocate that sort of training, and I appreciate their efforts to inform. There are others who seem more interested in beating their chests. We can't all be as humble as I am!
I tell my wife all the time that I'm the most humble man I know.

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Old June 2, 2018, 09:11 AM   #35
Bartholomew Roberts
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There is a great deal of value in formal training because 99% of the people out there have next to no training and it will immediately put you ahead of them. Then you get this danger zone where people have had 3-8 classes and start thinking they are pretty knowledgable.

In NROTC, I remember the USMC candidates would come back from JOCS thinking they were the baddest creature to ever walk the Earth. Inevitably, they’d get beaten up by some non-formally trained locals within a few months and then they’d settle back into a more reasonable assessment of their skills.

People with a few formal training classes can be very susceptible to this same phenomenon.
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Old June 14, 2018, 05:01 AM   #36
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There are many people that would benefit from some good instruction from a capable teacher. Some people are (understandably) afraid of the unknown, and others don't know what they don't know or are afraid to find out they aren't as good as they think they are. Or, they aren't really that interested.

I've been going to a class or two a year since 1982. John Farnam, Massad Ayoob, the late Jim Cirillo, S&W Academy, Sigarms Academy, three different NRA Law Enforcement Instructor classes, and etc. Sometimes my agency gave me training days to attend and most often I went on my own time and my own expense (nice to have a job with regular overtime to help you afford such activities).

Most of the classes I went to were two or three days long except for the various instructor classes.

I have always though that there was a market niche for a good local instructor to offer classes that were 4 hours or 8 hours in length. A short class with a limited curriculum would be attractive to a lot of people because the tuition would be cheaper, ammo expenditure would be less, they wouldn't have to travel and it would be easier to fit into their schedule.

Fortunately, within the last few years where I live one group of guys (one current cop, two former cops) started teaching one day classes in both rifle and carbine, and another police instructor I know has begun offering three hour classes in the evening at a local indoor range 6-9pm. There are a lot of people that would benefit from and enjoy a class like that, but it's hard to get people to take that first step sometimes . . .
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Old June 14, 2018, 05:26 AM   #37
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The guy who taught the three hour classes is a graduate of a bunch of classes with Massad Ayoob. The classes are held at a new 6 position 50 foot indoor range. The shooting was from 5 to 12 yards. It was all fairly basic stuff, with lots of lateral movement upon the draw and lateral movement to cover.

One of our supervisors and one of our dispatchers and myself have taken two of those classes. The dispatcher was quite new to shooting handguns and Dave and myself are both instructors. We all shot Glock 43s -- Dave and I from concealment. It was nice to shoot some structured drills and get some good practice in with the off duty guns. We went through 300 rounds each in just under three hours.

The class was only $75. Good value for the money. I think a lot of people would enjoy and benefit from a class like that.
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Old June 14, 2018, 07:38 AM   #38
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There are many people that would benefit from some good instruction from a capable teacher. Some people are (understandably) afraid of the unknown, and others don't know what they don't know or are afraid to find out they aren't as good as they think they are. Or, they aren't really that interested.

I've been going to a class or two a year since 1982. John Farnam, Massad Ayoob, the late Jim Cirillo, S&W Academy, Sigarms Academy, three different NRA Law Enforcement Instructor classes, and etc. Sometimes my agency gave me training days to attend and most often I went on my own time and my own expense (nice to have a job with regular overtime to help you afford such activities).

Most of the classes I went to were two or three days long except for the various instructor classes.

I have always though that there was a market niche for a good local instructor to offer classes that were 4 hours or 8 hours in length. A short class with a limited curriculum would be attractive to a lot of people because the tuition would be cheaper, ammo expenditure would be less, they wouldn't have to travel and it would be easier to fit into their schedule.

Fortunately, within the last few years where I live one group of guys (one current cop, two former cops) started teaching one day classes in both rifle and carbine, and another police instructor I know has begun offering three hour classes in the evening at a local indoor range 6-9pm. There are a lot of people that would benefit from and enjoy a class like that, but it's hard to get people to take that first step sometimes . . .
Sigarms Academy has a lot of 1 day courses now specifically because a lot of people can't take many days in a row. However, they're pretty darn expensive (a lot more than $75). Some of the private clubs near me have groups that meet once a month and run through scenarios under the instruction of some members with notable experience. The cost is part of the membership dues (absent some small additional costs). Seems like a good way to do it.

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Last edited by TunnelRat; June 14, 2018 at 07:47 AM.
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Old June 14, 2018, 10:38 AM   #39
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Sigarms Academy has a lot of 1 day courses now specifically because a lot of people can't take many days in a row. However, they're pretty darn expensive (a lot more than $75).
When you factor in what it actually COSTS to host a training class, the price of Sigs classes is very reasonable. Facility cost, Insurance, instructor, materials used add in some profit margin and I dont see how anyone can do it for $75 a day.
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Old June 14, 2018, 11:27 AM   #40
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When you factor in what it actually COSTS to host a training class, the price of Sigs classes is very reasonable. Facility cost, Insurance, instructor, materials used add in some profit margin and I dont see how anyone can do it for $75 a day.
Oh I still take them, but the reality is cost is a limiting factor and $250 a day plus ammo is hard for some people. I think trying to pool training resources in some local areas is a good idea.

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Old June 14, 2018, 01:39 PM   #41
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Its not about shooting, its about instructing. There is a big difference.

Except for a few of the Army's (DCM)Small Arms Firiing Schools, about all the training classes I've taken were instructor classes:

FBI Firearms Instructor, NRA LE Rifle Instructor, USAMU Sniper School, NGMTU Coaches Clinic, CMP's MI Course and a few more I cant remember,

But none prepared me as a firearms (or any other subject) instructor like the FBI Instructor development course. This course was a requirement before you could be a certified LE instructor regardless of subject by the Alaska Police Standard Concil.

It was the best course I have ever taken as far as instruction goes.

It gets you where you can get into the heads of the students, identify problems and correct for the individual not the subject.

Believe me that comes in handy when you're trying to teach a machine gun school, explaining the mil system to a group of Alaskan Natives, most of which didnt finish HS. Not to mention, unless you gain their confidence and trust, they wont partisipate, or ask questions.

Knowing how to read, deal with and gain the confidence of the student is the most important part of instruction, and reconize handycaps of the student, and deal with them, regardless of subject.

Gary Anderson, main instructor for the CMP MI course, says it best, "There are no hopleless shooters", I agree with that 100% but I'll add there are hopeless instructors.
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