This is a direct transcript from the live introduction
given by Ignatius Piazza, Front Sight\'s Founder and
Front Sight\'s Purpose and the Five Levels of Competence.
Thank you and welcome to Front Sight.
At this time what I would like to do is share with you
Front Sight\'s purpose and introduce the range masters that
will be working with you this weekend.
Here at Front Sight we believe that in order to
distinguish ourselves above all others in this industry,
we must be driven by a purpose that is greater than just
making money or a name for ourselves. And this purpose
must always remain bigger than the organization otherwise
the reason for existing can become rather self-centered or
Now those of you who are new to Front Sight and are not
familiar with the term Purpose Based Organization, you\'ll
know when you\'re in the presence of one when you witness
those individuals working with you performing their tasks
with an enthusiastic Sense of Duty and a Moral Obligation
to those the purpose is meant to serve. And by those I
mean YOU, the students.
I believe you will find this weekend that Front Sight is
such an organization with a group of highly dedicated
instructors and support staff that are all brought here
for the same reason. And that is to serve you and to make
you as good as you possibly can be during the time that
you spend with us.
With that said, what is our purpose? Well it is a large
one. And the easiest way to explain this is to review
something that we call the Five Levels of Competence.
The lowest level of competence is what we refer to as
the II. That stands for Intentionally Incompetent. These
are the people that know they need training but they lack
the courage and the motivation to get it. They actually
avoid training because in exposing themselves to training,
they expose their inadequacies to their peers and they
fear that greater than death itself. Fortunately we don\'t
see the II at Front Sight very often. I can count on one
hand the number of times we have in the last 5 years. In
each case they were sent to us by their department or by
someone who was concerned that this person needed training
and they just weren\'t getting it.
The II does not want to be here. They waste our time, they
waste your time. I tell you about them simply because they
are out there and you should avoid them like the plague.
Because if you count on the II when the chips are down,
they will take you right to the grave with them.
Then for no fault of their own there is the UI. This stands
for Unconsciously Incompetent. These are the people that
do not know that they do not know. And unfortunately it
makes up about 95% of the gun owning population. Now I
realize that\'s a shockingly high figure for many of you to
comprehend. When we provide our one day courses, we tell
our students that a one day course will not bring them to
a full understanding of the Five Levels of Competence. The
reason it does not is because in a one day course we do
not put those students into a live fire tactical training
simulator. A simulator that\'s as close to a real gun fight
as we can make it without anybody getting physically hurt.
And it\'s in those simulators that students begin to
understand that in a real gun fight, you\'re only going to
be about half as good as you are in the best day on the
training range simply from the stress of someone trying
to take your life. Unfortunately, 95% of the gun owning
population does not know this.
Let me give you some examples of the UI:
The police officer who only fires his weapon for
mandatory range qualification two or three times a year is
Military personnel, especially the Reserve Units and
National Guard who have not trained with their weapons or
live ammunition for 6 months or a year and then are
quickly called up and sent off to some foreign part of the
world to fight a police action, they too are Unconsciously
Then there is the hunter who buys the brand new high
powered rifle, books the African safari and when the guide
places him within 75 yards of a trophy animal, he misses
the shot, or worse wounds the animal and now you spend the
rest of the day tracking large, dangerous, wounded game.
He too, is Unconsciously Incompetent.
Then there\'s the gun owner, who thinks that without having
any type of training like we offer here at Front Sight,
simply having a pistol and a box of ammunition is all he
needs for protection should he hear breaking glass in the
middle of the night. He too, is Unconsciously Incompetent.
This even extends to all those people out there who have a
Concealed Weapon Permit. Who\'ve only taken that mandatory
8 hours course that the county required. Six of those hours
spent talking about where and when they can legally carry
a gun, a couple hours with some very minimal training in a
very minimal skills test and now they\'re out there on the
street carrying a gun thinking that should someone step up
to try to take their life, they have all the tools they
need to protect it. They, too, do not know what they do
Now why is it that I know so much about this UI? Well it\'s
because I was the biggest UI. I was the gun shop owner\'s
best friend. When a new gun came out on the cover of Guns
and Ammo, I would immediately run down to my local gun shop
and buy two; complete with all the accessories they could
sell me. And I viewed these guns are collectables and art
objects, not as tools or weapons. Then one day a
relatively minor incident made me aware of my incompetence
and I immediately graduated to the next level. I was now
Consciously Incompetent. I knew I did not know and I knew
I needed training. Well not everyone is as lucky as I was.
Sometimes that sudden realization that you do not know is
quickly followed by your opponents attack. And if that
attack involved lethal force, the only reason you\'ll
survive is because on that day, at that time, your
opponent was a bigger UI than you were. Who wants to
bet their life on those odds? I certainly did not.
So Front Sight\'s senior purpose; the reason we exist, the
reason we\'re building this facility, the reason we invite
you all to come out and experience what we have to offer
is to reach this 95% of the gun owning population and
bring them here to Front Sight where they can safely and
immediately reach the level of knowing that they need
training. Becasue here at Front Sight everyone is a student
and this is where we can help them.
Now, once students arrive at Front Sight our next purpose
is to validate their awareness that they need and want
training and provide them with a curriculum that will
quickly bring them up to the level of Consciously
Competent because at this level they are now better than
95% of the gun owning population but must consciously
think about everything that they do with their weapon.
Further practice and training will elevate their skills
to the next level, the highest level, and those of you in
the room here who are the ultimate achievers; Front
Sight\'s purpose extends to assist you in reaching your
highest level of competence. That would be Unconsciously
Competent. And at this level your weapon craft
skills, your tactics, your mindset all become reflexive.
Now please realize that even at the Unconsciously
Competent level, in a real gunfight you\'re still only
going to be about half as good as you are in your best
day on the training range simply from the stress of someone
trying to take your life. But half as good at the
Unconsciously Competent level is miles above that UI
that you\'re likely to meet on the street. And that not
only ensures you\'ll survive; it ensures that you\'ll win
and that\'s why we\'re here. To make sure that our students,
should they ever need to use a weapon to defend their
lives or the lives of their loves ones, will in fact win!
Now if any of you are sitting there wondering or worrying
that we\'re speaking of you when we describe this UI, don\'t
worry. Whatever level you are presently at, I have been
there. In fact I tell the story of my first course
(at another school) to illustrate this point.
I showed up for this course as a complete novice. It
was a handgun course. I was wearing my newly purchased
and pressed desert camouflage fatigues. I had a Miami
Vice shoulder holster on, just like the one Don Johnson
wore in the television show- because up to that point
\"Sonny Crockett\" was my firearms training mentor. And
I had a high capacity 9mm pistol up under my arm and I
had enough magazines on my belt to last the entire first
two days of the class without even thinking about
reloading. So I was quite a sight. Then the founder
of that school walked into the classroom. There
were about 20 students in the class and he looked
at me and he said, \"You, man, stand up.\" And I
thought, \"Wow! This is going to be a great day. Here
I am, just fifteen minutes into the class and the
founder is recognizing me.\" The founder looked to
one of his instructors who was seated in the back of the
classroom and then he looked at me again and said,
\"Take that man outside! Get him squared away.\" So there
I was, standing up feeling rather foolish and exited
the classroom to spend part of the morning- justifiably
so, I might add- getting squared away.
Well don\'t worry, that situation won\'t happen to you
here at Front Sight because it does not matter to us.
I\'ll say it again; it does not matter to us where you
are at the start of the class. What matters to us is
where you are at the end of the course. And Front Sight\'s
staff and curriculum will take you from whatever level
you\'re presently at and significantly improve you during
the time that you spend with us.
Now I know some of you are questioning how can I be so
confident to make that statement not knowing your
individual abilities? Well it doesn\'t matter. In any
class that we offer, whether there are 20 or 200
students, there are students that have never shot a gun
before. There are students who have been shooting for 20
years. There are returning students. There are firearms
instructors. There are law enforcement instructors. All
training together and everyone improves significantly!
There is a reason for this. Having attended the other
schools in this country multiple times I became astutely
aware of not only what makes a great curriculum, but more
important, what makes a great instructor. And I\'m quite
proud to tell you that Front Sight has the finest
instructional program in the industry. We maintain the
highest standards in the industry and we achieve amazing
results with each and every student at every course and
we will achieve amazing results with you as well this
Understand that we have a VERY important business
philosophy here at Front Sight, and that is that YOU the
student are the product of Front Sight. Not the facility
that we\'re building. Not the curriculum. Not the
instructional staff. Not anything that we might sell in a
pro shop. You! You are the product.
When you leave us at the end of this course, you will
take with you the gun handling, the marksmanship, the
mindset, and the tactics that we teach. And we look at
it as you now represent Front Sight.
So when you walk into a gun shop and ask the clerk to
see a gun and he hands it over to you and you keep it
pointed at the deck. You chamber check it. You clear it
before you begin manipulating it. You keep your finger
off the trigger. You don\'t cover yourself with the muzzle.
You don\'t cover the clerk with the muzzle. You don\'t cover
everyone in the store with a muzzle. They look at you and
they say, \"Wow, there\'s something different about this
person. They\'re not like everybody else that comes in
When you go to a shooting range and you\'re rapidly
presenting your weapon from the holster, you\'re firing
accurately, performing after action drills and other
techniques that we teach, and you happen to have a
malfunction and you reflexively clear it, they see this
too. And when they finally have the courage to walk up to
you and say, \"Excuse me, where did you learn how to do all
of that?\" What do we want coming out of your mouths?
Front Sight. Absolutely. We take this very seriously and
that\'s why we do everything we possibly can to make you
as good as we possibly can during the time that you spend
With that said, allow us to introduce the Range Masters
that that will be working with you this weekend. As they
proceed up to the front of the room, please understand
that Front Sight maintains a ratio of one instructor for
every four-to-five students on the firing line and
one-on-one instruction in the live fire tactical
simulators-sometimes two instructors per student depending
on the simulator. This is the highest standard in the
industry. Not only do we maintain it, we advertise it.
There are two paths to become an instructor at Front Sight.
The first path is to be a seasoned law enforcement or
military instructor. Take a course at Front Sight on your
dime so we can get a good look at you and you can get a
good look at us. If there is a match, we will invite you
to our Instructor Development Course on our dime and we
will teach you the training doctrine we offer at Front
Sight. Upon successful completion of the course, you
will come on board as part of Front Sight\'s stellar
The other path is to be a student. Distinguish yourself
in our courses and we will invite you to our Instructor
Development Course. Upon successful completion, you will
come on board as either a line coach or instructor.
If you wish to continue to improve your skills and work
toward Range Master status, then we will pair you up with
a seasoned Range Master and you will co-range master
courses until you can take a group of students, a group
of instructors, and the course curriculum and run it with
the same efficiency and results as myself or any of the
other seasoned Range Masters would. You are then part of
the Front Sight\'s Range Master staff.
Those two paths are represented in the men standing
before you. They will most definitely take you from
whatever level you are presently at and significantly
improve you during the time you spend with us this