Post By HeadHunter
March 25th, 2014 05:42 PM
Firearms trainer interview – Claude Werner
Since I initiated the trainer interview series, a number of people have asked what my answers to the questions are. Because I'm not supposed to write about myself on Examiner, here are my responses.
1) What is the value of training?
Training allows people to focus on the human interaction side of personal protection rather than having to focus on the mechanical aspects of weapons manipulation. It gives them confidence that they can perform the tasks they need to.
2) Why did you become a trainer?
I’ve been doing it for over 40 years; since I was in high school. It’s just a habit. I decided to teach in my current genre of pocket pistols, scenarios, and performance improvement because I perceived a hole in the training industry. Very few trainers have the background as white collar business professionals to effectively train everyday people how to carry and use weapons on a 16/7 basis.
3) What is the emphasis of your class?
• Performance improvement using measured progressive drills.
• Staying out of trouble (avoidance) rather than getting out of trouble (response).
• Surveillance detection against random criminal predators looking for a target of opportunity.
• Working with others, family and friends, for mutual protection.
• If shooting is necessary, make effective hits by picking your target, seeing your sights and working the trigger smoothly.
4) Who is your market?
Mostly, intermediate level shooters who have a grasp of the basic fundamentals. Practitioners of personal protection who have come to understand that learning the concepts of personal protection involves more than memorizing trite clichés.
5) What do YOU do to train/practice?
• I take several courses from other trainers every year, even if it’s just a short evening course. I make it a point to take classes that don’t involve the use of firearms but rather focus on avoiding becoming a victim.
• I dryfire every day. I’m into my second iteration of 1000 days of consecutive dryfire.
• When I livefire, I have a specific plan for skills I need to work on. I shoot a different police or CCW qualification course every month. And, I shoot IDPA at least once a month.
• One handed work is an integral part of every practice session I do, whether it’s dryfire or livefire.
• I constantly look for actual incidents and analyze how I could best handle them. Rather than making up ‘what if’ scenarios in my head, I get real ones from news and police reports. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
6) How would you describe your training philosophy?
• Have standards; know what you need to be able to do and measure what you can do in relation to that. Prioritize your efforts and work on your weaknesses that are high priority tasks.
• Having good mechanical skills, i.e., the fundamentals, allows your conscious mind to focus on the components of tactics; positioning, movement, communication, and decision-making, instead of having to be concerned with the mechanical aspects of weapon manipulation.
• You are accountable for every round you fire so you better be sure you can hit your target.
• We are seldom alone, so it’s important to know how to function when others are around, perhaps downrange. I call the way most people practice and train “The Myth of the Lone Gunman;” it doesn’t reflect the reality of most peoples’ lives. That ties into the need to be able to hit your target. Someone you care about might be downrange when you have to shoot.
• Carry intermediate weapons, such as pepper spray and impact tools. Make them an integral part of your personal protection plan and practice integrating them into your life. Use them in those circumstances where firearms are not appropriate.
• Be aware of other dangers in your life. Take a Defensive Driving Course, for example.
• Practice your skills and increase your knowledge on a daily basis, even if it’s just a little.
7) Why should people take training?
Because with firearms, when it goes bad, it tends to go really bad; bullets cannot be recalled. The vast majority of incidents are easily resolved but the ones that aren’t are going to be a big problem. And if a mistake is made, most likely, the result will have a lifetime of consequences.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
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