First Class Advice?

This is a discussion on First Class Advice? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So I've had my CHL for a while and finally have one day worth of free time to take a 1 day 'basic defensive handgun' ...

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Thread: First Class Advice?

  1. #1
    Member Array nortelrye's Avatar
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    First Class Advice?

    So I've had my CHL for a while and finally have one day worth of free time to take a 1 day 'basic defensive handgun' training class offered by the LGS. The man doing the training is well qualified and certified - I took his class to obtain my Oregon CHL and was satisfied by the small class size, teaching ability, amount and value of information presented, ability to answer numerous questions including a stumper that he didn't try to bluff through, responding with "I don't know, but I'll find out" and constructive criticism during the range portion of the class. He repeatedly emphasized the value of obtaining additional training and continual practice and safety was stressed nearly constantly throughout.

    The upcoming class is about basic defensive handgun use including drawing/presentation, firing from cover/different positions, vocalization, moving while drawing, malfunction/reloading drills, etc - just the basics. A lot of this stuff I have already been studying and practicing (drawn from various websites, training DVDs lent to me by friends, and things written here at DC - all filtered through my own judgement) but I felt there was value in having more feedback from somebody who trains people for a living.

    Anyway, this is the first formal training class I've ever attended and what I'm asking for is advice from the DC crowd about how to get the most out of it. I've already stopped by the LGS and spoken to the owner/trainer about what I should bring and any thoughts he had on how to be prepared to learn as much as possible, and I'd appreciate any input and/or advice from the folks here. Thanks in advance!
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Make sure your gear is squared away...Serviceable gun (even better a backup) bring some type of cover garment extra shirt etc..
    Good Belt, Good Holster, Good Mag Carriers. More mags you bring less time spent loading mags more time listening.

    one thing I always like is having a GOLF sweat towel handy. Ranges get hot quick, nothing like sweating all over everything makes the time miserable.
    “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll

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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    If your going to be shooting more than your used to bring small bandaid for trigger finger :) you will need it

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    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    Huge appreciation to all who continue their firearms training and continue to practice & practice & practice.
    I don't train/requal Troopers anymore, but I always knew who spent time practicing their "Draw & Fire" drills. The lack of 'Muscle Memory' is always a huge failure.

    Shooting skills are so perishable. It is very humbling to go shooting after a 6 month break from Sidearms/Carbine/Shotgun.
    It is not so easy to get the sidearm & carbine to the range monthly; especially considering the cost of ammo.
    My monthly trips only keep me in the 'competent' zone these days.
    Retired State Trooper (40 long years) 8 years State Range Instructor - BS Degree- Justice, MS Degree- Criminology
    All forms of Gun Control are Unconstitutional / Illegal and beyond the scope of the US. Supreme Court.
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    Quote Originally Posted by patri0t View Post
    Huge appreciation to all who continue their firearms training and continue to practice & practice & practice.
    Shooting skills are so perishable.
    AMEN!
    Getting old was not on my list of "things to do" in the Golden Years!

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  7. #6
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    Remember that your instructor is teaching you a way, not the way on his techniques and philosophies.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
    Tuco

  8. #7
    AOK
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    Heavy trigger and muzzle awareness.

    Don't worry about what others are doing or how you stack up against others. You're not there to impress others. Worry about yourself.

    Bring a pen, paper, and an open mind.

    Make sure your gun is lunricated properly.

    Liquids to stay hydrated.

    If outside standard prep such as bug spray, sun screen, hat (hat good even if inside).

    Electronic ears if you have a pair to hear the instructor when you need to. If you have a set either put new batteries in them or at least bring a new set of batteries.

    If they have multiple lines, after your done jamming mags and taking notes get somewhat close to the line and listen to what instructors are telling other students.

  9. #8
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    Keep your belly full and bring healthy snacks so you can stay focused
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    Senior Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    I typically suggest that people NOT be that guy who just has to let the instructor know exactly how much he already knows. Listen, be quiet and have an open mind. When its time for a brake, take a brake, dont corner the instructor with 50 questions.
    Think like a man of action - Act like a man of thought

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    All good advice. Best thing I can add is to bring an open mind.

    Recognize that this is your first training, with hopefully many more down the road. You sound like you're probably more mentally prepared than most of the others who'll be in your class.
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Array cn262's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Remember that your instructor is teaching you a way, not the way on his techniques and philosophies.
    This is so true. Don't be that guy (there us usually one in every large class) that goes on and on (wasting everyone's time) talking about how someone showed him a different way, or he saw something on youtube, etc. Bring some paper, take notes (and review them later to make sure they make sense and you understand them),and ask questions if something doesn't make sense. Give the training an honest try and then evaluate it. There are many similar ways to do the same thing, and what's best for one person might not be best for another. Take the things that work for you, incorporate it into your routine, and make it your own.

    Good training is amazing and worth every penny. You can still learn something from average training - and if nothing else you're shooting and having fun.
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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Keep an open mind. His techniques may or may not work for you...

    Ask questions...

    Label your mags....

    Load your mags and help others, it makes the class move along better...

    Fluids to stay hydrated...

    Healthy snacks...

    Most of all bring a positive attitude....

    Have fun and let us know how it goes. Good luck..
    nortelrye likes this.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array cn262's Avatar
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    Labeling your mags is great advice. In one course I experienced a couple of failures to feed (two during the final test which cost me enough points that I missed the "distinguished graduate" level by one point (would have easily made it otherwise)). I was so focused on "getting back into the fight" that I did not pay attention to the mag. At the end of training one of the instructors and I checked all of my mags. The one I held aside during the last failure (which was one of the three I was using during testing) had a visible manufacturing defect. If I would have labeled my mags I would have caught that much sooner. Now my mags are labeled primarily for rotation purposes, but it is good to be able to identify any mag for any reason.
    nortelrye likes this.

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Exacto's Avatar
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    No one, no instructor , no student of the gun , knows all there is to know. Many instructors think they do, and if you know one that knows he doesn't, you have a good one . It is vital that an instructor know his limitations, all have them, and not try to teach beyond his or her own personal capability. His job is to teach the mechanics of shooting, which is really the easiest part. The hardest part is developing the proper mindset. He can present the theory, but only you can train your mind. Good self defense is in the mind, it tells the body how to react in a given situation. You can be a good marksman, and a good safe gun handler, but without the proper mindset to put those skills to use when you need them the most, you are a good target shooter. All that being said, my advise is to listen carefully to your instructor, learn the body mechanics he teaches, but when you are doing these exercises, it will make a difference if you work on developing a defensive mindset. See those targets as threats that want to kill you, not paper targets. incorporate good defensive tactics into you shooting exercises, focus on the threat, neutralize the threat, scan for additional threats, eyes back to the guy you just put on the ground before you re holster, even if is not being taught. Try to make it as real in your mind, as you can. if your on the ground prone shooting, and scan after engaging the threat, scan again when you get to your knees, not just when your on the ground. Every time you change your perspective of the environment your in, ie, on the ground, to your knees, scan again, stand, scan again, eyes always going back to the threat on the ground in between. Threats that go down after you shoot are not necessarily out of commission. Only you can make this training "real" in your mind, your instructor can not do this.. Manage your ammo, don't re holster a gun that's almost empty when you come to the end of an exercise, just because that initial threat is no more, doesn't mean another won't pop up, don't let yourself be caught with one or two rounds in the gun and then have to reload in the middle of being shot at, and those targets are shooting at you in your mind. This, I think may be enough for you to get a grip on the importance of what you and only you can and should do to be prepared. There are many things, but not practical to cover them all in this context . Good luck, be safe.
    nortelrye likes this.
    Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunder bolt...... Sun Tzu.

    The supreme art of war is to defeat the enemy without fighting........ Sun Tzu.

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