Calling All Instructors!!!

Calling All Instructors!!!

This is a discussion on Calling All Instructors!!! within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey folks, I've been hanging out at The High Road quite a bit mostly since the server at work figured out that we're a "B-A-A-A-D" ...

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Thread: Calling All Instructors!!!

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Exclamation Calling All Instructors!!!

    Hey folks, I've been hanging out at The High Road quite a bit mostly since the server at work figured out that we're a "B-A-A-A-D" place and blocked my access from there. But THR seems pretty innocuous so I'm hoping I can get away with that for a couple of years like I did this place. ANYWAY, I had an interesting discourse over there and thought it would make a great thread HERE.

    Instructors: Present some memorable training experiences. Funny, sad, good or bad. Let us have it. I'll go first. My favorite is training the married couple for a CCW. Especially where both are pure novices and they both know it, but only one part of the relationship ADMITS this fun fact. Here is a common scenario for me:

    I'm an NRA Instructor and have been for 20 + years and this has always been my experience: Mostly, guys all think that they're an EXPERT in the following three areas: GUNS, CARS, & WOMEN .... all simply BECAUSE they're guys! Of course they're usually wrong on all three counts. That's why we have gun shows, mechanics and computer dating. There is another reason that is biological: Women have better hand/eye coordination which is why they make better pilots. ALSO they have fewer bad habits to unlearn. They weren't raised on Dirty Harry, John Wayne, or those "BAD BOYS," Will Smith & Martin Lawrence. Hollywood, as we all know is spectacularly wrong when it comes to any accurate presentation of handguns.

    Usually in class, the guy is just sort of paying attention with one ear and has his eyes on the clock and keeps asking in a plaintive voice: "When are we going to the range?"

    OTOH, SHE is usually a freakin' SPONGE! Always asking questions for clarification. Demanding a dry fire demonstration, asking for critique of stance and grip.... and this is before we've even left for the range. Live fire isn't required from the State of Florida. That's my personal requirement. I guarantee that my student will be able to empty a cylinder or a magazine into the center of mass in a tight group (not the "X" but maybe inside the eight ring and usually a lot tighter) or their money back.

    No surprise, when we finally move to the line, she's READY. I usually make HIM go first. I have a method in my madness, here. I know he's not paid attention I want a score for her HER to top. A little bit of extra motivation as it were.

    Now if you're taking MY ccw class, everybody starts on a .22LR. I don't care if you're a cop or an airborne ranger, you start with the 22. Why? I like to critique technique. Flaws will show up here in stance, grip and trigger squeeze or sight picture resulting in specific types of groups or even looser patterns. They can use my Walther P22 or if it's a real novice my Ruger Super Single Six for the utmost in control.

    HE hasn't listened anyway, so I stand there to make sure he keeps the muzzle downrange and isn't UNSAFE in any way. I'll run a large bullseye target with one of those bigger SHOOT-N-SEE sticky targets overlaid on the "X" and hand him the 22. HE usually tries to look all "studly" and cool as he rattles off six overly fast shots with the predicted result. I'll leave it to your imagination but it usually comes up nothing tighter than the "7" ring. Why do they always look so perplexed? This is the usual answer I get: Well, the SUN was in my eyes. I point out that while that might be possible under other circumstances we seem to be on an INDOOR range. Nope. That's HIS story and he's stickin to it! Typical GUY. I do it all the time with my wife in other areas. I make him have a seat and I motion her to the line.

    She's usually like a little newborn colt taking those first shaky steps into a new world. I demonstrate everything (in teaching we call this MODELING) before I have her try. After my shots on a separate smaller shoot-n-see I have placed above the main target, I give HER the 22 and walk her slowly thru the sequence. I maintain an "overwatch" position just behind and to the left so I can nudge her on stance or adjust grip, especially trigger finger placement. Most common stance problem is a hyper arched back so the body is way off balance. Easy to correct especially for an attentive student.

    I'll walk her thru the first shot, quietly ticking off the sight picture, breathing pause and smooth trigger squeeze. Wait and see that first one is near or thru the "X" and watch that facial expression just explode with joy! Then I'll talk her thru the the rest of the magazine or cylinder (on the Single Six). Usually that means sight corrections based on hit proximity. If she starts to snatch the trigger or "heel" her grip, I call out shot impacts using the clock method: On the center level at Three O'Clock. Bring it level to the LEFT. and so on. When I'm satisfied that she's safe and properly "in the zone" I'll leave her some loaded mags and go sit down to chat with hubby. About anything BUT his groups. I want her to be secure and to have fun without her instructor looking over her shoulder and making her nervous.

    When she's finished with her first round, I'll haul her target back and compare them side by side. Almost 100% of the time when SHE has paid attention to my lesson the difference is night and day. I usually get two defensive answers from HIM: The routine with the SUN or he blames the GUN. So I'll bring him to the line with "ears" and "eyes" and send the target twice the distance his was so I can drill the "X" for two mags. Then I'll hand him my target and say: Well, I can tell you it's NOT the gun!

    Then I'll usually lean over and whisper into his ear something about how we both know what just happened just between us guys and why he should now DOTE over his wife's outstanding target shooting and how he should take her out to dinner to celebrate and MAYBE he'll shoot tighter groups ummmm later. That always works, too.

    It helps a lot when the instructor is (like me) a professional educator. Professionally, I'm at the top of my game at work and it carries over into my recreational activities where I instruct. But that's also the reason why I refuse to become an NRA Training Counselor. That's where the serious money is but since I'm already an educator, my standards for an instructor are going to be impossibly high for anybody NOT already an educator. That's just the way it is. I refuse to let some YAHOO loose on the unsuspecting public unless I rate him fully qualified. That goes for the ccw students, too. That's why I mandate a successful target before I'll let them leave the line.

    Oh and I have NEVER had to refund any money! But I have gotten some DANG nice tips from some of my better heeled clients: One guy bought me a S&W M642 in appreciation. I filled out the paperwork on the 4473 and he plunked down the cash, no quibbles. Then we went out to a great lunch. He drove. The Ferrari. WOW.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.


  2. #2
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    Several things I remember Jim, tho none are really that major - most are what we might categorize along the way as small anecdotes.

    I do remember well how many folks on basic pistol who were using semi's - were able at the end of the main course to try other guns. I always took a few of my own. What was surprising to many, sometimes I think more so the ladies - was that they liked a revolver! Invariably there was a look of surprise and enjoyment - tho have to admit this was usually with a heavier 4" barrel variety as against a snub.

    Your mention of the married couple - oh my yes ... at least twice I remember having to try and politely downsize a husband's ego as well as make sure his wife was with a different instructor ....... usually it was the ''I know it all" syndrome. The most recent one was a guy with his 686 6" - and shooting hot loads .... a definite ego "look at me'' type!

    I also think back to a personal protection course ... a guy had just a lightweight Smith snub - and only.357 ammo. He starting beating his hand up real bad and was struggling. We all tried to tempt him to a larger revo with .38 spl loads, at least for a while. But no he persevered, and gotta give him credit - despite a well sore hand he was by end of day 2 doing extremely well - helped by advice we gave him.

    The other I recall from same course was a lady with small and slightly arthritic hands - she had a Ladysmith with the prettiest rosewood grips but - sad to say it was not the gun for her. She had poor strength in trigger finger and just could not manage good grip and good trigger operation. Even with mere .38 spl loads she was all over the place.

    That was a classic example of someone buying the wrong gun - she would have been better with maybe a suitable semi .380 - and when she tried one was 100% better. She learned quite a lot but - left the course still a poor shot - simply because of wrong gun.

    There are other odd stories but these I remember easiest.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  3. #3
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    One memorable experience out of many...

    We had 40 students at the range, we were using 20 tables. Two to each table, using the "shooter and coach" method.

    We had 10 safety officers standing behind the table each to keep an eye on things. Me and the Range Safety Officer walking everywhere ,usually keep an eye on everyone and provide oversight.

    One of the range safety officers runs over to me and grabs me. We run over to a table where an elderly gentleman is banging the slide of his 9mm on the edge of the table to get it to go into battery, because its not going. Back then, you could put 3 handguns on your permit and you had to shoot each one.

    He had a .22, a .380 and the 9mm. I took the gun from him while giving him a lecture about how one doesn't force things into the chambers of guns, and let him know in no uncertain terms that his gun handling skills left much to be desired.

    As it turned out, he had inadvertently put a .380 into the chamber and tried to fire it. Of course it didn't fire. When he went to eject it, it staying stuck up in the chamber because the extractor couldn't grab it. So he thinks that the bullet never made it in there and tries to chamber a 9mm right behind it. When I got there, the gun lacked about a 1/16th of an inch of going into battery.

    You can imagine what could have happened had he whacked it hard enough to slam it home and then fired it.
    Instant hand grenade.

    We cleared the gun and made sure he understood the ramifications of his actions and what could have happened. He was very apologetic and somewhat shaken when he finally understood.

    Every since then, I have used that as an example of what NOT to do with every class that I've taught since then as it was a good example of how things can go wrong even with good intentions.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
    http://bobbailey1959.wordpress.com/

  4. #4
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    he had inadvertently put a .380 into the chamber and tried to fire it.
    Haha - that's one to quote for sure!

    Reminds me of a guy trying to load a .357 into his .38 spl snub ... he was most concerned that it ''wouldn't go all the way in"!! We explained it all to him - to which he replied ''Ahhh" LOL.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  5. #5
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    Heres another...

    A woman showed up at the class and decided to get a permit so as to be able to protect herself from her very abusive ex husband...that was an ex felon and had spent much time in jail...a real asset to society.

    She bought with her the only gun that she owned, an old very beat up Colt .45 ACP that she inherited from her Dad after he passed away. She had shot the gun as a youth, but admitted that it had been 15 years or so since she shot it. Her husband had shot it quite a bit however.

    Somewhere along the way, the husband got arrested for spousal abuse. Like many others, it was a pattern that continued on though out the whole marriage until it ended.

    Anyhow, we get to the firing part of the range and the gun just will not fire.No one could make it work. On a suspicion, I cleared it, stuck a pencil in the barrel and pulled the trigger. Nothing. Upon further examination, we found that the firing pin had been removed.

    It seems that somewhere along that time, her husband had removed the firing pin so that she wouldnt shoot him...

    She finished the course with a loaned .22.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
    http://bobbailey1959.wordpress.com/

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    i have had very similar experiances teaching people to shoot for the first time.
    lots of fun.

  7. #7
    Member Array S3ymour's Avatar
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    I just hate when you tell someone something, like how to correct their stance or grip or show them when they are dropping their gun pointing at their leg with the finger on the trigger....and they say "I already know that" or "I wasn't doing that". If you weren't doing it I wouldn't have said anything. Because I'm only 23, you get a lot of the older people who won't listen to me at first until they finally see that I've studied a ton and know what I'm talking about. Because I'm young, I don't know it all, and I'm like a sponge when it comes to information. Some of the older clientelle go by the "can't teach an old dog new tricks theory", which doesn't work when learning defensive shooting. Its hard because you have to deal with a ton of negative transfer. However, I think I learn more as an educator than most of my students, but thats only because I can learn from all of them while they are learning only from me. I've had the opportunity to instruct some very interesting people, with some great views and interesting opinions, that in turn have helped shape me into who I am today. **Note: I've only been teaching for the past year, but love every minute of it so far. Its a small family business that we do on the side and love every bit.
    "All war is deception" --Sun Tzu
    MOΛΩN ΛABÉ

  8. #8
    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    I always enjoy teaching classes with husbands and wives training together, whereupon as soon as I turn my back the husband tries to coach the wife into doing things properly.

    Especially when I was trying to get the husband to perform a technique properly not ten seconds before.
    Deputy Director of Training
    LMSDefense
    www.lmsdefense.com
    troyprice@lmsdefense.com

    It is not the ability to master the extraordinary that makes a warrior special; what makes a warrior special is the ability to master the basics extraordinarily well. - (author unknown)

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