What should I look for in training?

This is a discussion on What should I look for in training? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I want to take some extended pistol training, I already have my CCW, and I want more than just which end to point at a ...

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Thread: What should I look for in training?

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    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    What should I look for in training?

    I want to take some extended pistol training, I already have my CCW, and I want more than just which end to point at a BG. What should I look for to evaluate the courses and training available? Are these classes really worth the $400+ that most courses cost? Anyone have experience w/ training mid-MO? I was looking for the NRA training, but according to NRA's website, it's only in Kansas City, close to 4hrs away.
    "The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." Patrick Henry 1775

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    Senior Member Array Pitmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghuqu2 View Post
    I want to take some extended pistol training, I already have my CCW, and I want more than just which end to point at a BG. What should I look for to evaluate the courses and training available? Are these classes really worth the $400+ that most courses cost? Anyone have experience w/ training mid-MO? I was looking for the NRA training, but according to NRA's website, it's only in Kansas City, close to 4hrs away.
    You might check out Missouri Concealed Carry Gun Permit and Firearms Information Website for places in MO.

    The big names have good reputations and I would attend any of them. One of my criteria when interviewing anyone to hire is to not hire anyone with an arrogant attitude, bad mouths the competition, or doesn't seem to have a level head.
    Last edited by Pitmaster; January 11th, 2008 at 05:38 AM. Reason: Fix Link
    Pitmaster

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    I'm going to ruffle some feathers here... NRA training pretty much stinks. They dont teach anything beyond the very basic, I suggest you look else where if you really want to learn how to run a pistol.
    I would look for a no nonsense type of place, one with good instructors with decent creds. Not just NRA. They need more. Maybe from a L.E. organization or military. Experiance is a plus too. Many instructors call themselves experianced, but they have only been in "combat" with the paper man on the range.

    Is it worth the 400 plus ammo? Yes. No doubt about it.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    Sixto is right! NRA does NOT provide self-defense training. All their other training is OK, but it doesn't prepare one for CCW.

    Take a look at Neshooters, LLC for articles and info on self-defense training. The folks running this site are personal shooting buddies and I have taken courses with them and from them. Even though it is nowhere near you, the info you might glean from it might give you some insight as to what to look for in your area.

    Good luck!

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LenS View Post
    Sixto is right! NRA does NOT provide self-defense training. All their other training is OK, but it doesn't prepare one for CCW.
    I'll add to the chorus on this one. They're great for folks unfamiliar with firearms (the NRA classes). That's about it in a nutshell.

    Look around carefully. Find people you respect and see what they recommend.

    Like anything else, be it a service or product, the most expensive is not usually the best (but the least expensive is almost always the worst).

    Good luck!
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    As a trainer I'll tell you what I look for when I'm scheduling my personal training:

    1. Reputation - Does the organization have a good reputation. It may take you some research but many companies are started by guys that have worked in the industry for years for someone else or have been LE/MIL instructors for years and someone will know them.

    2. Experience - I don't mean experience in combat, although I believe that is helpful when it comes to explaining what happens in a fight and the decision making process. What I mean is experience in whatever skill it is that you want to learn. Many of the secret squirrel organizations have hired the biggest names in gun-gaming because they have experience shooting surgically under stress (self and timer) and fast. The organizations develop their own tactics, they just want the guy to show them how they shoot so damn fast.

    3. Instructor to Student Ratio - 1:5 is optimal while 1:7 is about as far as I would stretch it. If you get a higher ratio than that it is difficult to give every student the attention he/she deserves during their training.

    4. Communication - contact the instructor. If they're not willing to talk to you before the class and possibly help you with any issues what makes you think they'll be helpful during the class?

    5. Validity - Does the course you want to take provide skills as you need them in your situation? Is a seven day counter assault course fun; where you shoot thousands of rounds, jump in and out of trucks, shoot machine guns, and all that? You bet it is! But do you really need to spend over $1K plus travel, lodging and ammo when what you really want is to learn to fight with a handgun? No.

    6. Ammo Dump vs. Down Time - Some classes spend more time pulling triggers than reinforcing skills (that is a entirely different discussion) while other schools do more standing around than practicing or shooting. What is the happy medium? I've found that 500 rds per day is the high end limit and 300 per day is the low end. Normally a training day is eight hours, if you shoot less than 300 rds you will be standing around alot and if you shoot more than 500 you are shooting A LOT. Taking 1200 rds to a two day class isn't unheard of but if it is much more I would tend to wonder what you are learning.

    7. The Basics - Mastery of the basics is an absolute requirement before moving on to advanced skills. Before you can learn to do the Hondo Roll and take some SWAT cop's money in a SWAT competition, you may want to learn how to shoot surgically and when you need to apply the Speed vs. Accuracy Tradeoff.

    Amateurs train until they get it right, Professionals train until they can't get it wrong.

    8. Continuing support and enduring relationships - Talk to someone about who they have trained with and ask them if they still communicate with that person. I still talk to many of my students. They often ask my opinion on any manner of subjects. I also still talk to most of the organizations/instructors I have trained with. Everybody needs a mentor.

    9. Progressive curriculum - While many things remain the same others change. We learn new things everyday about physiology, dynamic crisis resolution, and the human body and human nature in general. If someone is teaching the exact same thing that was taught years and years ago you may want to ask them "why"?

    Do you need to pay $400 dollars for a two day course? I'll say this - get the best training you can possibly afford. Is it worth it? To me - yes.
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    Senior Member Array glock21guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Price View Post
    4. Communication - contact the instructor. If they're not willing to talk to you before the class and possibly help you with any issues what makes you think they'll be helpful during the class?
    How about after the class? I have attended two Gunsite classes, and both times the instructors have given contact info, and in some cases personal phone numbers.

    I have talked with one of the instructors over a year after the class.

    It has been my experience that a good instructor loves what he or she does, and shares their knowledge.
    Aaron

    If you don't protect your self, who will?

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    Great post Troy! I agree 100% with what he posted.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Senior Member Array Knuckledrager's Avatar
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    I too think that Troy is right on the money. One thing that was not mentioned was humility. Find an instructor that has the creds and the knowledge that you seek but that is not ego driven. Ego has no place in the training environment. I have had the opportunity to train with some of our nations very best. The best of them have spent just about zero of my valuable training time telling me how great they were. They were there simply to help those that chose to learn what they had to offer.

    Beware the trainer that feels the need to pimp him(her)self.
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    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    I'm going to ruffle some feathers here... NRA training pretty much stinks. They dont teach anything beyond the very basic, I suggest you look else where if you really want to learn how to run a pistol.
    I would look for a no nonsense type of place, one with good instructors with decent creds. Not just NRA. They need more. Maybe from a L.E. organization or military. Experiance is a plus too. Many instructors call themselves experianced, but they have only been in "combat" with the paper man on the range.

    Is it worth the 400 plus ammo? Yes. No doubt about it.
    Ouch!!! Just finished combing my feathers back down. As an NRA instructor, I think the classes only stink if you try to make them do what they are not designed to do.

    The Basic classes are. . . . well . . . . basic. They are mainly to teach a beginner gun safety.

    The Personal Protection courses are just a next step up for novice shooters.

    I agree that after you have a little experience, you should look beyond the NRA offerings.
    fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG View Post
    Ouch!!! Just finished combing my feathers back down. As an NRA instructor, I think the classes only stink if you try to make them do what they are not designed to do.

    The Basic classes are. . . . well . . . . basic. They are mainly to teach a beginner gun safety.

    The Personal Protection courses are just a next step up for novice shooters.

    I agree that after you have a little experience, you should look beyond the NRA offerings.
    My post was poorly written... perhaps I shouldnt have said it stinks, but it is NRA courses are hardly enough to consider ones self carry ready.
    I'm an NRA instructor too, but that hardly means anything anymore. They hand out those cards like candy. I would want a few more notches on the belt before I would call someone qualified to teach anything beyond the very basic.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Senior Member Array Knuckledrager's Avatar
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    I'm an NRA instructor as well. I have two specific gripes.

    1. Rather than having a class that is multiple weapon oriented, you have to attend a separate class for each platform. This could be change and modeled after the Fed MWFIT class. Get it all done at once.

    2. There is little to no time spent on lesson plan development. This allows "non teaching" type instructors to read directly from the book rather than encouraging them to develop lessons to meet the specific needs of his/her audience. This frequently leads to the vetting of persons who cannot transfer knowledge but can only parrot what they have heard. Didn't someone have a signature line speaking to this?
    "The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization." Sigmund Freud

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knuckledrager View Post
    This frequently leads to the vetting of persons who cannot transfer knowledge but can only parrot what they have heard. Didn't someone have a signature line speaking to this?

    Yeah... that was me. Its my favorite saying I've used mainly teaching knuckledragging cops new tricks, and getting the pencil pushing bean counters off their backs.

    I just changed it a couple of weeks ago.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Knuckledrager's Avatar
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    It's the vetted non-teaching types with rank that are more of a problem than the bean counters.
    "The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization." Sigmund Freud

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    Senior Member Array Knuckledrager's Avatar
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    Sixto,

    Think that if I began addressing the individual in question as "Polly" rather than (insert rank here) they would get the point?

    K
    "The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization." Sigmund Freud

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