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Instead of writing a diatribe in another thread, I just started my own. If anyone finds what I type relevant, please feel free to give consideration to their subject.

There are many things to consider before one parts with their, most often, too few dollars for too much labor when selecting a trainer or instructor in the art of defending oneself from phyical danger. The first thing, IMHO, one has to keep in mind is that any and all trainers and instructors are possible witnesses in any upcoming court trial you may have in the future pertaining to the subject matter at hand.

Thus, I believe one should study the "body of work" of the instructor. Do they have publishings on the subject matter? Where have they learned, and who taught them? Did they learn from a "Master" or did they write up a syllabus between watching re-runs of Chuck Norris movies. Since we are talking about a potential witness, what is their personal life and reputation like? While I'm not a lawyer, I do understand that reputations do play a role in a courtroom.

Next, what is the instructors ability to think and reason? Can they explain why they want you to do XYZ? Can they give me a reason beyond "Because."? I guess this comes down to personality. Some people you will get along with, and others you won't, for various reasons. My general rule is, I won't spend my money on you if I think you are lacking in critical thinking skills. I don't have to agree with you, but if you cannot think critically I won't waste my time, money or breath on you.

Not everyone is a "high dollar" Instructor or Trainer. There are some good, not well known Instructors and Trainers most often in your local area. Some of the good CCW Instructors would fall into this category. Sometimes they may offer something post CCW Course that would be worth taking, and they are generally much more personable given that they are local to the area.

I think intellegence and ability to think critically are the two biggest factors of anyone I select to train me. I need someone that can train me at my level. If you are a knuckle dragging neanderthal, don't bother trying to train me, as I have graduated up to at least the "Dark Ages" of thinking which is beyond the Neanderthal Era.

I also look at expirience. When did they last take a class themselves? Are they continually assessing their program and making subtle changes due to student feedback, or is their dogma chisled in stone? This may be hard to tell without taking the course, but is a relevant question to ask a former student that has taken the same course multiple times. No, I don't mean the guy or gal that took the same course five times, two is a number beyond one and thus the word multiple applies here folks.

Another thing to consider, who are the former students? Are cops, lawyers and other people that carry weapons in harm's way, or work in the local legal areana, paying this guy or gal out of their own pocket? Are they teaching for him or her as Assistant Instructors? If a local Instructor, would they, the cops and lawyers, send a family member to this person? Look at the past and current students. While this may not seem important, are these students somewhat like you and your lifestyle? If you are a college professor or librarian type do you want to go to a class made up of camo wearing survivalist?

Who are they connected with in regards to training? Are they the "local" instructor that also sponsor other "top name" trainers to come to their area to teach? Do they talk down about other instructors, or do they explain why they do what they do in a logical manner that makes sense to you?

Just some food for thought that I thought should be given consideration to.

Biker
 

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:hand10: Excellent Post!

Especially when you point out just what are you getting for your money. Is this training program something I can stake my life on? Because, that is in fact, what you are doing. You are betting no less than your life, that what they teach you will carry the day when that dark moment in time comes.

The other point is, does this person really stand behind what he or she teaches. Can they demonstrate in court, why what they teach you is the correct thing to do. Are they willing to demonstrate in court, on your behalf that they provided you, the student, with the proper information to legally withstand the burden of proof needed to overcome a false allegation.

Suppose you shot someone in the back. Only you, know that at the time you fired your shot, you were in fact answering the shots the suspect fired at you as they were in the process of turning away. Did your course of instruction adequately prepare you to articulate the physics and dynamics the human body is capable of doing in a given time frame. Can you explain that in the time it took for you to realize your life was in immediate jeopardy, draw your gun and make the decision to shoot in response to being fired upon by the attacker was a moment in time in which you could not change your decision and that at the moment you fired, you were in fact facing a deadly threat and not just shooting a fleeing suspect in the back.

You can go out and spend money on "training" just for the sake of saying you got some training, or you can spend your money on "training" that you can bet your life on!

I choose to save my money for the type of training, I know is something I can stake my life on.

Good post Biker!
 

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As usual, good post and good information you two. :hand10:
 

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Great post, certainly worth thinking about...thanks!:yup::bier:
 

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Lots of good points...but I find myself mulling over something that I'm not sure I can articulate yet.

If you take a 3-day class in defensive pistol, even from a top-notch awesome instructor, are you really ready to go defend yourself out in the real world?

What if you take TWO 3-day courses?

My guess is....nope, that's not enough. Perhaps especially so for a female who is going to have to be way more bad than a male attacker.

Guns may be "the great equalizer", but that is assuming you can reach your weapon, retain your weapon, and if you shoot, have a good case for why you did so.

I've learned to look at my home as having layered defenses. There are lights, locks, gates, alarms, dogs, etc.

It seems like SD should also be layered and give one options.

If your SA is down, and someone knocks you to the ground and you can't reach your gun, what are you going to do? Do you have options? Or is the game over because you can't get to your gun?

I know lots of you carry tactical flashlights, but for those who don't...I'd ask...would you make an uncertain shot in the dark? Look at the guy who just killed his fiance? Would options besides a gun have helped him not kill her?

Aside from all the what-if scenarios that might imply more gear, there is a more fundamental question.

Is it even remotely possible to train SD via pistol only and via one-off courses and at home and at range practice?

I'm starting to think the answer is no.

I have recently committed to one year of weekly SD training. 3x/week (or more), 52 weeks because I believe that PLUS my pistol PLUS SD pistol training is what gives me the best chance to defend myself. (Oh...and pepper spray. I like having options.)

Maybe it's a male vs female thing....but I was raised to not show aggression. Using my body in an aggressive way, is alien to me.

In ONE Krav Maga lesson, I learned I can and will fight. I might not have mad skills (yet!), but I can use my body to defend myself against an aggressor. I can use my body to get someone off me. And if I feel my life is in danger, I believe I now have some capacity to get the person off me long enough to draw my weapon (if I have to get them off me.)

I'm new to all of this. I don't claim expertise in guns or SD. But it doesn't seem realistic to think that a one-off training, with or without guns, will really give someone all they need.

Lastly, I'm not sure how I feel about training with someone whose world view is repugnant to me.

I've found there are areas of the gun universe that I love. Self-protection, self-reliance, inner strength...these are qualities I admire. I've also seen incredible acts of kindness from near strangers who think it's hugely important for everyone, especially women, to have the capacity to defend themselves.

On the other side, I've seen some really ugly things from some segments of some boards. (very little on this board....lots in other places.) And the people that ugliness comes from? I wonder if I'd really want to train with them?

And I wonder how much of BikerRNs post speaks to that? If I find someone ethically and morally repugnant, but they have mad skills in SD, do I study with them?

I think the answer is...no.

Sorry this post is so long! But it was a thought-provoking OP!
 

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good topic Biker, I couldn't agree more.
Here's my $.02

I see all the emails, web sites, ads in magazines and online, etc etc etc from trainers all over the country. Some have written many books on lethal force, write articles for magazines, and host courses....but do they themselves actually have any experience with what they teach? Do they have staff that have been there done that or just do what the boss man taught them to pass on to students?

I found the guy I wanted to train under.
I took my CHL course a few years ago (pre-LEO days) from a good 'ole Texas boy, born and raised on ranches. He got education in criminal justice, criminal profiling, and too many courses/training to list here. He got into LE with a county, then went to Austin PD (was partnered with one of the guys that took out Whitman at the UT tower). He went on to Houston and worked patrol, narcotics, SWAT entry team, SWAT sniper, worked every dept except the bomb squad. He shot 14 people in the line of duty (8 died), and like he told us in class, "there ain't a one of the *** ** ****** that didn't deserve it". He told us stories of his shootings, hand to hand combat on the streets, etc. One was he shot a 14 year old with his shotgun as the kid was running away from him. Yes, he shot him in the back.....because the kid ran a few feet then raised his arm back, looked back while running away and fired, so he shot him. This story has stuck with me due to the details he gave us and the emotions he showed us.
He was an 8th degree black belt in Karate. He was 53 when I took his unarmed self-defense and knife defense classes. He had the fastest hands I've ever seen. We were taught how to end street fights quickly, brutally if need be. No uniforms, no bowing, just straight up here's what you do when............

He catered to women and novices, but he and his staff were well qualified to teach the pros. In fact, he trained LEO in weapons and TCLEOSE certifications. He even had military contracts to train Marine and Army snipers, as well as all the alphabet government agencies. He had a 100% passing rate for soldiers/Marines that went to get qualified at Marine sniper school. He did executive protection for Steven Segal, other celebs and gov't officials.
He helped change weapons and CHL laws, and knew the penal code better than anyone I've ever met.

This was a man that I would have recommended (and did) to take any course, civilian, LEO, or military, from CHL, basic self-defense, or high-level weapons. He wasn't flashy, didn't write for magazines, and had a great BS detector when it came to the more nationally known teachers.
Sadly, he died of a heart attack in his sleep in 2007.
IMO, he was the perfect instructor, no matter what you wanted/needed, or what lever you operated.
He will be sorely missed.
I guess I rambled on again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
On the other side, I've seen some really ugly things from some segments of some boards. (very little on this board....lots in other places.) And the people that ugliness comes from? I wonder if I'd really want to train with them?

And I wonder how much of BikerRNs post speaks to that? If I find someone ethically and morally repugnant, but they have mad skills in SD, do I study with them?

I think the answer is...no.
The "ugliness" you describe by some trainers is what prompted this post.

Biker
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks biker and thanks for sending me the score on your carbine qualification.
Thank you for all your help sir.

My handgun scores have gone down, but that's to be expected, as I've been concentrating on the longarms lately. Now I just need to get all three working good together and keep my scores high in all of them.

Biker
 

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thanks for the post biker great read. I'm getting ready to take a training course and this really got me thinking more deeply into who the instructor is and how they were certified ect. Thanks again.
 
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