What you didn’t learn in your Concealed Carry Class

December 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Carry, CCW, Competition, Mindset, Practice, Self Defense, Training

Dave Spaulding (who knows more about firearms training than just about anyone else on the planet) talks about grip and stance. 

One of the things that annoys me about 90% of the “Tactical” training out there is that they teach you a “perfect” grip and stance, which you will probably never, ever use if (God forbid) you need to defend your life with your gun. Real life is not a shooting range: There’s a zero percent chance you’ll be wearing hearing protection if/when you’ll need to use a gun defensively, and the stress you’ll be under when you do is nothing like the stress of shooting at a range. 

This is one of the reasons why I encourage new gun owners to shoot at least one practical pistol competition: You’ll get a much better understanding of how your body reacts to stress when you have a gun in your hand, and you’ll see the need to close the gap between your skill level shooting in the relaxed environment of a square range versus  your skill under the pressure of competition. 

“A shooting match isn’t a gunfight, but a gunfight is certainly a shooting match.”Massad Ayoob.

Should Your Firearms Trainer Be A Combat Veteran?

August 21, 2013 by  
Filed under CCW, Mindset, Training


It’s not uncommon these days to see firearms trainers talk about their experience overseas as something that makes them a better firearms teacher.

This is probably true if I’m headed overseas to serve in Afghanistan. 

But I’m not. I’m headed out to Wal-Mart later today, not Khandahar, so the knowledge of how to lay down covering fire with an M4 or call in an airstrike is of limited use to me. Not knocking those have or who are serving: They’ve done more to defend this country than I have and they will always have my respect. It’s just that the combat skillset needed to win a firefight doesn’t translate automatically into the skillset needed to survive a mugging. 

An example: My friend Don is a crackerjack photographer and an excellent photography teacher, but his degree is in music composition. He was trained to be a jazz musician, but he’s one of the best photo teachers in the world and has authored a bunch of books on learning photography because he teaches what he knows and knows what he teaches is of use to the people who take his classes. 

The point of instruction is to have your instructor teach you something you can use, not tell you about all the things he knows. You don’t want a firearms teacher who’s seen it all and done it all if he can’t teach you something you need to know. A firearms trainer shouldn’t teach theory or have a bunch of really cool stories to tell, a firearms trainer should teach skills that you can call upon if (God forbid) you need them one day.