What made me want to become a firearms instructor?
I love shooting, and I love coaching and/or training others. I’ve been shooting since I was a kid. In fact, I was probably a lot better as a kid. I had more opportunities to shoot, and worried less about every detail of the act of shooting. Guns just felt like an extension of my body. I shot everything from squirt guns, to rubber band finger guns, revolvers and semi-automatics.
When I got back from serving in the Army, in Germany, friends and family began asking me to take them shooting. I was always up for it, and we almost always had tons of fun. Eventually, I began reloading ammunition. That lead to developing my own personal program for starting off new and/or hesitant shooters. I even helped one or two who were terrified of guns, but willing to try to overcome that fear. It worked!
Eventually, I decided I really enjoyed training new shooters. The problem was the number of “Experts” (everybody seems to be an expert) who volunteered advice and technique tweaks. The younger the shooter, or the cuter, the more likely we would be visited by one or more local experts … trying to help.
So, I actually set out to get NRA certified just to keep the “Experts” at bay. Wearing an Instructors Hat, or Patch, did the job. I was finally able to train new shooters my way, without the million offers of advice.
So, why defensive firearms training?
My wife and I both got certified to carry concealed. This required several classes, since we also wanted to get a multi-state carry permit.
Many certification classes and renewals later, I was a bit disillusioned by the CCW training we had received. We learned LOTS about local, state and federal laws, but nothing about actually defending yourself.
Most concealed carry courses don’t even require a holster. Students carefully place their pistols and ammunition on tables and await the instructor’s permission to load their firearms. Then, they wait for the command to fire. The course of fire consists of shooting 10-50 rounds at a stationary target with a 6″-8″ circle in the middle. If most of your rounds stay inside the black circles, you qualify.
So, for this to be any form of qualification, all attacks would have to require you to setup a table while your assailant provides the commands to shoot. This, of course, is completely ridiculous.
Marksmanship training is not the same as defensive training. If we’re going to carry guns, we need to be prepared to use them effectively. “Effectively” means drawing quickly from concealment, while moving to safety, and firing accurately enough to stop an attacker without injuring innocent bystanders.
Confession time! I drank the Koolaid!I have crossed over into the realm of gun nuts.
My training discovery
I started looking for defensive training that would prepare us for the possibility that we might eventually have to use a gun to defend ourselves or others. There was no shortage of experts there either. Most were homegrown or self-developed programs. Likewise, most started you off so slowly that you were out $500 or more before you actually began learning anything that might help if somebody was trying to do you harm.
Then I discovered the US Concealed Carry Association (USCCA)! We first discovered USCCA for their legal protection. They offer one of the best legal protection programs for those who carry, and the only one that protects you against ANY self defense. It doesn’t matter if you use a gun, a bat, or pepper spray. If you find yourself behind bars for defending yourself, you will wish you had the USCCA on your side!
An additional benefit of USCCA membership is an entire library of defensive training material, which includes videos series and testimonials.
Then, I discovered their in person Defensive Pistol training. Their principles just made sense. Their training techniques are well researched and carefully developed over several years of observing the body’s natural reactions. The development team studied thousands of hours of dash-cam videos, and interviewed officers, to determine how things really go when lives are on the line. I was an instant convert!
Soooo … Now what?
Confession time! I drank the Koolaid! I have crossed over into the realm of gun nuts. I really love reloading, shooting and training to shoot faster and more accurately. Likewise, I love introducing newbies to shooting sports and defensive shooting techniques.
I have been fortunate to apprentice under top-notch instructors, and now I am starting my own business training students to defend themselves and their loved ones.
I really hope that you will come join one of my classes. If you are new to guns, or just curious, check out the Basics of Pistol shooting class. If, however, you are already comfortable with guns and ready for what comes next, sign up for a Defensive Pistol class. It could be life-changing!