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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The importance of TRAINING … as I see it.

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT ADVOCATING MANDATORY TRAINING. I AM STRICTLY SPEAKING OF VOLUNTARY TRAINING THAT YOU SEEK OUT AND PAY FOR AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. I am also not claiming/implying I'm a tactical ninja. I am not a LEO, have no MIL experience, and am not in anyway affiliated with any training school or academy. I am just a guy that has sort of turned into a training junkie, having taken almost 100 hours of professional training in the past 2 years.

I've had a couple of off-line conversations regarding TRAINING lately and wanted to throw this out as a gentle "nudge" to the masses that read this site to seek out training.

On gun forums we discuss firearms, ammo, gear, etc. We also discuss gun laws and how to improve them to our benefit. It has become apparent to me that many folks participating here (and other sites) have never even considered taking a TRAINING course. Others have considered it in passing but dismissed the thought because they feel they "know how to shoot" or because they feel it is "too expensive or too far away".

I would like to address each of these concerns very briefly. Others please chime in with your thoughts or better articulation of mine.

" … but I already know how to shoot."

Perhaps, but are you doing it right? We ALL have room for improvement. Proper technique can increase accuracy, speed, efficiency, etc. and in the end will increase your confidence in your own abilities. Confidence alone, in my alone, goes a long way toward better shooting. To be clear, I am talking about confidence and not arrogance.

In addition to improving your skill set, training courses generally allow you the opportunity to do drills, weapons manipulations, movement, etc. that most ranges do not allow … all this in a controlled environment under the tutelage of a qualified instructor.

On a square range you generally stand behind a line, casually load your weapon, take your time to line up perfect shots (so you look good to the other shooters), casually re-load your weapon, change your target, etc. You may spend an hour "on the range" but only fire a hundred or more rounds at a static target … while you yourself are standing still … and upright.

In class you will work on weapon stoppages, malfunctions, etc. You will shoot from varying positions, distances, etc. You will use cover. You will move. You may shoot in low light. You will practice tactical and administrative re-loads. You might be timed. You might compete against other shooters. You might practice weapons retention. The possibilities are only limited by the imagination and skills of your instructor.

" … but TRAINING is expensive and isn't offered here."

Fist off, where is "here"? There are probably instructors that actively participate on this site. One of them is most like within a few hours drive of you. In addition, there are many more out there if you look around. Personally, I don't have a problem driving a few hours (and even staying overnight if necessary) for a good class. It can make for a long day.

It should also be noted that many of the local trainers host classes with the BIG names such as Tom Givens, Rob Pincus, Ken Hackathorn, Larry Vickers, TigerSwan, etc. These same BIG names also travel much of the year. I found several interesting classes being offered in surrounding states ... well within easy driving distance from me. We should all strive to take full advantage of these opportunities. I'm making my plans right now.

Now, about the money. True, training can cost a nice chunk of change. Most of the classes I am looking at for this year are $200 for 1 day, $400 for 2 days. That's a pretty good expectation of cost. Factor in the cost of ammo (generally 300-600rds per day) and travel costs and your overall cost can shoot up there. Basically, the cost of a good 2 day class (including ammo and travel expenses) is about the same as purchasing a new/used gun (figure a GLOCK runs approx $500 +/-). Is it worth it? In my opinion … ABSOLUTELY.

My advice for new shooters is to make an informed purchase decision on your first handgun. Next, purchase a decent stock of ammo and some basic gear. Get familiar with your weapon on the range with the help of some qualified shooting buddies. Then, seek out quality training before you start making additional firearms purchases. You will learn a lot in class about what you like, what works for you, etc. It will probably save you $ in the end to learn all this up front.

It's easy for me to say this as I have been through the learning curve of (1) relatively new to firearms (2) relatively new to the hobby/practice of shooting regularly (3) new to daily carry (4) seeking out training to improve my skills. I know many will dismiss my suggestions. I get that. I might not have listened early on either.

What I am mostly trying to stress is that TRAINING isn't just about learning to shoot safely or learning to shoot straight. That's all there too but there is so much more. It's about learning how to shoot efficiently in order to save your life and the lives of your loved ones. It's about increasing your skills … all of them, not just shooting … so that you can do what you need to do when/if you are faced with what Rob Pincus calls a "critical incident". It's about learning the proper mindset required to carry and use a firearm. It's about knowing how and when to deploy it. It's about learning what you already know, what you need to know, and how to practice to achieve your goals.

At the very least … please seek out television shows and DVDs to get you started in the right direction. There are some good television programs out including but not limited to; Personal Defense TV, Tactical Impact, SWAT Magazine TV, and The Best Defense. This type of show is a good primer. Many of the BIG names offer DVDs too. I have watched Rob Pincus, Clint Smith, Travis Haley & Chris Costa of MagPul Dynamics, etc. Spending $25-50 for a DVD is a great value IMO. Watching someone else do something isn't a substitute for practicing yourself but is better than nothing.

... and to answer your question. NO. No one put me up to posting this. I am not being offered FREE or REDUCED tuition to drum up business for anyone. However, I'll take it if offered. :)

Enough rambling. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
 

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Training is a must for any gun owner. train often and train hard. but i dont think you absolutley need to pay money to have a guy show you how to do something correctly. we live in a world where anything you want to know is at the click of a mouse. it might take longer but its free (other then your ammo) and you can acheive the same level of skill. not that theres anything wrong with paying an instructor to show you how to do something.
 

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I would agree that there is a lot of information available online and even through video/DVD, but there just isn't any substitute for getting instruction from a qualified instructor. It's in real time and gives instant feedback. Plus, you get the competitive atmosphere and related stress of a class to push you harder.

I do stress on checking the credentials of any potential instructors:

see On Trainers and Training
 

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well this isnt the BEST example but it kinda relates..



this is richard franklin. he has been training in MMA for only a few years and just a couple months ago knocked out the amazing veteran chuck liddell.... he self taught himself by watching youtube video's. he use to be a school teacher..
im sure since hes big time now he has a personal trainer but it all started on youtube...
 

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Personally, my opinion is; watchnig YouTube videos put one in the first group that Vol mentioned. The "I know how to shoot" group. As stated, there is plenty to learn from internet videos. One can also learn quite a few bad habits. DVDs from some of the great instructors are a great way to learn and sharpen skills, when one goes out to the range and practices what they watched/learned on the DVD. However, I don't think anything can compare to live training with a qualified instructor, training on an appropriate material for the person being trained.
 

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I've seen the first five Rocky movies a bunch, but it don't make me a boxer. :)

An amazing feet, but is it repeatable by the masses?

By contrast, my friend and former fellow officer Forrest Griffin trained constantly with good instructors.
 

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As a newbie, I totally agree with the VolGrad's thoughts. I'd like to emphasize his comments about making sure you get *quality* training. What do I mean by that? Definitely verify the credentials of the instructors-- this becomes more important when you're spending more $$ on your class.

Here's my live and learn experience. This past spring I took an intro to handgun class, which was a 6 hour course for $98. I thought the class was great, but looking back I now see some red flags. The "new guy" at the range taught the course. Yes, they had handouts which were good, but they weren't his own so he was reading from them. He claimed some kind of military training (I forgot what) but I don't think pistols was his forte-- I learned the cup and saucer grip and he never taught any other way to hold a gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As a newbie, I totally agree with the VolGrad's thoughts. I'd like to emphasize his comments about making sure you get *quality* training. What do I mean by that? Definitely verify the credentials of the instructors-- this becomes more important when you're spending more $$ on your class.
Exactly. It's not only about the instructor but also about wether or not the content is appropriate for you. While we can always stand to take a class that we feel is "below us" as a refresher from time to time we certainly don't want to sign up for a class this is well above our skill level. Look at the prerequisites and be realistic when evaluating your skill level. If there is ANY doubt contact the instructor before registering and discuss your skill, the course, and what you hope to gain from the class. They will tell you if it is appropriate for you. Getting in over your head will cause you to be overwhelmed and will only slow down the class and make it suck for the others. It could also potentially be unsafe. If you aren't "up" for it you will be frustrated, rushed, etc. and it could lead to mistakes ... ones that could get someone hurt or killed.
 

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The importance of TRAINING … as I see it.

At the very least … please seek out television shows and DVDs to get you started in the right direction. There are some good television programs out including but not limited to; Personal Defense TV, Tactical Impact, SWAT Magazine TV, and The Best Defense. This type of show is a good primer. Many of the BIG names offer DVDs too. I have watched Rob Pincus, Clint Smith, Travis Haley & Chris Costa of MagPul Dynamics, etc. Spending $25-50 for a DVD is a great value IMO. Watching someone else do something isn't a substitute for practicing yourself but is better than nothing.
Very good writeup, Vol...

I don't think anyone would argue that anything is better than personal training. Having an accredited, genuine personal trainer would be a great help to most of us. I know I would like to get some help before I have some of my bad habits (whatever they are) ingrained into my shooting regiment.

I recently added a subscription to Sports Pack on my cable TV so that I could watch the Outdoor Channel. That's where several of the television shows you mention are located. They are helpful, too.

Maybe you could list a few of the most helpful DVD's you have found for shooting Glock pistols. Maybe add a link to them on Amazon.com's web site... :) That would be very helpful to the members of this Glock Forum.

I also have to mention that several members of this forum have been very helpful with regards to shooting guideance. Boomer and sfguard both have freely offered shooting tips to people with shooting issues (like me)... so thanks to them, too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've viewed the Carbine I and own the Handgun DVDs from Magpul Dynamics. These two series are VERY good.

http://www.magpuldynamics.com/products/dvd.shtml

I have own a couple of the DVDs from Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch and found them informative and HIGHLY entertaining. Clint is hilarious.

https://asaphost.com/thunderranchinc/results.php?category=6

I also own some of these DVDs from Rob Pincus ...

http://www.icestore.us/servlet/the-DVDs/Categories

There are plenty of other good DVDs. These are just the ones I am familiar with.
 

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I've seen the first five Rocky movies a bunch, but it don't make me a boxer. :)

An amazing feet, but is it repeatable by the masses?

By contrast, my friend and former fellow officer Forrest Griffin trained constantly with good instructors.
and look what happened, the spider knocked him out with a fade away jab!! oohhhh... lol just kidding forrest is awesome.
 

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I know that he won that show that he was on and I know that he held the championship at one time. I don't follow MMA; so, I'm not sure any other details of his career.
yeah he and the guy he was fighting both got signed because it was such a good fight. and the spider is just a machine. he came up from the 180 class just to fight forrest in the light heavyweight class. forrest makes up for ability in heart and tolerance to pain. his chin was thought to be solid until he got knocked out with that sorry jab.
 

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Back to training...

I've viewed the Carbine I and own the Handgun DVDs from Magpul Dynamics. These two series are VERY good.

http://www.magpuldynamics.com/products/dvd.shtml

I have own a couple of the DVDs from Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch and found them informative and HIGHLY entertaining. Clint is hilarious.

https://asaphost.com/thunderranchinc/results.php?category=6

I also own some of these DVDs from Rob Pincus ...

http://www.icestore.us/servlet/the-DVDs/Categories

There are plenty of other good DVDs. These are just the ones I am familiar with.
Thanks, Vol... I appreciate the links... they really help to narrow down the scope of many, many DVD titles to a few good ones that you recommend. I'm thinking about which video to start with.

My concern is that I'm just not a good enough general shooter to move to some of the advanced tactics. I'm also not sure how accurate I really need to be.

I think I recognize the I.C.E. name from a couple of the television shows on the Outdoor channel. Isn't the bald guy on "SWAT" and "Best Defense Survival" from I.C.E.?
 
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