An Update & Another Link

So, that didn’t take long. I wonder who was more vocal the deaf community or the gun one???

I love this article. I like that it features a woman instructor that is extremely skilled and on the same level as many of the top male firearms instructors. I don’t have a problem learning from guys and I don’t have many of the issues that some women have learning from the opposite sex, but regardless I think it is great to have positive role models in both genders.

I also like how Greg explains the difference between how a lot of women think and learn. I am unique and do not fit into either gender learning style really, but as I have assisted John on the range I have seen many women who do learn and react exactly how this article describes. They are smart and capable, but how we present the information to them has a major influence on both their ability to learn and their willingness to do so. For me, 99% of all instructors I have learned from have been phenomenal, but I have taken a course from a company that had instructors that were not up to snuff. The women were not experienced or competent and the men were jerks. I was able to get what I needed out of the experience, but I thought of some of the women who I had worked with and felt sick. I knew if they came across people who belittled and berated them, it would likely turn them off to training all together. If an instructor is passionate about teaching for the purpose of training the student and for that student to be able to utilize what they learn in real life, then the instructor will think about how best to get that information across. Instructing shouldn’t be an ego boost, it should be about doing whatever one can do to empower others. Which incidentally, is a pretty big ego boost.

When I read this passage…

“I want to see if his techniques really work in the worst case scenario.  I don’t have to fight women my size on the street.  I picked you because you are the biggest guy in the room.  If the techniques will work against you, they’ll work against anyone.”

I thought that is me. I don’t have her skill or experience, but I do have that mindset. I have struggled to get my mind right in several areas of self defense, but never on my motivation to learn, This self defense thing is not a hobby for me. For me it is about preparing to defend my life and I want to know to the best of my knowledge that I can and will be able to beat the bad guy. For me it means challenging myself and trying to make the training as real as possible. I want to train with the biggest, most skilled person out there and test my mind and my abilities. If I can succeed in that environment, then I have more confidence that I can and will succeed in a real life bad guy situation. Peace of mind and experience are worth any bruise or broken bone as far as I am concerned. Although, I really hope never to break another bone in training or elsewhere because that really did suck.

I have my NRA Instructor Certificate, but for me that paper is the bare minimum requirement to work on the line and assist. It is not a very good measure of a qualified instructor. When someone asked me what to look for in an instructor I tell them someone with lots and lots of experience. They don’t have to be military or cops or even victims of crime, but they should be well rounded and they should have years of experience in the field. Someone like John. It should not be someone who has been learning for 18 months. I know a lot and I can teach you the basics and I can prepare you to shoot accurately at a paper target and I can probably even help your mindset a little, but you really should expect more from your instructor and you should expect more for yourself than the bare minimum. However, if your top notch instructor is wise enough to hire an assistant like me then you are in really good shape. In all seriousness, this is your life. Don’t take it lightly. I suggest you train often in a variety of ways from a variety of instructors(male and female) who know more than you think you will ever need and get references.There are plenty of very good instructors out there and there are plenty of extremely skilled people out there. Find them and then pay attention.

I have trained with some of the best people in the industry, lucky me. I could probably get everything I need from them, but I will be more prepared if I stretch myself, if I get outside of my comfort zone, if I open myself up to new situations. Hopefully, I will get to do that soon. Hopefully, I will see some of you there too.

Just cuz…

25 thoughts on “An Update & Another Link

  1. Yes, what Kathy said. I intend to get my NRA Instructor certificate, hopefully in the next 24 months. But for me, all that paper will really represent is an imperative to kick my training up a notch or two. If I could, in time, be properly qualified to teach others, that would be awesome. But that goal is a long-term commitment for me, and not something that can be satisfied with one or two classes and a couple of certificates on the wall.

    I do question, though, why some people seem to think that only those with a military or law enforcement background can teach shooting? I wouldn’t think that military/LE experience would make you a good TEACHER any more than the NRA certificate would make you one. You might be able to shoot the head off of a pin with your M-4 carbine or to print one inch groups at 100 yards with your pistol, but that doesn’t mean you know how to teach. And to me, at least, teaching ability is every bit as important as shooting skill.

  2. Great stuff. Fabulous explanation of what to seek in an instructor and more importantly, why. Did I learn from you the phrase, “I don’t know what I don’t know?” If so, thank you. In receiving instruction, it has become my favorite, second only to, “You say, I do.”

    Nice picture, too. Of course I copied it.

    (As an aside, I remain confused over the differences between ASL and SEE.)

  3. Very good take on this topic. It’s imperative that an instructor cover the same material with a couple different techniques. Honestly, I don’t try to teach differently to men or women – but I hit the same material from multiple angles and push the question; “Does that make sense to you??” Because if it doesn’t I’m just taking their money and teaching nothing.

    Then you get to your captioned photo . . . .

    And my head kinda exploded . . . .

    :)

  4. You are such an inspiration! Taking my first course (NRA Basic Pistol) in September and I’ve heard good things about the instructors. Can’t wait to get my training on!

    Awesome pic. ;)

  5. You brought to light several of the reasons why I will never be a good instructor.
    The main one being that I have no patience whatsoever.
    If you don’t get it the first time, I start to drop into the MSgt voice.
    Mrs B hates it when I do that, but it doesn’t bother her too much, because she knows she holds all the kryptonite.

    (Stole the picture. That was awesome)

  6. In most ways I agree with you, but-I have to point out that a good instructor isn’t defined by an amount of time. A good instructor is one who enables you to learn. I have had instructors who have oodles of “experience” who weren’t able to translate that into a way that I could duplicate it–I have had instructors who have minimal time-but have the ability to translate it in such a way that I got it. Yes, I agree that you can’t teach what you don’t know–but “knowing” isn’t necessarily about a length of time–it’s like everything else–it’s attitude!

  7. Pingback: Mom With a Gun » Enthusiasm, Empowerment, and My First Teaching Experience

  8. I so totally agree with you! I’ve had good instructors & bad instructors. One of the factors to me that determines good from bad–is their attitude towards me & women with firearms in general–be condescending and they go straight to the bad column & that is the last $ for training they get from me! I have fortunately now found a fantastic NRA TC who I will work with on anything!(and a couple I won’t)! One of the things he taught me was that it doesn’t matter how good a teacher I think I am–if my students don’t learn–then I’m not!
    Just Friday, I taught my first “full-fledged” class. Yes, I have worked one-one with men women & children–so far youngest is 8-oldest is 85(and yes she can rack the slide on my glock like a pro!)
    The class I taught was the Texas CHL class. If you aren’t familiar with it, it is 10-15 hour class with several required topice and range qualification on a B-27 target. It was small-only 4 people, 2 of whom I knew very well( my s-i-l) and a friend I have know for at least 15 years)–and the woman who will be in charge of scheduling me to teach at Cabela’s (talk about pressure!)
    I am very pleased how well the class went–and how well they all did. They are all interested in taking more classes, particularly the PP ones. they all came into the class insecure about their abilities–and left with VERY good scores on the range! While the TX CHL is NOT a “teach you to shoot” class, I did offer a couple of pointers on grip(NOT teacuping it like your boyfriend told you!) and stance–and they all scored WAY above the required minimum.
    I feel like it was a sucessful class because I saw the change in them from the beginning of the day to the end of it. I saw their attitudes start to change–I heard their questions become more in debth.

    I can’t wait for the next one!!

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