A common question I get asked as an instructor and one that has to be running through the minds of many if not most average American gun owners is: “Is training for Me?” When I speak of “training”, I am not referring to the state-mandated class that you are required to take in order to legally carry concealed. Most gun owners will do what they have to in order to “get legal”. What I am referring to is training that is designed to teach you how to process information and use your pistol in the context of what is most likely to happen to you if you are ever forced to defend yourself with it. An unfortunate fact that I have found is that the average American gun owner who isn’t interested in being “tactical” or learning to “operate” tends to answer “no”. With that being the case, I want to describe the type of student that does well in my classes: see if it might describe you…
My ideal student spends his or her daily life doing what most well-adjusted Americans do. They get up every morning, maybe kiss their significant other and/or children goodbye, grab a cup of coffee, hop in the car, and go to work. They spend all day either at a desk, in a vehicle, or in the field earning a paycheck to pay the bills and put food on the table. Some of them love what they do for a living, some of them not so much; but they all do what they have to in order to be productive members of society. That may mean staying at home with the kids, running their own business, or working for “the man”. At the end of the day, they come home, run through their evening routine, hit the hay, and then wake up to do it all over again. They look forward to their next weekend, holiday, or vacation to get away from the hustle and do what they love. They may have strong opinions about what is going on in the world or they may not. However, they are at least aware enough of the evil that exists in the world that they feel compelled to be prepared to deal with it should the need arise. Some of them have been around guns for their whole lives and some maybe just got introduced to the idea of guns and self-defense very recently. They may or may not be NRA members and may or may not have ever heard of Rob Pincus, Dave Grossman, Tom Givens, or Massad Ayoob. They may spend some time on the range but they may honestly prefer to be golfing, playing with their kids or watching sports. To make a long description short: they are normal, average, everyday Americans. They are people like…. me.
None of my ideal students get up every day, put on multi-cam, combat boots, a plate carrier, and an ACH and get ready for their OPORD brief before rolling out to close with and destroy the enemy. In fact, none of them probably know what in the world that sentence even means. They are not operators nor do they aspire to be (outside of maybe on Fortnight or COD). Their water cooler conversations probably don’t contain very many acronyms or arguments about temple index vs. sul ready positions. They aren’t particularly worried about total societal meltdown or ISIS fighters coming to their hometown; but they have heard about that burglary on 8th street, the carjacking in their office park last week, and the suspicious people they see wandering around their apartment complexes at night.
The students I am after are ordinary people who recognize that security is a personal responsibility and want to meet that responsibility by doing what they can with their limited time and resources to learn basic self-defense skills. They aren’t interested in becoming Special Forces or they probably would have joined the military instead of getting that job at the bank. They may even recognize that their prior military experience is a definite positive but that they need to develop skills that work in their current lifestyle.
So, to answer the question of “Is Training for Me?”: the answer is probably YES! If you are an average working American and you seek to become an informed armed citizen with the necessary skills to defend yourself in the context of what is most likely to happen to you: I want you in my class. I don’t care if you grew up around guns or just bought your gun yesterday. I am not going embarrass you, berate you, or attempt to make you into an “operator” in 1 or 2 days on the range. What I am going to do is teach you how to use your firearm intuitively and efficiently, as well as give you the tools you need to continue to develop your skills on your own. At no point will there be drill sergeants screaming at you or combat rolls. What there will be is a plethora of opportunities to learn and grow as a defensive shooter no matter what level you happen to be at when you arrive at the range. So don’t be afraid to come out and train just because you aren’t a ninja. This isn’t a class for ninjas: it’s a class for you. I’ll see you on the range!
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