I am unaware of any special "rate card" for instructors based upon their past acts of derring-do or military qualifications. Did I not get the memo or something? Last time I checked, its was pretty much a free-market thing ... whatever the market will bear. If you can get the rate, get it. Or perhaps an alternate business plan calls for a different student-to-instructor ratio and charges accordingly. That's a business decision, not an indicator of anyone's "awesomeness".
The notion of a "Tier One" background being a singular qualifier for fitness to teach strikes me odd, especially if the subject is self-defense in non-military circumstances. Of course, it's alternately suggested that only champion competition shooters can lay claim to that mantle. Check some of the competition forums and see how they make fun of what they call "Tactical Timmies" ... apparently being a genuine war hero means nothing as long you can shoot paper targets like a pro? Seems like a lot of adolescent posturing to me, and neither position seems to hold much logical weight.
I can't think of a single area of human endeavor - athletic or otherwise - where the very best performers usually make the very best teachers or coaches. Often the best teachers and coaches turn out to be so-so performers or have little in the way of awesome credentials ... aside from the fact that they can bring out the best in their students.
Béla Károlyi was a hammer-thrower and a boxer, and failed miserably at meeting even minimal low-level, standards at gymnastics ... I guess he wasn't "Tier One" enough to coach Nadia Comăneci, Mary Lou Retton, Betty Okino, Teodora Ungureanu, Kim Zmeskal, Kristie Phillips, Dominique Moceanu, and Kerri Strug, huh?
My kid's soccer trainer was a pro player of little renown ... pretty good trainer. Their coach is just an adult enthusiast ... and a much better teacher. I guess all those district cup wins are meaningless, not enough "Tier One" instruction.
Bobby Jackson used to be a neighbor of mine. Awesome skills, helluva decent guy ... could not coach basketball to save his life, from what I've witnessed personally.
Martina Navratilova's tennis coach never won anything of note as a player, from what I am told ... and that's far more common story in most sports than the opposite.
What is so special and unique about firearms training that only awesome death dealers need apply? Why is it different than anything and everything else? There are heroes on every police force (my nephew gave his all, thanks) and great shooters on every range. My training checkbook gets opened for educational value, not the chance to "stand in the presence of awesome".
I have no doubt that the likes of Vickers and others are excellent instructors, as they've gained reputations as instructors. Is there anything so unique about what they teach that their methods are completely unknown to anyone else ... or impossible to be taught except by those with Tier One experience? Believe or not, they have their detractors as well ... full of venom and spite, for reasons every bit as oblique and unfathomable. I can't say I place much faith in content-less, snarky attempts at character assassination ... regardless of source or target.
I don't pretend to be an "authority." I'm just a guy who trains a lot, shoots a lot and has a perspective.
Check the ZombieTactics Channel on YouTube for all sorts of gun-related goodness CLICK HERE
Last edited by ZombieTactics; 12-17-2012 at 5:24 PM..