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Competition, Action Shooting And Training. Competition, Three gun, IPSC, IDPA , and Training discussion here.

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  #1  
Old 11-27-2012, 6:32 PM
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Default why is it important?

So just a question to stir the pot.

Why is it important for a instructor to have a good history of credentials to be a trusted instructor?

Would it not be the same for say, a disciple of X instructor to teach basic defensive skills or does one have to be someone who seen it to teach it?

I'm asking this because I been looking for instructors and it seems like theres a hate for less credential instructor vs one who has a chest full of medals.

Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2012, 8:10 PM
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Do you want to take racing lessons from Michaels Schumacher or the guy down the street with a fast car?
Hate may be a strong word......BUT there are alot of "instructors" out there charging the same or more money as the experienced, real life performance, truly skilled and proven guys.

How would you feel if you were a former Delta guy or world champion trying to make a living as an instructor and Bubba tactical is over there charging the same dough to teach Bubba Tactics?
In the end it's your money, spend how you see fit. But think about what you are spending it on and hope to gain.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2012, 9:16 PM
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Understood. But the other part of the question was the "disciple". Would a student who learned and studied everything from a very well respected instructor be ok? I'm not talking about some internet chair commando.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mif_slim View Post
Understood. But the other part of the question was the "disciple". Would a student who learned and studied everything from a very well respected instructor be ok? I'm not talking about some internet chair commando.
I'd think so but at a reduced cost and targeted at the basic Intro level. Sure, you can teach someone's curriculum but students are paying the premium for the instructor's perspective and experience. Those cannot be commoditized.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mif_slim View Post
Understood. But the other part of the question was the "disciple". Would a student who learned and studied everything from a very well respected instructor be ok? I'm not talking about some internet chair commando.
I would say it depends on the exact subject matter. If the subject is combat-related and the instructor has never seen combat he/she can teach from logic/common sense to a point and then at some point it's all theory.

Someone can talk about "fog of war" from words but its another thing when someone else says, "I took rounds that sounded like snapping by my head, I then found my body hitting the deck without conscious thought and then my discipline kicked in to engage the targets..."

From a related thread someone asked "is combat experience necessary to become an instructor?"

My response was this...

Two different things here:

Teaching someone to use a firearm: NO, combat experience is not necessary nor ever was. A good civilian NRA instructor can do this.

Teaching someone about combat: Combat experience is definately an advantage and instantly wins respect. And with two wars in the last ten years getting combat or operational experience was not difficult even as a civilian (PSD) [a certain famous firearms instructor].


"Combat Instructor": Yata yata in combat do this...

Student: Question, have you seen combat?

Instructor: Uhh no, but thats how its done...

Student: Well why not? Its not like we haven't had two wars over the last ten years. Gimme my money back!
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2012, 3:32 AM
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^ thanks ss and stan. Makes sense to me.
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2012, 8:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Stan08 View Post
Teaching someone to use a firearm: NO, combat experience is not necessary nor ever was. A good civilian NRA instructor can do this.

Teaching someone about combat: Combat experience is definately an advantage and instantly wins respect.
Agreed. If I may, I'd add that combat is not the same thing as self-defense ... doesn't even look the same. (There is - of course - some overlap.) I've had the odd experience of being in a class with someone having actual combat experience, but teaching those skills and tactics as though they were identical to self-defense. The class was billed as "self-defense" class. At some point I had a question about a certain technique, and the answer involved "When you are in a stack ..." Obviously, that doesn't make any sense at all in context.

So, I suppose the first thing is to determine whether an instructor has the right background (whatever that might entail) to be thought expert enough in the subject matter being taught.

I don't know exactly what that looks like for someone teaching self-defense to civilians, but I don't imagine there are more than a couple of instructors who have "Been There, Done That" from an "attempted rape in the company parking lot", etc. perspective. I've been a victim of violent crime 4 times, 2 of which were actual attempts to kill me ... I'm not sure that puts me in any kind of special position to instruct anyone about anything except what the inside of an ambulance looks like, lol.

Aside from "do you know what you are teaching?", "do you know why you are teaching it?" and "how well can you actually teach?" ... not sure there is anything else of real value. How someone gets there is a giant question in my mind.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2012, 8:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Rincus View Post
Do you want to take racing lessons from Michaels Schumacher or the guy down the street with a fast car? ...
The question assumes that the ability to do something is identical with the ability to teach it. A lot of rock stars are completely unable to teach anyone anything, and I've personally witnessed the comedic failure of an NBA star trying to teach basketball. There is a difference between basking in the someone else's glow at "tactical fantasy band camp" and learning something. Schumacher's racing coach never won a single race of any significance from what I am told. Is his teacher good enough to be your teacher?

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How would you feel if you were a former Delta guy or world champion trying to make a living as an instructor and Bubba tactical is over there charging the same dough to teach Bubba Tactics?
I'm not sure making a purchasing decision based upon the salesman's feelings makes much sense. Like it or not, the training business is a business. Financial success is likely as dependent upon marketing, showmanship and business acumen as it is anything else. You can be the greatest BTDT bada55 in the world, but if you can't teach or keep your business in order, you don't have any special "right" to expect anyone's patronage. People like Larry Vickers are rare in their ability to put together the whole package, but I'd submit to you that his ability to teach has a lot more to do with the value proposition than his military experience. The resume is the "sizzle", the quality of instruction is the "steak".
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Last edited by ZombieTactics; 11-28-2012 at 8:46 AM..
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2012, 8:47 AM
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ZT brings up a good point and one rarely discussed. There are a lot of people out there teaching military style tactic's and passing them off as self defense techniques. They aren't, and if applied to a self defense situation you might very quickly find yourself in deep dodo with the law. It might be fun, and at some level informative, to charge down range firing your pseudo M4, or to practice dynamic entry techniques from a stack but it doesn't prepare you for an armed incident in a 7-11 or your living room.

If your goal is to learn self defense with a firearm then you should be looking at classes designed to teach those skills, not SWAT tactic's. Not as SEXY maybe or as much fun, but much more valuable for the average civilian.

This applies to credentials as well. Recent combat experience doesn't in and of its self make for a good self defense instructor anymore then being a cop automatically make you a great Marine.
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Old 11-28-2012, 9:31 AM
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Pat Rogers
Kyle Defoor
Larry Vickers
Frank Proctor
Kyle Lamb
Ken Hackathorn
Mike Pannone
Pat McNamarra
Tiger Swan
Northern Red
John McPhee
Rodgers Shooting School
Randy Cain
Paul Howe
Jack Luba
Jason Fallah
Todd Green (comp speed shooting)
Dave Harrington
Dave Pennington
Bob Vogel (for someone trying to get into competition shooting)
The New Magpul Dynamics
Rob Leatham
Costa
Haley

OR
Pick ANY of the above and give them your money

Last edited by Rincus; 11-28-2012 at 9:33 AM..
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2012, 9:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZombieTactics View Post
The question assumes that the ability to do something is identical with the ability to teach it. A lot of rock stars are completely unable to teach anyone anything, and I've personally witnessed the comedic failure of an NBA star trying to teach basketball. There is a difference between basking in the someone else's glow at "tactical fantasy band camp" and learning something. Schumacher's racing coach never won a single race of any significance from what I am told. Is his teacher good enough to be your teacher?

I'm not sure making a purchasing decision based upon the salesman's feelings makes much sense. Like it or not, the training business is a business. Financial success is likely as dependent upon marketing, showmanship and business acumen as it is anything else. You can be the greatest BTDT bada55 in the world, but if you can't teach or keep your business in order, you don't have any special "right" to expect anyone's patronage. People like Larry Vickers are rare in their ability to put together the whole package, but I'd submit to you that his ability to teach has a lot more to do with the value proposition than his military experience. The resume is the "sizzle", the quality of instruction is the "steak".
Spend where you like.
I will be paying top names to teach me.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:15 AM
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Which sounds better: "I learned about shooting from

a) Biff Buff, former Ranger, Green Beret, and Navy SEAL, holder of a prestigious Ultra Platinum Certification from Blastum Academy.

b) my brother-in-law.

Tim
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2012, 10:17 AM
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Spend where you like.
OK ... does anyone do differently?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rincus View Post
I will be paying top names to teach me.
OK ... make sure the awesome rubs off on you, K?

(Good list, BTW ... can't go wrong with any of those people)
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:20 AM
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The guy the golf pros take lessons from couldn't beat them on their worst day but knows how to spot flaws and correct them.

Might not be apples to apples, but is food for thought.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZombieTactics View Post
...
OK ... make sure the awesome rubs off on you, K?

(Good list, BTW ... can't go wrong with any of those people)


the ol' $0.02...

It's a nice list with many "big" names...I think there are a couple other guys here in CA that are great teachers w/mil real world experience that do a great job in imparting their knowledge that Rincus doesn't know of/hasn't read about perhaps? Stanton Lee and Jason Paletta are excellent imo, well-versed well run programs. Chad Herr is excellent as well, though doesn't have the actual combat experience, a couple people on his staff do. Great steaks imo.
Most often these guys are not as expensive as some of the names we read on a list...

I am sure there are some other local CA trainers well worthwhile not on that list. As I read recently on CG, Ramzar will know them.

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Old 11-28-2012, 10:53 AM
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TFTT, ITTS in CA
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rincus View Post
Pat Rogers
Kyle Defoor
Larry Vickers
Frank Proctor
Kyle Lamb
Ken Hackathorn
Mike Pannone
Pat McNamarra
Tiger Swan
Northern Red
John McPhee
Rodgers Shooting School
Randy Cain
Paul Howe
Jack Luba
Jason Fallah
Todd Green (comp speed shooting)
Dave Harrington
Dave Pennington
Bob Vogel (for someone trying to get into competition shooting)
The New Magpul Dynamics
Rob Leatham
Costa
Haley
I like... I'm using the list and breaking them down into having taken classes with or will or don't know yet (bold/italic denotes an instructor who should be there but was not).


TAKEN
  1. Kyle Defoor
  2. Larry Vickers
  3. Frank Proctor
  4. Ken Hackathorn
  5. Mike Pannone
  6. Pat McNamarra
  7. Tiger Swan
  8. Northern Red
  9. Jason Falla
  10. Chris Costa
  11. Jeff Gonzales
  12. Bill Go
  13. Rob Haught

WILL
  1. Dave Harrington (Dec. 2012)
  2. John McPhee (2013)
  3. Rob Leatham (2013)
  4. Bob Vogel (2013)
  5. Travis Haley (2013)
  6. Pat Rogers
  7. Kyle Lamb
  8. Bill Rogers
  9. Paul Howe
  10. Dave Spaulding

DON'T KNOW YET
  1. Randy Cain
  2. Jack Luba
  3. Todd Green (comp speed shooting)
  4. Dave Pennington
  5. The New Magpul Dynamics
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Last edited by ramzar; 11-29-2012 at 10:56 AM..
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  #18  
Old 11-28-2012, 12:38 PM
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From personal experience I would say no go on disciples beyond a level 1 handgun course. Problem is not the skill sets being taught but the way the classes are run. What you may not appreciate right away is running a training course is like herding armed sheep. The small details you have to pay attention to can make an accident happen or not.

One main reason for me to go with big name trainers that travel is they go through way more hours of courses with all kinds of students. Their curriculum has been vetted in more detail than you would imagine. I've asked and it can even come down to the way they inflect their voices for range commands. The small details that make the class safe is not something Joe Certificate is going to pick up taking one or two classes. I wouldn't send anyone I cared about to a class that didn't have a highly vetted instructor that has the respect of his peers.
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