Just like the previous post about 2016 Resolutions, this one is again based on some things Caleb over at Gun Nuts Media said in his excellent post 5 Gun Nuts New Year’s Resolutions. It is good stuff, so you should go there and read it.
Here’s my second 2016 Resolution: Take at least one class from a reputable instructor.
I’ve actually done this pretty much every year for the past….many…years. I don’t know everything about shooting, and there are so many different ASPECTS of shooting (shooting skills, competition skills, self-defense scenario training, force-on-force, close-quarters, partner work, etc) that there is ALWAYS more to learn. So every year I try to take at least one class (if not two) from someone I consider to be an authority in that particular area. I’ve taken shooting skills courses from Manny Bragg, ECQC from Craig Douglas, competition skills from Ben Stoeger and Matt Mink, instructor development from Tom Givens, shooting and defensive skills from Bill Rogers, etc….and I plan on learning more about things I consider important.
I’m an instructor. If I’m going to be a good one, that means I need to make sure that 1) I keep up on the current best practices for teaching, 2) keep up on the current best-known techniques and tactics (and have someone critique my skills so I can get better), 3) try to learn more ways and methods to reach students and help them understand, and 4) bear in mind that I don’t already know everything, and there are aspects or areas of shooting that I simply don’t know well. Every instructor should ALSO be an eternal student. If they aren’t, then….they aren’t keeping up, are they?
If you want to be a better shooter and better at defending yourself legally, then taking a solid class from a reputable instructor each year is a good resolution to make.
This year—-I’m not sure what I’m doing! On my list of “possibles”:
- Unthinkable, with William April
- Advanced Instructor Development course, with Tom Givens (this is in Austin, TX, though…I’d have to fly there)
- Armed Movement in Structures, with Craig Douglas
- Class with Mike Pannone?
- Class with Frank Proctor?
- …anyone have any other suggestions?
I normally try to switch topics each year–one year I work on my shooting skills (or skills I already have, and either want critiqued, or taken to a higher level), and the next I work on either skillsets I don’t have, or classes that help me be a better instructor either as instructor development directly, or as an example of someone else teaching a class on a topic that I also teach. But this year—I’m open to just about anything. Need at least one! Gotta learn something!
What should I take? Limiting criteria: a) prefer travel time of 8 hours or less from Omaha, NE, and b) I can’t take more than 2 weekdays off unless it magically hits a break during my school schedule.
Anyone have any thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? My current slight preference is for a class in an area in which I haven’t taken a class recently, so strict shooting skills and competition skills are probably lowest on the wish list.
What do you think?