Would you teach the class differently…

A couple of years ago, an acquaintance of mine put up on Facebook a question about “As a firearms/self-defense trainer who teaches courses, if someone came to you knowing (for certain) that they’d have to use their firearm as a lethal-force response to a self-defense threat tomorrow, would you teach them any differently?”

I said:  “Of course I would!”

Whereupon I got jumped all over by lots of people who claimed that as firearms instructors, their classes were all completely focused on teaching REAL self-defense, and that if I had to change my class, it was an indicator that my class just wasn’t very good.

Which just goes to show that like any other group of people, “firearms instructors” contains all kinds, a significant proportion of which are idiots who have no idea what they are talking about.

Why am I right and they were idiots? Continue reading

Ralph Mroz liked my article!

Ralph Mroz liked my article about expertise, where I discussed some of the things Tom Givens said about who is qualified to have an opinion in a technical field.

https://thestreetstandards.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/what-are-appropriate-credentials-for-instructors/

…and he and Tom Givens made some interesting comments as followups, too.    In particular the important question: “What constitutes “experience” in a civilian context?”

This is one of the things that I’ve talked about before, regarding military or law enforcement “experience” when talking about people who are qualified to teach citizen CCW courses–which Tom Givens discussed also, and I mentioned in my original article. Continue reading

Nebraska State CCW Course…

If you wish to apply for a concealed carry permit in Nebraska, you first need to take the official state CCW course, taught by a Nebraska State Patrol certified instructor.  The instructor is certified because they have submitted a curriculum to the NSP that has been checked and deemed sufficient to follow and teach all of the required points of the official state-mandated curriculum, and includes the requisite live-fire parts which list specific types of shooting practice and the official firearms qualification.

The NSP makes available a PDF copy of the rules and regulations pertaining to concealed carry in Nebraska here:  http://www.sos.ne.gov/rules-and-regs/regsearch/Rules/State_Patrol/Title-272/Chapter-21.pdf Continue reading

What makes an expert?

(Third in the series about thoughts spawned by attending the Rangemaster Instructor Development Class with Tom Givens.  The first time, the post was about something that hadn’t occurred to me.  The second time, it was about something I already knew, explained in a different fashion.  This time, it is about something that annoys me greatly on pretty much a weekly basis.)


“He’s a great self-defense instructor, he learned it in the military!”

“That firearms group is the best for CCW training, because they all have law enforcement experience.  That guy TEACHES other cops!”

“He has 25 years of firearms experience–he knows what he is talking about!”


The first two statements above are flat-out wrong.  The third is a non sequitur.

And yet, people KEEP saying things like that. Continue reading

Why don’t you charge more?

I posted a depressed comment on Facebook yesterday:
“I need to start charging over a hundred dollars for a half-day seminar. Apparently.
This explains why I’m poor!”

A couple of my friends replied:
Why don’t you charge more?
Do you think aren’t worth more? Or do prefer to be the better value?

My reply:

Truth? I think that my combination of training, experience, and practice in armed and unarmed self-defense plus the fact that I’ve actually been researching this topic (instead of depending on anecdotal evidence) means that my training is worth quite a lot (especially in self-defense classes)—and not only more than I’ve been charging, but much more than a lot of the crap that is taught around here by people who are teaching based on their background and experience, which doesn’t actually match the topics that they are teaching.* Continue reading

“Do you know who I am?”

When someone in public uses the phrase “Do you know who I am?” that immediately tells you something about them.  And it isn’t positive.

For the record:  I don’t know Larry Vickers personally.  I’ve never met the man, so my view of him is solely from his videos, articles, and commentary he writes on the Internet.  In other words, my understanding of him is based strictly on the way he chooses to project himself to others.  If you spend time with someone in person, you can learn a lot about them that they perhaps try to hide.  If you only know about someone based on their online presence, it means that you know them based on how they WANT to look–because they write the articles, the comments, and edit the video to make themselves look a certain way. Continue reading