Paper! What does it mean if you do not have a mission.

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I was reading an excellent article in the July 2013 issue of Concealed Carry magazine.  The title of the article is “Just Ask:  What should you look for in a Firearms Trainer?” by George Harris.   Mr. Harris suggests that you ask one of the following question to your instructor, is the class you are teaching for a Responsible Citizen or an Armed Professional.  WOW!  This is a great question.

Harris states, “that the mission of a civilian is to stay out of trouble and engage the bad guys when no other alternative is available.”  The mission of the armed professional, “is to contain, control and effect the proper disposition of the bad guy as appropriate.”

This question got me thinking about my certificates, which are paper by the way and what type of instructor am I?  Here is a short list of my instructor certificates;

NRA Basic Pistol, Personal Protection in the Home, Shotgun and Rifle
FLETC Firearms Instructor Training Program (FITP –209 A)
Shotgun Instructor Training Program (SITP – 1304)
Federal Bureau of Investigation Firearms Instructor School
Simunition Scenario Instructor and Safety Certification
Georgia P.O.S.T. Firearms Instructor
Glock Firearms Instructor
Off-Shoots Firearms Instructor

What does all this paper mean?  In my opinion, it means nothing if I do not have a mission.

So based on the article, my new mission is to be the best instructor that I can be for both groups; the Responsible Citizen and the Armed Professional.  Actually, instructing the Armed Professional is easier for me, I have been one for 31 years.  I have carried a firearm both open and concealed carry for 31 years.   So teaching this group, comes very natural.  I can relate to them.

However, teaching the Responsible Citizen will surely be more challenging.  So how do I accomplish this goal.

1.  More education!  I will attend additional training courses that cater to the Responsible Citizen.  This will help me gain a different perspective and understand the issues and challenges associated with this group.

2.  Read, Read and Read!  I will need to read more articles and books published by excellent authors like George Harris, Michael Martin and the crew at Concealed Carry magazine.

3.  Practice my Craft!  I will continue to teach all groups and make sure that I am focusing on the missions of both groups. I will practice my craft as often as I can and get feedback from my students to ensure that I am headed down the right path.

So there you have it.  Get the training, get the paper but please have a mission.

Both the Armed Professional and Responsible Citizens need fewer “Paper Dragons” and more trained, dedicated professionals.  I plan on being a more dedicated professional instructor for both groups.

Practice Deploying your Firearm!

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I have had the wonderful privilege of training with some of the best firearms instructors in the world.  I have learned so many things about gun fighting and pray that I never have to use any of these skills.  I have fired thousands and thousands of rounds on every type of civilian, military and law enforcement ranges but the one skill that I have practiced without shooting an actual bullet or worked with one of these professional instructors is the actual deployment of my firearm.  Yes, drawing the firearm out of the holster.

All the training in the world amounts to nothing if you can’t get your weapon out of the holster and able to engage your threat.  The practicing of deploying your primary and backup firearm should be done from open carry, concealed carry, standing, kneeling (one or two knees), seated, prone (on your back, on your stomach, or on either side), in your vehicle, in your bed, and just about any other place you can think of. You should also practice while you are defending yourself from an adversary attack. All this training can all be done without firing any rounds and it cost absolutely nothing, except your time.

My good friend and instructor, Hock Hockheim has taught many students to practice drawing your firearm from the Stop 6 positions.  These are the six common stopping or sticking points/collisions in a fight.

Stop 1 – The Stand-off/Showdown/Interview

Stop 2 – Hands on Hands/Fingers in Fingers

Stop 3 – The Forearm Crash Collision

Stop 4 – The Biceps/Neck Line Collision

Stop 5 – The Bear Hug “Clinch”

Stop 6 – The Ground Stop

Once you have worked through the Stop 6 positions, the next step is conducting a few “Pressure” drills or what Tony Blauer calls Ballistic Micro-Fightsä.  These realistic scenarios & drills are conducted with all participants wearing some type of protective equipment and problem solving is learned in a controlled but physically demanding environment.  The end goal of the training is the justified deployment of the firearm to resolve a deadly force situation.

Stay tune for some future clips on exactly what I am talking about in this Blog post.  Until then, train smart, train safe and train each and everyday!