Additional Thought on Identifying a Worthwhile Firearms Instructor

In a previous post about identifying a competent firearms instructor (here) I realized I left out one crucial item that is another hallmark of a worthwhile instructor—that is that the training they offer is relevant to your life. A promotional video by a particular ‘training’ group shows the instructors literally running students through their course of fire…and water. At one point in the video you can see the students with their heads immersed in a bucket of water as they assemble their firearms (placing the slide on the frame). Once the firearm is assembled, they rise and engage a target. In addition to that ‘drill’ one sees segments where the student is thrown to the ground by one of the ‘instructors’ while another one dumps a 5 gallon bucket of water over the student. These are just 2 examples from the 5 minute video (which I link below) that have me scratching my head and saying, “Holy hell.”

In addition to these strange drills, the entire video shows poor gun handling skills and safety violations (muzzling other students on the line).


Pray tell. WHEN will the average armed citizen be waterboarded then have to shoot to defend his life? Please tell me how in any capacity an armed citizen will have to knee slide through a puddle prior to shooting to save himself or a loved one? I could write at least 7 more paragraphs on the terrible instruction in the video, but will leave it at this. We are citizens. It is perfectly acceptable for our defensive firearms training to be limited to the “ordinary” topics such as trigger control, the draw stroke, understanding sight alignment and sight picture and shooting accurately and quickly at close and (relatively) long distance.


Also consider this: carbine classes are super fun. Who doesn’t love shooting a carbine? But, I would encourage any student who is considering his second, third, fourth…etc. carbine course but has had maybe one or even two pistol classes, to rethink your needs and skills. If you can’t make a good hit from the holster with your everyday carry gun at 25’ in under 2 seconds, I’d strongly suggest a pistol course over a carbine course. The average citizen is most likely to have a handgun with him rather than a long gun. If you are carrying a pistol with you 99.9% of the time that you’re carrying, but the bulk of your instruction has been on carbines, I will suggest that there is a significant disconnect in your assessment of your training needs. I don’t mean this to sound harsh. I am making the point that the bulk of our training needs to reflect the lives we actually live. I’d say the average citizen should spend 90% of his training time becoming proficient with a handgun in every single capacity. Spend about 5% of your training doing things that are possible, but low in probability (for example, safely drawing your firearm from your holster with your weak hand, simulating an injury to your strong hand). Spend the other 5% of your time with your long gun (whatever you consider your home defense gun). While the thought of a home invasion is scary, for the average person who is not dealing or manufacturing drugs in his or her home, the probability of home invasion is low.


One other thought on this. It seems that there is a demand for Joe Commando Uber Tactical SEAL Operator training…the only way that this kind of thing will be diminished in prevalence is if people stop creating the market for it. I suggest that everyone become critical and discerning students, learning to identify worthwhile instruction in order to avoid these kinds of trainers. Ask your instructor why he or she is teaching you a skill and think carefully about the answer.


If you’re interested in some derp, here is the offending promotion video. I warn you, though, this is not training that I either recommend nor endorse in any capacity.

  1. I did enjoy the ‘heads in a bucket’ scene. And to think they PAID someone so they could do that. 🙂

    You have my complete agreement that carbine classes are more fun (as student OR instructor) but pistol classes are a bit more practical.

    Most self-defense incidents still happen when you are away from home. Here in Ohio, a Concealed Handgun License holder may NOT have a loaded long gun in their vehicle, only a handgun.

    Sure, a CHL holder can have a loaded magazine for their carbine in the car, but we can never assume we will have time to stop and load ‘some other gun’.

    From a citizen’s self-defense standpoint, your handgun is your primary firearm and the one you should be able to use the best…even if it’s not the most fun.


  2. Wow.
    Aside from the poor gun handling you mentioned, I think as a target rifle shooter there were some things I might incorporate into my training; 1. Wind sprints and jumping over puddles of water, because we could all use more cardio in our lives, and let’s face it, I would look bad-ass. 2. Group prayer over our rifles at team practice (2:28 in video) because us gun people don’t have enough of a stigma, let’s come right out and pray to our firearms.

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