With the current influx in the private sector of military and law enforcement, the question is who to train with and why? The average individual has limited funds, time and availability so choosing incorrectly could mean an overall waste in resources and have to possibly wait another year to get into another class. We should narrow down our choices by looking at a few key ingredients. Instead of basing our choices off of price, location, resume or aesthetics let’s instead attain a deeper understanding as to what we’re spending our time, effort and energy on.
The first thing many potential students look for when it comes to taking a class is how much they’re going to have to spend. Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, a well known tattoo artist, has said, “Good work ain’t cheap, and cheap work ain’t good.” The same can be said for a firearms or combatives related class. Too many people look for for the cheap solution and the easy answer. The reality is, basing the cost of quality information off of a dollar sign is the wrong road to go down. Few people understand that for these educators, this is how they provide for their family. There isn’t a weekly pay stub or time clock to punch in and out of. It’s a constant grind for the pure love they have for educating others and making them safer. You also have to take into account that the cost more than likely includes their cost for flights, lodging, food, and the cut the range requires. After all of that is taken into account, that is when they may break even. With that being said, if the instructor doesn’t have a reputation that precedes them they may be trying to get more out of you then what they’re worth.
Reputation & Resume
To have any skin in the game so to speak, the instructor should have taught a wide range of students from a wide variety of locations. What this tells you is that they have had a significant and positive impact on either the firearms or combatives community. With that being said, as with the way of the internet there will always be drama to be found. Take what you hear or read from second hand accounts with a grain of salt. If you truly want to get to know someone, meet them face to face like an adult. There’s nothing worse than basing your opinion off of a random internet forum or what you heard from “a friend of a friend.” Along with that, seeing that your teacher has a resume with former service in the combat arms of the military, law enforcement or private protection will show you that that have had their fair share of violence as part of their everyday lives. Teaching others how to use a gun if you haven’t had to use your own for survival, is the equivalent of a virgin talking about sex. Now with that being said, I personally know many individuals who’ve had to pull the trigger in the protection of themselves but that doesn't automatically make them a good teacher. An educator in this line of work needs to have the ability to teach and demonstrate the drills. One cannot exist without the other. Don’t get sucked into going to a class solely because of a name or they gear you see them teach in. Think logically, this is your hard earned money that you’re using for this class.
In part two we’ll finalize the last few characteristics you should look for when deciding your next class to attend. Remember, understand that owning and carrying tools in the defense of yourself or others is a big undertaking. It’s your personal responsibility to get out there and gain the proper knowledge. It will take money, time, and effort but at the end of the day you will be that much more confident in your weapons platform and your personal abilities.