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Thread: Great Instructors precedence?

  1. #1

    Great Instructors precedence?

    Hello all, long time shooter, first time ponder (lol). I am finally getting everything in life lined out to where I can start to get back in taking more "usefull" training (NRA is good for basic, but past that). I do not mean for this to be a P==== contest, just knowledge of those who have trained with some of the legends. I am planning to take some classes and thinking of Tom Givens, Johh Farnham, Ron Avery, perhaps Tiger Mcgee and of course TGO would be on the list later. I am looking for feedback as like and order of precedene to get the most out of it. I know they are all great and I see Ron and TGO as more of a upper advanced class, after some tuning in the others. Just wanting thoughts and feedback. I am an experienced shooter and Instructor and have trained with Massad Ayoob and at Gunsite a long, long time ago, and know enough that I am thristy for more. Also, would like to learn from some of these great's before they retire.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter DocGKR's Avatar
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    What do you want/need to learn? What part of the country are you in?
    Facts matter...Feelings Can Lie

  3. #3
    Gray Hobbyist Wondering Beard's Avatar
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    Is your focus more about getting better at shooting, though in a self defense context, or more about self defense but with a shooting context? Ron Avery would fit more the former, while Farnam and Givens would fit more the latter.

  4. #4
    I trained with Tom Givens last year, it was time and money well spent. I'd like to do it again this year, but if I can't make it happen it will be my top firearms related priority in 2018. Can't speak to anyone else on your list.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    for all those that have gone thru some training, did they do a basic skills test before the class, and then repeat that test either at the end of the class or some months later after you had had time to practice what they were teaching? how do you quantify if you improved your skills after the class?

  6. #6
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    The post below in quotes is something I wrote in 2011 and is even more true today re Tom's acumen as a writer, teacher, indeed professor (as in one who creates knowledge) re
    the uniquely American martial art of Pistolcraft etc.

    Full Disclosure- I hosted Tom for a two day class in KC in April 2011. I attended the Rangemaster Instructor's Course in Oct 2010 and Tactical Confs in 2009 and 2010. I first met Tom at the Cooper Memorial in 2007. He along with Todd (RIP) have influence my mindset/shooting/training more than anyone else in the last few years. I was an AI for Tom in July 2016.

    "Tom is one of the few old school masters of the Modern Technique who continues to study and improve the art. He understands that what was state of the art in 1981 may have changed/evolved/improved/developed/morphed etc in 2011. Tom is arguably the best living bridge between between the 1st gen students of Cooper ( i.e. Tom Givens, Chuck Taylor, Clint Smith, Louis Awerbuck, Bill Jeans, Ken Hackathorn, Pat Rogers etc) and today's younger instructors of note."

    I would note that since I wrote that in 2011, Misters Awerbuck and Rogers are no longer with us (RIP). Mr. Jeans has all but stopped training on the road and Mr. Hackathorn is cutting way back as well. Given your training to date. Choose wisely while you can.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by todd View Post
    Hello all, long time shooter, first time ponder (lol). I am finally getting everything in life lined out to where I can start to get back in taking more "usefull" training (NRA is good for basic, but past that). I do not mean for this to be a P==== contest, just knowledge of those who have trained with some of the legends. I am planning to take some classes and thinking of Tom Givens, Johh Farnham, Ron Avery, perhaps Tiger Mcgee and of course TGO would be on the list later. I am looking for feedback as like and order of precedene to get the most out of it. I know they are all great and I see Ron and TGO as more of a upper advanced class, after some tuning in the others. Just wanting thoughts and feedback. I am an experienced shooter and Instructor and have trained with Massad Ayoob and at Gunsite a long, long time ago, and know enough that I am thristy for more. Also, would like to learn from some of these great's before they retire.
    There are many competent trainers out there today. Chuck Taylor is still running classes. I have trained with Chuck numerous times. Some will say that Chuck has failed to keep up with the times but when it comes to pure fundamentals he is spot on. To this day I credit Chuck with helping me build a solid base that everything else has been built on.

    Mike Pannone (CTT Solutions) is an outstanding trainer and I would highly recommend anyone with the ability and opertunity to train with Mike.

    I've trained with many excellent instructors over the years and there have been only two who required a skills test to pass or pass at a particular level from their classes. Those instructors being Todd Green & Chuck Taylor.

    Regarding your experience level. Perhaps you should run yourself through some drills as a self evaluation. Pick some of the more widely know and accepted drills and record your performance.

    Hackathorn's "The Test".


    The Wizard Drill


    The Humbler
    http://pistol-training.com/drills/the-humbler

    Mike Pannone ran us through this drill in his Advanced Pistol Class.


    Pat MaNamarra has a number of drills on YouTube he runs in his TAPS class. A few would be easy to replicate.

    These are the types of drills you will perform in your typical class. By trying them you can self evaluate and decide where you feel like you fit in. Pat Mac had us shooting from 50 yards at USPSA targets Support Hand Only from 50 yards. Some people in the class had no problem others where flabbergasted when asked to do this.
    Last edited by JohnO; 01-03-2017 at 06:23 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by todd View Post
    Hello all, long time shooter, first time ponder (lol). I am finally getting everything in life lined out to where I can start to get back in taking more "usefull" training (NRA is good for basic, but past that). I do not mean for this to be a P==== contest, just knowledge of those who have trained with some of the legends. I am planning to take some classes and thinking of Tom Givens, Johh Farnham, Ron Avery, perhaps Tiger Mcgee and of course TGO would be on the list later. I am looking for feedback as like and order of precedene to get the most out of it. I know they are all great and I see Ron and TGO as more of a upper advanced class, after some tuning in the others. Just wanting thoughts and feedback. I am an experienced shooter and Instructor and have trained with Massad Ayoob and at Gunsite a long, long time ago, and know enough that I am thristy for more. Also, would like to learn from some of these great's before they retire.
    It might be a better idea to identify your goals, then seek the trainers who can help you meet them.

    If your goal is to train with the big names--and there's nothing wrong with that--then start with the old guys who are threatening to retire and work your way down to the younger ones.


    Okie John
    Last edited by okie john; 01-03-2017 at 06:24 PM.
    “The reliability of the 30-06 on most of the world’s non-dangerous game is so well established as to be beyond intelligent dispute.” Finn Aagaard

  9. #9
    GUN INSTRUCTORS

    Please understand this is my personal list of people I would like to train with. The List is organized to comply with the guidance in the following paragraph. The names within a specialty are in no particular order. We live in a time of riches, when new instructors of high quality come along regularly. Consequently, this is a work in progress. It might be longer tomorrow. Names of referrals were redacted. You may wish to check the instructors against Pistol-Forum's "Class Reviews and AARs"

    “So, cross-pollination notwithstanding, the masters of the mechanics of shooting are the high level competitive shooters, the masters of killing are the high level Spec Ops guys, and the masters of handling confrontations and fights without ending up in jail are the cops. They all have something to teach us.” (Redacted), 06/04/2016)


    COPS

    Scotty Reitz http://internationaltactical.com/scott.html LAPD SWAT for 10 years. LAPD firearms and tactics instructor. Teaches in Los Angeles, CA (Angeles Range)

    Larry Mudgett http://www.marksmanshipmatters.com/ Teaches in Saratoga Springs, Utah. Has had over 300 officer involved shootings. Teaches the Appleseed program. Used to be in an elevated position at Gunsite.

    Karl Rehn http://www.krtraining.com/newinst/karlbio.html Austin, TX. Recommended by (redacted) as the best in the country for force-on-force training.

    Darryl Bolke http://hardwiredtacticalshooting.com/our-instructors/ (Dagga Boy of Pistol-Forum). Teaches in the Dallas, TX area. Teaches how to survive a gunfight both on the street and in the court. (Redacted): “I consider Wayne (Dobbs) and Darryl (Bolke) to be two of the best yet overlooked reality-based trainers out there”.

    Tom Givens http://www.rangemaster.com/classes/o...l-two-day.html "Tom is arguably the best living bridge between between the 1st gen students of Cooper (i.e. Givens, Taylor, Smith, Awerbuck, Jeans, Hackathorn, Rogers etc) and today's younger instructors of note." Offers a heavily recommended (Pistol-Forum) shotgun class. Works out of Memphis, TN but is a Traveling Man.

    Randy Cain www.SouthernExposureTraining.com (diagnoses & solves problems) Per (redacted): Has splendid practical rifle classes) (Also recommended for shotgun by (redacted). Gunsite (8 years); Yavapai Firearms Academy (10 years); SWAT Team Member & Training Officer. Concentrates on basic fundamentals. Teaches out of Lakeland, FL. Also try Cumberland Tactics http://guntactics.com/credentials.htm out of Goodlettsville, TN 37070

    Steve Hendricks www.customtactical.net Highly recommended by (redacted), (redacted), and (redacted). (Redacted) says he “raised him from a pup” to a Gunsite instructor. Montrose, Colorado.

    Massad Ayoob http://massadayoobgroup.com/mag-40/ “This is an intense, four-day, 40-hour immersion course in the “rules of engagement” for armed law-abiding private citizens. The course emphasizes legal issues, tactical issues, and aftermath management. Topics will include interacting with suspects, witnesses, responding police officers, threat recognition and mind-set, and the management of the social and psychological aftermath of having to use lethal force in defense of self or others.”

    Greg Ellifritz http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/instructors "Greg has been an adjunct instructor for the Ohio Peace Officer’s Training Academy, teaching firearms, defensive tactics, bike patrol, knife defense and physical fitness topics. He has taught firearms and self defense classes at the national and international level through the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, The American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, Rangemaster Tactical Conference, and Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police." Is a traveling man.

    COMPETITIVE

    Ernest Langdon http://www.langdontac.com/index.html Per (redacted) says: "Ernest is the guy who basically set me on the path of good shooting. He's one of the best shooters and one of the best instructors I've ever met. The most impressive thing to me about Ernest as an instructor is that he can mentally jump from helping an outstanding shooter fix a minor flaw one minute and then deal with an absolute newb the next. Anyone who shows up in a Langdon class is going to get exactly the type & level of help he needs without slowing or speeding up the rest of the class." Works out of Alexandria, VA, but is a Traveling Man.

    Frank Proctor http://www.wayofthegun.us/ Teaches the zen of rapid marksmanship. Well recommended. Course includes diagnostics to really dial a student in. Former SpecOps guy now doing competitive shooting. (Teaches how to see the sights while in recoil.) Talladega, AL.

    Manny Bragg http://www. mannybraggusa@yahoo.com Per (redacted): "One of the top GM’s currently teaching . . . maybe the top!" Phone: 1-660- 216-4826, New Smyrna Beach, FL.

    TECHNICAL

    Gabe White http://www.oregonfirearmsacademy.com/ Only man to run a perfect 125 / 125 score at Rogers Shooting School from concealment. Sets extraordinarily high goals for speed and accuracy and works to achieve them. A Traveling Man.

    Bill Rogers http://www.rogersshootingschool.com/ Per (redacted) -- "Honestly, it's more the target system than the instruction that makes RSS so valuable. Most really good shooters use techniques that are different than a lot of the "fundamentals" taught at RSS. But putting your skills up against the tight time constraints of the target system and meeting RSS's standards are tough. The RSS target system taught me more about eye speed than any instructor on a normal square range ever could. The only negative is that the program is very heavily weighted toward single shots and predetermined transitions which I don't think are all that practical. RSS is simply unbeatable." Ellijay, GA.

    Robbie Leathem http://robleatham.com/ (Redacted) says: “I don't think there is much dispute that Robbie is arguably the most enduring technical shooter in modern history. Since winning national championships in the 80's, he has continued to dominate the shooting sports ever since. This weekend, he is in the process of winning the iron sight division of Bianchi Cup.Besides being a great technical shooter, he is, in my opinion, the single best teacher of technical shooting I have ever met. I formed that opinion after training with him four times since December. That is the reason the military has for decades had him teach their marksmanship unit team."

    Robbie had an amazing impact on (redacted) shooting. Enough so, last month (redacted) not only shot Advanced at The Rogers Shooting School (114 and 115 out of 125), (redacted) shot the highest two scores of any (redacted) in the 30 odd years of the Rogers School.

    Robbie's favorite handgun is the single stack 1911. He has been shooting major loads in a 1911 since the 80's.

    SHOTGUN

    Rob Haught http://aar.greygrouptraining.com A Tier 1 instructor who specializes in tactical shotgun. (Redacted) recommended. (Redacted) reported: “I had never seen so many new techniques for the shotgun. I had also never seen anyone run a shotgun so fast before. Also, a real nice guy. I'd take this class again. If you don't like shotguns this class will make you love them.” Another AAR at https://www.thehighroad.org/index.ph...-review.82294/ A Traveling Man.

    Steve McDaniel http://www.alaskatactical.com/index.html Continues Louis Awerbuck’s Yavapai Firearms Academy tradition. Well regarded by Bill England (Raven). A traveling man.

    SPEC OPS

    Jeff Gonzales http://www.tridentconcepts.com Former Gunsite instructor and SEAL. (Redacted) wrote, “His classes have challenging standards, are physically demanding for those not prepared, and are high round count classes, yet not a single round is wasted performing trigger masturbation.” Austin, TX.

    Paul Howe http://www.combatshootingandtactics.com/ Recommended by (redacted and redacted). "In terms of learning certain pieces of the handgun shooting, I am hard pressed to say enough good stuff about Paul Howe. I took his handgun/carbine instructor program last year and thought it was excellent. Paul is very down to earth and appears to have worked the hardest to take what he learned in Delta and apply it to the civilian self-defense world. His facilities are a bit Spartan - very much everything you need and nothing you don't approach - but he is a very rich source and is an excellent teacher. Don’t take Paul’s class as a beginning shooter. He doesn’t like teaching basics, but he’s almost gospel on teaching application." Nacogdoches, TX.

    EDGED WEAPONS

    Steve Tarani https://stevetarani.com/ Widely recommended edged weapon and personal security instructor. A Traveling Man.

    Craig Douglas http://shivworks.com Well respected close quarters combat instructor, known everywhere for ECQC, his room clearing program (AMIS) is probably the best available. While most people essentially tell the lone room-clearer how to be a point man in a stack when there is no stack, Craig has really thought through the problems of being all alone and developed techniques to maximize effectiveness and survival in that situation. He has so much to teach it’s like drinking from a fire hose. A Traveling Man.

    TACTICAL ANATOMY

    James S. Williams, M.D. http://www.tacticalanatomy.com/ Recommended by (redacted). Tactical Anatomy training is a system that utilizes proven principles of adult learning theory to yield rapid, retainable skills resulting in dramatically improved performance in Officer-Involved Shootings. We train law enforcement officers in the critical anatomic zones of the human body, and how to visualize these vital zones in 3 dimensions from any angle of presentation. Then we teach them how to bridge the gap between 2-dimensional range firearms competency and the 3-dimensional anatomy of the human body. Contact for schedule.

    MEDICAL

    Kerry Davis http://darkangelmedical.com/training/ Recommended (redacted). Kerry joined the USAF in 1991 and served until 2007 with jobs consisting of ER Medic, Flight Medic and Officer Training School Instructor. He was able to attend U.S. Army Airborne School at Ft. Benning, GA due to his job description while stationed as a flight medic at Pope Field in Ft. Bragg, NC. He worked as a civilian paramedic and completed his RN and has worked as a critical care and emergency room RN since 2003. He is an avid shooter and has instructed with Magpul Dynamics and is currently a part-time instructor with SIG Sauer Academy where he teaches fireams classes, as well as “Bullets and Bandages” A Traveling Man.

    LONG RANGE RIFLE

    James Eagleman https://www.gunwerks.com/ Please see After Action Report at http://precisionrifleblog.com/2016/1...ooting-school/ Burlington, Wyoming and Ensign Ranch, Utah.

    Todd Hodnett todd@accuracy1st.com Favorably mentioned. Runs Accuracy 1st. Teaches long range precision shooting out of Canadian, TX.

    Caylen Wojcik Please see After Action Report at http://www.recoilweb.com/aar-caylens...rse-37479.html Heavily recommended by (redacted). Contact thru http://www.magpuldynamics.com/instructors Traveling man working for Magpul.
    Last edited by Duces Tecum; 01-03-2017 at 06:30 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by DAB View Post
    for all those that have gone thru some training, did they do a basic skills test before the class, and then repeat that test either at the end of the class or some months later after you had had time to practice what they were teaching? how do you quantify if you improved your skills after the class?
    The courses that I've taken started with a quick diagnostic drill (usually 10 rounds slow fire) so the instructor can see who has their act together. There's no need to repeat that at the end of the course. You can test yourself on what you learned any time you like, but few instructors have time to track individual students that closely after the course is over.

    The best way to quantify your progress is to keep a training log and re-test yourself using a timer and scorable paper targets on a set of drills at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly, whatever). Any improvement or lack thereof is pretty obvious once you start keeping records.


    Okie John
    “The reliability of the 30-06 on most of the world’s non-dangerous game is so well established as to be beyond intelligent dispute.” Finn Aagaard

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