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Thread: Do you know quality training?

  1. #1

    Do you know quality training?

    I'm dropping this here because it falls (to me) under mindset.

    As the title says do you know what quality training is? Additionally, do you think the average consumer in this industry knows what quality training is?

    I'm not speaking to content specifically. Presentation, logistics, efficiency, through put. All things, that to me, make good training. Along with more.

    I bring this up because I've taken multiple "national" level road show guys classes. At the circle jerk aar at the end, everyone seemed happy and pleased. I had a different opinion. Each time bringing it up with the instructor in a side bar.

    From a common metric to me SN/Shivworks has a very well put together product. Back in the day VTAC had a similar experience. When I judge quality of training, those are two I use as metrics for the standard. I have not shot with Pannone but I hear the same about him.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    As reference I started going to sleepaway gunskool sometime around, I would guess, 2005. Possibly earlier. My last class was probably sometime around 2015. At one time I was shooting thousands of rounds per year in classes, writing articles about them for various magazines, and even hosting. I also used to run my own monthly carbine drills night for several years, my own two-gun match, and even briefly had a training company of my own designed around getting people spooked up for sleepaway Skool (we called our courses 0.5 for that reason).

    Whether by design or accident, I believe that most successful instructors come to a format that makes the students “feel good” more so than “be good”. I recently learned that most people don’t recall the content of a conversation, just how it made them feel, and I think gunskool is very much the same.

    I also think that most people wouldn’t know good instruction if it bit them on the ass. Considering that the majority of people have negative experiences in formal education, perhaps and probably including college, haven’t taken a “lesson” I anything in 30 years when they start their gunskool hobby, and likely have never taught anything themselves, nor done any learning/training/reading about what it takes to teach, and it gets even worse.

    But...

    So what?

    If the instructor is making a living, the student is happy, everyone leaves with the same number of holes they arrived with, and the range owner isn’t pissed, what difference does it really make?

    If absolutely nothing else, you spent 2-3 days outdoors with relatively like minded people. Some folks that may have been politically leaning in a different direction than “us” may be exposed to ideas they had t considered before. AND, if all else fails, you did some shooting. Barring the instructor actually teaching you outright bad form that negatively impacts your shooting ability, you’re likely to improve based solely on a strong reps:time ratio.
    Does the above offend? If you have paid to be here, you can click here to put it in context.

  3. #3
    Mr. Shovel Lover Hambo's Avatar
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    Do you know quality training?
    I believe I do, which is why the list of people I'd pay for training has only ten or so names on it.


    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    I also think that most people wouldn’t know good instruction if it bit them on the ass.
    Agreed, because the number of people who go to one training class (other than that required for a permit) is small, and the number that goes to more than one is even smaller.


    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    But...

    So what?

    If the instructor is making a living, the student is happy, everyone leaves with the same number of holes they arrived with, and the range owner isn’t pissed, what difference does it really make?

    If absolutely nothing else, you spent 2-3 days outdoors with relatively like minded people. Some folks that may have been politically leaning in a different direction than “us” may be exposed to ideas they had t considered before. AND, if all else fails, you did some shooting. Barring the instructor actually teaching you outright bad form that negatively impacts your shooting ability, you’re likely to improve based solely on a strong reps:time ratio.
    And again, I agree. I know a lot of people with CWPs that fired between 1-10 rounds in their required class and have had no instruction since then. If they safely learn anything more about gun safety, law, or shooting, they'll be the better for it.
    John Wick didn't kill all those people because they broke his toaster.-MickAK

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Hambo View Post
    I believe I do, which is why the list of people I'd pay for training has only ten or so names on it.
    Same.

    I was a Special Forces soldier for a while. Our mission was to train other people, so I got a lot of training on how to do that. Basically, the instructor must A) teach students a better way, and B) convince them that it actually IS better so they'll stop whatever fucked-up shit they were doing before and do it right after you're gone.

    You accomplish B by pointing to improvements made while accomplishing A. For individual skills, you can do that with paper targets and a timer. It's much harder when teaching unit skills. You can spend months turning out a good company but if they don't retrain the rest of the battalion as soon as they get back home, then pride, tradition, and inertia can easily undo all if your handiwork.

    You won't know whether an unknown instructor can do either A or B until the class is over, hence the very short list of potential trainers.

    Guys like Larry Vickers and Pat McNamara have their background as proof. They also train you to train yourself, implicit proof that they're passing along solid information. But both of those guys were SF troopers before they went to the dark side, so I may be biased.


    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
    "Don't fuck with it" seems to prevent the vast majority of reported issues." BehindBlueI's

  5. #5
    happy sharps enabler Totem Polar's Avatar
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    I have a rule—admittedly, meant to be broken like most—that I won’t buy a book to read until I have gotten 3 recommendations from disparate sources for the tome. That might sound absurdly limiting at first blush, and it almost certainly is—but I nonetheless have a backlog of dozens of unread books awaiting me in my 1-room library that I know in my heart of hearts will be well-written and thought provoking.

    Point being, we have the “solid dude” network going in the training community. When I hear from guys like @Mas (my first big “name” class) and @SouthNarc alike, both mentioning someone as a solid instructor—along with any decent 3rd recommendation, then that instructor goes on the potential list.

    That’s one way of filtering. When my first class 25 years ago was LFI, and my most recent class months ago was IAJJ (@cecil burch) then I have some framework to hang other classes inside of, by way of comparison.

    And, not to be a pompous dick, but I have 20 years of my own instructor evals that exceed my department and college average, as well as recommendations in writing from people involved in running an enormous international training organization calling me the best instructor in any genre they’ve seen.

    So I have some idea of what the continuing evolution of good teaching looks like as a moving target, and I’m smart enough to use other experts’ consensus as a filter for both the course content, and the value and usefulness of that content to my own situation as Joe Public/amateur guy.

    Doesn’t mean that I won’t get fooled again, but I do feel pretty comfortable finding useful places to spend my own limited training dollars, based on bracketing between the two metrics.

    I hope that makes sense.
    ”It's important to remember that ALL news media is a consumer product. Just like soda and fast food, they don't have any incentive to make it good for you, just addictive enough for you to keep coming back for more.”
    -Nephrology

  6. #6
    Member MVS's Avatar
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    Apparently not as I have been to dozens of classes, mostly with known persons, and I am still not Batman.

  7. #7
    happy sharps enabler Totem Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MVS View Post
    ...and I am still not Batman.
    Are you a billionaire?
    ”It's important to remember that ALL news media is a consumer product. Just like soda and fast food, they don't have any incentive to make it good for you, just addictive enough for you to keep coming back for more.”
    -Nephrology

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Totem Polar View Post
    Doesn’t mean that I won’t get fooled again, but I do feel pretty comfortable finding useful places to spend my own limited training dollars, based on bracketing between the two metrics.

    I hope that makes sense.
    It does.

    Bonus points for The Who reference.


    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
    "Don't fuck with it" seems to prevent the vast majority of reported issues." BehindBlueI's

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    But...

    So what?

    If the instructor is making a living, the student is happy, everyone leaves with the same number of holes they arrived with, and the range owner isn’t pissed, what difference does it really make?
    In martial arts this is what's known as "watering down the art". It's generally considered a bad thing by serious practitioners.

    In martial arts it ends with people believing in things like "pressure points" and "chi", Aikido throws achieved through cooperative Ukes, karate guys who can't take a bar room punch, Krav Maga larping bad@sses, keychain tool toting kubaton warriors, and all the other end products of happy instructors making a living from happy students believing they have now "trained".

    In shooting it's likely part of the rise of the "mindset" guys who think their "warrior mindset" will somehow take over and make up for their mediocre shooting skills.

    Generally it starts with the idea that it's great all the soccer dads are getting some exercise instead of watching football, and at least learning to make a fist and learning to swing at a heavy bag.


    I'm not sure why in the world of shooting we're right back at everyone needing a verbal trophy from the instructor and being ok with this instead of realistic performance reviews of students.

  10. #10
    note: mindset comment not a knock on OP or lumping him in with that.

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