AAR: Shooting Performance Instructor Development, by Jason Crotteau of Wyoming Tactical

From Jason Crotteau of Wyoming Tactical:

Shooting Performance F.I.D.C.
Las Cruses, NM
Dec. 4-8 [2017]

I have been teaching defensive firearms, and running my small company for a couple of years now, being both NRA certified, and a Combat Focus Shooting instructor, I know that I had the background, and in the case of CFS had been put through the grinder to get signed off. In my mind however, passing the test, and simply being “good enough” doesn’t cut it when it come to educating people in life and death skills. So I was looking for something more. This is when I came across Firearms Instructor Development Course (F.I.D.C.) taught by Mike Seeklander of Shooting Performance.

I had met Mike previously through mutual friends, and after talking with him, he was gracious enough to grant me a slot in a very difficult to attend class. Mike also had another instructor with him, Rich Brown, who had some incredible insights on public speaking and presentation. Rich is also an accomplished shooter in his own right. Using his critiques I was able to gain valuable insights into my own teaching style, and how to maximise my impact with students.

When I arrived on day one I understood why this course was so difficult to get into. I was one of fourteen other instructors, eleven of which were high level officers, and instructors for the Las Cruses Police Department and the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department. Half of these guys were SWAT officers, and one was a Grand Master level shooter. To say that I was intimidated would be sugar coating it.

I was absolutely determined to get everything out of this course that I could, so I put all of my focus into absorbing all the knowledge that was being thrown at us. I had heard the “drinking from the firehose” analogy before, and this class was no different. Just the focus was slightly different. This course wasn’t about teaching a specific program or method. It was primarily about HOW we teach. I would say that about sixty percent of the curriculum was about communication, and how to convey information to students. While we worked on our communication skills we were shown different methods for running students on a range, we talked about some of the factors that go into skill development, and learned a few tricks along the way.

A couple of takeaways for me were the structure templates that this course provided. Both in terms of how to develop a curriculum, and how to structure it into a understandable flow. This was of huge importance to me, as I have reached a point in my career where I am beginning to develop my own curriculum. The examples, and structures that we learned made this seemingly gargantuan task seem much more manageable. Secondly, we were shown a few different ways of running the line on the range. One of the best ways was making the line automatic. Giving the student a task and let them do the reps. As an instructor, this style gives you more freedom to watch for safety concerns, as well as more opportunities to coach students.

One of the biggest things that I left with is learning to teach, without a doctrine. Walking out with solutions for the problems that I have encountered as my training courses have grown. I remember doing a survey before Instructor Conference in September, and something that I listed as a weakness as an instructor was not dividing up my curriculum into small bite, or block. Something I could just pull out on demand.

Overall, the lessons on effective communication, especially as it relates to firearms training made a world of difference. It will make a big difference to the students as well.

Scott Park Phillips: Most Applications are Just Stage Combat

Scott Park Phillips of North Star Martial Arts:

I teach applications. Applications are all about capturing a feeling. A feeling of moving through space, of getting a hold, of clearing, catching, spinning, or tipping. The point of an application is to get a feeling, and then find that feeling again spontaneously in some kind of rough-housing game.

The chances of getting an application from a video are very small. Applications in a video are a type of stage combat designed to recruit students. If you can see it without slow-motion it is usually an illusion. And even if a video uses the slow-motion effect, you can’t feel it. And applications are all about feeling…

Continue reading…

WeaponsMan: When Force-on-Force Training Goes Wrong

From WeaponsMan:

If you’re not paranoid about a training gun that looks and feels like your service firearm, if you’re not constantly checking and double-checking, and if you’re not still observing the three most fundamental rules even when you know the training aid can’t possibly hurt anybody, well, then the difference between your situation and the much less enviable one in which Lee Coel finds himself is not dependent on anything but happenstance, chance, fortune… luck…

Continue reading…

h/t Grant Cunningham of the Personal Security Institute

Phil Wong: Reduced-Vision Shooters

Phil Wong of Gator Farm Tactical writes:

If my glasses get broken or knocked off in a fight, I’m down to 20/400+ vision (my optometrist wouldn’t get more specific than that, he just said that with optical prescriptions as strong as mine, it’s pretty much academic when you get higher than 20/400). Without my glasses, I can still distinguish shapes and colors out to 40-50 yards, but I cannot distinguish details like lettering or facial features past about 5-7 yards. Since my vision is correctable to better than 20/200, I’m not technically “legally blind” without my glasses, but it’s still pretty bad.

In November 2013, I shot the qualification course of fire for the Massad Ayoob Group MAG-40 class with my Glock 19, OEM Meprolight night sights, and non-prescription lenses in my shooting glasses, in front of about 25-30 students, staff instructors, and Massad F. Ayoob himself – just to see how I might be able to shoot under pressure without my corrective lenses. My final score was 297/300, which means that I had zero misses and only 3 shots outside of the A-zone of a standard IPSC cardboard target, over 60 shots fired at distances between 4 yards and 15 yards. I wasn’t nearly as fast as Mas and the other instructors, but I met the allotted time limits and still got the hits on target. Honestly, the hardest thing to do was to make sure I shot the right target – I had to consciously count targets from the end of the line before each string of fire, to distinguish between my target and a couple dozen other identical targets. As long as I don’t get attacked by a bad guy wearing the exact same clothes as an innocent bystander, I should be OK…

Bottom line – don’t assume that you know what someone else is or isn’t capable of, and don’t assume that you can or can’t do something until you try.

He also linked to an article called The Gun Debate, Why It Matters for the Blind by Greg Trapp at the National Federation for the Blind.

Walking the Walk

There’s a news story going around about a celebrity being spotted in a CCW class. The person in question made no announcements and didn’t open the door by mentioning it publicly. They are not one of the many who advocate for gun control while having either their own guns or armed security details that carry them on their behalf. There’s no legitimate contribution to the conversation by outing relevant hypocrisy, because it’s not happening in this case. Someone just spotted them in a class, snapped some pics, and sent them to a gossip tabloid.

Here’s the thing. If you’re against the names of CCW holders and applicants being published without their permission, maybe we shouldn’t be publishing the names of CCW holders or applicants without their permission. Let’s show some respect, walk the walk, and not share the story.