Tagged: Kathy Jackson

Kathy Jackson: What’s the Point of this Activity?

Kathy Jackson of Cornered Cat and the IDJ:

What if we never showed a child what their ability to walk could be used for? Never showed them how to run, or kick, or jump, or climb a tree? Would it help a child’s ultimate independence and ability to do those other things if instead of doing those things with them, we kept the kid in a perpetual state of improving their skill at walking? If we measured and categorized every step they took, telling them all the different ways they could improve their walking performance? “Kiddo, look, your step-to-step times can be improved if we just eliminate a little wasted motion right at the top of that left leg swing…” We might even put together little contests for them with their other friends, where we tightly scripted and carefully measured their walking skills, with stages that emphasized foot flexion, leg extension, stride length, being able to balance on one leg or the other, and so on…

Continue reading…

Kathy Jackson: What Certifications Do You Need?

Kathy Jackson of Cornered Cat and IDJ:

From elsewhere, in response to sumdood asking what certifications he “needed” to have in order to teach home defense and gun safety:

At the heart, a “home defense” instructor asks (and even expects) people to bet their lives and the lives of their loved ones on the quality of the instructor’s information and the instructor’s ability to impart that information to them in a meaningful way.

If that thought doesn’t scare you down to your toenails, it’s not the job for you no matter what classes you’ve attended or what certifications you have. If it sounds silly or overstated or like anything other than the bare truth … same thing.

If that sobering thought does give you some hesitation, you won’t ever again ask how little education you can get away with having. Instead, you’ll start asking how much you can absorb, and of what quality.

Kathy Jackson: Bad Haircut

For perspective, here are the educational requirements to attain a cosmetics-related license in Washington state.

Education requirements

Minimum required school hours

  • Cosmetologist—1,600 hours
  • Barber—1,000 hours
  • Manicurist—600 hours
  • Esthetician—750 hours
  • Master esthetician—1,200 hours
  • Hair design—1,400 hours

Minimum required apprenticeship program hours

  • Cosmetologist—2,000 hours
  • Barber—1,200 hours
  • Manicurist—800 hours
  • Esthetician—800 hours
  • Master esthetician—1,400 hours
  • Hair design—1,750 hours

Those who want to be instructors in these cosmetic fields must take an additional 500 hours of training and pass both written and practical tests.


So what does cosmetology have to do with firearms instruction? What’s my point here?

Well, I’m certainly not suggesting “there ought to be a law!” Self defense is the most basic of all human rights, and that’s a right that belongs to all of us regardless of what we’ve learned or haven’t learned about how to do it effectively.

But I am saying what a shame it is that so many would-be instructors react with horror and disdain when someone suggests that perhaps, maybe, people should independently decide to get more than 17 hours of training before trying teach other people how to handle tools that can kill them.

This is just a little more important than avoiding a bad haircut.

Kathy Jackson: For Instructors—A Wake Up Call

Kathy Jackson of Cornered Cat:

A few things to learn from a medical emergency on the range as reported <here>. According to eyewitnesses, at an action pistol match, one person was pasting targets in one bay while another person was shooting a stage in the next bay over. One of the shooter’s rounds apparently ricocheted (or traveled directly through) a crack in the concrete barriers separating the two bays, striking the taper in the chest.

The linked article has more to say, but — in part because of my current writing project which is a book for instructors — I’m thinking about instructors today. What do instructors need to learn from incidents like this?

1) Safety is not “everyone’s job.” It is the job of each one of us, individually…

Continue reading at Cornered Cat…

The video that was on YouTube has been made private, but this screenshot of the preview frame is more than enough to see that mistakes were made. Especially when we consider that USPSA has a 180 rule (section 10.5.2).


What do you see here? Sound off in the comments.

UPDATE: The video has been re-uploaded. Thanks to Annette Evans of Beauty Behind the Blast for letting us know!

Kathy Jackson: Lesson From an Old Guy About Continuous Education

By Kathy Jackson of Cornered Cat

Roughly three or four years after I first began learning to shoot, I met an older gentleman – Jim – who had a profound influence on my shooting development. Jim bounced into the room on the first day of a shooting class I was taking, and he was loudly enthusiastic about another class he’d taken just a week or two before we met. “That class was amazing!” Jim said, and went on to tell the group of us standing there all about that other class: who the instructor was, what he taught and why he taught it, how he’d shown this old guy a new technique he’d never seen before. Jim was very excited about the new technique, and told me that he thought it might save a few lives.

At the time, Jim was 72 years old. He’d also been around guns his entire life, from the time when he was very small. Not only that, he also held several regional and even national titles in competition shooting. He held instructor credentials in several different disciplines, and had worked as a law enforcement trainer for a number of years. During his law enforcement career, he’d been the victor in several gunfights. If anyone could claim they knew so much that taking a class was just a waste of his time and money, Jim would be that guy.

Despite all that, Jim also believed – strongly! – that life was full of new things to learn. So he kept exploring new thoughts, new ways of doing things with a firearm, and kept taking classes from other people right up until his untimely death in a car accident at age 76.

Whenever I hear an old guy saying he doesn’t need to take a class because he “grew up around guns,” I also hear Jim’s voice telling us what he’d learned the week before.

When I meet a newly-minted instructor who simply won’t ask any questions where others might hear because she thinks she’ll lose her students’ respect if she takes the learner’s role, I think of Jim and the great respect his students had for him.

When someone tells me they already know as much as they need to know about using firearms for self-defense, I think of Jim and his eager enthusiasm for learning more or better ways to save innocent lives.

Jim’s last name was Cirillo. It’s safe to say, Jim Cirillo knew a thing or two about guns. And if that man, with his background and at that stage of his life, thought there were still new things he could learn, what does that say about folks who think they already know all that stuff and don’t need anyone else to teach them anything?

This article first appeared at Cornered Cat and is reproduced here with permission.

Kathy Jackson: Guard Your Mindset

By Kathy Jackson of Cornered Cat

If there were one piece of advice I could give to everyone who keeps a gun around for self-defense, it would be this:

Guard your mindset.

Teach yourself how to think about self-defense. Teach yourself how to think about personal protection. Study good sources and learn from smart, experienced people. Ask questions. Be sure you understand the law — what you’re legally allowed to do, what you’re legally required to do, what the law forbids you to do. Think (hard!) about your own moral code, and think especially hard about the tough questions and the grey areas. Are you willing to defend your own life, or the lives of people you love, even at the expense of someone else’s life?

Once you’ve taught yourself how to think, guard your good thinking. Protect it. Don’t let yourself fall into sloppy or angry or fear-driven fantasies. Stick with what you’re willing to do, what you’re able to do, what you will do if it comes to it. Don’t engage in wishful thinking or mindless idealism. Don’t post expletive-filled rants on social media and don’t even let yourself think those rants. Not because they’re “bad” and someone will punish you for bad thought, but because you care about the way your mind works, and you want to stay fully grounded in reality.