Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Training - Are you satisfied???


I had the great pleasure of spending 20 minutes on the phone with Kathy Jackson of “Cornered Cat” fame a few weeks back. During our conversation we spent some time discussing the reluctance of folks to take more advanced training. We both agreed that the training industry has, in many ways, dropped the ball on the promotion of additional training. As instructors – it simply makes sense to offer course work that advances a shooters marksmanship, their ability to draw and engage, their ability to move, their ability to clear malfunctions . . . . there is nearly an endless list of opportunities to offer shooters ways to advance their skill set.

That said, the true responsibility for building your skill set, for learning new skills, for practicing those skills falls squarely on YOUR shoulders. So let me ask you a question . . . .

Are you satisfied????

With your skill set, with your ability to exercise each component of that skill set, with your ability to defend yourself, your family, or your friends?

Are you satisfied with the course work you’ve taken? Do you have “holes” in your training?

Are your satisfied with your range work? Your marksmanship, your ability to draw and get that first hit, your ability to “get off the X”?

Are you satisfied with your level of performance when you compete?

Are your competing?

We finally pulled together enough shooters for a single stage steel shoot tonight. Just a half dozen guys sending rounds down range. Here was our stage for the night:


Nothing tricky – 4 whites and a red. We use slightly smaller plate for our shoots. The rounds are 8” and the rectangles are 8” x 10”. We use a 30 second par time. And, here is yours truly shooting a round tonight:


About 86 degrees and, since we are next to a very wet marsh – tons of small flying piranha – otherwise known as gnats. So, we had the advantage of having a few natural “stressors” forcing us to focus on our shots.

So, how’d the night go? Well – in the interest of full disclosure . . . .


Best time for the night – 6.21 seconds. Heavy sigh. Am I satisfied . . . . mmmmmmm – no. But, it is a starting point for the summer shooting season, provided some good reinforcement for the work I am doing with my SIRT pistols and it was just plain fun to be out shooting.

So . . . . I want you to be honest with yourself . . . . are YOU satisfied?

If you are . . . . fully satisfied . . . . I’d ask you to simply re-evaluate where you are as a shooter. I’ve been at this for a lot of years - and I’ve never been satisfied with my performance. Accepting of where I am . . . . but satisfied?? Nope – never.  Perhaps it’s time to push yourself to a higher level of performance.

And, if you’re NOT satisfied . . . get off your butt and get moving. There’s a great cadre of instructors in the U.S. Find some that are reputable, have solid references and teach what you want to learn.

“Satisfied” . . . . it’s a great goal . . . .

. . . . work toward it!


  1. Not satisfied, but not able to shoot either... sigh... "Maybe" sunday, if I can wake up on time...

  2. Yep, range time can get tough to fine - heavy sigh. I find there are trips where I come away happy but every great once-in-a-while I come away satisfied with the trip. The next range day usually brings me back to earth! :)

  3. I think the training industry in general is dropping the ball about making their services well-advertised and available to people. I live in Idaho, which is about as gun-happy a state as they come, and I have to actually put in some search time in order to find courses, where they're being taught, etc. When firearms instruction schools are as easy to find as Payday Loan places, we'll have the level of availability we need. Of course, maybe the supply is being intentially kept low to keep the prices high - sure seems like it when I do find a class to take.

  4. Pricing is always an interesting topic. From the instructor's POV - how does he create a course that has value and yet covers cost an provides a profit to allow their company to grow (or at the very least - break even)? Consumers do a pretty good job letting you know what they will and will not support. Right now I think there is simply a lack of desire for more advanced training - and that is reflected is few courses being offered. We'll have to see if that balances out in the future.