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Read a Book

A couple of years ago I wrote an article that was spurred by a comment from John Farnam. John and I were discussing the current state of firearms training and he lamented that there were few competent young, upcoming instructors that would be able to carry on after the old ‘masters’ were gone. He wasn’t denigrating anyone, it’s just that much of what we see today is merely a rehash of what’s been around for a long time. This is true in both the firearms training industry as well as martial arts training. 

I have been a student of both firearms and martial arts disciplines for well over 50 years and I am constantly amazed when I see someone come up with some ‘new’, ‘improved’, ‘more effective', ‘technique’ or ‘system’.  While there may be some interesting and potentially useful research going on (Mike ‘Ox’ Ochsner, John Holschen, John Hearne, etc.), most of what is being presented (or ‘re-presented’) has been around for a while.

My previous comments no doubt upset a few folks. I stated that many of the current crop of firearms instructors think that because they spent some time in the military or LE, or have studied some martial art for a while, they are qualified to teach self-defense, or firearms use. It’s akin to a student coming into a school, practicing for a few months, and thinking they are good enough for a black belt. Just because you can hit a bag hard or can shoot a small group on the range, does not qualify you as fighter or gunfighter and certainly not an instructor. 


The other pet peeve of mine is when someone ‘re-titles’ something that’ already has some roots and makes folks think they invented it. I have a fairly extensive library of both firearms and martial arts books. If you were to open them up, you’ll find there is a finite number of ways to punch, kick, block, and shoot a gun. More similarities than differences. Tom Givens always talks about giving credit. Take it from an old guy – there is little that is really new. Ivan Pavlov is credited with saying, “If you want a new idea read an old book”.   


I have to agree with Mr. Pavlov.  



The Director's Desk

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