Why do YOU need training?

I got a smart-ass email from someone who thinks they know more than they do.

“I thought you were a Trainer. Why do YOU need training?  Not as good you wish you were?”

You know, that’s a good question.  Most of the serious trainers that know never miss a chance to continue their own education. I dare say the best trainers never stop learning themselves.  When you stop learning yourself, you stagnate. Your instruction stagnates.  There are some of those trainers out there who think they are so all that, that they wouldn’t dare lower themselves to be a student again.  That arrogance isn’t a good thing, not for them and not for their students.  Their only remaining value is having a “Name” and students can then brag that they trained with them… because the actual value of that training stagnates with the trainer.  I could name names, but I don’t want to start any fights or flame wars or foster any animosity.  I’ll just say this, the best in the business know that they need to continually sharpen their swords.  Those that don’t, they know who they are.  The day I decide to stop learning, that’s the day I stop teaching too.

13 thoughts on “Why do YOU need training?”

  1. it is called “progress” and tactics will continue to evolve until there is no one left to shoot. Just think, firing in ranks was “modern” but with the advances of firearms there must be new ways to employ them. Everyone, not just instructors, needs to keep current in order to stay ahead of the game. It’s friggin common sense and helps with self-preservation.

  2. Every blade needs re-sharpening.

    ALL the US Spec Ops guys, the hardest, most skilled guys I know, if not on deployment, are in training of some sort and most of them are instructor-rated on some level.

    My most influential mentor is one of THE close quarters combat oversight guys for Army SF (he helps keep “the book” written and up to date so to speak) and he goes through a regular CQB training cycle where he is just another student.

    Besides, it’s fun.

  3. He who knows, knows he knows not.

    The more knowledgeable and skilled you are, the more you realize how much is out there that you just don’t know. And, if you have any sense, you’re going to want to learn as much of it as you can, because no one ever died from having too much knowledge and skill.

    Anyone who thinks he knows everything, must know very little, indeed, to be able to sustain such a delusion. Because once you go beyond the basics, every time you learn one thing, you discover there are /at least/ two other things you really don’t know enough about.

  4. To have intimate knowledge on everything gunfighting would mean that one has won every type of deadly force encounter possible. Unfortunately us mortals usually run out of luck in a fight before that happens. I hear rear echelon military types talk about how great they are with a rifle and pistol because they qualified expert on the range a few times. This always makes me laugh, because the real forward operating guys jump at any chance to hone or test their skills. Thinking like that means he hasn’t learned enough or experienced enough to learn how to think.

  5. Training is a journey and not a destination. Even at a training class below my skill set, there are opportunities to learn and practice. Since you are an instructor you have the added opportunity to observe other instructional techniques and see how they mesh with the skills of other students.

    I always feel a little embarrassed and flustered when I am learning at a class a bit beyond my skill set. I tend to sacrifice my learning for not wanting to slow down the pace of the experts. Yet I have found these classes are where I learn the most and I do not sense a negative vibe from the other students or the instructors, just encouragement.

    To quote Robert Browning, “A Man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?”

  6. You know, there was a guy who worked IT at my last job who I knew kind of second-hand enjoyed shooting. I was trying to get a group together to go to an Appleseed Shoot up in PA and figured I’d ask him if he was interested. That’s when he went into a spiel about how he doesn’t need any training class like that as he already shoots better than they could show him how. And THAT’S the day I stopped ever talking to him about firearms. Sad when people don’t try to find the training opportunities in every situation. I’m never as good as I want to be, so I keep looking and keep training.

  7. You know…at least half the reason I became an NRA instructor was because I figured (correctly it turns out) it would give me a chance to meet lots of other like-minded people and at least pick their brains.

    I’m at least twice the teacher I was before, and probably three times the shooter…

    And I feel sometimes like I just started, so many brains left to pick. I’ve gotten a lot of free training (even from guys with names!), just by being open to learning new stuff and never being afraid to ask questions.

  8. I’ve learned a lot about the subjects that I teach by being in a classroom with students, by talking with my colleagues, by taking classes–I’ve learned enough to know that I always want to learn more. I can’t imagine a teacher who doesn’t want to learn. Don’t we teach because we’re fascinated by our subjects? I’m grateful to get paid to do what I love.

    Your correspondent is like some of my students who believe that the piece of paper that they receive upon graduation is a magical object that will cover them through life. Whether it’s a college degree, training for a carry license, or whatever else, that kind of belief is dim witted and dangerous.

  9. To quote a good friend of mine: “Your
    not even close to being a bad ass fighter until you have been in at least 500 fights, and gotten your ass kicked in half of then.”

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