The Top Trainer

I’ve had the honor of training with some of the best instructors on the planet… and others who I call friends.  I was looking at another website and one instructor was referred to as “The Best On The Planet.”  I thought, whoa, really?  And then I started thinking about just who the best Instructor really was.  The Top Guy across the board.  The One Guy…
Massad Ayoob, Clint Smith, Rob Pincus, Travis Haley, Paul Howe, Chris Costa, Tiger McKee, Todd Green, George Hill (Just Kidding), Louis Awerbuck, Pat Rogers, Dave Harrington…  all these guys are awesome Instructors.  But which one is The Best of the Best when it comes to Instruction of the Gun?

Tell me who your TOP PICK is, and Why.

17 thoughts on “The Top Trainer”

    1. You have a point there, Musashi. Oh, and I just banned you for that. For 20 minutes… Your in time out. Now go sit down and think about what you have just done.

  1. I’m surprised to not see the late Paul Gomez on your list. The man was a walking encyclopedia of shooting knowledge and was incredibly capable of passing that knowledge along. Not only was he an instructor at a number of good schools, he was also constantly attending courses and learning. For CCW/defensive shooting, he’d be at the top of my list.

    Learning to hit small targets that only present themselves momentarily and making it count, Bill Rogers tops that list. The automated range at Rogers shooting school can easily hurt some competition shooters ego’s.

  2. John Farnham had the dead nuts most impact on me of the guys I have studied under. He is not famous, but he has a perspective very applicable to the civilian application.

    I would put Chuck Taylor up there too. Not so much on the technique side, albeit he is excellent, but for mindset and world view.

  3. Chris Fry from MDTS Training cause of his usable methods for combat at bad breath distances, retention, family protection, low light, reload and jam clearing…

    1. I’m hoping to get into one of Chris’ classes before the weather gets foul. Just hoping he holds one over the Delaware in PA soon. I can’t bring my pistols into NY or even my reduced capacity AR mags(15 is legal in jersey but not NY). I’ve heard really good things on the local boards about MDTS and have bounced a few e-mails back and forth to Chris.

  4. Hmmm … I’ll have to sample all of them in order to make an informed decision.
    I have only worked with one on your list (Massad Ayoob). The others (not on your list) have been pretty good as well, Bob Houzenga and Andy Kemp. I had the opportunity to take a class with Jim Cirillo … unfortunately I put it off for a year. We lost him before the chance rolled around again.

    1. Forgot the “why” …

      Ayoob … really? Do you need a why? I can’t put my finger on it except to say that I like his teaching style and he knows what he’s talking about.

      Houzenga and Kemp … They teach together at MTG. They are a very good match in teaching style. You never feel like you are being talked down to by either of them. They are very good at breaking down the mechanics of defensive shooting and patiently imparting that information until it’s absorbed by the student. It doesn’t hurt that they both know how to run a gun exceptionally well. MTG was the first place I heard the term “smooth is fast and fast is smooth.” They demonstrate this principle very well in every class. It’s also a treat to watch Bob Houzenga run a revolver.

      Jim Cirillo … seventeen shootouts and the ability/desire to teach what he learned.

      A better summary than I could give … http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/07/jim-cirillo-dead-at-76.html

  5. Larry Vickers & Ken Hackathorn; their Kool Aid goes down nice and smoooooth;-)

    Vickers gives great 1911 and Ken gives great everything. Tom Givens is no slouch either.

    Seller Fi!

  6. Of the biggies I have only gotten training from Todd Green. He was fantastic, not only a great shooter but very articulate and precise in his words. I am sure being a great shooter, having a well thought out curriculum, articulating yourself well and having a sense of humor are traits that most top instructors have. They are probably needed to get to the point of being considered in the top tier of instructors.

  7. My father. While all of those names deserve credit for what they do, it was my dad who taught me both the basics of shooting as well as how to do it safely. He taught me to respect firearms, and set the foundation for my love of shooting and hunting. I am also proud of my daughter who has also taken up shooting and even attended mag40 with me last year with the gun dudes.

  8. Had the chance to study with Mike Harries (not on the list), Masaad Ayoob, Clint Smith, and John Farnham. Who taught the best? Depends on what I was looking to learn. If I were in trouble, Massad would be my first call. John Farnham has remained a friend for years.
    But really, any one of them would do to ride the river with.

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