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All this discussion has caused me to look up the definition of "advanced":adj 1. in front, 2. old, 3. ahead or higher in progress.

I think for this discussion we can safely rely on the 3rd definition of "ADVANCED" : ahead of or higher in progress.

Now let me back up a bit here. I have a formal education in program development for outdoor recreation. So it has not been uncommon in the last 10 years to be approached to design and write programs for the physical skills I am interested in. Shooting has been just one.

One request was to design a "advanced shooting" program for a group interesting in wooing the military training dollars. Their idea, with several million dollars behind them, were things like zip lines, parachute rigging towers and complicated "jungle" lanes as shooting problems.

In other words a shooter's Disneyland of problems that will seldom, if ever, occur.

The US Olymipic training facility and coaches learned in the mid 70's (from the Eastern block countires BTW) that the very best physical and mental training for any sport was the "specificity of training". That means that you actually do exactly what your sport requires, but you only do PERFECT practice.

The key is to learn what perfect practice is. Then define it. And finally learn to repeat it.

Flip back to firearms training now. There are any number of instructors who will give you a Disneyland ride in a firearms course. Some of them are very successful commercially.

Many firearm trainiers have no idea what the goal is during firearms or "confrontational training". Is your goal the same as a Spec Op soldier, IPSC GM, civilian or a LEO? It is, only if you are one. Different levels of deployment, lifestyle or interest demand different skill sets.

Gun skills are fairly simple. You need to hit the target. That is easily measured. If you don't know what perfect practice is and can't deliver on demand perfect performance (or at least at a high degree of skill level) you need to STOP there and start anew.

Start anew with perfect practice of the most basic skill sets.

That is just a simple review of gun skills.

We (Tom, Jim and I) teach a "combatives program" for civialians. Remember the quote, " specificity of training"? We teach exactly what we have identified (which was done by our own experiences) as necessary to defend yourself on a broad spectrum in today's environment as a civilian.

The question has been posed that the skills taught might not be advanced. It is always good to question your instructor. Makes you both better. I encorage anyone to teach by forcing your students to ask questions. Stimulate the student's curiousity, make them work for the answer! To understand physical skills you must first know what the human body is capable of and how to get it to duplicate the skill in the most efficent manner.

Learning new physical skills is difficult for anyone, even the most gifted. Retraining physical skills is even more difficult if you have to unlearn the skills you have already acquired.

We get caught up in the word game of symantics too many times. If I am to show you how to build a custom 1911 over a 20 hour period is that an "advanced" pistol course? Or is it just the "right" way to build a basic pistol?

You can guess my answer.

Self defense training comes down to one thing. It is too easly forgotten or for many, student and instructor, never realised. What we do in self defense is impose our "will" on another. That may be as simple as a verbal command or as harsh as lethal force. It can be as complicated as our legal system. My point here is that without an extensive level of both, knowledge and experience, finding the specificity in "self defense" training is impossible.

Gun skills are a tiny part of self defense, but most firearms students just want the E ticket Disneyland ride. (which I am not adverse to as a student either if I am looking to be entertained but I am usually more serious wiht my own training time) If you are looking for entertainment there are plenty of training businesses out there who will oblige.

Good training is hard work and takes perfect practice. Making a student actually work is seldom economically rewarding in our culture. Paying money to be entertained is not unusual. Paying money and being asked to work, is not the norm for the majority of firearms students.

I know what it takes to win a fight. I know what is involved in losing one. I can give a class in two days that will in fact prepare you to survive and prevail in a physical altercation. BUT YOU THEN HAVE TO PRACTICE those same skills long after I am gone and incorporate them into your life style and physical abilities. I even teach that class once a year or so. The students get bruised and battered. They get minor injuries, even with a $1000 FIST suit on and in a controlled environment. It is DAMN hard work for all involved. Harder yet to win in the real world.

That is life.

No one seems to disagree that the use of "SIMUNITIONS" is advanced firearms training. That is universally agreed upon by LEO, Spec Ops and Civilains.

I have been teaching with sims of one type or another since 1985. I have worked extensively with SWAT cops, street cops, Spec Op soldiers, firearms instructors and civilians. No matter the level of student training, I have seldom seen ANYONE walk into a sims environment and be able to deal with the challenges effectively. (unless they have had long term exposure to the same problems with the appropriate answers available in real life) Sim training points out the weaknesses of training quite quickly. The vast majority of students from any background can use a refresher course in verbal commands, cover and concealment and the Nike technique.

Pretty pathetic to be teaching REALLY basic techniques, like running away, to a class where the students came to shoot each other don't ya think? My point? What is needed is a back to basics class, using red guns, and perfect practice in survival techniques to bring the students UP to a level where they can actually learn something useful from the pain enhanced, "advanced", learning experience of "SIMUNITIONS".

Advanced training? What advanced training in "self defense" IS..... is perfect practice of the basic skills needed to overcome the challenge.

Choose your programs and instructors wisely. You can either get what you need or the fantasy of a Disneyland ride, your choice.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-11-03 00:53 ]</font>
 

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Dane, you do have an articulate way with words. Thanks for more good information and insite. :smile: Mike

PS: Now for the other after action report! How was the culinary delights of the Dallas area? :grin:

_________________
NRA LEAA NAHC

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Randall_1611 on 2001-11-02 15:46 ]</font>
 
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Good Response and post Dane,

It is easy to forget that we already know the secerets to success and have continued to look for the "next wheel" in each endeavor elsewhere.


This quote has been used by many famous persons but can be traced back to the fourth century BC, oddly enough it exists in almost every language.

In English:

"The seceret to success is to learn to do something right, then to do it right everytime".

Bill Cosby has always elegantly made light of our social culture and expectations.
one of his best comments:

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone."
 

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My thoughs on "advanced" training:

Okay, here goes. Any training is like bull riding. No fun while you're doing it, incredibly instructive and motivating once you're done (and the bruises are healed :eek:).

I can only relate what I've experienced so far. So a brief resume is in order. As with anything else, I approached self defense, H2H & shooting by reading. I was taught to shoot by my grandfather when I was 10, but I hadn't thought much about it until my 29th birthday, when I purchased at Browning High Power in .40 caliber as my first handgun. I figured I should probably know what to do with this thing, so I bought books. First was Chuck Taylor's "Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunning." I then progressed to Ayoob, Farnam, Suarez (highly recommended BTW), Cirillo, Rauch, Bird, Bloodworth, Givens, etc. . . . anything I could get my hands on.

At the same time I tried a variety of martial arts. I quit Tai Kwon Do when I came to the conclusion that it wasn't applicable on the street and stopped Aikido when I hurt someone because I didn't have enough control.

At the same time I tried IDPA & IPSC. I found IDPA closer in principle to what I was trying to learn than IPSC, but both are a lot of fun. For what it's worth (and to gauge the value of this information) after several years I'm an IDPA Expert class and IPSC A class shooter. Which means on occassion I'm brilliant :smile:.

For further background, I haven't been to Gunsites or Thunder Ranch, though I'd like to go to both. But I have taken the South Carolina CCW training and have trained with Steve Silverman of FR&I, a top notch travelling trainer. I've taken Steve's Level II class twice as a student and once as an assistant instructor. I've taken his Level III once. FWIW, Level III was primarily Simunitions scenario-based with the Kansas Correctional SRT team playing the bad guys. That was a lot of fun. I've also taken Rangemaster's Advanced Combatives two-day class. I've learned a lot from every instructor I've been priveleged to work with.

And now for the real topic of discussion, "advanced" instruction. Advanced -- at least as I understand it -- is little more than high speed, precision application of the basics. You can train hard and do a lot of nifty things ... but it all comes down to a front sight on the target and smooooth trigger pull under extreme circumstances -- if, and only if, using a gun is warranted. Most times it isn't. All this while moving, screaming, soiling yourself, praying, etc.

All "advanced" training does is expose you to some different (harder, faster, more stressful) circumstances so you'll react properly when everything goes to hell.

So, once you get past the basics (front sight, press) everything is a variation on a theme . . . and a more extreme test of your ability to discern the difference between a shoot/no-shoot situation . . . and your ability to hit solidly if it is a "shoot" problem.

So what I assume (and we all know the problems of Ass U Me ing, don't we?) to be advanced training would include:

1)A very brief coverage of the force continuum and OODA loop. If you haven't been exposed to this before, you don't belong in an advanced class.

2) High speed shooting on the move -- the tactical waddle (my term for the butt-lowered, feet-in-line, heel-toe walk) is a prime example. No matter how often I see this demonstrataed, I'm convinced that I'm doing it wrong. I understand the principle of the body as a tracked vehicle with a stable shooting platform, I just have trouble getting it right. Some hands-on, personal instruction would be great. 500 rounds minimum, with personalized instruction.

3) Advanced pie-ing and house clearing -- with a hard-core, Simunitions-armed shooter as the BG, ready to pop any exposed part of the body as a lesson in proper blading and ultra-cautious room clearing. A room clearing (by yourself) should take 10+ minutes, not seconds. And if a student doesn't say, "I'm calling 911," before going in -- and is then given a really valid reason to try this on his own -- toss his ass out of the class. Rambos are not needed or wanted.

4) Scenario-based confrontations and de-escalation. Not every problem is solved with a gun. Sometimes just being a good witness (or knowing that the BG might have a partner) makes the most sense.

5) Stressful shooting while moving, various flashlight techniques (preferably with Sims), detailed color-code walk-throughs, video and discussion of real life shootings, personalized H2H and all sorts of other things would go into what I'd consider an "advanced" class.

A lot of these things are covered in basic classes (once you get past the "this is the end that goes bang" stage :grin:), but only briefly discussed and demonstrated. An advanced class would cover them in more detail and with more hands-on instruction.

Those are just my thoughts on what might go into "advanced" training. Of course, it would take a lot of work on the instructors part to ensure that his/her students were up to it before proceding.

Open for discussion,
Chad

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chad Ward on 2001-11-05 09:38 ]</font>
 

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I think that there are several ways to look at "advanced" training. As previously noted much "advanced" training involves the application of the basics, front sight and trigger press, under more strenuous conditions, primarily time pressure to induce stress. "Advanced" training isn't some initiation into the previously kept secrets of shooting - its the basics.

I think that "advanced" training is the place to really stress the shooter and make sure they can perform the basics under stress. I think this is the great value of Simunitions training, its stressful and its obvious whether your watching the threat or your front sight.

The other area for "advanced" training is the introduction of new skills or the use of your shooting skills in combination with other combatives. Many of these ideas can only be introduced in an "advanced" class because the instructors can be sure the students understand the basics of firearms safety and won't injure themselves or others when under increased stress.

The new skills that I immediately think of are one handed manipulations. We all hope that we never have to clear a Type III with just our support hand but you had better be able to, just in case.

The introduction of other combatives can only happen in an "advanced" class if the instructor can be assured the student has acceptable shooting skills. The ability to decide whether to shoot or strike relies on the shooter's skill cushion to transition between the two.

This being said, there is no substitute for constant practice of the basics. I recently returned from GunSite's 250C class even thought I've taken a variety of other pistol classes and was a competent shooter. Working through all the basics from scratch really boosted my skill level. The constant work on the basics really allowed my speed to increase and my confidence in my skills to increase.

I think I have a point in this rambling. I would summarize by saying there is a need for "advanced" training but it assumes that the student understands the basics, can demonstrate this mastery on demand, and most importantly, the student has completely adapted the principles of safe gun handling. Depsite the legitimate need for "advanced" training, it should never be assumed that work on the bacics can be neglected or ignored and that any student won't benefit from working on the basics.
 

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There are a number of things that are natural candidates for inclusion in an advanced class; shooting on the move, casualty drills, shooting from and around vehicles, extreme close-quarters shooting, et cetera. However, any shooting class is going to have a number of "basic" drills. If one thinks that a given drill is too "basic" for him, then he should attempt to turn up his speed on that drill. The mental clock that keeps diligentia in harmony with celeritis is dynamic and changes with the markmanship/gunhandling challenge posed and the shooter's ability.

If posed with a "basic" drill, just shoot it faster...while keeping one's hits well placed.

Rosco
 

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Let me start by saying that, in general, I don’t have a lot to offer this forum, but I believe I have something to offer here.

As an additional preface, I will tell you that I have two Masters degrees: one in biomedical engineering, and one in nuclear engineering—the latter from MIT. I tell you this to establish some credibility in the subject I will address: education. I may not know shit about guns, but I do know something about how we teach and how we learn.

One of the important lessons you learn when torturing yourself by spending extended periods of time in graduate school is that you actually know a lot less than you thought you did. It may be cliché, but it is true that the smarter you get and the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.

As I progressed through “advanced” graduate classes in nuclear physics and the like, I gained an acute understanding of how easily we forget the fundamentals, and how important and necessary it is to KNOW these. When I say “know these” I mean to understand them on an emotional level, not to just be able to recite them. I mean that you “know” something to such a degree that you no longer have to “think” about it. When you have reached this stage you begin to develop an intuition, i.e., you know or react on a sub-rational (for lack of a better term) level. “Intuition” is the best term I can think of, but it is not fully descriptive of what I mean.

So what does all that crap mean? It means that if you are intelligent, honest, and mature enough to do so, you will embrace the fact that you really don’t know as much as you would like to think you do; and you will understand the value of reiterating, relearning, and refocusing on what you THOUGHT you already knew. It means that there are levels of understanding and knowledge, and that just because you have memorized something doesn’t mean you understand or “know” it.

A famous chess player once said that he didn’t THINK about what was the best next move, he FELT it. I think this statement is important; and I think it’s important to envision the thousands of hours he spent training to reach that stage.

Another point I’m trying to make here is that an “advanced” class could consist of nothing but the “fundamentals” and still be considered an “advanced” class.

I’m not sure I’ve successfully articulated the points I set out to make. Perhaps this makes some sense though.

- Don



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: don Puffer on 2001-11-08 00:11 ]</font>
 

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I'm new and maybe naive but regardless of the training "Basic" or "Advanced" or what the course contains. If any of it has to be used it means:
1. You are in trouble!!!
2. Somebody will get seriously injured or die
3. Actions in #2 may be yourself, a loved one, bad guy or innocent person (if you miss)

"Perfect practice makes perfect" but I hope I never need to use my "practice" for real.
 

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"The seceret to success is to learn to do something right, then to do it right everytime".

Nothing can be more advanced then that, especially in a gun fight. Remember, you CAN"T miss fast enough to win a gunfight. And getting hits will only depend on how well you have mastered the basics.

Good shooting,

Dean
 

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Don wrote;
<snip>
Another point I’m trying to make here is that an “advanced” class could consist of nothing but the “fundamentals” and still be considered an “advanced” class.

I’m not sure I’ve successfully articulated the points I set out to make. Perhaps this makes some sense though.
-------------------

Actually you articulated that just fine Don...even I got it :smile:

Press on,
Jim H.
 

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Oy, as a tangential side note, I finally discovered why I shot like pressure-treated crap at the Dallas Rangemaster class.

Went to the range the other day to work on pure marksmanship skills -- the class pointed out that I was sorely lacking -- and everything was grouping low and right. Nice, tight groups, just low and right. I figured I was milking the grip, so kept working at it. No progress.

Finally, during one very disgusted mag change I looked down and realized that my front sight was literally halfway out of the dovetail, climbing up the left side of muzzle and way higher than it was designed to be.

Damn.

I'm going back to my original way of thinking -- when in doubt, blame the equipment :grin:.

Chad
 
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