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Looking for Recommended Training Schools

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Old 12-30-2014, 09:32 PM   #1
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Looking for Recommended Training Schools

With the utmost respect to our Military and LEO users, I fully realize that any amount of training I'd do would not be comparable to what you do by a long shot in terms of skill building or repetition.

With that said, I am a very competitive person by nature and my wife and I went from on the fence about guns to 200% behind guns after a guy broke to my car and then a few days later tried to break into my apartment when my wife was home alone.

Point is I've seen ads and I've checked out sig academy looking for some training that would help my wife and I move from basic to next citizen level of firearm readiness.

I don't really care where it is located within the continental U.S. as I am fortunate enough to be able to travel easily. I am not just looking for a sig academy rec; rather I'm looking for the best training out there regardless of whether it has a gun manufacturer for a sponsor or is independent...even if it is tacticool--so long as it's actually relevant.

I look forward to your thoughts on good / great places to learn. (Btw yes we have done the nra initial firearm classes)

Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:25 AM   #2
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Last edited by larry8061; 06-25-2016 at 04:15 AM. Reason: I feel like it
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:39 AM   #3
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With the ability to travel.
Give Steve Aikens A shout.
You can PM him here.
Plus A trip to New Mexico would be included
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:24 AM   #4
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SIG Academy is outstanding.

Some others:

Academi
Gunsite
Rogers
Thunder Ranch
Mas Ayoob Group
Suarez International

Front Sight has a goofy marketing/business model, but the training itself appears to be solid.

Also consider finding good private training locally. There are no travel expenses, and one-on-one attention is hard to beat.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:06 AM   #5
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Since you didn't mention a firearm background then I would suggest going to your local range first. Any range now a days is going to have a NRA pistol instructor. Should be but $100 or less and an afternoon of your time. This should hopefully give you the basics of shooting accurately. Practice, Practice, Practice and Practice some more.
Then go see any of the above mention facilities to learn more dynamic ways of shooting.
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:02 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone!


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Old 01-15-2016, 10:07 AM   #7
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very very interesting

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Old 01-15-2016, 10:53 AM   #8
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Congrats to both of you for seeking out quality self defense training options. Several good suggestions above, there are a bunch of outstanding training programs available too.

One consideration I'll add is that while traveling across country to attend an outstanding training class is a great start - you'll both need far more than a single class. Learning good fundamentals is only the start. You'll need to regularly practice those fundamentals to really develop competency & confidence - like weekly.

So, you'll need to find a local range/gun club too. Obviously, if you can find a convenient shooting venue - that also has great instructional programs available - It's all GOOD.

Suggest that you quiz your local FFLs & LGS for references. Great qualification may include SOCOM veterans with proven weapons training track records, great patience & the interpersonal skills that both you and wifey will enjoy those training experiences.

I was lucky having a local range run by 2 retired Navy SEALS. These guys then hired additional vets & SOCOM instructors, range officers - even the retail sales counter - staffed with people that really know this stuff.

Plan to take a class a month for 6 months or so. Our program's classes are 1 or 2 evenings with both classroom and range time. The cirriculum goes something like - basic pistol introduction, conceal carry license, conceal carry shooting drills, legal aspects of conceal carry, tactical pistol 1, 2 & 3 and low-light shooting. There're also rifle, shotgun, knife tactics, defensive mindset, etc...

Oh, you'll want'a get to the range weekly. These training programs typically have timed shooting drill tests - and they do keep score. If ya do well - you may find your name on the range's Top Gun board too!!

Cheers

Last edited by kansascity45; 01-15-2016 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Boldwake View Post
With the utmost respect to our Military and LEO users, I fully realize that any amount of training I'd do would not be comparable to what you do by a long shot in terms of skill building or repetition.

With that said, I am a very competitive person by nature and my wife and I went from on the fence about guns to 200% behind guns after a guy broke to my car and then a few days later tried to break into my apartment when my wife was home alone.

Point is I've seen ads and I've checked out sig academy looking for some training that would help my wife and I move from basic to next citizen level of firearm readiness.

I don't really care where it is located within the continental U.S. as I am fortunate enough to be able to travel easily. I am not just looking for a sig academy rec; rather I'm looking for the best training out there regardless of whether it has a gun manufacturer for a sponsor or is independent...even if it is tacticool--so long as it's actually relevant.

I look forward to your thoughts on good / great places to learn. (Btw yes we have done the nra initial firearm classes)

Thanks!
There are some good suggestions here that I'd like to add to. I took four months off to go from being just a guy who owns a gun to multiple instructor ratings, and I'm nowhere near done yet. Before I started I did TONS of research and talked to all sorts of people with bona fide experience. Here's what I did and I'd encourage you to do since your goal seems similar to my initial one. That is, acquire whatever skills are required to become highly competent in the use of a handgun for home defense and concealed carry.

Take a solid home defense course where you'll learn how to handle the gun in those scenarios, the legal aspects, and perhaps most important, the mental aspects. NRA has Personal Protection in the Home courses. For CCW scenarios they have Personal Protection Outside the Home. These lay a good foundation for defensive shooting and introduce many required concepts and skills. You can locate nearby courses through the NRA website. Your local ranges may offer their own versions of these courses.

Once you get these fundamentals, then it's time to seek out the top tier training courses. Sure you can go straight there, but from what I've seen and heard, if you go in green, you'll be behind the curve because most of the guys who go to these schools have already been to one or more, and a large number are already "shooters." For example, although now up to speed on defensive handgun, I'm new to the AR-15 platform and am considering going straight to a two day course at one of the schools mentioned (the most hardcore one). If I convince myself to do that, it won't be before I've gotten more than just the basics drilled into me one on one for a min. of a couple of days of private lessons before I go. I already went through one class chock full of ex SF and LEO people when I was wet behind the ears. Sure I learned a lot, but I would have gotten infinitely more out of it if I'd learned to walk before I entered a marathon.

As always, YMMV.

Last edited by Col J Casey; 01-17-2016 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:17 AM   #10
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Which ever instructor you decide on, I recommend you ask about their continuing education. Defensive firearms doctrine is changing daily, for the better, I might add. I want my instructors to be well versed in the latest and greatest thoughts on the topic. This is not intended as a knock on the NRA instructors, but if that is the extent of their firearms training education, being an NRA Certified Instructor of some sort, I would look elsewhere. If the instructor is taking a class or two (or more) annually from such highly regarded training organizations as Gunsight Academy, Thunder Ranch, Tom Givens/Rangemaster, John Farnam, SIG Academy, Tiger McKee, etc., etc., I think you have found an instructor with the right frame of mind. Just my $0.02.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:38 AM   #11
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Which ever instructor you decide on, I recommend you ask about their continuing education. Defensive firearms doctrine is changing daily, for the better, I might add. I want my instructors to be well versed in the latest and greatest thoughts on the topic. This is not intended as a knock on the NRA instructors, but if that is the extent of their firearms training education, being an NRA Certified Instructor of some sort, I would look elsewhere. If the instructor is taking a class or two (or more) from such highly regarded training organizations as Gunsight Academy, Thunder Ranch, Tom Givens/Rangemaster, John Farnam, SIG Academy, Tiger McKee, etc., etc., I think you have found an instructor with the right frame of mind. Just my $0.02.
Good advice. In fact, I AM one of those NRA instructors who does not have a MIL/LE background (unless C.A.P. counts ) and I am doing exactly what you suggested. In addition to all, and I do mean all, of the NRA courses, I've sought out lessons from ex special forces, FBI, SWAT, etc., INSTRUCTORS (emphasis on they TAUGHT those guys), and on top of that, three of the aforementioned nationally respected schools.

Is is easy? Nope, but it sure is loads of fun, despite being the most serious business imaginable. Is it cheap? LOL, I spent half my biz profits from last year on training and equipment, just so I knew that when someone gets a lesson from me, they are getting their money's worth, and then some. The other word of caution I would add is that, if the instructor has tons of experience as, say, a SEAL or SWAT, but has never taught, that might not be the best situation starting out either, but it is a pretty darn good thing once you've gotten the basics down pat. Take good tips and advice wherever you can get them! The point is, the instructor needs to know how to TEACH, which I did have a lot of experience in before jumping in head first.

One more thing. While law enforcement and military tactics and techniques may be interesting things to learn, a substantial portion of them have no direct application to civilian home defense or CCW (but yes, some do). Violent encounters involving the average citizen are more often quite different, so look for those courses that acknowledge that fact and focus on scenarios you are most likely to encounter, not the "tacticool" stuff.

Last edited by Col J Casey; 01-17-2016 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:40 AM   #12
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One more thing. While law enforcement and military tactics and techniques may be interesting things to learn, a substantial portion of them have no direct application to civilian home defense or CCW (but yes, some do). Violent encounters involving the average citizen are more often quite different, so look for those courses that acknowledge that fact and focus on scenarios you are most likely to encounter, not the "tacticool" stuff.

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Old 01-17-2016, 07:58 AM   #13
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One more thing. While law enforcement and military tactics and techniques may be interesting things to learn, a substantial portion of them have no direct application to civilian home defense or CCW (but yes, some do). Violent encounters involving the average citizen are more often quite different, so look for those courses that acknowledge that fact and focus on scenarios you are most likely to encounter, not the "tacticool" stuff.
+1.

Indeed, some of the training scenarios I've been run through by instructors with Tier 1 SpecOps experience would be ILLEGAL to apply to an actual self-defense situation.

It is critical that self-defense training include education on judging when and how to respond, and not just how to hit your target and manipulate your gun.
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:36 AM   #14
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:25 AM   #15
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I don't really care where it is located within the continental U.S. as I am fortunate enough to be able to travel easily. I am not just looking for a sig academy rec; rather I'm looking for the best training out there regardless of whether it has a gun manufacturer for a sponsor or is independent...even if it is tacticool--so long as it's actually relevant.

I look forward to your thoughts on good / great places to learn. (Btw yes we have done the nra initial firearm classes)

Thanks!

Asymmetric Solutions, Farmington, MO is one option that is not wholly out of reach for you. We've had folks come down from Chicago. They offer truly top-notch classes and training. All their basic handgun classes are focussed keenly on the civilian shooter interested in self-defense of self, family, home. Their more advanced classes are awesome, and yes, you do get a taste of some operating operationally, but the basic courses are awesome. Basics of Tactical Shooting, Pistol I, II, III ... superb.

Also, Larry Vickers offers great classes, but if you had a few basic classes, you would probably benefit more from him. He is coming to the Springfield, IL area Oct 2016. I'm going to sign up again to take the same classes with him I took with him last time he was in the area.
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