Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Preparing For Training – Part I

Like any art, learning to fight with firearms requires studying under knowledgeable instructors and teachers, which takes time and money – precious commodities for most of us. To get the greatest return on your investment you need to focus on 3 areas – preparation for the class, participation during the class, and post-class follow through.

Preparation includes selecting your class, making travel plans, and acquiring the necessary equipment. Your anticipated use of your firearm and current abilities should dictate the class you attend. If you’re interested in self-defense you don’t want to attend a class on competitive shooting.

Choosing an instructor or school is important for both beginner and experienced student. For a new student the training should be a gratifying experience and get you started in the right direction. For the “gun-school-junky” the instruction should fit the fighting doctrine you already have developing. A great source of info on instructors and schools are firearm forums on the Internet and reviews in magazines.

After researching a school, contact them to talk about what you are looking for in instruction. When discussing your training be careful about overestimating your current abilities. The majority of defensive instruction is based on you knowing the fundamentals of marksmanship the basics of how your weapon functions. Without this knowledge you’ll start out behind, quickly become frustrated, and won’t benefit from the instruction.

Get detailed information on the registration process. Most schools require applications, copies of CCW permits and such, and partial or full payment. Please, send in all the required paperwork. Don’t just shove a check into an envelope and mail it in, even if you have been to the same school 12 times before. After a week or so confirm your registration.

Now that you’ve booked your class it’s time to make travel arrangements. Wait until the last minute to book flights, hotels, or rental cars and you may discover a jazz festival the same weekend of your class and everything is booked solid. When booking a flight check the airline’s policies for flying with firearms. Normally you’ll need more ammo than you can fly with, so buy and ship ammunition in advance, with time to confirm its arrival prior to the class. If you are driving to a course check each state you pass through for their laws on transporting firearms.

Use the time between registration and the class to physically prepare yourself. Fighting “bad guys” for a few days is physically and mentally demanding, especially if you normally sit behind a desk 40 hours a week. Go for long walks, use small dumbbells to exercise your arms, and work on stretching out and developing some flexibility.

Every class I’ve ever attended had an equipment list. And I can tell you as an instructor a major source of frustration is students showing up without the proper gear. In part II of this series we’ll look at gear you’ll need to make your training better.

September 19, 2010 - Posted by | Preparing for Training - 1, 2, 3

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