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Trainer accreditation?

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Old 08-29-2010, 09:41 PM   #1
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Default Trainer accreditation?

I'm just an old farm boy, former big game guide, now a plumber. I've been shooting for about 45 years and can generally put the bullet fairly close to where I want it to go.
I feel that some training in self defense shooting would be a beneficial thing. But I frankly can't afford to take a week off and spend the $3 grand to go someplace like Gunsite or Thunder Ranch. Finding someone local (Alaska) who would do weekend courses would be ideal, but how to find a competent instructor without spending the time and money to discover they're not? The Lovely Mrs Freefall took a women only course about a year ago and the guy sounded like quite the mall ninja. Busy thumping his chest and telling nauseating stories.
Anyways. Is there some organization that rates various schools, instructors? Seems like something the NRA or the USCCA would be well behooved to be involved in. Of course, with the NRA it would probably quickly turn into a "pay to play" situation. Maybe we should have a thread where people rate their experiences at various schools. Eh?
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:01 PM   #2
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freefall, being that you are in the Great White North, I think doing some reading prior to finding someone to instruct would be most beneficial to you.

Rob Pincus, a member here and poster from time to time, has a company that does travel to various locales and conduct classes based on his Combat Focus principles.

I have studied at Valhalla under Rob and have read Combat Focus. I do believe his teachings have made me a much better short distance shooter.

By way of comparison, I have been to Thunder Ranch as well. I don't personally feel that I got my monies worth out of that experience, though I did get some good "classroom instruction".

The most important thing is to find someone who teaches a style that you are going to respond to with your way of thinking. There is nothing wrong with some styles of shooting, but if they don't "meld" with what you think about having to shoot, it's going to be you fighting yourself in a class that you paid for.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:50 PM   #3
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I hate to say this, but I would not put much stock in NRA Certified Instructors, if that is the instructors only "certification". As someone who has been to NRA certification courses, I have seen the caliber of the attendees. Some of the people are bright, well meaning, qualifed individuals who will make a great asset for the less experienced. Some, on the other hand, are an embarrassment. I have taken a variety of NRA certification courses, not so much to learn, but for marketing. Many, if not most, potential students like to see these rubber stamps of knowledge on instructors before they hand over money for training. The problem with rubber stamps is, they really aren't worth the ink on the paper. I have been to NRA Instructor Certification courses for everything from reloading to AR's, and I have never seen anyone fail a course. I've seen plenty of people I didn't like sharing a range with, but they all passed the course and got their instructor rating. The drill goes like this; pay your money, show up, take open book test, go home an NRA Instructor. Before you take any course from any instructor, get references................ and call the references and ask questions.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Flint Rock View Post
The drill goes like this; pay your money, show up, take open book test, go home an NRA Instructor. Before you take any course from any instructor, get references................ and call the references and ask questions.
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree about the "pay $, get certification" mantra. The quality of instruction is really driven by the Training Coordinator. I _do_ agree that some TC's are somewhat lax in their standards, and I _do_ agree to check references and instructor's background (for they have a USPSA or IDPA rating, for instance?).

That being said, I don't think you're going to find good instruction from an NRA instructor for your needs, freefall. The NRA "Personal Protection Outside The Home" class is the one you'd be looking for, and it's difficult to find instructors certified that way due to some tighter requirements.

You can find these trainers up in the Fairbanks area real soon : Israeli Special Forces Tactical And Self-Defense Shooting Courses I know nothing about them though. You didn't say what part of AK you're from though (I used to own a homestead near North Pole, AK myself), so if you're in Anchorage, I'm not much help.

If you ever feel like taking a cheap trip to Seattle on a special ticket fare, check out Insights Training out there in Issaquah -- absolutely top-notch people and great training!
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:16 PM   #5
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There ya go!

Mako Defence Group Israeli Special Forces Tactical And Self-Defense Shooting Courses

If you or anyone else wants to kick it up a notch with some real world training, have the opportunity and the funds, that would be a great course.


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Old 09-06-2010, 10:22 PM   #6
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check out to search for some classes near you. If in doubt about an instructors competency ask for references and once you attend you have the right to tell the NRA training department if the instructor was incompetent. They take their instructor appointments very seriously.
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