I recently read an article on the Modern Service Weapon Blog, MSW. In the article the author, Hilton Yam, gave some great advice about attending training classes with reputable instructors. I couldn’t agree more with the overall concept of seeking instruction from good sources. But the whole time I was reading his article I thought he would touch on innovation, or maybe new instructors.
Like Mr. Yam says in his article If you are seeking SWAT instruction it is probably a good idea to get someone who has experience in SWAT tactics, or a veteran of a SWAT team to teach you. However I didn’t hear him speak of innovation. Thing like SEAL teams and SWAT are not divinely imparted on the world by a benevolent god of war from Vahalla. These tactics are honed from years of experience and/or forward thinkers. I think that mentioning the fact that there can be innovation in tactics from relative amateurs is worth noting.
I also think that Mr. Yam did not give enough credit due to people who are professionals and forward thinkers who have a lot to offer people who may not be in a similar profession. Let me explain. Massad Ayoob has been a police officer and firearms manipulation instructor for longer than most of us in the industry have been alive. He has certainly never been on a SEAL team, but I would recommend one of his courses to everyone no matter what job they hold.
I have a personal friend, whom asked me not to mention his name, who trained different elements of our military in long range shooting instruction. My friend is not even a veteran, but he has something to offer anyone who wants to understand shooting concepts.
I have another friend who is a young man and a civilian who is a life long shooter and competitor. He is self driven and picked up a lot of his knowledge in classes. His ability to understand concepts and then relate those concepts to other people makes him a far superior teacher of those concepts than someone else who may have more experience, but no teaching ability.
In closing I’d say I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Yam that people should generally stick to what they know, but I’d say that we shouldn’t discount the innovators out there. Common sense and google is your friend when investigating an instructor or a certain line of instruction. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.