Charles L. Cotton wrote:....
3. Only a fraction of LTC students will take even intermediate classes, much less advanced classes;
a. Most think additional training isn't necessary (See No. 7 below);
b. Many are turned off by high pressure sales pitches during LTC classes;
c. Many simply don't have the money for additional training (class fee, ammo)[/list]
You ask some excellent questions. I wish I had equally excellent answers.
Interblog wrote:You are the man who would know best, but this is contrary to my experience. Are there actual data to support the assertion in 3a? The people known to me who are LTC are generally all too aware of their own lack of training and they feel guilty about it because they feel like they have a great deal of responsibility and not much skill to back it up. But like me, they don't feel confident in their ability to find workable training options for themselves.
As I noted in my posts, my comments come solely from my experience as a firearms instructor. There is no comprehensive data regarding LTC students' opinions about their need for additional training. I don't know how that data could realistically be gathered.
I do have some students that comment that they need additional training, but they are the exception. Some of that subset come to my Intermediate I and II classes and some come to the Advanced I and II classes. Overall I'd estimate that less than 10% get additional training. Again, that's my experience with the largest shooting club in Texas (3,600). I'm not saying this holds true industry wide.
Interblog wrote:Also, what is the definition of an "intermediate" class? How would I know a worthwhile class if I saw one? How long should it be, time-wise? What should it cover? What should it leave me with in terms of take-aways that I can then put to use in my own practice sessions?
There is no industry-wide definition of an intermediate class. That's a term I use to refer to classes above the truly basic handgun classes. I teach a Basic Handgun Skills Course that's for people with little to no handgun experience. Sometimes I offer it combined with the LTC class. Intermediate I focuses primarily on safe use of a holster when drawing and engaging one or multiple targets. Intermediate II expands on multiple targets, malfunction drills, shooting on the move (very bad idea) and more, if the class skill level allows.
Again, this is simply my design of intermediate classes. Many instructors, perhaps most, do not break down classes the same way. My goal is to take a students from knowing nothing through advanced skills. That can't be done in one course. Another problem I learned years ago is fatigue is a major obstacle to learning, especially for the stereotypical LTC. That's why I keep my classes relatively short at 3 hrs. With the combined BHS/LTC class, the 3-hr. BHS class goes first, we go to lunch, then we do the LTC classroom portion. (Range qualification is the last drill of the BHS segment.)
Interblog wrote:I agree that the money simply must be a deterrent to many people. The prices I've seen are around $35 - $40 per hour for group training, not for individual instruction. Can anyone recommend any specific content on YouTube, for instance, that would at least instill some practice exercises consistent with "intermediate" training? I wouldn't mind reserving my cash outlays for the training parts that matter most.
Money is the single biggest issue for most folks and it's not just the cost of major schools. It's the rare person who can and will take private lessons or coaching, simply because of the cost. When you tell people how much they need to practice to hone and maintain the skills to which a class exposes them, some are unwilling to shoulder the cost of ammo and range fees. The largest and best schools cost around $3,000 to $4,000 for a class, when all expenses are considered. Depending upon one's location, local instruction may also be available. One of the best values going is my SWAT buddy's full day (300 rd) course for which he charges $150 for PSC Members ($175 non-members). He teaches because he truly wants to help people prepare to defend themselves and family if necessary. Most instructors cannot teach a full day course for that price because of range fees and other expenses. When you combine the cost of training, then regular practice, with the other factors I listed, it's not surprising that a relatively small percentage of people carrying guns opt for advance training. As I noted earlier, experience has shown us that such training isn't necessary in the vast majority of situations.
There is some excellent information available on YouTube, but there are also absolute charlatan spewing crap. Some of them are very well-known names that have people snookered. While you can pick up some good pointers on discrete aspects of shooting, you cannot train overall using YouTube videos.
Some will disagree with this statement, but start shooting IDPA matches on a regular basis. IDPA is a game, it is not training, but it helps you become a better shooter. You will draw from a concealed holster and shoot in unusual/uncomfortable positions. You will practice target identification, use of cover (well, not so much now with the absurd fault lines), accuracy, reloading, and much more. These are skills most commercial (a/k/a square ranges) will not let you practice. Plus, it's a lot of fun, but be careful. If you develop habits that help you win a match, then you will be sacrificing good defensive skills. Shoot the match like you would shoot on the street to save your life.
Some of the best training for self-defense is training the mind. Learn what physiological and psychological responses you can expect when suddenly faced with a life-threatening situation. Read books by Grossman (On Killing and On Combat) and others like The Battle for Hue, We Were Soldiers Once and Young and Black Hawk Down. Get an idea of the mindset required to survive. The goal is not to die from panic or freezing.
One last comment. There is no Zin and the Art of Gun-fighting. It's all applied basis that have been drilled and honed to a point that it comes as natural as breathing. If an instructor tells you he has a magic technique, tip your hat and walk on by.