Class was small. This class was added due to a large wait list from the prior DPS2, so instead of having those people wait a long time for another DPS2 to be scheduled, Karl scheduled one and we got all those people in.
Weather was great, tho a little warm for this time of year. And I was stupid and forgot to put on sunscreen. Yes, I am paying for it. :-)
In general, the students did well. Folks were attentive and willing to listen and learn. It’s always hard for folks with years or decades of habit to overcome those habits and learn better ways to do things, because gun handling and pistolcraft have evolved a lot over the years. But it’s great to see old dogs willing to learn new tricks, especially because it always adds a second level of stuff to focus on in class — more info overload.
- Everything is a repetition, so always do everything right. For example, if you have to pick your gun up off the table, always pick it up like we taught you (the “scoop”), even if it’s just a casual action. It’s a chance to practice, it’s a chance to further ingrain the muscle memory. Whatever you do, that’s what you’ll ingrain. Do it wrong? you ingrain wrong. Do it multiple ways at multiple times, and who knows what gets ingrained and if Hick’s Law might come into play. You’re trying to build new habit, so build that new habit by always doing things right.
- Your equipment matters. There’s no reason to have a crappy gun. There’s no reason to have a broken gun. If you know you shoot this gun better than that gun, why are you carrying the gun that’s harder to shoot? it won’t magically become easier to shoot when the pressure just went through the roof. And if situation dictates you have to carry that difficult to shoot gun, then you best practice with it a lot and master it.
- Fundamentals matter. All this cool tactical stuff is good, but the bottom line is being able to hit what you need to hit. Do not get unacceptable hits. Work to get acceptable hits. If you must slow down, slow down. Dry practice a lot, and then dry practice some more. Work to master the trigger press, making it slow and smooth — no slapping and yanking.
- Shoot groups. Yes, slow fire stuff. Shoot them at 15 yards. Shoot them at 25 yards. Shoot them one-handed, both strong and weak hand. This will help your marksmanship. It may not be fun, but keep shooting groups until it becomes fun. When will this happen? It may take a while, but yes eventually it will become fun… and you’ll become better.
- Aside: I used to hate shooting weak-hand-only. Why? Because I sucked at it. But I kept working on it. Now I can nail that hostage plate target at 25 yards weak-hand-only without any problem. I still miss a couple when going through a 16-round magazine, I am still working to run through a full mag without dropping any. I will get there. And I enjoy shooting weak-hand-only now because I’m better at it.
- Always pay attention to your gun handling — especially muzzle direction. The way you handle a gun in the non-shooting ways speaks far more about you than how well you can shoot.
After the class, Tom, Karl, and I spent a little time shooting drills ourselves, just for fun. We didn’t have a lot of time, but we shot Paul Howe’s pistol instructor standards and Karl’s 3 Seconds or Less drill. On Paul’s drill, we weren’t 100% sure how to interpret his standards, like on #5 “Ready 4 shots 2x target 7 yards”… is that 4 shots on 2 targets… each? 8 shots total? or 2 on one target, 2 on another? or… what? Well, we only had 1 target each so we just dumped 8 rounds in 3 seconds, and all 3 of us finished in like two and a half seconds or something. :-) (and yes, all good A-zone hits). Heh. That’s just fun.
The one thing I saw from it, and continues to be a weak point for me is weak-hand-only under stress. When I shoot the weak-hand-only at 25 yards, it’s under no time pressure. But I drop too many shots when I do WHO under time pressure, like in the “3 seconds or less” drill. That’s something I need more work on.
Anyways, a great day. I really needed it after the funk I’ve been in the past couple weeks. It was great to get my mind on other things and just have a lot of fun. Teaching is very rewarding to me, and I’m thankful for the opportunity. Thankful to Karl for letting me work with him. Thankful to Tom for the encouragement to get my certifications and start teaching here. Thankful to the students that come, willing to learn. Thankful to Wife and Kiddos for letting me run off every other Saturday to go do this. Thankful in so many ways.