The Importance of Training
I recently interviewed exhibition shooter Bob Munden for the article Best Shooting Advice I’ve Ever Received, but we also spoke about firearms, self-defense and the legendary Col. Jeff Cooper.
I learned not only was Munden a disciple of Jeff Cooper, but he had known him since a teenager and considered him his mentor. During our conversation, he passed on a piece of knowledge from the Colonel that just made a lot of sense: “You’re only as good as your practice.”
This is great advice from the foremost expert on self-defense. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect, and if you’re going to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense, you have to practice in a way that would benefit you in a self-defense situation. But, before you can practice for self-defense, you must learn the skills that you need to practice.
There are many ways to obtain these needed skills such as books, videos, television and even personal experience, but in-person training with an expert is the best way. As the concept of self-defense has grown, so has the number of shooting schools.
Currently, there are multiple-day courses from shooting schools like Gunsite Academy, started by Col. Cooper, and Shootrite, which provides in-depth training on handgun, rifles and shotguns, as well as numerous schools conducted by firearm companies such as SIG Sauer and Smith & Wesson.
The National Rifle Association also coordinates training classes for shooters with a variety of skill levels from absolute beginner with the First Shots program to advanced shooters through the Personal Protection classes. There are thousands of NRA certified instructors all across the country teaching classes on handguns, rifles, shotguns and self-defense. Many classes go beyond the use of firearms into techniques to avoid being the victim of crime.
As an NRA instructor, I understand the importance of training under a professional regardless of skill level. I’ve taught people who have never touched a gun, as well as former military and police. Think about it. Are you positive that you have done everything possible to keep your family safe? Are you willing to take the chance that you overlooked something? I learn something every time I talk to other shooters and self-defense advocates. I’ll bet you could too.