I seem to notice a common trend in civilians who get 1st aid certified or other basic medical training. They don't practice these ever so important skills! Why don't they practice because there isn't a lot of good resources how to train these skills after your class. Hopefully this will start to get people thinking on what they can be doing to improve these crucial life saving skills.
The standard for most people is to get 1st aid and CPR certified in a day course. Then go a few years never revisiting these skills unless god forbid they have an emergency. Just like firearms training or anything else these are perishable skills.
We certainly wouldn't want a surgeon operating on us who only practiced in a classroom a few days every couple of years now would we. While I myself don't practice medical drills nearly as much as I like I am always looking for ways to grow and keep my skills sharp. I've purchased duplicates on most of my medical equipment to open the packages and get familiar with it. I'll occasionally practice applying a tourniquet on various limbs of myself or another willing trainer.
I'm curious to hear others thoughts about a new program available by ME Drills available as an APP on apple or android. While we can't practice the physical skills it does allow us to practice the order and remember the proper techniques. While my thought is this certainly won't replace good hands on training and practice its a great way for people to supplement their medical skills practice for a reasonable price.
They have several subscription services to include those offered continue education credits. Starting at $23.99 for a year going up to $49.99 or you can also purchase individual modules $3.99 each.
Visit www.medrills.com for more information and a complete list of training modules covered.
As everyone will come to find out I'm a bit of a holster junkie! I test all styles and methods of holsters to find what works the best for me and then continue to try and test other styles to find out why someone may choose that holster. I'll write more about some of the unique ones and some of my favorites. Brandon from Ultimate Holsters out of Massachusetts sent a few my way for me to get student feedback. The material he uses in his Hybrid holsters is silver infused antimicrobial padding. Not only is it hygienic, but its a very soft material which doesn't require and undershirt as it is ok to have pressed against your skin. It seemed they do take a bit of breaking in as does almost any leather or hybrid style holster, but after it does the comfort level only increases. The second thing that really stood out amongst ultimate holsters is the cloud tuck belt-less holster. This holster uses a unique clip which locks securely to you clothes and does not require the use of a belt as most holsters do require a quality gun belt. This seemed really popular among the ladies as they don't seem to wear a belt as often as my male students. If you don't wear a belt often and need a good holster option I would certainly check them out. Below is a button to their homepage. For a 10% discount enter stonewall at checkout.
A student of mine recently sent me an article and said "this sounds a lot like what you have been teaching us!" . I typically prefer to write my own posts, but I couldn't put this any better than Brian Wang from Monarch Defense did in his article below. I've included a link to his other articles where you can read more from him.
It’s simple, really. Here’s how in 5 steps:
I regularly see newly minted pistol instructors who are full of idealism and enthusiasm, who hope to hang up a shingle and get rich while being awesome, yet who are absolutely clueless. Not long ago I was the same way. Having struggled and failed, and struggled some more, I’d like to offer 5 points of realistic advice to my younger self and set a standard for my fellow “instructors” to follow. Do you teach? Then read this. Researching an Instructor before taking her class? Then read this.
Step 1: Wear the student’s shoes.
You’ve got safe full of black rifles and a binder full of accolades from a decade as a police officer. Excellent! How does your experience pertain to an arthritic widow who works at an elementary school, is left handed, cross dominant, far sighted, scared of guns, and inherited her late husbands magnum snubbie?
How does a tour of duty in Iraq prepare you to teach a father and his 2 toddlers gun safety?
What's the ideal defensive shotgun load for an elderly couple that lives in a condo?
What's the best way to carry in a purse?
I think you get the idea: It Depends! Your experience (as great as it may be) is irrelevant UNLESS you can relate it meaningfully to the student’s needs!
The number one mistake I see amateur instructors (of all ages and experience levels) make is to assume that the answers they have are valuable. This is erroneous. Rather, it is the questions the student has, especially the ones they don’t even know to ask, that are most valuable. Your skill or experience, without empathy means nothing to the student. Therefore, you have to watch, listen, and put yourself into their shoes. That’s what makes a good teacher.
Step 2: Learn how to learn.
Before you can guide students in their journey, you have to be a student, but as you study and perfect your craft, the most important thing you gain is not knowledge, but rather the process of gathering knowledge. Understanding how you and others process and retain information is the foundational experience which allows you to be a successful teacher, and truly benefit your students. How can you possibly understand how to teach if you haven’t mastered how to learn?
How do you learn how to learn? Take classes and adopt mentors. Read books, and practice learning new skills every day. No one gets good at doing anything once, so if you want to be a teacher, then you must be a student, and you must be a student of Everything.
Step 3: Learn how to teach.
Your knowledge is worth nothing unless you can transfer it to someone else coherently and efficiently. The shooting industry, like any other, is chock full of subject matter experts who absolutely suck at communicating. The absolute worst thing you can do for your students is to show them a cool and fast technique, give them the false confidence that they can replicate your movement, and then leave them to figure it out, or shoot themselves in the foot (literally).
Some say “Those that can, do, and those that can’t, teach.” This is only propagated by those who are ignorant to the art of educating, and therefore cannot see the value in something which they cannot see. In fact, the true teacher must be able to learn, to do, and then to lead others to learn and do. Such a task is an order of magnitude more complex than simply “doing”. Does my use of the word “teacher” bore you? If so, move along, this isn’t your profession.
Research the “Socratic Teaching Method”. Live with the assumption that every time you tell the student an answer, you rob her of that educational opportunity. Your job as a teacher is to lead them, by discussion and demonstration, to discover the correct answers for themselves. Your job is not to answer questions, but to provide questions step by step so that they can answer them themselves when you are gone.
What factors help knowledge retention? Simply put, if you just “tell” your student, they’ll be lucky to retain 10% by the end of the day. What’s easy for you to connect in context, floats around a cerebral void for students who have no prior experience. This means you have to ask, and learn about your student’s life experience, and tie in parallels and analogies to what they already hold to be true.
Rather than say, show! If your student has sat in class for 20 minutes and not touched an object in demonstration, you’ve gone far too long! We learn best if we can See, Hear, Touch, Do, Write, Read, and Reflect! If you, through analogy and vibrant metaphor can bring the student to “Taste” an experience and “Smell” something such as fear, that is the mark of a true communicator.
Step 4: Gather knowledge.
“Once a teacher, always a student.” The student doesn’t have 10 years to devote to reading books and gathering knowledge, so that’s your job. The student doesn’t have $30,000 to spend in tuition, so that’s your job! A funnel has two ends: The wide end is for books and classes that you absorb so that you can synthesize that information into concise packets of digestible data that come out the small end for your student. Oh, you planned on just getting your Basic Pistol cert and jumping in? That’s a good start, but don’t kid yourself; You’re no expert after only 16 hours of class. Do you know any dentists who took a weekend class before opening up shop? How many mechanics do you know who only have 2 days of schooling? Your job as a teacher, is to be a professional student. If that’s not in your assumptions, this industry is not for you. Your students and peers are counting on you.
Step 5: Be Humble.
Lastly, the hardest lesson I ever learned as a self -defense firearms instructor was that of humility. I was young, skilled, and arrogant; It was a mistake which cost me my reputation, tanked my business, strained the relationship with my employees and lost the facilities which I had worked so hard to foster. It was finally my teacher and mentor David Maglio who drove home the message when he disowned me. That is the cost of being full of yourself. Be humble.
There you have it, how to be a firearms instructor in 5 simple steps. Now, just go and do it 60 hours a week, it’s easy!
To read more from Brian Wang of Monarch Defense please visit his website
Regarding my experiences as a personal protection instructor, I can't stress enough that practicing
personal protection far surpasses merely owning a firearm and taking it to a range. Although I do believe
that a firearm can be a valuable resource, it is just one of many tools that has the potential to save one’s
life. In my experiences, when asking people about their home defense strategy, many say that they have
a gun, but this is not a sufficient answer. Often, their firearm may not be easily accessible even if the
need for one surfaces. This is a concept that will be addressed in future posts.
Citizens that have a concealed weapons permit (CCW) know that there are certain places where even
they are prohibited from carrying a firearm. When I conduct a personal protection class, I teach much
more than just firearms. I introduce a strategy that will keep you and your family safe in various,
potentially harmful environments. As mentioned previously, a firearm may not always be a viable
option. Let’s say that you and your family were cooking dinner. While one of your family members was
chopping up vegetables, they accidentally lacerated their finger. Let’s also say that in this situation, you
are the type of person that cares very much about your family, but you have only considered
neutralizing an external threat as a form of personal protection. It is in this scenario that protection
encompasses much more than a good guy with a gun. It is at this time when medical training and
equipment is the crucial element to personal safety.
Another commonly overlooked aspect of personal protection is navigating communication channels with
calm, collected, clear and concise interactions. In the book Verbal Judo by George J. Thompson and Jerry
B. Jenkins, we can learn how to adapt skills that prevent potential conflicts from escalating out of
control. Since this training utilizes our voice and body language, it is a valuable asset that we can take
with us everywhere we go. Speaking is something we do our entire lives, but we hardly work to improve
the skill. The text was designed as a resource for law enforcement and security officers to begin to
defuse potentially dangerous situations utilizing their words. Most of us are already familiar with the last
resort; using a firearm to neutralize a threat, yet we know very little of what is arguably the most
important method of personal protection.
There are a few ways to begin training your communication skills.
1. Start by reading this informational text. I've provided the link below.
2. Take the online course for $60 offered by Levitt-Safety https://www.levitt-safety.com/tc/whats-
3. Visit www.verbaljudo.com to have a course hosted, or attempt to sign up for one of the limited
classes scheduled around the country.