Who’s Training You?

Keene Notes – July 2021


Like the rest of you, we blinked and now it’s July!  With that being said, requests for firearms training are at an all time high.  But do you know who is training you?  A weekend course and some fancy social media skills can make any look like an “expert.” So here are some things to be wary of.  And some types of instructors you should avoid at all costs.



In today’s day and age, there is no excuse to not look into who is training you.  After all, it’s your hard earned money!  And we get it, we all have to start somewhere, but we are talking life saving skills.  The first time a doctor conducts heart surgery, he or she isn’t taking that on solo.  There is a seasoned doctor there to oversee things.  We cannot stress this enough:  A weekend certification class from an alphabet soup training company does not qualify someone as a firearms or self-defense instructor.  I don’t care what anyone says.  This stuff takes time.  You have to spend years vetting the good stuff from the bullshit.  And don’t get me wrong; I am not saying you have to be a cop or a soldier to teach this stuff.  I have trained with some fantastic instructors who have lived solely in the civilian sector.  But…and this is a big but...it helps to have seen and/or experienced this stuff in real life.  It helps you explain why certain things work and certain things don’t.  With that being said, ask your potential instructor: How long have you been doing this?  How many people have you taught? Can I have references? Can they speak with any knowledge on the use of deadly force or the physiological effects of stress on the body under stress? If they can’t provide you with this info, it’s time to move on.



  1. The Story Teller

You didn’t pay money to hear war stories.  And if the instructor is doing his / her job correctly they should be a facilitating the session.  They are a piece of the puzzle.  You, the student, are the priority.  So if your instructor spends more time telling you about all the cool shit they have done rather than helping you learn skills, take your money and move on.


  1. The Relic

You don’t use the same phone you did in the 80s.  So the training you receive should not be the same course that was taught thirty years ago either.  There are some firearm & self-defense fundamentals that do not change.  For example, cardinal rules of firearm safety.  Sight picture & sight alignment.  Things like this. But equipment changes.  Research gives us insight into what really happens and where we should spend training time.  Our society has changed and the need for these life saving skills has never been more important.  Make sure you don’t spend your time and money on training that is no longer relevant. 


  1. The Bubba

If your instructor ever says something to the effect of they don’t need to be in shape or they don’t need any hand-to-hand skills because they carry a gun, RUN, don’t walk, for the door.  The chances of a private citizen being involved in a gunfight are relatively low.  You are far more likely to have to use your words or your feet to avoid violence.  And a good instructor knows this.  Oh yea…if they ever start a phrase with, “If I need more than 8 rounds…” take your money and move on.


  1. The Smoke & Mirrors Magician

If you go to a course and all your instructor does is put you through drills they have stolen off the Internet, your time and money has been stolen.  Can they demonstrate what they are teaching? Can they walk the walk? Anyone can regurgitate drills.  But can they explain the WHY?  That is what is most important.  What is the concept behind what they are doing? You want to train with someone who is a problem solver, not someone who can memorize drills on demand.  Remember, real life encounters are dynamic and rarely go as planned.  Your training should reflect this.


  1. To Good to be True

We all know the old adage…you get what you pay for.  And it certainly pertains to training.  If you pay $40 for a weekend course, that’s what you are going to get.  Time is money, and professional instructors have spent years and even decades perfecting their craft.  Don’t get me wrong.  We do pro-bono work and give back to the community.  And our goal with all training courses is to create an environment where when folks leave after training, every place they go is safer because they are there.  Quality, professional services of any kind cost money.  Our industry is no different. 


So in essence...do your research on who is training you.  Your time and money are valuable.  And the skills you are paying to learn are of the utmost importance!


Until next time….


Paul Beasinger

Keene Training and Consulting