Category Archives: training

The value of a college degree

A Facebook friend commented about the fact that some major corporations had dropped the requirement for a college degree. She agreed with the change because her experience was that her education had no apparent value to her current employment.

There’s a lot of validity in her comments although she may not be considering the totality of what she learned in college. This is especially true given the amount of subsequent education, in different forms, she has undertaken. In the words of the motivational speaker, Steve Chandler, she clearly has emotionally left High School behind, which many people never do.

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For many years, employers valued a college degree for a number of reasons. Some of them, STEM and professional related degrees, related to an entry level understanding of material necessary for job performance. In a broader sense, a college degree had value in that it demonstrated the ability to think clearly about a myriad of subjects, communicate effectively, do research, and to have a goal and stick to the tasks required to achieve it for an extended period of time. These values also applied to getting a High School Diploma. The system involved both Process and Performance.

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Repetition and Progression

#fridayfundamentals

A client asked for a private lesson as preparation for an upcoming class at the elite Rogers Shooting School. Rogers is a very structured learning environment, so the format for the lesson was obvious. Fundamental to learning to shoot at a high level are Repetition and Progression, which are the underlying structure at Rogers. You don’t learn to shoot well by thinking about it, you learn by doing it. Visualization is a useful learning technique but you have to know what to visualize before visualization can have any value.

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In Pursuit of Better Practice

Gila Hayes of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network was kind enough to do an interview with me about Better Practice in this month’s Network Journal. Her interest was piqued because many members of the Network had said that ongoing training wasn’t possible for them due to resource constraints. Gila said that she wanted to give the members an option for maintaining and improving their skills that fit their budgets.

How far, I wondered, could the armed citizen proceed in his or her skill development through self-guided practice alone?

She’s an excellent interviewer. You will probably find it interesting reading.

https://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/september-2018-front-page

She also did a book review of Concealed Carry Skills and Drills.

https://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/september-2018-book-review

If you would like to purchase Concealed Carry Skills and Drills, the link to the downloadable ebook is here. http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

If you would like to purchase Indoor Range Practice Sessions, the link to the downloadable ebook is here. https://store.payloadz.com/details/2501143-ebooks-education-indoor-range-practice-sessions.html

you got skills old man crop

Morale patch courtesy of Chris North

Jacks & Saps and Timing – Part II

Part I of this review gave an overall view of the Jacks and Saps class. Some of the deeper lessons from the class are worthy of further discussion.

Multidisciplinary training (unarmed combat, impact tools, and firearms) doesn’t just mean learning to use different tools and techniques, it also means understanding the overlap of the different disciplines’ concepts. By understanding the overlap, we can reinforce the concepts and lessons of one discipline and apply it to others. Key Concepts in the Jacks and Saps class were Timing, Timing Errors, and Timing Windows. These have parallels in firearms training and practice, as well.

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Jacks & Saps and Timing – Part I

Jacks & Saps is a class taught by Larry Lindenman of Point Driven Training.   It was hosted in the Atlanta area on August 18 and 19, as two separate one day classes, by The Complete Combatant.

The class objective was described as a:

Small Impact Weapons Skills seminar is designed for people looking for a tool based less than lethal response to criminal attack.

There were ten clients, eight male and two female, on Sunday. They were the overflow from a Sold Out class of 20 clients on Saturday. Since Impact Tools are not regulated in Georgia, it was a very popular class. Note that Impact Tools are not legal to carry in all States even when Licensed to carry a pistol. This makes little sense but logic rarely applies to the law. Readers are advised to be familiar with the laws of their own State and any State they may travel to.

For those unfamiliar, Jacks and Saps are small impact tools [weapons] that are pocket sized. Although ubiquitous in police work at one time, they are now seldom used. Bulkier and less effective collapsible batons have become the standard impact weapons for Law Enforcement now.

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Years of experience

An exchange I had yesterday with a POlice Use of Force Instructor reminded me of a quip by a JAG prosecutor I knew years ago.

Some people have 22 years of experience and some people have one year of experience 22 times.

One of my professors in college had taught the exact same math class for 10 years. She used the same overhead transparencies all 10 years. They were scuffed up and she had to write over parts of them to make them readable during our class. That’s the style some subjects are taught in many fields. Concepts are frequently not updated with fresh information. While mathematics doesn’t change much, social sciences and the law can and do change rapidly.

In the exchange with the instructor, I mentioned a recent case that seemed to invalidate his opinion. I even gave him the search string to bring up the case. Rather than doing one minute of research on the case, he trotted out an appeal to authority meme. “I’ve been a cop for 22 years and I teach Use of Force.” I’m afraid to even find out what he teaches his clientele.

In any field, staying up to date is an excellent idea for anyone. For instructors, it’s absolutely mandatory. There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with a stated opinion but there needs to be some fact finding and analysis to support the disagreeing opinion.

Myths and Misconceptions

I was privileged to be the Guest Speaker at The Mingle 2018, a firearms community networking event this past Saturday. My topic was Myths, Misconceptions, and Solutions in the Firearms Training World. There is such a myriad of examples that I have decided to start writing #mythsandmisconceptionsmonday. I would like to acknowledge the influence John Farnam, Greg Hamilton, and Craig Douglas have had in the development of my fascination with the topic.

The misconception that resonated the most with the audience was Training is not an event, it’s a process. Too often in the training community, we put on a training event and our clients then leave with the impression they are ‘trained.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. Training is only the preparation for practice.

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The Woman’s Gun Pamphlet

The Woman’s Gun Pamphlet came up in conversation during The Mingle yesterday. Since the original source is no more, I’m republishing this post for interested parties.

tacticalprofessor

Through an oblique reference, I recently found a link to The Woman’s Gun Pamphlet.Edit: The link and the server appear to be gone. A PDF of the Pamphlet is available at the edit of this post.

WGP picture

It’s a very interesting publication that was written and published by a colloquium of radical feminists in 1975. The intent was to provide information about both guns themselves and about personal protection attitudes to women of that era who knew nothing about guns or personal protection. As such, I consider it an historically significant document. There’s quite a bit of political rhetoric in it but also a goodly amount of information. Even dry practice is touched on. Some morsels of dry wit are quite entertaining.

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Especially interesting to me is that it was written from the perspective of self-taught women of the time with some input from men and by doing primary…

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Updated version of Boyd’s Aerial Attack Study

Thanks to Rob Pincus, I have found a cleaner copy of Colonel John Boyd’s Aerial Attack Study (AAS). It was recreated by Mr. Mark Hart from the declassified 1964 version. The recreation is much easier on the eyes than the reproductions of the original mimeographed edition that are generally available.

Prior to Colonel Boyd’s AAS, fighter combat was viewed by the majority of fighter pilots as an intuitive skill rather than one that could be codified. Some conceptual principles had been developed along with elementary tactics such as the Thach Weave, but Boyd was the one who wrote the definitive book. Only Major General Frederick “Boots” Blesse had preceded Colonel Boyd in writing a book, No Guts No Glory, about jet fighter combat. Major General Blesse’s book wasn’t the exhaustive treatise on the subject that the AAS was.

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Another visit to John Boyd and OODA

A friend of mine shared a memory of this article on Facebook. I’m glad that he did.

Putting Orient Back into OODA

I’ve evolved my thinking about Orient to include more nuance but the article is still a good primer on the depth of Boyd’s concept and how we can and should apply it.

“Orientation is the schwerpunkt [focal point]. It shapes the way we interact with the environment—hence orientation shapes the way we observe, the way we decide, the way we act.”

— John R. Boyd, Organic Design for Command and Control (1987)

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And please keep in mind that it does a disservice to Colonel Boyd’s ideas when they are reduced to a simplistic four point circular diagram.

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