Shooting Instructors

The "Master"

Golly, there’s a lot of finger-pointing and animosity flying around whenever you start to talk about shooting classes and the people who teach them.  Ask a simple question about the qualifications behind someone’s reputation, and all of a sudden you have people calling you names and making accusations.  Are Jeff Cooper and Barack Obama related?

What are the qualifications of a shooting instructor?  There’s actually 2 relevant questions there: what are the actual qualifications of the instructors?  And: what should the qualifications be for an instructor?  Does anyone think that those 2 questions are not legitimate questions to consider?  Ideally, that Venn diagram would have 100% overlap, but the world is not a perfect place.

Most of us have seen the youtube videos of “shooting instructors” doing questionable and dangerous things.  What sane person would take a class with the guy who advocates running at his assailant while shooting? Shoot you to the ground” I think he called it.  Stupid is what those of us who watched the video call it.

(click the title for more)

Different types of shooting means you need different qualifications to teach them.  I wouldn’t go to a benchrest shooter to learn about room-clearing techniques.  Does anyone think that the best instructor is a person who has no experience in what they are teaching?

The issue of Jeff Cooper’s qualifications as an instructor came up.  And when it did, a whole bunch of people started making some bold statements about them, while simultaneously attacking me for asking the question.  Rather than providing Cooper’s qualifications, I kept getting asked who was a qualified instructor, and I mentioned that Massad Ayoob seemed qualified, better qualified than Jeff Cooper anyway.  Well, that just opened the floodgates for people to start besmirching Mr. Ayoob’s reputation.

What is a reasonable person supposed to do when he hears 2 drastically incompatible versions of the truth?  Compare the facts.

Massad Ayoob has made his c.v. public, and his qualifications are easy to find if you look for them.  But where are Cooper’s qualifications?  Did he ever compete in the courses he created, let alone in anyone else’s class?  Did he win any marksmanship contests?  Even the most staunch members of his cult of personality angrily try to change the subject when you ask these questions.  Did Cooper keep his resume in the same safety-deposit box as Obama’s birth certificate?

Here is what is available:

The Facts

The Facts

Whole lot of white space in the left column.  I asked repeatedly, but none of Cooper’s kool-aid imbibers would provide me with any information about their tin god’s qualifications.  (And, there is the issue of whether I could decipher Cooper’s resume, given his tendency to pompously butcher the English language to sound learned).  The offer still stands: provide me with documentation of Cooper’s qualifications, and I will post a correction and apology.

Would you enroll in a martial arts school where the sensei never competed or sparred?  Do you think a celibate priest is the best source of marital advice?

Bottom line:  Which of the 2 men in that chart is the person you want to teach you how to use your gun to defend yourself?  And, why?

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