BY CECILIO ANDRADE
Imagine a shooting class, the instructor is a great expert, recognized and, above all, multi-accredited. The instructor’s clothes and gestures convey professionalism; the atmosphere is the comfortable type of a modern classroom. Each student tries to recreate the instructor’s style and gestures. Instructor talks about ballistics, temperatures, proper gripping, holsters, styles, schools, videos are projected and techniques are analyzed. Then they will go to the field or shooting range and perform more or less perfect exercises. After which they will be given an accredited diploma as expert shooters or even as instructors.
Obviously these “new experts” (can this be a contradiction?) will discuss techniques, calibers, equipment, procedures, and a thousand other things that have accumulated with their diplomas and certificates. Obviously all this on the comfort zone of the exercises more than known and more than repeated, never leaving the script and perfectly controlled scheme.
The problem arises when someone comments on putting these techniques carefully and structured in the chaos of an exercise where nothing comes out as described in so many manuals. Our ego gets damaged, we do not give the perfect and invincible image that we sell, it is a risk, a simple game, and one does not get perfection. If it is enough to analyze shootings and say how we would have solved it ourselves based on so much hard data… memorized. Why sweat and risk failing? Why these games?
Bad news, real life is… uncomfortable? Personally I prefer to say neutral, it does not support anyone. It conquers and survives the most skilled, the fittest, and the most fit. And for this we must generate procedures that seek to analyze the neutral reality from situations that approach mentally, physically and emotionally to that uncomfortable reality.
One should instruct based on many premises but two are unavoidable, knowledge and experience. There are more, I know, but these two are sine qua non conditioning of every committed and honest instructor.