Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
Tophernj

I'm Taking a Class - What Questions Should I Ask?

Recommended Posts

I'm new to the competitive handgun world.  I do NOT have any aspirations to attain Master or Grand Master status.  I'm a guy that mostly competes with himself.  I'll be shooting local, informal, club level matches.  I'll be in "Open" because my eyes suck (so I have a MRDS) and I dislocated my thumb some years ago so I am running a paddle release.  At that point, I figured "what the heck" and put a comp on the gun as well.  

That said...

Proficiency adds to my fun.  So in wanting to become proficient in pistol handling I am taking a class with a local, Master level shooter.  I know what to bring as far as equipment but where I'm a little lost is in what questions to ask and what skills to work on.  I'm assuming that my instructor will guide me well, however an informed session is one that will benefit both of us and I'd like to be better informed.  So I'm on here asking what to ask.  

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd spend a lot of time, upfront, learning the correct stance/grip - without that, all is lost.

 

Don't let the instructor spend all of your time doing drills - be sure to ask him which

drills you should be doing on your own, after the class is over.  Spend some time on

drills, but not the entire class - start with few drills, record your time/scores for a

benchmark, and then ask to repeat the same drills at the end of the class, and see

how your scores have changed.

 

Don't let him keep telling you how well you're doing - great for the ego, but won't learn

much that way - ask him what can you do BETTER ?   And, how.

 

Ask him where you should spend your time to improve the fastest - you should be

getting a lot of numbers from him - how fast is your draw ?  transitions ?   etc.

 

You won't know how to get better if you don't know what you're doing now, and how

fast you're doing it.

 

You should go home with LOTS of notes.

 

Have fun    :) 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I take a class the biggest thing i want from the instructor is a honest outside assessment. I want to know if my self assessment is correct and I have a food grasp on what i can do well and what I can't. Then for my biggest deficiencies what I should do to improve them.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys.  Much appreciated.  

I got my list of "stuff" to bring and am really getting excited to do this.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where are you shooting OPEN in NJ ?

Is there a local range where you can practice from the holster ?

 

(Not the Paramus I remember, anyway).    :( 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

Where are you shooting OPEN in NJ ?

Is there a local range where you can practice from the holster ?

 

(Not the Paramus I remember, anyway).    :( 

Nothing "local" to me.  The range is about an hour and change from here.  

There are some indoor ranges that allow holster draw but I try hard to not shoot indoors anymore.  I just don't enjoy it.  Except for the local club match that I will be participating in which is during fall/winter, I'm outside mostly.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Tophernj said:

Nothing "local" to me.  The range is about an hour and change from here.  

 

Sounds like you found a few ranges in PA -  that's where I shot OPEN 

when I lived 60 miles north of you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

Sounds like you found a few ranges in PA -  that's where I shot OPEN 

when I lived 60 miles north of you.

Nope. In NJ. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask the instructor to clarify anything you don’t understand.  Lot of people don’t want to sound like they don’t get it. Don’t be that way.  A good instructor should be happy to help you understand the concept/technique. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you've learned 5 minutes ago may become obsolete is 10.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 38super said:

What you learned 5 minutes ago may become obsolete in 10.

 

There is a progression of improved technique, but it is far better to

get some proper instruction rather than starting out all wrong, IMHO    

 

I know - I started out all wrong 30 years ago, and only wished I had

taken the opportunity to learn from people who knew much more

than I did (and do).

 

I'm planning on taking more instruction later this year, even though

someone will come up with a better way to do it a few days later.   :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 38super said:

What you've learned 5 minutes ago may become obsolete is 10.

 

18 minutes ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

I'm planning on taking more instruction later this year, even though

someone will come up with a better way to do it a few days later.   :) 

Heh.  Sounds about right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, hrhawk said:

Ask the instructor to clarify anything you don’t understand.  Lot of people don’t want to sound like they don’t get it. Don’t be that way.  A good instructor should be happy to help you understand the concept/technique. 

 

So much this.  I don't understand people who do that.  They are just wasting their time and money.

Edited by elguapo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heading to meet my instructor in about an hour.  I'll follow up with a post on how it went.  

 

Thanks for the suggestions all.  I really appreciate it.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I emailed Aaron several weeks ago.  I do not have time this summer to compete in FT/R as it's an all day affair with the drive down to Cumberland (I'm in Bergen Cty) and a full day of shooting.  My family time is just too important to me and my wife and I have really been enjoying our time together on Sundays.  Since I don't make a living at shooting, I've decided to call this summer a wash and pick up handgun competition in the fall at Tenafly.  And, although I have no desire to get to a Master or Grand Master status, part of enjoying myself is being at least somewhat proficient at whatever I'm doing.  I've always been a fan of classes and education in general (high school not withstanding) and PB and Ronny were very helpful in pointing me toward a proficient teacher.  All that to say that after emailing Aaron, and several emails in between, we settled on a date and I started to prepare.  

I brought:
Lunch
Water
Sunscreen
Extra clothes (JIC)
Gun/belt/holster and pouches
Tools for repair/maintenance
Cleaning supplies for gun
500 rounds of ammo (I didn't use it all)
A willing attitude and an open mind

Aaron supplied the rest.  We went over some basic safety when we got on the range and from there proceeded to work from the base on up.  We started with natural point of aim and establishing a firm shooting stance.  We also worked on grip and he offered several little tips which, when I applied them, really made a difference.  I changed the position of my finger on the trigger and it also made quite a difference.  

Shortly thereafter we put the rubber to the road and started with livefire.  Aaron is extremely safety conscious but not overbearing.  If I committed an infraction he didn't yell or give me grief, he simply mentioned that "In IPSC/USPSA this is how to avoid a DQ" and I would start over.  We started out with one shot on paper as he checked to see if I know how to shoot (I don't) and how well my pistol functioned.  The gun did well enough at 10 yards but it opened up at 25 so much so that he had me shoot his gun to see if it is me or my gun/ammo.  We determined that I'm actually, marginally, more accurate than my ammo.  Plated bullets are the culprit and not good past 10, maybe 15 yards (I will be changing my load shortly).  Once that was sorted we started working on shooting one, then 2 rounds on target.  Then we started working on splits.  Then on to transitions.  Then stringing together splits and transitions.  After a good session of livefire, we backed off a bit and worked on holster draw which we had touched briefly on in the beginning and then to reloads.  

Last was the real test.  Aaron set up a small course of fire and had me run it.  He filmed it (I didn't see it and I'm fine with that) and we considered what I did incorrectly.  He then ran it and showed me what could be improved on.  He is considerably more efficient than I am, which came as no surprise to either of us.  And so I learned.  

10 minutes to debrief and we wrapped it up.  Aaron kept the class moving without rushing and is a master at keeping it light and fun.  And fun...  that's why I shoot.  It's a lot of fun.  

All in all, a really solid class and a great day on the range running my gun as quickly as I could.  FUN.

Oh, I had my first squib ever.  Crazy how fast it happened and how neither of us heard it.  Thankfully all was well as it was essentially just jammed in the end of the chamber.  No harm, no foul.  

http://dvcperformance.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tophernj said:

 

Oh, I had my first squib ever. 

 

Hope your instructor talked to you about how dangerous that could have been,

and how to NEVER have a 2nd squib.

 

You need a light to illuminate the third stage of your reloader, so you can

visually confirm that there is powder in the case before you seat Every

Single bullet.

 

If there's powder, there is Very Little chance that you will ever have 2 Sq.     :)

 

Sounds like a great course, BTW - and you enjoyed it - that's a double wine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Tophernj said:

Crazy how fast it happened and how neither of us heard it. 

 

I don't understand how your instructor didn't hear this squib.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...