If you’re reading this, you likely see the wisdom in thinking about your safety and that of your home and family. And if this is not your first visit to the Personal Defense Network site, you put some value in learning about and preparing for personal and home defense. Preparation means training and, as a PDN reader or subscriber, you no doubt recognize what a great resource is right here at your fingertips: 24/7 access to an ever-changing collection of articles and videos by some of the most innovative and active instructors working today. But have you ever considered that you could become one of those resources? Allow me to explain.
Current Training Climate
If you talk to people who are currently active in defensive training, you will notice a couple of recurring ideas. First is the widespread recognition that there is really only one segment of the industry that is steadily growing and has a near-unlimited potential for future growth. Of course I’m talking about the private sector, and the throngs of law-abiding civilians — individuals, couples, and families alike — who have concluded (or soon will conclude) that defense of home and family is both a right and a responsibility, and are ready to act on that realization.
Second, these “entry-level” folks are going to have the greatest need for relevant, quality defensive firearms training. Unfortunately, they can also be the folks who don’t get the training they need. There are a number of reasons for this, and they deserve some examination.
One reason that training doesn’t get to the people who could use it has to do with the traditional model to which many firearms training courses (and many of those who teach them) adhere. For example, take the idea that a novice handgun shooter should start with a .22LR caliber pistol.
.22s For Everyone?
Most anyone who has spoken to or trained with an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor has probably heard this suggestion. I’d further venture that anyone (myself included) who has been teaching for any length of time has doled out this same advice more than once. And please don’t misunderstand: I’m not suggesting that the concept is flawed or that it is bad to teach the fundamentals of pistol shooting with the least recoil and muzzle blast possible. But if we are being honest with ourselves, we have to question: does someone who is only interested in using a service-type pistol as a defensive weapon need to target shoot with a .22? Is there any benefit, from a self-defense perspective, to shooting bullseyes with a target pistol? The answer, even if reluctantly given, has to be “probably not.” And if this is so, why do those who wish to learn to defend themselves with a handgun continue to be told that this is the way to start?
Very simply, it is the self-fulfilling prophecy of a gun school: the largest and oldest firearms training accreditation entity on the planet teaches it. So the counselors who train the instructors teach it. And the instructors who train the students teach it. And the students who become the hobbyists … then decide to become instructors … are taught to teach it, and so on. But this is only part of the problem. Again, it’s not that there is something wrong with learning to target shoot – but we can’t ignore the fact that we live in a world today that is very different from the world of our parents and grandparents.
Not so long ago, guns were a normal part of everyday life. But as our society has evolved and we have become increasingly urban and techno-reliant, we have largely set our guns aside. The rifle by the door, once as common as a hammer or paintbrush, is now widely viewed as irresponsible or suspicious, as our culture has changed and firearms have become the exception, not the rule.
Our social norms now revolve around instant communication, discourse by soundbite, and an endless bombardment of incoming stimuli. The average American household functions only because both parents (if they’re both even there) are in the workforce. Like it or not, we are working longer and harder, and have less leisure and family time than we want. Unsurprisingly then, we tend to put a higher priority on things that provide what we want in the shortest possible time.
Now you see where this is headed: the need is for a new kind of “beginner’s class” – a class for people who want and need defensive firearms training, but who cannot (or will not) follow the slow and deliberate path to the well-honed marksmanship of the lifelong gun enthusiast.
This new class has arrived – the Introduction to Defensive Handgun (IDH) course. It was created by Rob Pincus, founder of I.C.E. Training and its flagship Combat Focus Shooting program. Rob also happens to be the managing editor of the Personal Defense Network and is one of the busiest trainers in the business today. The IDH course is relevant, realistic, and innovative. A new kind of training needs a new kind of teacher – and that is where you come in.
Defensive Firearms Coach
The IDH course is designed to be conducted by a specialized kind of instructor called a Defensive Firearms Coach (DFC). A DFC is different from the average firearms instructor. The DFC only teaches the IDH course, which means they are in an ideal position to provide what the defensive shooter needs. The benefit here is twofold:
Number one, the customer seeking training is in no danger of investing their increasingly limited time and resources learning and practicing things that aren’t relevant to their needs. This upfront declaration that we are only about what they need to know gives the end user confidence that they’ve come to the right place – that they have discovered the right resource for the needed information.
The other benefit is that being a Defensive Firearms Coach doesn’t require a lifetime of firearms experience, or a full immersion in the so-called gun culture, or a military or law enforcement background, or even a membership card in any organization. It simply requires a desire to make your community a safer place and a willingness to teach the content the way it is designed to be taught. In other words, if you have read this far, then the ideal Defensive Firearms Coach candidate … is you.
Don’t misunderstand – the title of Defensive Firearms Coach is not just handed out upon request. The certification process is demanding, a three-day training course that requires the candidate to pass both a comprehensive written exam and a subjective evaluation of their ability to convey the concepts and drills. But the rewards are significant – the satisfaction of being in a position to truly help those who are looking to join the ranks of responsible defense-minded gun owners.
The certification process is certain to hone your critical thinking skills as well. Nor are you left on your own as a Defensive Firearms Coach. DFCs are part of a growing community, networked and involved in the evolution of the program. The IDH program and the DFCs teaching it are supported by the resources of I.C.E. Training and the ever-expanding Combat Focus Shooting community, so it is also a golden opportunity to become an active part of the most innovative and relevant defensive firearms training available today.
Give it some thought and consider becoming a certified Defensive Firearms Coach. Don’t deny yourself the chance to make a real contribution to the future of responsible gun ownership and defensive firearms training. For more information about the IDH program and its many providers, or to find a DFC certification course, visit I.C.E. Training.