It Takes a Village… So Don’t Be A Dick

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The last few days I’ve seen several people on the interwebs chastising people for teaching Active Shooter courses.

I’m not talking about the ignorant crazy people who think the training is stupid because “all you need is a gun” or “no average person can fight back against a gunman.”

No, I’m talking about something much more damaging…

I’m talking about self defense/tactical/firearms instructors talking down other instructors for teaching.

Many of which are friends of mine and people I respect in some regard.

To be an instructor in our industry, you have to have at least a decent amount of “alpha dog” in you… the problem with that is, like the dog, we spend too much time pissing in the wind marking our territory.

All to often I hear something along the lines of…

“Their program is shit.”

“No one teaches like I teach.”

“I’ve been teaching longer.”

“They’re just jumping on the bandwagon.”

At some point in time, we’ve all been guilty of this… some more than others… some louder than others.

Is all training created equal? No

Are some instructors more experienced than others? Sure

Are some people stepping out to promote themselves and their business? Possibly

But maybe, just maybe, some of these instructors are finally realizing how important this stuff is. Maybe they’re finally growing the stones to stop teaching spin kicks and gain knowledge to teach how to pile drive a gunman into the ground.

We’re talking about the overall well being of humans against violence. I don’t care who is teaching the class… if they’re not teaching them to fall on the ground and pray the bad guy doesn’t shoot them, then at least they’re making some type of change.

The reality is even if I taught 100 people every single day for an entire year I would personally touch 36,500 people.

If my entire staff of self defense instructors did the same, we’d be at 365,000.

Columbus, Ohio… my home town, has an estimated population of 820,000 people. My staff, working everyday of the year, each touching 100 people per day, couldn’t even train half the population of our CITY. Let alone the over 11 million people in our state

Who the fuck am I, to sit back and act like no one else has the right to step out and help? Who am I to claim “expert” knowledge on this and make everyone bow to me? How in the absolute hell could it possibly matter if they started teaching this a year ago, 3 years ago or 10 years ago?

What matters is that even if every single legitimate self defense instructor in the US got off their ass, sacrificed their time and committed their passion to teaching every day this year, we still won’t reach everyone.

But for some reason we feel the need to criticize and put down others that are trying to make a change?

Instead, what if we collaborated. Shared ideas. Talked each other up. Promoted each others courses. Showed the world that we care more about the safety and well being of the people and less about our own egos… Holy shit the things we could do.

Our program wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for things we’ve learned from Kissel, Slane, Pincus, Hoover, Herbert, Whitman, Blauer, Levine, Morrison, Aviram, Thompson, McCann, Hicks and many many more. Every training we’ve ever attended, student we’ve ever taught and learned from, phone call we’ve gotten, feedback we’ve received. The program doesn’t stand on our shoulders. It’s the collective efforts and ideas of many, whether they know it or not.

No one has the perfect program… no one. I’ve had the pleasure of learning from a lot of people that have been teaching these classes just as long if not longer than most. I’ve had the opportunity to learn and evolve with every session that’s gone on. I feel like the information we put out is accurate, relevant and making a difference in changing the mentality of those that attend. So far everyone that has taken our course or seen our videos has positive things to say. They’ve gotten hands on, they didn’t sit in a room listening to lectures. They threw strikes, tackled, got bruised, learned to apply tourniquets, practiced in scenarios with high gear and SIMs.

Does that mean we’re the best? No.. it just means that we’re doing everything that we can, with the knowledge and passion we possess to help as many people as possible.

Unless you are blatantly teaching people how to get strategically killed, I’m not about to talk another person down for trying to help as well.

I plead with the leaders of this industry to get off your damn high horse and start taking action, start supporting each other, start sharing ideas and if you want to talk shit, keep it to yourself.

Because it’s going to take all of us to make a shift in the mindset of the everyday citizen.

You can’t do it alone and either can I.

And if you’re out there teaching these courses and you’re not openly seeking out and brainstorming with others that are teaching, or have been there, then you’re dead wrong.

Stop your bullshit and start being part of the solution.

If you are interested in these types of training there are people out there that can help… yes some may be better than others, but not training and sweeping this under the rug, is a way worse option.

Here are a few great places to start:

ASR here at Endeavor

www.endeavordcf.com/activeshooter

AKD pioneered by Fit to Fight

www.activekillerdefense.com

SARC pioneered by ICE Training

www.icetraining.us

If you can’t find reliable active shooter training then at least go out and learn how to break shit. Hit hard, grapple, tackle.. whatever… become a weapon and not a victim.

Be good, stay safe, train hard

-aaron