I found this on Brian Enos forum under “Demonstrating as a trainer, Should you live fire demonstrate?” The response by “dirtypool40″ was good, as usual. This guy knows what he is talking about!
The “rule” that no instructors will shoot in front of the students is weak!
You don’t need to be THE champ to teach, and the champ may be an AWFUL teacher, but you better know what the hell you are doing and how to teach it!!
I may not be able to snap off a personal best .70 reload on the first try in front of the class, but if I can’t demonstrate CORRECT technique, full speed and ssssssssslow mo, by the numbers, than even LEO you are just a gun rag commando with a badge.
There are WAY too many “instructors” out there, who can’t teach worth a damn, and can’t even really shoot. But they scowl and wear the gear, and somehow people buy it.
Sure, there are instances where I can NO LONGER do something, but still understand it well enough to help folks in the technical aspects, and even move them past my current level.
BUT!!! Just reading about, or going to some course where they mentioned a technique, does NOT qualify you to teach it. You don’t even have the shallowest, most basic understanding of something if you can only say “stand like that, do that, don’t jerk the trigger, come on, front site maggot!!!”.
If you take being an instructor seriously, as in you want to be good AT INSTRUCTING not just talking about it, you already know about different learning styles and that one drill, demo, description or technique is not going to “turn the light on” for every student. If you take away demo-ing, you’ve lost a major tool in turning that light bulb on.
I have buddies who are LEO, went through the academy myself and have had LEO in my classes.
LEO at the experienced “street cop” level are so used to knowing it all, and being the final word, you MUST be able to demonstrate a technique, and PROVE it’s better or they will ignore you. Sure, once they’ve been to a year’s worth of matches, they ACCEPT that the academy was 30 years behind and they are more open minded, but if you get them fresh of the street, they know it all.
At the academy I had an experience EXACTLY like you describe, from the STUDENT’S point of view. As “instructors” they had a bunch of LEO, working the range as an “extra duty”. They weren’t gun nuts, competitors or even good shooters. But there was an abundance of tough talk, posturing and telling us we sucked. ZERO demo.
The fact that any of us qualified was pure, random chance.
They kept barking at me, even though I was the best shooter in the class, and qual’d the first try through.
They hated what I was doing, and when I asked them to demo the “right” way, they were furious, and crawfished away most riky tick.
When I won the shoot off at the end and the students wanted to match me up with the most boastful instructor, he declined.
This was when I was about a low “C” level shooter. What did some super-dee-duper LEO instructor have to fear from me?
I was so disgusted with the LACK of decent understanding of proper technique and instruction that I sought out competition as a way to finally learn something about shooting, first IDPA then graduating to IPSC / USPSA. I liked that the shooters HAD TO do more than talk about it, and that proof made me a believer and made it easier to improve through positive visualization.
Yes, you not only need to demo, you need to rescind that stupid rule and hold the instructors to a higher standard.