My last class of 2017 ended December 15. Looks like we “tenned out.” On ten-scale student critiques completed after class, in a world where a lot of folks think “there’s no such thing as a 10,” that doesn’t happen all the time. But it’s a great way to end my 45th year of teaching how, and WHEN, to use firearms. The thanks go to an awesome training team in Live Oak, Florida, assembled by host Herman Gunter III.
The “MAG” stands for my training school that we take around the country, Massad Ayoob Group, LLC (http://massadayoobgroup.com). The “120” in the class title signals the cumulative number of hours spent training with me and my cadre(s). 40 hours in the first level class, 40 more in the second, and another 40 in this one. The prerequisites (MAG-40 before MAG-80, MAG-80 before MAG-120) are non-negotiable. The 120 class includes introduction to an assortment of fully automatic weapons, shooting effectively from moving vehicles, rifles and shotguns as well as handguns, and police-type handgun qualifications done three times faster than our nation’s law enforcement officers are expected to perform. It also includes a lot of hand-to-hand combatives focusing on disarming the opponent, and keeping the bad guy from disarming the good guy. We finish with a four-hour course in the Kubotan ™ “mini-baton” which I was certified to teach by its creator Soke Takayuki Kubota in 1979 at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. As a father of daughters, it pleases me to watch a petite (five foot tall) young woman put a 250 pound testosterone monster down on his knees when he doesn’t want to go there and is resisting it.
I love my job…
My significant other, the Evil Princess, is a retired nurse and an excellent nurse-caregiver (and adult supervisor) for an old fart like me. She figured out a while back that we geriatric patients can only stand so much and need a break now and then, so we established a pattern where we finish teaching in mid-December and pick up again at the end of January. It gives our students and our training associates family time during the holiday season, and gives us a breather in which we can get caught up on accounting, taxes, next year’s scheduling finalization and … life.
I’ll still be doing writing and gun testing and court case prep during those weeks off from teaching, and she’ll still be doing podcasting (she’s the producer/editor and therefore PrEditor of the ProArms Podcast at (www.proarmspodcast.com) …but we’ll have time for Christmas, New Years, and, well, a schedule like Normal People for about six weeks.
And I’ll spend that holiday season being grateful for my ace staff teams around the country, and especially for my students, who made me so proud of them with their performance in my last class of the year.
I am reminded of the words of master instructor and super-cop Bob Lindsey, a dear friend and mentor who is both teacher and student. When he “trains the trainers” Bob says:
“We are not God’s gift to our students…our students are God’s gift to us.”