Ken Hackathorn, one of my firearms training mentors, has spoken on multiple occasions about the rise of people who bill themselves as firearms instructors that engage in nothing more than “entertrainment” (full credit to Ken for the term). Instead of teaching their students what they need to know for the realistic use of firearms in real world situations; these entertrainers run their students through fantasy warrior camps where the weekend is spent in their favorite color of camouflage while sending lots of rounds downrange with little, to no, accountability of where the rounds are impacting. Basically, people in these “classes”, and I use that term loosely, are not held to any real accuracy standard and are simply partaking in some feel good ballistic masturbation. Sadly these students don’t realize that they aren’t doing anything expect wasting money, creating training scars, and giving themselves a false sense of what they can accomplish with a firearm.
When you go to firearms training class, or engage in firearms training on your own, you need to hold yourself accountable for every round you send downrange. This is accomplished by having a demanding accuracy standard for yourself. Instead of settling for rounds impacting anywhere in the head of an IDPA target, only accept rounds hits to the small rectangle inside the head box. By forcing yourself to perform at a higher level on the square range (or other training environments) you are setting yourself up for success when things go sideways for real.
So what does ballistic masturbation and entertrainment look like? Watch this video that originates in 420 land aka Colorado:
Let’s look at a few things that push this into the realm of ballistic masturbation and entertainment.
1. Making entry into the “room” with the guns held straight up in the air. There’s a difference in a high port position (which is usable in certain situations) and having your gun up in a Charlie’s Angels type posture.
2. As the shooters make entry into the room they fail to engage the target in the center of the room. This can be chalked up to a lack of understanding of the material being shown and is what we are observing in this “commercial”.
3. The shooters are engaging each of their targets (well the ones they have decided to not to skip anyways) with a hail of gunfire. Theres easily 12 or so rounds coming from each of the carbines and the shotgun is fired 6 times. Firmly nothing more than ballistic masturbation.
4. The Ali Shuffle by the middle shooter. Shuffling around like you might have a neurological disorder doesn’t make you look any more like an operator unless you’re assigned to the Very Special Forces.
5. Note the tactical reloads. The carbine shooters swap magazines after ejaculating multiple rounds on their targets as they should to top the guns back off. But pay close attention to the shotgun user (who is the primary instructor for the company using the commercial). He fires 6 rounds during his Ali Shuffle in the middle of the room. After doing this, he reloads <strong>one</strong> (<strong>1</strong>) round then calls “Up!” and starts to stack up with the rest of his cohorts.
6. Gripping of the shoulders and shuffling of feet as the shooters exit the room. Again, nothing more than a display of the lack of understanding of how to conduct these types of tasks.
So guys; when you decide to take a firearms training class (and everyone should); make sure you aren’t engaging in masturbation at the hands of an entertrainer. You can do this by checking out the background of the instructor(s) for the course and the number of rounds to be fired (though this isn’t always a good measure). If the instructor’s resume’ seems like that of Ray Mysterio then walk away. If you are supposed to shoot almost 1,000 rounds per day for each weapon you have on you; you likely need to run away as well. Following these steps should help to make sure you are actually learning something.
originally published on 8/27/14