Like most professions, continuing education is important.
Most people start their firearms training with the basic CCW class they took to get their permit. Unfortunately, that is also where most people stop. They figure they just passed an eight-hour course with some law information thrown in, they are good to go. There was two hours of range training there too right?
Sadly, while in some cases the basic CCW course is a good course, it’s not enough. That’s where continuing your training after the basic course is important. Just like in any profession, there are continuing education courses that must be taken to keep their certifications up. With firearms skills, it’s the same thing. Continuing your training and taking your skills to the next level are necessary to hone your shooting skills.
Shooting is a perishable skill. If you don’t use it often, you will lose it. That is also true of all the great training knowledge you have. If you don’t use it, you will lose it.
Where to Start
Again, a good starting point is your local CCW course. There you will learn the basics of how various guns work and how to properly grip a gun. You will learn the proper stances for shooting and how a cartridge works. There will be some range time and live fire instruction. But that is just a basic beginning.
Your next step is to look into Handgun I classes that have a more hands-on approach and more live fire. This is a basic course but it will give you more hands-on experience in live fire. From there you can start to look at more advanced courses.
Once you have a good basic understanding of firearms skills, it’s time to start finding some advanced courses. The NRA offers courses like Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home. There are many training schools out there that have more advanced classes as well, Tactical Defense Institute in Ohio or Gunsite in Arizona for example. These are excellent ways of improving your shooting.
Choosing a Teacher
Make sure when looking for any kind of training both basic and advanced, you choose a good instructor; someone who can teach and help you improve who has the knowledge and experience to help you. Also look for a school or instructor that has a lot of experience in the areas you need the most work on. Obviously you are not going to go to a competitive shooting trainer to learn about room-clearing tactics. Make sure the instructor is appropriate for what you are trying to learn.
Remember it is important to continue with your training under the guidance of a qualified instructor. All of the skills you learn are perishable and need to be refreshed every once in a while.