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I took a class recently at a local range, with a great reputation. Class was great except one thing. One of the instructors believed my finger was on the trigger, I understand this is a big no no if you are not about to shoot. Now the first problem was the instructor wanted to be able to see my finger high on the slide, this finger placement was not made clear to me. I thought off the trigger was what was expected, so my finger was on the frame close to the trigger guard, not the trigger. When it was clear what he wanted it was not a problem to do as told. To me, the most shocking thing was the method used to get my attention. This instructor would thump the back of my head. he did this twice. I though it was very unprofessional, and frankly it pissed me off. I'm just wondering if this was a unique experience. I tend to think this guy did not like me are the glock I had at the time. All the other instructors where very helpful. Just looking for some input. I never thought I would let someone thump me in the back of the head when I had a loaded 10mm in my hand. If he did it again I believe I would have put the gun down! And what about the finger placement on the slide, is that a good idea? Thanks for your input!
 

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Personally, I like the trigger finger to index off the slide as well because if it's resting near the trigger, a sudden unforseen jerk or the infamous "sympathetic squeeze" could induce a ND. On the other hand, the trainer was dead wrong IMO to thump you on the head. He did have the right to correct you or even dismiss you from the session if you were practicing unsafe behavior but corporal punishment isn't a generally accepted training method among adults.
 

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I totally agree with blinder with the method of resting the trigger finger on the frame. Besides, it is very unprofessional that the instructor got your attention the way he did. It would piss me off too. I wouldn't mind him resting his hand on my shoulder (that's far as it should go) if he had to.

I would speak with the class conductor or the owner of the academy, professionally. No temper but in a creative way.

If he sounds to have the same attitude, protecting his staff creditablity, it's no use to talk to those people. I'd leave right away and never go back.
 

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"Thumping" is no way to teach adults anything. Adults who have taken the time & effort and paid the tuition to take a class can be assumed to be motivated to learn. They are not children or conscripted recruits.

That said, don't totally discount the possibility that the instructor misjudged the degree to which you and he had hit it off and "bonded". "Pals" tend to be more confortable getting into one another's "space" and even using mock "abuse" as a bonding tool and display of friendship (the punch to the shoulder as a greeting, etc.).

I suppose what I'm saying is that it was not appropriate instructor conduct, but that I wouldn't neccessarily attribute it to malice. It could be just a misunderstanding and may have been meant in a friendly way. You might want to just speak with the instructor and try to sort things out.

Rosco
 

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Hi GM45,

I'd also appreciate it if you'd e-mail me the name of the school you went to so that I could also avoid it.

First of all, not everybody in the world teaches that your trigger finger should be sitting raptly perpendicular (at "Attention") along the slide. Read Ayoob’s StressFire (or better yet, take the course) and you’ll see an alternative position for your off-trigger finger. One that won’t lend itself to getting your finger broken off if some schmuck attempts to disarm you.

I’m sure the finger position thing will be the subject of some debate itself. There’ll be plenty of people saying that everybody should be doing it this way or that way throughout the entire universe without exception – it’s all based on personal opinion - but there is however no excuse I can think of for sneaking up behind someone with a loaded handgun and “thumping” them on the head just because “the instructor” can’t tell if you’re off trigger.

I know from IDPA SO’ing that it is hard to see if someone’s got their finger on the trigger during a reload – especially people shorter than me (which is almost everybody), you have to bend forward and sideways to get a glance while still trying to keep the hell out of their way – it ain’t easy. But freaking out during static range work? What’s wrong with lightly putting a hand on their shoulder and asking “Is your finger off the trigger?” That wouldn’t make you feel like a tough guy?

If I were in your shoes, I don’t think I would have said anything either. Its pretty obvious the guy thumping you would’ve taken offense at your minor, but perfectly reasonable complaint. Its probably some stupid habit he learned from his DI in boot camp on the rifle range, and he’s finally able to get his revenge through you. I’d just pity him and go somewhere else to train.


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Wisconsin Trivia -
Q: What was Cudahy called before it was called Cudahy?

A: Cuda.
 

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Rosco hit on a very interesting point. When I started reading this thread, I was appauled by the behavior. However, as I think about it, there are two people with whom I train regularly that I could see doing something like that to get my attention. They are both men I would concider very close friends and who would take exception to me doing something they felt like they have given me adequate instruction on doing correctly. In both cases, I would have laughed it off. AND fixed the behavior.

Anyone that I did NOT know at that familure level would have been crossing the line. Is it possible this instructor felt you had a stronger friendship bond than you felt? Maybe, maybe not. You were there. We were not. Bottom line is... you felt uncomfortable. You should let the owner of the facility know of your concerns. But I would NOT go off bad mouthing the school by name at this point without giving the facility a chance to understand and fix the problem.

Just my dos centavos.



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Bubba
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Let me chime in on the "Percussive Instruction" technique...

Personally, I would be *very* offended if an instructor, or even a close friend whapped me like that. There are a few of us who don't want to be hit by anyone.

One other thing: what if a student was startled by this and turned around, sweeping the range with his muzzle? I'd think the possibility of that, however slim, would make someone more circumspect when correcting a student holding a loaded weapon.

Steve "Mr. Sensitive" G.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm still waiting to get a reply form the owner of the school before I make a claim that the school owner has not had a chance to reply to. I know he has posted a few places so I hope he gets to this one before to long. I would just like to know how many instrutors feel this was not the best way to handle this. I was there to learn form responsible people, and have no problem doing what is asked of me.
 

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The originator of this thread contacted me privately, and I learned he had this unfortunate experience at Rangemaster, in a basic permit class taught by two of my staff members in my absence.
Goldmatch45 was quite right in his assumption that this was inappropriate behavior on the part of the instructor, and I gave him my apology. We identified the instructor and I have already counseled him (chewed his butt) about this.
No matter what school any of you attend, if you encounter something you question or object to, go to the head guy and tell him. You are customers first, students second. We cannot fix deficiencies if we are not aware of them. We teach 20 classes each month of various levels at Rangemaster, and I am personally present for 15-16 of them. Guess which ones problems occur in?

Tom Givens
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The director of Rangemaster and I spoke on this subject. As I said the incident involved one person. Rangemaster has my respect as a great school, and it's good to know the director is personally concerned about the training his instructors provide. Once again this forum has been a great place to learn. I now make sure I know my instructor's back ground before I take any training. thanks for all the replys
 

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Tom, I applaud your willingness to admit that your school was involved and to take responsibility and corrective action for the problem. I only wish that more people had your integrity because the world would be a much better place.

David
 

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I'll second Blinder's opinion. Tom, I have taught business for fifteen years to college students, many of whom have the naive opinion that cost is all that matters to be successful. Actions like yours, and the resulting loyalty of your customer base, give me the opportunity to make the point that respect for the customer and the integrity of the owner/manager are at least as important as financial controls. My hat's off to you!

Greg

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Greg Stephens
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Wow. I would've never expected such a display of unpretentious self-confidence.

Indeed, you folks in Memphis are extremely lucky to have a facility such as this one at your disposal.

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"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats."
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Goldmatch,

I teach classes for Tom/Rangemaster several times a year. I can assure you he has taken care of this problem. He doesn't put up with stuff like that AT ALL.

The only thing that bothers me is he called me FIRST! :)

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James Yeager
http://wwww.OptionsForPersonalSecurity.com
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thanks James, Tom has been very professional with this problem. I think the person involved works with a lot of new users, it's a tough job, so as long as he keeps the range safe, I'll be happy. I just hope he does so in a way that promotes safety. BTW. hope Tom was not to hard on you. I know I would not want to be on his bad side.
 
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