This is an after action report for the USCCA DSF Level 1 & 2 Instructor course in West Bend, Wisconsin
My reason for attending was multiple purpose
– Expand my training with the USCCA
– Have first hand knowledge on the Defense Shooting Fundamentals course
– Meet more of the USCCA instructors and training counselors
This course required you to complete two e-learning courses online and pass a online test with at least a 90%. That sounds easy until you realize that you are learning a completely different way of thinking about things from Rob Pincus. This made it more challenging than any other course I’ve taken before. The good part is you could take the test multiple times which helped me with first test for sure.
My suggestion for anyone taking the instructor course is to take the student course at least once if not multiple times. The course work is new and the more you can be exposed to it before you take the instructor course the better. I would also not suggest this for a new instructor or an instructor who does not already have good pistol handling skills. Such as moving and shooting, defensive shooting, and a thorough knowledge of their gun.
Day 1 – Started at 5am to get breakfast and be ready for the bus at 7am so we can be on the range at 8am
The e-learning prepared us for what we were going to hear but didn’t prepare us for how to run the drills. All of the drills were learned on the range and you had to take notes as quickly as you could while not shooting. These drills take a different approach to defensive shooting since the whole point of the course is to make it as realistic as possible in a range environment.
The Training Counselors conducting our range was a combination of USCCA Senior TCs (Jesse Korth, Klint Macro) and I.C.E. Instructors (Ken Crawford). Both groups knew the materials inside and out the USCCA TCs were preparing to take over teaching the courses from the I.C.E. Instructors soon. Our range motto was “Outwork Them” and we definitely worked harder at this course than any other instructor course I had been in before. The other instructor candidates keep each other going through the whole weekend.
The quote of the weekend that surprised everyone was that if you came to the weekend to get a certificate you’re in the wrong place. You will learn, you will be challenged, but you’ll never be given a certificate. If you get a certificate you’ll have earned it.
We arrived back at the hotel around 9pm but we still had to get dinner and study for the exam on Sunday. I finally went to bed about 2am.
Day 2 – Begin again at 5am so we could be on the range at 8am
The biggest surprise came during breakfast when we learned that a group of 5 instructors were walking out of the course. One was sick but the other 4 had some philosophical differences with the training so they decided to head home with their sick colleague.
Once on the range we began the testing.
First we had to pass the emergency reloading drill. Yes, most people think they know how to reload but we needed to demonstrate it in such a way that everyone could see it, understand, and perform it that way its described in the DSF course. (your hand never leaves the gun once a new magazine is inserted)
We did several other drills to demonstrate that we knew the materials. One of the drills was the concealed carry simulation. A good drill but one that has it’s twists too if you do it properly.
The final drill that only a few of us were ready for was the wind sprint drill. Lots of safety to be considered and this was the one drill I studied the most on Saturday night.
We returned to the hotel again about 9pm and I got on the road to head home.
In the end I would say learning didn’t occur this weekend, foundation-building did. The learning will come, and the transition from quasi-blundering DSF Instructor wannabes to well oiled instructors will come in time. I plan to run my own courses immediately but also plan to mirror other instructors as time allows.
Since my two day DSF instructor weekend the USCCA has gone to a 3 day format and also a 2 day level 1 course. Both I believe are good improvements to the course since it’s like being through into the water above Niagara Falls and told to swim. You have very little time to figure out what you are doing and you have to do it correctly or else you won’t make.