Back in the earlier days of my blog, I used to write incredibly detailed posts about all the training and travel I completed each year. I talked about how many students and classes I had taught, rounds I fired, and books I read. You can read my older annual updates HERE
I enjoy sharing happy information with my readers. Life was happy. I was always looking for more and I was eager to share the lessons I learned with my friends and students. I hoped that by sharing exacting details about exactly how much of an over-achiever I was would inspire other people to train more. I’m not sure that strategy ever worked, but I was proud to list my annual accomplishments in the hopes that it would.
Then I got cancer. Life wasn’t so happy anymore. I only had five to 10 years left to live. My perspective changed. Suddenly, taking lots of new courses and spending hundreds of hours in shooting/fighting practice just wasn’t as important anymore. I decided I would rather spend my limited remaining time with loved ones and working on creating a legacy rather than totaling up and chronicling my accomplishments in a given year. I haven’t done a yearly update since 2019.
Last week, I saw a lot of my training friends posting the lists of all the courses they had taken in 2022. I re-evaluated my position on end of the year review articles. While I’ll likely never do the complete detailed life reviews I once enjoyed posting, I can see some professional value in sharing the training classes I took last year.
I think it is the job of a professional instructor to remain up to date in their fields of endeavor. I won’t stop taking classes as long as I am teaching these skill sets. I vow to never become one of those instructors whose peak instructional training is a weekend NRA class.
I think I owe it to my students to show them that I am continuing to do the work.
With that said, I took a bunch of training last year. In total hours, it is more than I have taken since the golden days of 2009 when the police department was paying my way to all my classes and supplying me with all the ammunition I could shoot.
I think I took so many classes this year because I taught more classes than I ever have before. More teaching means more disposable income I can devote to attending classes for my own benefit.
In 2022 I taught 37 full days of training classes. I had 612 students in all those classes. That’s a record for Active Response Training. It may not sound like much as compared to some of the higher volume instructors, but it might seem a bit more impressive if you consider I was also out of the country traveling and doing book research for more than eight weeks last year. I also traveled within the USA for two weeks on vacation. I didn’t teach any classes during those time frames
Here are the classes I attended as a student in 2022. I did AARs for most of these classes. If you click the links, you will see each AAR. If I did not do a course review, the link takes you to the course description.
2022 (177 hours)
Rangemaster- Master Firearms Instructor– 24 hours
Active Response Training- De-escalation tactics for armed school staff- 3 hours
Rangemaster Tactical Training Conference– 24 hours
Herbal Medics Academy- Botany for Herbal Medicine– 16 hours
KR Training Historical Handgun– 8 hours
Tactical Response Surgical Speed Shooting Summit– 32 hours
8/12/22- The Laceration Course- Comprehensive Laceration Management– 10 hours
I didn’t do a review on this one, but it is an amazing online class that will teach you everything you could possibly ever need to know about cleaning and closing all types of wounds using glue, sutures, and staples. Highly recommended. You might have to stretch the truth a bit on the registration form. List yourself as a medical student to get in. Aren’t we all students of medicine in some degree? No one verifies your professional status before you begin the class.
9/11/22- FPF Training Street Encounter Skills and Tactics– 20 hours (including required online video content before class)
10/31/22- Last Resort Firearms Training – Active Shooter Instructor– 16 hours (AAR coming soon!)
11/21/22- Gunsite Revolver Roundup– 24 hours
As I mentioned above, I think it’s really important for trainers to stay current and keep learning new things. Ask your instructor what classes he/she took as a student last year. The answer should be something greater than “none.” I have more than 80 instructor certs and have completed more than 4,000 hours of tactical training as a student. I’m still seeking more.
One of the marks of a professional is that she is always seeking additional knowledge in her chosen field. If your instructor is resting on his laurels and hasn’t sought additional training since his rigorous weekend NRA instructor class 10 years ago, you should be looking for a new guru.
When you ask your instructors about the recent training classes they completed as a student, you will learn if your instructor is a professional or not. It will also give you good information about who you should train with next. If professional instructors are paying their own way to study under another instructor, that should be a clue about good places to spend your training dollars.
As for 2023, I’m enrolled in Rangemaster’s shotgun instructor certification at the end of the month. I’ll be taking as many classes as I can in between my teaching blocks at the Rangemaster Tactical Conference. I also have two classes covering the use of high explosives this summer. I’ll probably pick up a few more tactical classes as my schedule allows.
Although I had planned on teaching less in 2023, I’ve failed that goal. I already have 33 days of training scheduled to teach in the coming year. I’ll probably add a couple more later in the year. I hope to see some of you in those classes.
Happy New Year from Active Response Training.