The Dangers Of Being Myopic

30 August, 2014


Myopic defined- a lack of foresight or discernment :  a narrow view of something

Having a myopic view on tactics, techniques, procedures, drills, and equipment as a tactical trainer, is one of the best ways to fail your students in my opinion. Whether it’s teaching methods of placing an assailant into a vulnerable position so you can go on the attack in an unarmed confrontation, showing how you release the slide of a pistol during a reloading drill, or teaching an ambush technique,  If there is more than one method to effectively accomplish the task at hand, it behooves the instructor to not only know what methods are out there, but to be able to give the pros and cons of each, and to articulate why you advocate “this” over “that”.

I know a number of trainers who say “This is the only way” or “That way is completely wrong” when discussing certain methods or techniques. There are generally THREE reasons for this. 1) They are ignorant of the other methods or techniques available,  2) They believe it is the best technique known for that drill,and won’t teach any other, and will usually discount the effectiveness of any other technique, drill, etc.,and/or say it is wrong or 3) They want to make a name for themselves, so they reinvent the wheel (change a very small part), slap a label on it, and call it theirs. In the first instance, do you really want to pay an instructor to “teach” you how to do something, if they barely know more than you do about the subject matter in question, especially if it means your life is at risk? As far as number two, although I understand the intent of only teaching one technique, drill, etc, saying others are “wrong” or “don’t work”, when the facts from many decades of use prove otherwise, is at best misleading, and at worst failing to give the student the multiple tools they need to fight and win. Regarding number three, well, an ego is a terrible thing, and if the instructor’s ego makes them want to label everything after themselves and their business , and say “I did this”, “I did that” all the time, you might want to rethink why you’re going there. Their bottom line is about them and their image, not you, the student.

I teach what I know works. I know it works, because I used it in training and/or actual combat, and was able to verify that it was a legitimate techniques, drill, procedure, etc. I’m not saying your instructor needs to be combat experienced, but at the same time, look into the background of the school to verify if they have any truly experienced instructors in the subject matter being taught. As an example: When I first started instructing as a business,  I was talking to a well known instructor at the training site I use. During the course of the conversation, he asked me about my SUT (small unit tactics) courses. I described them to him in detail, and he seemed unusually interested in the “what’s”, “why’s” and “how’s” of my courses. A month later, he starts offering a “Rural SUT” class, with a former SWAT guy (no mil background) as the instructor. Even if SWAT guys learn some rural SUT (unlikely) they still aren’t “Subject Matter Experts” (I hate the term “expert”) on it like Max,  Mosby, and I are. We didn’t just do a hitch in the Army, and get out as a Specialist Promotable (It’s a rank thing). We put the effort into becoming leaders in Combat Arms (CA), and being a leader in a CA MOS (military occupational specialty) teaches you a whole different side of that field of endeavor  We did it then , and teach it now. We were instructed by experts, and have validated that instruction in real world situations. That’s what we teach, that’s why we teach it, simple.

Don’t fall for the “My way is the only way” instructor. There are a number of ways to skin most of the cats in combatives, whether it’s SUT, unarmed hand to hand, weapon drills and use methodology  As an instructor, I always strive to learn new ways of doing things. Hell, I used to use a mil issue magesium fire starter in my wilderness survival course. One class a guy shows up with a Blastmatch. I tried it out during the class, evaluated the positive and negative aspects of it, and realized it was the best thing going for what people need in a survival situation.  In a survival situation, you will probably be hurt, you and may only have the use of one arm, so recommending that product for your survival kit is a no brainer, I still teach the use of other products and methods for fire starting that I’ve used for decades (I don’t throw the baby out with the bath water), but my first recommendation now is the Blastmatch. Your “toolbox” should be as large as possible. There will always be your “go to” tools, but unless you have a crystal ball, you don’t know what you’ll face, and keeping your options open greatly increases your survival ability, and isn’t that the point?



American by BIRTH,Infidel by CHOICE


7 thoughts on “The Dangers Of Being Myopic

  1. Good points.
    Everyone can learn something new every day,there is no “this is the best way” this is the only way” in almost everything,only exception I can think of is safe firearms handling.

    The blast match is a great tool,however,I always carry a blast match,a magnesium block,a bic lighter,a couple of heat tabs for an Esbit stove,and a waterproof bottle of matches.
    I started using the cheap ones from Wal-Mart,small orange bottle,has a rubber gasket type seal,and a striker for use with a knife on bottom of bottle-can’t go wrong with that one-the matches suck,but I replace ’em with good ones.

    I used to hunt a lot in the Rockies,in Colorado,and NW Montana,as elk and deer seasons are a fall/winter thing-the last thing you need is to be stuck in the backcountry due to a sudden storm,and be cold and/or hurt with no way to start a fire.

    Every year someone gets lost when elk hunting,usually a flatlander who didn’t bother to pack stuff like a map and compass,tarp,and firestarting stuff.
    I’ve heard guys say they don’t need a compass-they have GPS on their smart phone-or have a handheld GPS-that shit don’t work in a whole lot of places in the backcountry.
    What kind if idiot goes elk hunting,and doesn’t bring map and compass? Or at least 3 ways to start a fire?

    Every trainer can also learn something from a student almost every class-unless you get a bunch of guys who are taking classes to impress their tacticool buddies-then chances are,you ain’t learning a damn thing from ’em.

  2. JC, appreciate all the info, it’s not easy to find someone with real experience that is more focused on helping people improve their skills. K and JM are two others, obviously, and there’s many more, but as you typed, many others are more interested in self promotion.

    On that note, I would like to respectfully suggest that the problem with those “instructors” is arrogance, not ego. Ego is and can be an effective reinforcement for the teacher as well as the student, arrogance-often mixed with stupidity-is what gets people in trouble. Or dead.

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