In a typical year, KR Training hosts 6-8 courses taught by traveling trainers. In January 2018, we hosted a session of the Deadly Force Instructor class taught by Massad Ayoob and Marty Hayes of the Massad Ayoob Group. This course is typically only offered 1-2 times a year, so it was a big honor to be a course host.
It’s a 5 day course, covering the material from the MAG-20 classroom course from an instructor’s perspective, along with other material related to teaching others use of deadly force concepts, and guidance about being a material or expert witness in deadly force cases.
KR Training assistant instructor John Daub wrote an excellent, in depth AAR with more details about the course content. Before you read the rest of my AAR, click over to John’s blog and read his AAR.
A TEAM EFFORT
Seven members of the KR Training team attended the course, helping with facility support, transporting, feeding and entertaining our guest instructors, and audio/visual/computer setup.
Despite advertising the course with the Texas Concealed Handgun Association, on multiple Facebook groups open to Texas license-to-carry instructors, and getting the course mentioned in multiple national podcasts, only 3 other Texas instructors attended – all KR Training alumni. The other 22 students came from as far as Florida, Washington state, Pennsylvania and California. With over 4000 instructors certified by the state of Texas to teach the License to Carry class, and the direct relevance of this course to the state mandated training, I expected a better response from other Texas trainers, particularly since the course was within a few hours’ drive of Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio and about half the population of the state.
PROFESSIONAL GRADE TRAINING
The best description I can provide of the course is “professional grade training”. It felt like a college level law school course, complete with mock trial. The short videos below show a student playing the role of expert witness, conduct a demonstration with the defense attorney (Ayoob) of how an unarmed person could quickly disarm an armed person, when the armed person was within arm’s reach. (This was part of the defense team’s argument that the defendant’s decision to shoot an unarmed threat was justifiable.)
I took 30 pages of notes during the 50+ hours of class, and I know others in class whose notes were longer than mine. References to a long list of books to read, court cases to study, case studies and discussion of recent use of force trials in the news, presentations by each student, with a lengthy written exam.
Part of the course included a discussion of what instructors might have to testify to (or about) regarding the conduct of their training: handouts, lesson plans, drills, etc. It’s a topic that wasn’t taught in the License to Carry instructor course put on by our state police academy to certify Texas trainers to teach the state-mandated carry permit class, but it should have been. The subject of potential problems that might occur in court as a result of controversial statements on guns, clothing, bumper stickers, social media posts, and even association with (or attending courses taught by) instructors with questionable resumes or problematic public behavior was discussed.
The one takeaway from the course of value to any armed citizen is derived from Ayoob’s first law: anticipate the attack and have a counter in place. That’s true whether the fight is the physical one, or the one in court afterward. As one student in the course that had been through both the physical and the legal fights commented, the typical armed citizen spends a lot of time preparing for the physical fight, but is usually under-prepared for the court fight that follows. Live fire training is fun; classroom lectures and mock trials not as fun. If you plan to attend training this year (or any year), consider what training you’ve already had, and who you plan to train with, in the context of the value of that training in preparing you for the entire incident, not just the shooting part.
Gaining a much deeper understanding of the legal defense of use of deadly force will be useful to the KR Training team members, (and all the other students) in the unfortunate event any of us are involved in incidents, or have students involved in incidents that lead to criminal charges or civil cases. The information will also influence how we teach live fire courses, what advice we give students about gear and tactics, how we script and conduct roleplaying scenarios, and how we teach the state carry permit class.
They plan to offer the course in 2019 at Marty Hayes’ Firearms Academy of Seattle. It’s an excellent course. Highly recommended for any instructor teaching armed citizens or police.