When I started attending classes I was nervous. I wouldn’t be able to sleep well the night before, as I was excited and worried how the class would go. Would I be good enough? Am I making a bad decision? Who am I kidding?
I would wake up early and be in go mode until I got to the class. The nervous energy would continue until fifteen minutes into class and we’ve done introductions and the usual, why we are there. That cloud of comfort starts to descend upon us as we settle in to learn and the gifts begin!
Gift #1: COMMUNITY. You are taking a class with other people who have the same purpose for being there. You are learning the same material! You are not alone! You may even find a new shooting friend to meet at the range with.
Gift #2: FREEDOM TO MAKE MISTAKES. You are learning, you can make mistakes and learn from them. You may call a magazine a clip and you will learn to call it a magazine. If you are slapping your trigger, you may not be the only one.
Gift #3: SAME CLASS, DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE, EVERY TIME. Every class is a different experience no matter how many times you take the same class. Your experience in a class is largely dependent on the other people taking your class. Someone who makes a lot of mistakes will have more instruction and you may learn more than you would have if no one made a mistake. Questions asked in class will only improve everyone’s understanding. Best part, you may have something to contribute to the class and enhance it from your experiences! Always respect the instructor, there is a HUGE difference between sharing and teaching.
Personally, I have learned many military and law enforcement terms I wouldn’t have normally been exposed to. While this doesn’t necessarily enhance my learning of a subject, it does add to being able to relate to others and understand what they are saying.
Gift #4: FUNDAMENTALS. We all need the fundamentals, even someone who has gone down another learning path. A refresh in the fundamentals can help identify weak areas in your training. No matter how much of an expert you become, the fundamentals will always reign supreme.
Gift #5 LAUGHTER. Being in a group of people will allow for laughter which will lighten anyone taking themselves too seriously. A certain level of focus is demanded in firearms training but there is a point where you take yourself too seriously and become your own enemy. Group classes allow the environment to prevent this.
Gift #6 RESOURCES. Your instructor will provide resources to teach the class that may be outside your budget, plus your fellow classmates will be bringing their own for the purpose of the class. A class is a great place to compare and contrast, learn a little more without being at a gun store. You may not know what to look for when buying your first handgun or your concealed carry firearm. In a class, not only do you have the instructor’s resources, you also have your fellow classmates. Resources can be anything from checking out someone else’s firearm, their ammunition choice, to where they shoot and what they have found works for them.
Each class I take provides a wealth of knowledge beyond the class description. Taking a class in a subject you have a passion about is a reciprocal gift, as you attend, you are being a gift to others as well. Is it worth the class fees? You betcha! Get out there and take a class today!