(Snarky) Confessions of a Recovering Tactical Timmy

I’ve gone to a bunch of “defensive”/”tactical” training classes1. And I’ve enjoyed them, and I have a lot of good friends who teach such things. That said, I’ve noticed a few quirks, and there are a few little things that annoy me. Maybe this is just me becoming more of a “gamer”. Whatever. I don’t care. Since I’m snarky, I’m going to point some of them out here.

  1. “It’s not a stage!”

    When you go to a defensive class, be careful about mentioning that competition shooting. Some instructors will say “That’s cool”. Some better instructors will point out some differences to watch out for. Some will take it as a freaking challenge to snark at you all the damn time. Guess what? All those drills you run? They’re totally fucking stages. You’ve conceived a course of stuff for me to do, with a defined beginning and end. There’s going to be some sort of start signal. That’s A Stage. If you tell me the objectives of what this stage (or training exercise) is trying to teach, I’ll do my best not to think of ways around those.

  2. “If the shit hits the fan, you won’t have…”
    Get over yourself. Yes, this is true, my class gear comes more equipped for a shootout with gloves and lots of mag pouches. I’m not going to walk around like that. Class also has a lot of artificialities, many of which are required by the setting. For example, I’m going to shoot a lot more rounds in a class than I will in any kind of plausible defensive situation, because I’m not Neil McCauley. So I’m gonna wear my gloves, because burning my hands on various hot gun parts is a great way to ruin the day I paid good money for. And I’m probably going to have a bunch of magazine pouches, because using your pockets really sucks.

  3. Bad Legal Advice
    Are you a lawyer? Are you licensed to practice Law in the state in which you are instructing? If you’re answer is no, shut up about the law. Gonna say that again. Shut Up. About. The. Law. The further you get from vague generalities, the more likely you are to be spouting complete nonsense. If you have legal questions, you should ask an expert. Also known as a Lawyer. There are even lawyers who specialize in self defense related matters! Also consider books/dvds/classes from Andrew Branca, who specializes in training in these areas. And yes, he’s a lawyer. What a concept! Oh, and if you’re going to give legal advice, it would probably be good to have some relevant citations of actual cases. But that would require work, and then we’d know how full of shit these morons are.

  4. Too Many Stories
    Stories are gonna happen. But they should illustrate a point and fill downtime. They should not be the focus of the class. I don’t care how awesome you used to be in NavDeltaSpecGroupWarGhost-whatever unit. I came for teaching. Hell, except for the beginning, I really don’t want to keep hearing qualifications. I get it. If I’m in your class, I bought in to your skills, probably from your website documentation and feedback from other students. So get on with the teachin.’

  5. Too Much Make Believe
    Okay. I get it. Class is artificial. I can’t actually shoot muggers. I can’t really simulate managing an unknown contact 90% of the time2. Understood. And, a defensive pistol class needs thinking. But yelling at a cardboard target gets old real quick. Cardboard can’t back off, cardboard can’t threaten me back. It’s cardboard.


  1. For some reason, the people who go these classes are called “tactical timmys”. I don’t know why. 

  2. Outside of a force on force class. I’m talking about all of the other classes here. 

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