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"Changes" continued...

Thursday, 17 November 2011 14:08 Marty Hayes

It’s been a whirlwind since my last (second) blog posting, when I announced some changes coming next year to FAS.  Since that posting, I have taught a course, hopped on a plane and flew to Tulsa, filmed 14 segments for Best Defense TV for my other job, (as President of Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network), then flew back Tuesday.  Yesterday was a down day for me, just did a little e-mail, finished a book I started on the plane from Dallas, and napped.  (I blame it on the jet lag).  So, let’s finish up the “changes” theme, so we can move on to more gritty repose…

4.  The fourth major change for FAS in 2012, is the elimination of the Women’s Only program at FAS.  Many of our long time students know that I cut my teeth in the training business teaching Women’s Only classes at Continental Sportsman Indoor Gun Range, in Mountlake Terrace.  This was back in 1988-1990.  The courses were very successful, and I learned so much about teaching, not only teaching women but teaching in general, that I owe in part my success as an instructor to these first women students.  From there, when I started FAS, I also offered women’s only classes, but found that when I didn’t have a captive audience such as I had at Continental Sportsman, it was more difficult to get the volume of women necessary to offer classes for women only.  Eventually I dropped the offerings, but after moving down to Onalaska, and after Gila started teaching classes and we started developing a cadre of women instructors, we re-introduced them, teaching a few a year.  We also started a “women only” shooting group, called the Women’s Study Group.  But, all good things must come to an end, and last weekend, we saw the last of the gatherings of our lady students.  The participation had started to dwindle over the last couple of years, down to only a handful of ladies each session this year.  Well, even though we didn’t charge much for the program, and losing the income certainly will not terribly hurt the bottom line here at FAS, what was difficult was tying up both range time and instructor time to manage the program.  So, a heartfelt thank-you to all the ladies who participated over the past several years, and I hope we made a difference in your confidence and ability to handle guns and  ultimately, if necessary, use one for self-defense.

5.  IDPA Matches… After a several-year hiatus from the competitive shooting arena, we put our toe in the water of IDPA shooting last year, and held 6 shooting matches.  It was nice to see some old friends from the shooting world again, and meet many more new ones.  We had such a good time, we decided to continue for the next year, and we start up matches here in March, (the second Saturday).  Visit the IDPA matches link on the web site for more information.  Suffice it to say, that if I didn’t think it was worthwhile for serious students of the gun to participate in these types of endeavors, we wouldn’t have started them up again.  Contrary to what some people have said over the years, I actually do believe competitive shooting strengthens a person’s ability to use a handgun for self-defense, as long as the venue which doesn’t encourage counterproductive skills to develop.  For example, the late, great Jim Cirillo was an advocate of IDPA shooting matches, and in his day, he was also quite the competitor.  Please consider joining us as we start up the 2012 match season with an entire low light match in march, (complete with wood stove in the low light range blazing away!)    

6.  All our favorite guests are coming back next year!  Next year, we will have all the usual suspects back for their own unique brand of instruction.  Chuck Taylor, Mas Ayoob, Ken Hackathorn and Rob Pincus have all been scheduled to come visit the Pacific Northwest, along with friend and excellent Instructor Tom Given, from his own school in the South East, Rangemaster.  Tom will be teaching an instructor development course, for 4 days of advanced pistol handling skills and instructor development training.  Please understand that this class is not geared just for professional instructors, but also for serious students of the gun, who simply want to become the best they can be.

Okay, that’s it for changes for next year.  The new website is functioning well, so feel free to reserve your classes anytime.  Marty

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