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4-Day Instructor Development

Front Sight Course Review

Dana H. (Taken February 2012)

Editor's Note: This is a review for the 4-Day Instructor Development Course class offered at Front Sight.
  • 4-Day Instructor Development
  • Student: Dana H.
  • Occupation: Retired, Concealed Carry Instructor,Volunteer Hunter's Education, and Archery Instructor
  • Weapon: Springfield XD 9mm
  • Rounds Fired: Around 600 rounds
  • Number Course Taken: 1st Time
  • Student Rating: 10/10
  • Course: Front Sight
What makes you feel that you would be qualified to be a Front Sight Instructor?

I have been around firearms since I was a youth, and I have been involved in shooting some IDPA. I am also a pistol instructor and years of instructing other skills. Because I am looking for some part-time work, I felt that this would be something I would consider doing. I like to be able to help people become more efficient in firearms and self-protection and felt that this would be a way that I could accomplish that.

General Comments:

As far as the shooting portion of this course goes, it runs pretty close to parallel with the 4-Day Defensive Handgun course curriculum. They are interested in finding out how proficient you are in your shooting capabilities, as Front Sight requires that their instructors not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. The instructors have to be able to do everything that is required of their candidates faster and better. In order to find out if someone has what it takes to be able to teach the course, they have to be able to perform the skills that are required of a regular student.

In this course – versus in the 4-Day Defensive Handgun course – the instructors are more critical of your performance and skills. The reason for this is that when you are instructing a course, you have to be basically perfect in any skill that you demonstrate. If you can't perform the skills yourself, how can you expect your students to be able to? Students also look up to the instructors and expect them to be the best.

During the shooting portion, you had to be able to make all of the shots a little faster than was required in the DH course and not miss any shots. My weak point was the timed skill drills and my times wouldn't allways run under the time limit. On the third day, the instructors started cutting more people. In the afternoon of the third day, I was finally cut, because my times were a little too slow. I was pretty pleased with myself though that I had made it that far and I was offered the opportunity to return and try again. I believe that Front Sight's demand for perfection in their instructors is highly commendable. They expect the best from the best. Front Sight's strive for perfection with their instructors is probably one of the main reasons that they are so successful and that the instructors are looked up to by attending students.

How are candidates eliminated from the course?

During the entire course, the instructors are assessing the candidates' accuracy in shooting and time during the skill drills. The instructors also have the candidates do some public speaking and demonstrations to get a feel for how comfortable the candidates are in front of a group of people. As the days go by, if the instructors feel that a candidate isn't exhibiting the qualities that they are looking for, then the instructors cut the candidate out of the class. They offer each candidate that has been cut the opportunity to join a 4-Day Defensive Handgun course to finish up what is left of the four-day course.

At the end of the course (it's more like a four-day interview, really), if any candidates have exhibited the qualities they are looking for, then they would sit down and talk with the candidate to find out what he or she is looking for as far as working for Front Sight and then offered a position of some sort. There are not very many people who make it all the way through the Instructor Development course the first time. Most people have to take this course multiple times to be able to finish the whole four days and be offered a position.

How quickly were people eliminated?

As I recall, there were about 16 students eliminated on day one. By the end of day two, there were only 12 of us left. When I was cut on the third day, there were 6 or 8 students remaining in the course. I don't know how many of those finished the fourth day, unfortunately.

How do you rate this class?

I would rate the course a 10 out of 10, because of their commitment to excellence and what they are striving to do. They train their future instructors to be the best, and they expect the best out of them. The instructors will work with an individual candidate if he or she is having a hiccup in some portion of his or her abilities; because they are interested in getting more instructors if the candidate shows potential.

Do you have any tips for first-time students of this course?

This course isn't for someone who is just going to Front Sight to receive a training session, but rather for someone who is interested in a position at Front Sight. I would highly recommend going through at least one 4-Day Defensive Handgun course, if not more, prior to attending this course. The reason for this is that the candidate needs to make sure that his or her skills are up to par with Front Sight's standards and expectations.

How did you get there?

I drove from my home in northern California.

Where did you stay?

Saddle West

How did you handle the ammo. situation?

I purchased my ammunition at Front Sight in the Pro Shop.

How did you handle the lunch situation?

I got together with a few of the other folks attending the course with me for lunch. I brought an ice chest with me and made my own lunches.

What other classes have you taken at FrontSight?

4-Day Defensive Handgun Course

Do you have any dinner suggestions?

I pretty much did my own thing for the most part. At the end of the day, I was still practicing, or studying and was worn out from the day. We were required to memorize one of the scripts, so to speak, that are used in the training. Scripts are used to ensure consistency in the course delivery and content. There were a few other requirements for us, as well. I had my hands full and was rather busy.

What other courses do you plan on taking in the future?

I have a Lifetime Diamond Membership, so I can go back at any time and attend any class that Front Sight offers. Because of what's going on in my life right now, I am unsure of whether or not I will be attending another Instructor Development course or just return to hone up on my skills. I will have to make sure that I have the time that I need to be able to commit to Front Sight and be able to work for them if I decide to take them up on their offer to return and go through another Instructor Development course. Front Sight instructors put in long, hard days and have to be constantly on their game to ensure the safety of the attending students. My hat's off to them, because they really put a lot into it.