In years past there was a group of premier Tier 1 trainers that traveled from area to area and put on training courses. The likes of Louis Awerbuck and Bill Jeans for example. People that are in the same league with Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch. These trainers taught you not just how to win a fight, but the skillset and most importantly the mindset needed to prevail. Sadly, I am not seeing this level of training passing through locally or near by. I got to thinking that maybe these individuals exist, I just may not know who they are. If they are out there, who are they?
He used to work for USCCA
There are still well-regarded itinerant instructors — some seem to schedule most time within their region; some tour nationally, but maybe only to major venues. Some have a base facility and primary operation from which they tour, while others rely entirely on being hosted by a group or facility where combined marketing can rally up a class roster.
I don’t want to start a list, because I have no first-hand experience with any of them. AFAIK, none has or will be instructing anyplace within a day’s travel of my location — so I haven’t done serious evaluations.
Individually, you might get more useful input by mentioning your region of interest, topics of interest, travel radius, etc. A number of facilities and instructors seem to have pulled back a lot for the pandemic, and may be just starting to reappear.
There are a lot of great instructors out there, but it can depend on what your goals are.
I think one of the best courses that move around to different areas is John Lovell and his crew. They don’t travel ALL OVER the country, but they move around to a few different locations. I hope to be able to take a course with him soon.
I am going to be taking a course in April with Kevin Dixie of “No Other Choice”. That course is being held in Minnesota. He moves around if there are people in the area that have a range where he can hold his courses.
I think the hardest part of having these kinds of courses is finding a range where they allow you to do all of the aspects of training that are needed. I know of too many ranges that don’t allow moving and shooting or drawing from your holster to shoot. Because of those limitations, most instructors have found it best to have their own home range and has students come to them and train.
That’s what I was looking for. I would certainly put Lovell in that Tier 1 group and is one that I had not thought of. Even though I have watched many of his videos, it did not dawn on me that he traveled around putting on courses. I just checked his schedule and unfortunately he doesn’t have anything coming up in TX or NM. I did not mention my area earlier because I am sure that others not in my area would be interested in what might be coming up near where they live as well.
ETA: I went to Lovell’s website and he is a member of USCCA also.
Premier aka big names?
I’ve done classes with Larry Vickers (10 years ago) and more recently, Frank Proctor.
The top on my list I’d like to get a spot with now is John Lovell. And yes John/War Poet is a USCCA partner.
Some of that content:
I’ve been a student of Mickey Schuch, known as Carry Trainer.
He is local in IL but travels and teaches in few States.
Check his schedule:
Fully professional training !
Mas Ayoob, Tom Givens, Gabe White, Spencer Keepers, Scott Jedlinski, Aaron Cowen, John Hearne, John Murphey, Brian Hill, and John Johnston, just to name a few. If you can get out to TacCon each year, most of these guys teach there. I think all of them I’ve listed are at TC this year except Cowen and Johnston maybe…
I have been paying much attention to instructors Paul Howe (CSAT), Dave Spaulding (Handgun Combatives) and Pat McNamara (TMACS). IMHO they tend to discuss and provide real life mindset, tactics and skill relating to “civilians”. Their objectives tend to make a lot of sense to me. I also like watching CMBTVS CENTRAL for many empty hand defensive skills.