I wanted to document, if for no one other than myself, a couple of interesting resources. In doing some not-quite-random research in the YouTube landscape, I've managed to run across two people that I have found unexpectedly interesting.
It's hardly a secret that I've been a Jeff Cooper -phile for about thirty years, and part of that is a cultivated distrust of high-profile shooting experts. I'm especially distrustful of the gonzo, high-speed-low-drag, tacticool "operator" crowd, so much of which loves to--vocally--treat all that came before it as obsolescence that absolutely will get you killed on the way to the john in your own home.
But there is the competing interest in continuing the learning process, as well, which nobody can ignore and still call himself a serious student. (The irony in this, of course, is that Cooper would have heartily approved of this. Most of his detractors love to focus on his obstinate resistance to a few specific things*, and conveniently forget that even the Modern Technique evolved over time--and, that at its core the Technique itself was an evaluated combination of both old and new, discovered elements.) And so, in attempting a very informal overview search, while I've found some truly horrifying content out there, two people have started to stick out at me as being worthy of further interest.
The first is Rob Pincus of Personal Defense Network. In short, I find myself liking his style. As I see more of his work, I continue to be impressed by his presentation as an instructor, and often by the thinking behind what he is discussing. There are certainly some points I can't quite find agreement with yet, but overall I find him worthwhile enough that I do intend to try even those myself, and give them a chance to play out with my eyes and hands. Who knows, maybe he's right.
Consider this clip of Rob explaining one of his standard drills. The principles seem generally sound, and I like that it's even more about the problem solving than it is about the shooting.
Here's another, a solid discussion of balancing speed and precision that seems like it would lend itself to personal practice on a square range.
And speaking of square ranges, I rather like this expedient of using the figure-8 motion with fixed targets...
Anyway, I'll continue looking at PDN and see how it goes.
The other person of interest is Ron Avery of Haley Strategic. For me, the jury is still out on Travis Haley himself. No doubt he can shoot--that's obvious--but I'm not sure yet I see him as a master instructor. But Avery, now, he just sorta jumps out at me. Haley Strategic seems to market him as "the scientist", and from what I've seen so far, that seems an apt description.
Here he works with a student on the draw stroke. As an instructor his style is beautiful; he quickly goes beyond the simple mechanics of the draw and spends most of his time in the psychology of the draw--with immediate and attendant results.
Today I ran across Avery discussing the "triggerstripe drill", and I'm going to bookmark it here as Something Important. This is a very simple diagnostic concept, and Avery just thrashes it into something that is easily understandable. Part 1:
and Part 2:
Now that's impressive. I will have to seek out some more of Avery's work, and see if this impression holds.
Okay, documented. More research to come.
* Oh, and it's certainly true that Cooper did not always manage these well. He did seem to suffer at least a bit from becoming his own institution, and thus falling victim to the tendency of all institutions to self-ossify over time. Nearly all his serious detractors dispense with any further context, and exploit the "old and in the way"** card to its fullest extent.
** Yes, that is a bluegrass reference. :-)