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Firearms trainer interview – Greg Hamilton

Greg Hamilton
Greg Hamilton

We interviewed Greg Hamilton at SHOT Show 2014 about firearms training. He is the Founder and Co-owner of Insights Training Center in Bellevue, Washington. He has served in both the US Army Rangers and Special Forces, and has numerous certifications as a firearms instructor.

We asked Greg seven questions about training and what it means to him.

1) What is the value of training?
Training builds competence, which leads to confidence. Confidence leads to good, non-fear-based decisions.

2) Why did you become a trainer?
It was an accident. I wanted to learn to shoot from other instructors. Along the way, I assisted in teaching the classes, and then started doing it on my own.

3) What is the emphasis of your class?
We work a lot on the mental aspects of personal protection. Our goal is for students to get their heads straight in order to make good decisions. “See deep into traffic” is a way of looking at it. As noted on the Insights blog:

Tactics are far more important than Skill or Equipment and, in fact, are only second to Mindset.

Most of our students have moved beyond thinking that the equipment (gun, knife, pepper spray, etc) is what will make the difference between winning and losing. They realize that equipment alone, without the knowledge and skill to effectively use it, is no guarantee of a successful outcome. Thus, tactics emerges as the true deciding factor of how a defensive encounter will end.

Realize, however, that both sides of the confrontation are employing tactics and that the bad guys may be well practiced in theirs.

4) Who is your market?
It’s a split between Private Citizens, patrol officers, SWAT, and military personnel/units.

5) What do YOU do to train/practice?
I demonstrate the drills in my classes. Activities that have a psychological crossover for dealing with stress, such as SCUBA diving, are also part of my training regimen.

6) How would you describe your training philosophy?
Use tools and techniques that are enabling, not disabling, to allow concentration on solving the problem, instead of creating an additional one. I think of building backwards, i.e., reverse engineering, from an endpoint.

7) Why should people take training?
Do they even need it? People who train, in my observation, already have a history of good decision making. The reverse is not necessarily true.

We appreciate Greg taking the time to talk with us about this important topic. The Insights training schedule is available on their website.

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