Skip to main content
  1. Sports
  2. Recreation
  3. Hunting & Fishing

Firearms trainer interview – Paul Markel

See also

Paul Markel is the host of Student of the Gun. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Paul has written for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds of articles in print. His motto is “Student of the Gun; a beginner once, a student for life.”

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

1) What is the value of training?
Training teaches you how and what to practice.

2) Why did you become a trainer?
It began in the Marine Corps when I was sent to a marksmanship coaching school. I discovered I have an aptitude for teaching and have been at it ever since.

3) What is the emphasis of your class?
My training teaches people to think with a gun in their hands, regardless of the type of weapon.

4) Who is your market?
It’s very broad; police, military, youth, and private citizens who carry weapons. Right now, there are large numbers of armed and concerned citizen who are interested in training.

5) What do YOU do to train/practice?
I do lots of dryfire, it’s an important part of skill building and maintenance. For live fire, I have a one box workout; anyone who signs up for the SOTG newsletter receives it. Recently, I have started doing what I call the ‘compass drill.’ It’s an expansion on the drawing from 4 positions (left, right, front, rear), movement drill many of us have done for a long time.

I also take training from other trainers. In the past six months, I have taken three courses from colleagues. In my mind “The best instructors in the world are the most dedicated students.”

6) How would you describe your training philosophy?
It’s like sculpting a statue; the object is to remove what isn’t necessary. What I want to do is to remove superfluous movements that don’t contribute to accomplishing the drill. “Are we teaching ballroom dancing or are we learning to fight?” How do you do the Weaver Stance when you’ve been knocked on your butt? With regard to stance, I teach the “Don’t fall down stance.”

7) Why should people take training?

  • Training affirms what you’ve been doing right and corrects what you’ve been doing wrong. It’s almost impossible to train yourself. You can practice yourself but not train yourself.
  • Going to training allows students to spend time with like-minded individuals. Especially for those who are new to guns, it provides positive peer reinforcement.
  • Attending a training class forces people out of their comfort zones. When we go to the range by ourselves, we generally practice the things we’re good at and not the things we need to work on; that’s human nature.

We appreciate Paul taking the time to share his thoughts with us. Readers can sign up for the SOTG newsletter and receive the one box workout here.

Connect with Claude Werner on Facebook.

Don’t miss any of Claude's Firearms Examiner articles, including the trainer interview series; Subscribe Here to Get Instant Updates.

E-mail alerts are free, private and secure.

Advertisement

Sports

  • Legendary swimmer Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement, will he compete in Rio?
    Video
    Recreational Sports
  • Check out the NHL Ice Girls that are heating up rinks all across the country
    Camera
    20 Photos
  • St. Louis Rams offer $100k if you can guess their 2014 schedule correctly
    NFL News
  • Eagles running back LeSean McCoy slams Tim Tebow on Twitter
    NFL News
  • Never watched rugby before? Here's 20 reasons you should start
    Camera
    20 Photos
  • UFC champ Jon Jones denies posting homophobic comments on Instagram
    Fight Sports

Related Videos:

  • Kandi Blick
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/qkYVULfixcg?rel=0?rel=0&amp;VQ=HD720&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Nikki Turpeaux
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CYtn5FNoJjE?rel=0?rel=0&amp;VQ=HD720&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Tiril Eckhoff
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518125730" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518125730&autoStart=true"></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!