THIS is an important article.
I often make comments about the “dentist wearing half the Blackhawk! Catalog” who attends ‘courses’ that are more fantasy camp than practical training. I have nothing against this practice, of course… but I think it is important to ensure that the instructor and the student are being intellectually honest about the value of classes teaching team tactics or featuring CQB Drills for people who conceal-carry medium sized pistols or have an AR in their closet for home defense with no plausible shot beyond 30′. My friend Sherman House (an actual dentist and avid student) sent me a note to let me know that he agrees with me thoughts… and that not all dentists who train are just there for the fantasy camp experience. I asked him if he’d let me publish his thoughts as a guest article here at my blog and he graciously obliged. Read it… think about it… share it. -RJP


By Sherman A. House DDS

Unless you have an endless training and ammo budget, seeking out firearms classes that are truly relevant to your lifestyle (and possibly career) is important. Time spent on drills and repetitions of exercises that are not going to improve your skills and abilities, or that could be implemented in your training schedule in other, less ammo intensive ways, is imperative. As a corollary, having the appropriate weapon and equipment is also crucial, and will ultimately result in better preparation for a defensive shooting incident.
Many people, “lose,” the relevance factor of training. Why does the average homeowner/regular dude need infantry fire movement iterations? Aside from reinforcing teamwork (which is good, but also not necessarily relevant, as you aren’t going to take all of these people home with you) the perceived value of said training is probably greater than the actual training.

When I first started taking carbine classes I wore the armor and LBE that I was issued during my time in the armored truck industry. It was what I had! After wearing it for several classes as well as T&E/R&D work for a firearms manufacturing corporation, I started to think, “Why do I (NOW) need to wear eight mags and all this ancillary crap, to test shoot this rifle?” Truth is, I didn’t! I’ve thought for years now that if you require more than four spare rifle mags on your person (and those mags are for malfunction prophylaxis, or to loan to a comrade, not necessarily rounds on target), then you probably aren’t in America anymore. Thus, John Willis and I collaborated on the, “Micro Rig.” I drew it on a napkin at Chili’s while having lunch and discussing my ideas with a friend, sent John the pic, and had a working prototype less than a week later. Carrying two (or 4 mags) and having an IFAK and TQ in a bandoleer configuration made much more sense to me for civilian and LEO use. John later streamlined the rig, removed the MOLLE, and made it able to be configured into a chest rig. Although I still use it with one strap, as a, “grab and go,” bandoleer rig.
Currently when I train in classes, I wear my regular (AIWB, and often J frame) carry rig and grab my rifle mags from my back pocket. I, “replenish,” my back pocket with mags from my micro rig. Because realistically, if the, “bump in the night,” occurs, I’m going to be in my skivvies, and not a full scale battle rattle. I MAY have time to grab the rig, or put a mag in my pocket. This is why I’m also a fan of having a spare mag, and tourniquet on the rifle/shotgun. Because at the very least, you can grab the gun!

Author BIO: Dr. Sherman A. House is a practicing Hospital Dentist in Nashville, TN. Prior to his career in health care, he spent ten years in the armored truck industry and the fire service. He is an avid student of firearms usage, combatives, and awareness training.

7 thoughts on “THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING HONEST (with yourself)”

  1. I know Sherman from his time in the Armored Truck industry, and can attest to his skill and professionalism. I kid him about being “Sherman House, Combat Dentist to the Nashville Stars”! He knows his stuff, that’s for sure, and you will not find a more down-to-earth, friendly guy to know, whether it’s on the range, or at the lake, smoking some oysters and enjoying a cold one!

  2. Auristela Moctezuma

    Thanks for sharing! In my early years of tactical training, I had a few of those students that work all their combat wear, being a petite female, I felt a little underdressed. But as I continued to train, I found that I didn’t need to buy and wear all the combat wear.

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  4. Great article. While the “running and gunning” looks like great fun, it’s not very practical for the average gun owner. My goal is to be very good at the more simple and basic things I may need to protect myself and family. I wonder if anyone teaches a carbine class for the homeowner?

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