Feb 10, 2010

Shooting Masters and Instructors

Jeff Cooper on Shooting Masters and Instructors

The shooting master must be an extraordinarily good shot, by whatever measure you choose to employ, but that is by no means enough. The master must understand more than just how to be a good shot. He must know why. The master is more than a practitioner. He is fundamentally a dispenser of doctrine, and he must understand fully the basis of his doctrine. The theory of shooting doctrine is not readily available and must be studied with more care than is usually given to it.


Certain elements of shooting skill are inherent, such as eye-to-finger coordination, but even a clumsy man may improve his skill if he knows how to go about it, and the shooting master must be able to explain this clearly.

At one time all masters were self-taught, there being nothing but field experience on which to understand the art. This is no longer true, but still the physiological basis for the study of marksmanship is known to comparatively few people.

Too many instructors feel that simple repetition will teach what is necessary and gauge the worth of any training system by the number of rounds fired. It would seem obvious that error repeated does not make for proficiency. Yet it is amazing how many people who profess to teach marksmanship watch the target rather than the shooter.

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