Over the last year or so I have been seeing a disturbing trend with the airsoft community, both in NJ and around the country. People have been squeezed of every dollar they earn, if they even have a job to earn it. Due to this, many people have been complaining endlessly about how expensive an event or facility is, not taking into account that these facilities and events need to pay bills and have incentive to run the events. They need to make a profit, especially the indoor guys.
Training also comes up a lot, as I have heard many people say that they will not pay for tactical training, since it is so expensive. At first, I thought that they were talking about real steel training facilities that charge between $200-5,000 a course, averaging out around $500. But these were in reference to courses that I run, as well as other sporadic courses that occasionally pop up through out the year. These courses generally cost around $10-25, most of which is just to cover travel and equipment costs.
Their idea is to go buy (or download) a Magpul or some other tactical instruction video and think that watching those is good enough. That is what I like to call a paper-back warrior. This is a term derived from martial arts to describe so called “Masters” in martial arts who learned what they “know” from reading. When you stack a paperback warrior (or seminar warrior, for that matter) next to someone who has been practicing their whole lives with legitimately trained experts, the difference is staggering.
Watching videos is good for a refresher or reinforcement, but is by no means a supplement to taking an actual training course with someone who has the technical knowledge, training, and experience themselves. This is because these people can show you the intricacies you would otherwise miss, can explain things you simply don’t understand, and can spot mistakes that many don’t realize they are making. As a result, you see this Video-Warriors running around thinking they are hot shit and the creme of the crop when in fact they are just making themselves look like tools to the people who have actually taken to the time to seek out training to improve themselves rather than sit in their bedroom to try an imitate someone they see on the screen.
Another common mistake I see is when someone goes to a training course and they have very little or no experience with training, much less instructing, and takes what they learn from that course to teach their team/squad. There are many issues with this, mainly that if you haven’t been trained to simply instruct or teach in the first place, you’re guaranteed to screw up most of what you learned. Second, if you don’t have the experience both in training and instructing, you are not going to absorb or understand most of what you learn until you have done it many, many times and had someone there to show you where you went wrong. So after a few events, you team/squad begins to realize that what you taught was wrong or it doesn’t make sense; making you look like a joke.
In the end, if you want something that has quality, be it an outdoor event, a CQB facility, gear, or training, you are going to have to pay for it. You are going to have to make sacrifices. If that is a problem for you, consider the players in this community who are looked up to and ask yourself why they pay hundreds of dollars on gear, guns, and games that require them to drive or fly all over the country (and some cases the world).