Is This Derp Really Necessary?

This greeted me when I checked Facebook on Saturday morning. This is a conversation from a FB group for the small community in the midst of the Florida Everglades where I live. MAFA is a martial arts dojo near me which specialize in the usual things that strip mall martial arts studios specialize in, except they teach Krav Maga instead of a variant form of karate or taekwondo.

Ummmn, ok… blank ammo used in what was obviously an “Active Shooter Defense For Dummies” class? Now, I had a post written, already to go, about how using blanks in a training class, for any reason, is a bad idea.

But then I stopped by the dojo on Monday and talked with one of the trainers about how they used blanks and why, and it changed my mind. They used the blanks outside to do what blanks are meant to do: Simulate the sound of gunfire as realistically as possible. They shot the blanks off outside so the people inside the dojo could a) understand what gunfire (sorta) sounds like and b) get used to localizing the sound of gunfire and reacting accordingly.

Ok, I can dig that. There were a lot of people in that class who had never heard what rapid gun shots sound like, so in this case, it did some good. Now, we can debate the usefulness of active shooter classes at another time. I’m not really a fan because they teach a limited skill set that is useful only in (very) rarely occuriring situations, but hey, a dojo’s gotta keep the doors open and the lights on, and if the Sig Academy teaches similar, who are we to judge?

I wouldn’t do teach such a class and I don’t think I’d go to a class that teaches such things, but that doesn’t mean it was dangerous or ill-advised. If it gets people pointed towards other instructors who know what they’re doing, then it’s a good thing.