Really enjoyed meeting a long-time internet acquaintance, Hsoi, for the first time last week. It’s always an adventure, meeting someone for the first time after you’ve known them for years. Really enjoyed getting to know him in person and wish we’d met sooner.
Hsoi attended the Instructor Development class I taught down in Texas at Karl Rehn’s facility (KR Training), which isn’t surprising since he has worked as Karl’s lead assistant for a number of years. In fact, he had asked Karl to bring me in after he read either Tamara’s or Melody‘s review of the class last June. So for that I owe him a vote of gratitude. (Thanks, Hsoi!)
As for our host, I’ll freely admit that Karl Rehn has long been one of my favorite people in the gun world. He’s a quietly competent presence who might be easy to overlook in a day of flashy YouTube celebrities and overnight “experts”. Not just a nice guy (although he is that!), Karl is also a USPSA Grandmaster and a deeply thoughtful, highly experienced instructor who has been teaching for longer than I’ve been shooting.
When I met Karl face to face for the first time a few years back, I was at that time working as the editor for a national magazine about concealed carry. To this day, Karl remains the only person who ever fully, spontaneously understood the direction and scope of the work I’d been doing as the editor there. And I know that he did, because as we sat across from each other over dinner that night, he described it to me from his perspective as a reader and sometimes-contributor. To say that I was deeply impressed would be understating the case; I was blown away by the acuity of his vision, and a little humbled that he had seen my editorial choices so clearly.
Speaking of being a little humbled, having Karl in the class as a student was another type of adventure for me as an instructor. That’s partly because I know how very selective he is about the traveling instructors he invites to teach at his facility, and in this case, several of his staff would also be joining us so all the more reason that my own work had better be up to snuff. More than that, I’ve long deeply respected Karl as one of the strong pillars of the training community. He has built a solid school and kept it going for decades. What could I possibly have, to teach him or his people?
Thinking about that, I decided to embrace my inner imposter, and taught the class anyway. Glad I did, because it was full of very good people — everyone from brand-new instructors and people who were just considering becoming instructors, up through people who’d been doing it awhile and who were very accomplished and skilled at it. I like to think we gave full value to everyone there, no matter what their experience level when they arrived.
Anyway, Hsoi wrote up a very nice AAR of the Cornered Cat Instructor Development class in Texas. You should go read it, especially the part that involves spattered fly parts.