In an industry that has been dominated by men for decades, lately, there’s been a massive surge in women both enjoying and becoming highly proficient with firearms. This is a hugely welcome change to what has become a stagnant and, at times, even self-destructive cycle of infighting. Women are breathing new life into this sport! With that in mind, should you choose to embark on your first ladies-only event, or are even considering planning one for the women in your life, there are some considerations you need to make before simply throwing your hat in the ring.
The Beautiful Differences in How We Think
At this point in human progress, the truth is unassailable; men and women think differently. We process information in different ways, perceive conditions differently, and often operate at different paces. After years of experience teaching both men and women one over-arching truth has become clear, women overall are keener to take their time and process information. Men commonly are handed information in the firearms world and, when given permission, act upon it. Women more frequently want to understand the unique, “Why?” in a scenario versus just acting. This is a key instructional difference that must be taken with the utmost seriousness when considering which class is right for you. The standard model in the firearms world has been to teach through extensive physical practice and some demonstration. While this model has always and will continue to have merit, consider seeking a teaching style that puts more focus on explanation rather than just demonstration. This allows you, ladies, time to specifically process data on a deeper level which commonly leads to a more productive and long-lasting learning experience.
Ladies, Which is the Event For You and Why?
When you are choosing a class or event focused on you it’s perfectly acceptable and highly recommended to ask for a class curriculum. A man or woman who has taken the time to lay everything out in detail is likely one who has put serious forethought into the event. Plus, that allows you to see whether there is time specifically allotted for questions and discussion. In general, women tend to be better teachers of women regarding firearms, especially in the conceal and carry world. Men will never quite understand and be able to empathize fully with the unique challenges of ladies’ attire and comfort. There are always exceptions to each rule however and the best male instructors for women are highly empathetic and place emphasis on listening to students as much as they are instructing. It’s also highly recommended to seek out smaller class sizes even if they are marginally more expensive. Just like in any other form of group education, the smaller the group the more personalized the experience. We all come in different shapes, sizes, and abilities physically. Especially when it comes to ladies’ hand sizes as an example which is quite broad in scope, having an instructor with the planning and time to personalize this portion of instruction can be the difference between an enjoyable experience or not.
Private Coaching or a Group Class
For both sexes, this is a question fraught with contextual challenges. An easy approach is to consider the end goal. If an introduction or basic level of understanding without delving too far into the minutia is the goal, then a group format will often be more expedient and less expensive. If one already has a base level of understanding and/or has attended group classes and demonstrates proficiency that’s where private coaching becomes relevant. Where this changes often for ladies is that they will typically get more benefit out of private coaching sooner in their learning process than in group classes. That one-on-one type of attention and allowing time and space for open discussion really helps set deeply ingrained positive habits and build a foundation of confidence that can be hard to acquire in a group setting. The paramount consideration should be what helps build this foundation of good habits and confidence best. Knowing your own learning habits and those of the ladies in your life will vastly improve everyone’s experience.
As touched on previously, any instruction, and especially so for women, needs to be goal-focused. If there’s a known ideal outcome, that will make everyone’s experience that much better and more fruitful. A class with specific goals around women, and courses that fit your goals is going to be a necessary consideration. Painting with a broad brush for a moment, most ladies are not going to want to attend a class regarding urban breaching and tactics. Conversely, most men won’t be interested in a conceal and carry course focused on purse carry or how to carry in leggings. Seeking out an event with realistic, relevant goals targeted toward women, in particular, is key. If the course seems to only play to an instructor’s strengths but not the needs of their female audience, that should give pause. Thankfully, the good folks at Stock and Barrel understand these needs and have designed classes with the Ladies Only in mind. Keep an eye out for more classes coming and they will comprehensively cover what is most important to you.
Ladies, don’t settle for “Good Enough” when it comes to your instruction. You’re doing yourself and us all a favor by making the choices that are right for you. It’s time for you to take charge of your own ability and safety. We at Stock and Barrel look forward to guiding you in that journey.