Tactical Tailor

LAV on Cults of Personality

I’ve known Larry Vickers for quite awhile now. He’s a straight shooter (literally as well as figuratively) and he put out some great words of wisdom today on M4Carbine.net.

“Guys it is time for me to get on my soapbox and preach against the cult of personality problem I see in the training business – it has always been there, Lord knows the Jeff Cooper cult was off the chart at one time, but with the advent of the Internet and now TV it is reaching new heights

Everyone needs to remember that all of us instructors, including me, are just guys like you ; we are not perfect, we make mistakes, and we are simply doing the best we can – don’t look at us as some kind of Tactical Messiah and hang on our every word – or worse yet fall into that trap of my instructor is better than yours crap

The best piece of advice I can give everyone is educate yourself to the point you become your own teacher; meaning you have the knowledge base necessary to sort thru the pros and cons of a given situation or technique and decide what makes sense for you

Just my .02 cents”


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12 Responses to “LAV on Cults of Personality”

  1. Strike-Hold! says:

    That’s why he’s the man.

  2. Chance says:

    I agree whole-heartedly, but it’s easier said than done. One reason intelligent people fall into the ‘cult of personality’ is that they acknowledge a certain person has experience well above and beyond anything they could hope to achieve themselves. There are certain experiences you just can’t empathize with, and experiences of a life-or-death scenario rank among them.

    Adhering to a “WWLAVD” mentality gives you a base with which to assess and analyze any new information that’s given to you. A ‘cult of personality’ is a handicap for newbies – some people just never outgrow it.

  3. Alexander N says:

    Do I sense some resentment against the Magpul cult? (joking don’t yell at me)

  4. TM says:

    It’s not just Magpul (although Magpul does have a disproportionate number of them it seems like). Guys take one or two courses with instructor X, and suddenly they become fanboys. It doesn’t help matters when the instructor talks shit about other instructors (which they all do, in my expirience).

  5. klip says:

    He’s tactical, he’s hi-speed/lo-drag, has a beard, AND he’s humble! HE’S PERFECT!!

    But yeah, agreed. It’s good seeing one of the cult idols speak out against such things. thefocus is on the skill and the student learning the skill. If the student starts becoming a fan then everything they teach is then rigid and non-adaptive, the opposite, I’m sure, of what they the teachers want.

  6. Crate Kicker says:

    Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it. – Bruce Lee

    True Masters of their craft do not push technique for you to learn, they push technique to open your mind and get you out of a rut.

    Mr. Vickers has just demonstrated this.

    • Strike-Hold! says:

      Great quote from Bruce Lee. He was another anti-hero-worship hero.

  7. Eric says:

    Amen for that! There are too many who fall into that cult of personality and FAR to many instructors who cultivate it. I know they are trying to sell a product in a competitive marketplace, but they need to remember the point is to train people to think and survive, not just to be the hottest guru around.

    @Klip. Good point about rigid students! I’ve seen many who utilize one particular system (shooting, entries, weapon manipulation, etc.) and not only refuse to try anything else, they simply can’t comprehend HOW to do anything else. Their own rigidity handicaps themselves from truly understanding what it takes to survive: adaptability.

  8. Alex says:

    I’ve watched some of the Magpul videos and have started to watch other instructors as well. Sometimes I see them demonstrate something and I find it useful and smart and practice it. Other times I see something demonstrated that I find completely useless and stupid. I also don’t do anything that’s against what I’m taught in the military.

    I find the recent rise of the firearms instructor industry a good thing, as it makes you question how and why you do things the way you do, enabling better and more effective techniques, for your individual experience and situation.

    Rigidity in tactics, techniques, and procedures only lead to stagnation and defeat. Adapt and overcome.


  9. Hey bro thanx for the Bruce Lee quote – it is killer!! Glad you guys like my comments- I just had to say something as things have gotten way out of hand recently- across the board

    Be safe everyone