New YouTube video is up. What’s it like to train with ATA? I’ve written some articles about that before, but after this past weekend, where we baked in 95° weather on Saturday and Sunday, I decided I should address this topic in a video. Give it a watch, and then read my additional commentary below.

I now realize that I kind of failed to fully articulate the point that I was making about how I consider ATA Pistol I, ATA Rifle I, and ATA Pistol II to be basic classes, so I will briefly expand on that here. When I say that those classes are basic, what I mean is twofold.

First, almost anybody can come take our class regardless of their past firearms/shooting experience. I start off ATA Pistol I and ATA Rifle I by talking about gun safety and the fundamentals of marksmanship. We have had at least one student whose first time ever firing a gun was during ATA Rifle I, and she had no problems keeping up with the rest of the class. With that said, I’m not going to tell you that the classes are for everybody. If you know somebody who doesn’t quickly learn physical skills and who has zero experience with firearms (like, they don’t even know which end the bullets come out of), then they may be better served by taking an NRA Basic Class or something similar first. However, our classes are perfect for 95% of people who have never had formal training before. Notice that I said “formal training” and I did not say “experience hunting and/or shooting”. Virtually every student I have in class that is a lifelong shooter without any formal training is blown away by the amount of material we cover in a “basic” class. Read their reviews of our classes and see for yourself. Don’t think that you’re already too good or too knowledgeable for our classes if you’ve never taken formal training before; you are fooling yourself.

Second: I consider the material I cover in class is the basic material that all Armed Citizens need to know if they are going to be using guns to defend themselves in real gunfights. Note that I didn’t say that I cover all the material that students need to know – that would take weeks. But your training has to start somewhere, so I kick off your training by teaching you the absolute most important, basic skills you need to master with your weapons: things like correctly drawing your pistol, correctly presenting your rifle, how to hit a target, how to not shoot yourself, how to reload when the stress is on, how to clear the common malfunctions that you will encounter, and a whole lot more than that. In my opinion, these are basic skills, but for most of my students, my classes seem to be extremely advanced compared to what they already know and the past experiences they have had.

I guess that a good way to summarize would be to say that ATA classes are basic class, but they are the most advanced basic classes that you will find. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: If you’ve never had any formal training before (other than an NRA Basic Class or your state’s CCW class), then I promise you will get more than your money’s worth from us here at ATA.


Click here for ATA Pistol I + KY CCDW Click here for ATA Pistol II Click here for ATA Rifle I  

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Josh Bales is a Level 10 Paladin with an 18 in Charisma and over 100 Hit Points. He gained most of his XP by serving in the Marine Corps as an Infantry Officer, where he deployed to Afghanistan as a Rifle Platoon Commander. He has been training in combative shooting and tactics for the past 11 years, and teaching these topics for the past 8 years. He currently resides in Southeastern Kentucky where he spends time doing cardio, powerlifting, fighting fire, reading, and just generally training for the fight.