Unsafe or Good Training?

Imagine it pouring down torrential volumes of rain for days, and you are in the forest, sleeping in sleeping bags, with no option to go indoors whatsoever. You’re standing around with a group of your friends, embracing the misery, when some sort of leader walks over to your despicable band of brothers and says “Good training Gents!”. Such is the attitude of many a senior ranking person in a certain branch of the Armed Forces. In that case, I would almost always disagree with such people, but in this case, tell us your opinion in the comments section.

Atlantic Firearms recently posted a video of a training course done by a group called the AK Operators Union, a Kalashnikov platform based civilian training group that is successful in their own right, they hold classes across the country, and have the military experience to back it up. In this case their lead instructor, Rob Ski is former Polish military and now works in the States. Anyways, it looks like the group held a training class for the employees of Atlantic Firearms (or at least I think) and they posted this video on Monday. The training is legitimate except for certain instances where the instructor discharges live rounds feet away from the shooters in order to induce the stress of an enemy force firing back at them.

Now, from my perspective as an NRA instructor and from all my Marine training, this is an extremely unsafe act and does not add to the training environment. However, that is just my perspective and please let TFB know what you think in the comments section.

I completely get their point, gunfights are not a joke, it’s not like training for the Olympics, there are no second place winners in a firefight. My own section leader was killed while on patrol in Helmand while engaged with the Taliban. But there are an enormous number of ways to induce this kind of stress while not putting students in a legitimate amount of danger. Physical fitness performed beforehand to get heart rates up, shooting fireworks at the shooter with eye protection on, working with whistles, buddy dragging your friend to simulate your own death or wounding because of your errors. But I don’t think blasting off rounds at your feet is a valid training tool. From a tactical perspective, if rounds are impacting within feet of you, the proper response should be to get your head down and find some cover, not continuing to reload or manipulate your firearm. This the difference between sporadic and suppressing fire. A unit can maneuver, fire back, manipulate their weapon systems while under sporadic fire, which is rounds making a whistling sound or impacting at least 20 to 30 meters away. However with suppressive fire, which means those “cracks” in the air or impacts extremely close to you, priorities should be shifting to taking cover, and then returning fire because essentially the enemy is right on target, and he is bracketing you with his fire.

On another note, this directly from the Facebook post, from the instructor-

@Safety Nazis – just STFU. This was 100% controlled environment and at no time students were at any risk.

Safety Nazis? Just Shut the F*** Up? being smoked on the streets of Paris? Really? In addition to their response when called out on the safety aspects of the training when I personally commented on the lack of safety-

I’m at 45 degrees angle, shooting way away from the students, using heavy 7.62×39, which is landing in the sand, in direction away from the students…You have higher probability being smoked on streets of Paris today than get hurt from my hand. Making judgement based on 60 sec video clip and running your mouth on it isn’t something what i would expect from fellow infantryman

Screen shot 2015-11-16 at 11.03.09 PM

Unsafe or good training? What are your thoughts?


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


  • josh

    How does anyone in the firearms community not know who the AK Operators Union is? really, you get out much?

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      I know I just dont care.

    • DIR911911 .

      those that can’t do , teach

  • Drizzle

    Rob Ski is from Poland, not Russia. Do a little research before you write an article maybe

    • I did do some research. I looked at the website they have and I couldn’t find a bio for them.

      • The_Automator

        Really? I googled Rob Ski, looked at the first link provided, and in the second paragraph it says his service was in Poland.

        I don’t think you did any research.

    • Tritro29

      Yeah you can hear it in his accent, psh psh psh, not blyad blyad blyad. Other than that, I’m mixed on this. There are enough Durakis back in the country that would shoot really close with live ammo to the guys while in training. But that’s the military. This…

  • Personal opinion: Both, depending on the situation.

    Tier 1 operators need the sensory experience of rounds impacting nearby.

    On the other hand, civilians in a basic/standard course, its just rampant stupidity and an accident waiting to happen.

    • Kivaari

      As we say, there are no accidents. So when a fragment hits a student, it can’t be passed off as a simple accident, but negligence.

    • BangSwitch

      It is interesting that TFB is so judgmental on this with a real specific bias to it. I personally think if you are asking for comments report it without any bias and then let the audience/public tell you. I don’t see any massive safety issue with this and he is right… the round is going downward at an away angle in sand and there isn’t anymore risk to that than instructors using steel targets. The one issue I COULD see but no one seems to mention it is that he is walking behind students with a loaded weapon and is the safety going on every time? AND the author suggests shooting fireworks AT students is safer than shooting in the same direction as students – that is amateur hr BS right there. You going to stand down range from the student? What happens when they do get hit with one and spin into or muzzle classmates/instructors as an instint to being hit by flaming flying works etc on the fly? The Instructor is also from E European Block Country well known for their hard training… I would imagen their tactics might be a little different (you all have seen those videos too and talked how cool and bad ass that was), and culturally they don’t coddle you. Price and Content of the course really would be what I would be interested in and being a “NRA” instructor giving your opinion essentially ensures it is the same blah blah safety nanny BS that dramatically hampers students from experiencing a little more “operator” or dynamic courses…. James Yeager-esk or not. I could potentially take that course if it was in the area and I could run my AR systems (don’t run AKs – like them – respect them, don’t own them). BTW – I have been a NRA LE Instructor, several other Firearms program instructor certs and I am a certified Range Master who works on a 1,800acre range. It probably could not be done here safely cause there are too many rocks in the ground but do I see a value of this – certainly. Do I chuckle at all the silly responses – absolutely! Keep writing good informative articles… let the readers pontificate their mass opinions and grin away.

  • Orion Quach

    As a Muay Thai instructor, I always found the best way for my students to improve was to drill them on something to no end, and then give them the opputunity to use it in a sparring session. It gives you the ability to use a technique in a real situation but always found with firearms training, it’s hard to induce that stress of getting shot, or doing things in a “real” situation unlike in a sparring session, where I can hit my students in the face and they don’t die.

    • Bill

      …and I was just thinking this morning about my Muay Thai instructor and why I need surgery on both knees 😉

      • RICH

        OUCH….. ! !

  • Jeremy Star

    I don’t care what your background is, what your profession is, and how safe you think you are being; Accidents happen and not doing everything you can to minimize the risk is stupid.

    Paul Walker was in the car with a professional race car driver. Died.
    Brandon Lee was under the watch of a professional armorer. Died.

    If you want live fire directed at your back while you train, by all means, go for it. Just explain to your family beforehand that you might not be coming back.

    • iksnilol

      Whoever was the armorer for “The Crow” was anytihng but a professional. I mean, they made dummy cartridges for a close up by simply dumping the powder (and keeping the primer). And to top it off they didn’t bother to check the bore when they were going to be shooting with blanks later.

    • RICH


      • Zachary marrs

        I hope i never meet you at a gun range.

        If you think shooting while people are in front of you, you have no business owning a firearm.

        • Paul J

          It depend on the type of people you’ve got in front of you 😉

  • thedonn007


  • Esh325

    A great argument for gun control.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Great argument for birth control.

  • Esh325

    What is really the point of offering military type weapons training to civilians anyways? The chances that they’ll actually need to use any of it are almost zilch nadda. They aren’t soldiers and aren’t being deployed to fight ISIS. So they’re being put into unnecessary harms way for basically a meaningless objective.

    • Bill

      As long as the customer’s check doesn’t bounce. Actually, I think golf is a stupid game, but whenever I see videos like these I keep recalling the ones I’ve watched from terrorist training camps. I’m not implying that any of these guys are criminals, just that it would be easy to propagandize this type of material against us.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Needs more monkey bars.

    • Darkpr0

      The chances of needing life insurance in day-to-day living are pretty small as well. But they seem to have a lot of customers.

      • Bill

        Actually, the chance of needing life insurance is as close to 100.00% as you can get, unless you really hate your spouse and kids.

        • Darkpr0

          True, but the likelihood of it happening today is pretty remote. Hopefully.

      • 6.5x55Swedish

        Yeah, people are more likely to die in these stupid drills than in a fire fight with terrorists or “the evil ggovernment”.

    • n0truscotsman

      Thats part of the ‘well regulated’ part that everybody keeps arguing about.

      Im not particularly favorable towards this method of training, although, it should be accepted that people getting training is a *good* thing, right?

    • Grindstone50k

      Everything else aside, who cares about “need”? If you got the money and the desire, you have every right to get training.

    • nadnerbus

      One of the great things about the US is that the citizen doesn’t have to justify “need” to do something they want to do, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else in the process. So personally, I could care less if someone wants to spend their time and money doing this. I wouldn’t, but I prefer to spend my money on travel, where others wouldn’t.

      But in their defense, much traditional sport is just war training. javelin, archery, even endurance training, etc. Especially for the male segment of a population, I think it is actually healthy and normal to have some drive to be adept at some of the basics of war. Modern nations might have made it unnecessary for the majority to need those skills, but I think the instinct is still there. And not everybody can, or wants to join the military.

  • Lance

    AK union is full of crap. This is a law suit and a anti gunners (on the news) dream if there is a death or injury.

    • JoshZ

      I’m glad i’m not the only one that hates these people.

  • Jack

    You can do whatever you want until something bad happens. When it does, it’ll be up to you to decide if the increased risk was worth the perceived “training value”…. Unless you’re dead of course.

  • Knowing something about how camera angles can (usually do) greatly distort the geometry of a given area, ESPECIALLY consumer level compact-type cameras, I’d be pretty hesitant to pass judgement on this either way. Seeing is *not* believing. The only way to know the true geometry of what’s going on would be to be onsite and see it for yourself.

  • Jay

    People are lining up around the country to take Rob’s classes. You’ve go to realize these people signed up for this. This article has its points but is nothing more than an attempt to smear the AKOU. Stop smearing others careers to try and make yourself look better!

    • Smearing? Really? Maybe pointing out a blatant safety violation and an unprofessional attitude when it comes to safety, but not smearing. If anything I attested to the legitimacy of the training in the earlier paragraphs.

      • Scott

        And so you just made something up?

    • Blake

      Uh last I checked TFB doesn’t hold training classes, so ‘to make yourself look better’ is completely nonsensical in this discussion.

      Last I checked, millions of morons donate to unethical cancer foundations and evangelists. So that too is completely moot.

      Fanboy much?

    • Cal S.

      ‘Lining up’ for this guy? Lol, ok. I’ve never heard of him outside of a couple shark-jumping videos like this one, and I’ve been around a LOT of the shooting community for a LONG time. I suppose you’ll retort by saying how ‘innovative’, ‘cutting-edge’, and ‘original’ he is. Like we haven’t heard those terms before. I’ve got a copy of the “Top Gun Community Catchphrases: 2014-2015 Edition” as well, you know.

      This guy smells to high heaven. Polenar Tactical sets a great example of how not to take yourself too seriously and act professionally at the same time even in the face of criticism. You know someone’s a shark-jumper like this fraud when you jump on anyone for daring to question your…techniques.

    • janklow

      why is praising AKOU training legitimate feedback but criticizing it not?

  • nanoc

    Rob is Polish not Russian.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    This seems like a good way for some weekend warriors to get shot.

    There’s a really fun group out there called the Marine Corps that will furnish, ammo, outfits and transportation for anyone who wants to go kill terrorists.

    • Really? Tell me more about this Marine Corps thing! Sounds like just the trip! 😛

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        They’re a fun loving bunch, they camp out a lot and eat out of bags.

        And they have neat field trips where you can interact with the locals while they shoot at you.

        • Sounds fantastic! I’ll find the nearest recruiting station! (for another 4 years haha)

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Let the younger guys have some fun.

  • Cal S.

    Yep, typical thin-skinned crud we’re used to thanks to the “I’m so Tier-1 HOW DARE YOU QUESTION ME?!?!?!” attitude. This is the same idiot that swung an AK at his students like a bat so they’d fall more quickly during certain drills.

    He’s insane. Simply put. If one of his students behaved in a way he did not expect, he could not have reacted quickly enough. Result? Student drop dead.

    I get it, but there’s nothing that can be gained from rounds impacting in your face than there is in the sound of guns firing around you.

  • Slvrwrx

    Rob should also teach them how to do push ups. Those were all No Rep….

  • imachinegunstuff

    Yeah that’s not going to simulate gunfire coming at you when you know its just a guy behind you shooting the dirt. More than likely in a real gunfight every round fired feels like it’s snapping right past your head, regardless of its close or not because of the unknown. This is just a gimmick

    • Way to go for a 31 to stick up for an 11! That is my point as well, the training stimuli isn’t going to condition you for a gunfight. If you have it in your mind to continue reloading while rounds are kicking up in front of you, you’re eventually gonna get shot instead of taking cover, because you’ve been conditioned to working with that proximity of impacts. In addition to the differences between whistles of far rounds, and “cracks” of close rounds, understanding that difference and how to fight under those conditions, that is some actual conditioning, if one could condition a training regime for that.

      • imachinegunstuff

        Whatever this guy is trying to accomplish could be done with blanks. Is it still dumb and useless? Yep, but at least as long as he isn’t exceptionally close to the shooter it’s safe

        • USMC03Vet

          If he really want theatrics he could use the mortar simulations which are far more distracting and fun to use. Not sure how available they are outside of the military, but I’m sure there is a civilian alternatives out there.

          Also, Marines massing deep on TFB……

          • imachinegunstuff

            Oh yeah those are actually a good idea, I remember tossing them to wake up “complacent” boots. Nice and loud

            Maybe more Marines are gun nuts than any other service.

          • billyoblivion

            You can drop the “gun” from that last sentence and it’s even more true.

            ’85 to ’89.

          • Nicks87

            Is that like a Ground Burst Simulator (M115A2)? Those are fun and I agree, much more distracting than gunfire.

    • One_Jackal

      You know how close a round is passing if you are in any kind of vegetation. You can hear the bullets hitting the leaves or cutting the grass.

      • imachinegunstuff

        In all my gunfights I was too busy shooting back to hear rounds cutting through vegetation

        • iksnilol

          I haven’t been in a gunfight but I gotta wonder: can you even hear the round cutting the vegetation? Hearing the round itself zipping past at 135 db, sure, but the sound of the vegetation getting cut? Not sure about that.

          • imachinegunstuff

            You can hear the snaps, but your own gunfire, and hopefully gunfire of your friends is too loud for much else

  • Slvrwrx

    The one angle looks way too close for me. I could understand blanks or the plastic training ammo, and maybe firing next to them down the line, but I guess they signed up for it. I’m sure the camera angle makes it look worse too.

  • SCW

    Seems like they are only developing a training scar (not seeking cover/concealment when rounds are impacting near you). If I ever get into a gun fight, I hope it’s with someone who trained with those guys so they will stay still while I’m shooting.

  • CJR

    Not only unsafe, but useless ballistic masturbation.

  • Tom Currie

    From any US Military perspective, this is grossly unsafe… On the other hand, all branches of the US military insist on trying to make firing ranges safe (idiot proof) instead of making the people safe. If it very recent that any branch of the US military as included drawing a pistol from the holster on any live fire range – previously that was deemed grossly unsafe. When I was in the service, any US Army trained Range Safety Officer would have had a nervous breakdown visiting a British pistol or submachinegun qualification range (and yet their safety record was generally better than ours). I can also recall serving with F Co 40th Armor, we preferred doing tank qualification at Bergen-Hohne rather than Grafenwoehr, but we would only go to B-H when the Germans or Brits were in charge, because of the differences in the range rules.

    • imachinegunstuff

      This is odd, when I was in we drilled drawing and firing. Not a lot mind you because handgun training is minimal compared to rifle / long arm training. This was between 08-13. We’d draw and practice failure to stop drills, single shots, hammer fire drills etc. We later moved on from transitions from rifle to pistol, all live fire. This was the USMC though

      • Tom Currie

        Considering how long we’ve been training with pistols, the USMC introduction of drawing a loaded pistol from the holster in pistol qualification IS “very recent” but if it makes you feel better I’ll call it “relatively recent”

        • imachinegunstuff

          It didn’t feel recent, the old timers were teaching us how to do it in the Bianchi M12 suicide holster, before we finally got something better. These guys were Phantom Fury alumni who had been doing it long enough to effectively teach it.

          • mosinman

            why is the M12 the “suicide holster”?

          • imachinegunstuff

            Suicide holster refers to slow drawing holsters, mainly flap holsters like the M12.

          • mosinman

            ah gotcha

          • Uniform223

            don’t forget about those tacky lookin leather side holsters that officers just seem to love to wear that flags EVERYONE behind them…


            luckily my unit was smart and got brand new “highspeed” thigh holsters.

          • imachinegunstuff

            We use to call these Fob bras

        • Ron

          I did at TBS in 1994 so It was always in the ELP, the problem was most ranges did not want the additional risk so they had the Marines just leave the pistol at the low ready.
          Most Marines however never went through formal pistol training, unless they were officers, MPs, Recon, MSGs, MCSFs or were sent as part of the DAT for a nation that had security concerns and they went to HRP. Hence why in the FMF quals did not have Marines drawing because very few were trained to do it.

        • Zebra Dun

          Usually it was taught OJT by the SNCO/NCO’s after you reached your duty station if you were armed with a pistol.
          Security, M. P. Comm. and some crew served weapons men.
          I recall the turn the pistol sideways in the issue leather holster and jacking the slide to charge a 1911 in condition off safe, chamber unloaded. >not recommended<
          Drawing and holding weapon close to body drills.
          Two hand holds instead of one hand holds to aim.

      • Zebra Dun

        I remember the resolution of failures and stoppages. I also recall the holding the pistol at ready pistol, screaming halt three times and then shooting seven rounds at a target.
        USMC at that time felt if a Marine needed his pistol it would already be in his hand.
        Marksmanship firing with the .45 1911A1 was a bit more accuracy oriented.
        USMC 70-74
        Howdy Bubba!
        Semper Fidelis.

  • JamesRPatrick

    Natural selection at work.

  • Big Daddy TexasgunsII

    In WWII the US Army had their soldiers crawl under barbed wire with Browning machine guns firing over them. It taught them to keep their heads down under fire and was no joke. I think they did that all the way to Vietnam until a congressman’s son got wasted, not sure about that story though.

    If I am a civilian no way, do not do that under any circumstances. Having been in the military for me there are too many dumbsheets to trust them, especially shooting over my head. No reason in private civilian life for that kind of training.

    If I were in a serious group who had to face live fire all the time yes, this would be OK with me as long as I trusted the instructor. How many people do I trust to that extent…….nobody i know right now. People are fallible and make mistakes, I do not want to die from someone’s mistake.

    I think they are taking it too far, these are not people going into battle in a few days.

  • Mc Cain

    He went full Yeager. Never go full Yeager.

  • kalashnikev

    If I saw a reason to train that way, I’d trust any of my guys to do the same thing.
    1) I really don’t see the need.
    2) Dude must have some instant rapport for his students to allow that.

    (Then again, maybe that’s where the real stress comes in… “Do I really trust this strange, funny-talking fellow who I just met to be blazing an AK next to my foot?”)

  • Ron

    In the grand scheme of things I have seen much worse in the training industry; shooting several feet in front of with the proper geometry of fire to unsure skips and ricochets don’t hit the person while introducing a higher degree of risk are as unsafe as everyone running and assaulting the target from the combat glide while shooting I saw on video the other day that I believe was done by tactical response.
    The USMC ELP was meant as entry point to ensure a Marine could produce acceptable groups and safely handle his pistol. Even after the ELP Marines were suppose to do additional training, whether it was the transition course at TBS, HRP, CQB teams members, at MSG school. SRT training or MP school. All of those course involved drawing, moving, low light shooting, etc.

    • Ron

      type should say

      “while introducing a higher degree of risk are NOT as unsafe as everyone running and assaulting the target from the combat glide while shooting”

  • stephen

    All it takes is one sneeze, one bad jerk of the trigger and BANG!

    Someone is dead.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if someone gets shot but in the end, do what your rank can handle.


  • USMC03Vet


    I’m disappointed with Ski. He should know better.

  • Paul White

    aren’t there ways to induce stress that are a hell of a lot less likely to result in a gunshot wound?

    Not to mention…these guys in the class aren’t here for military training. They are civilians. I mean, wouldn’t that alter the risk/reward ratio here?

  • SM

    “@Safety Nazis – just STFU. This was 100% controlled environment…”


    Nothing in training is 100% percent controlled. Talk to the family of Ltc. Mills who is buried at Arlington Cemetery. He was a BN commander at 3/327 Infantry at Ft. Campbell, KY. He pushed for more realistic training and during a trench clearing live fire exercise he caught a bullet in the back of his head (it actually clipped his kevlar and slowed it down enough to bounced around inside his head). He was an awesome leader who knew the names of about every soldier in his command. He left behind a wife and daughters. I was one of his RTOs – I was not with him on that iteration when he got shot, but fact remains nothing is 100% controlled, especially when dealing with firearms, and I think people tend to forget that.

    Just saying.

    • nadnerbus

      I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your leader. This was the same thought I had as well. The rifle muzzle isn’t clamped in a vice or anything. His are human hands, and humans screw up. It is part of the bargain of being human. The risk may be relatively low, but it is still there.

    • Zebra Dun

      There was that Helicopter full of troops near Pensacola that will agree.
      Combat Training is always inherently dangerous even with safety and safe guards.
      Someone always gets cut, burned, shot or a stick to the eye.

  • 6.5x55Swedish

    One day he will hit a rock and someone will get fragmentation in the face, or he will slipp and shoot someone right in the head. He didn’t take a lot of care when he show just next to that last guys head. Hes jumping around and swinging his rifel around just before shooting instead of taking his time to aim propperly.

  • Alex Waits

    Would I do it? No, but I’m not going to try to tell someone else they cant do it, they are consenting adults, and as such be free train as they like. I don’t see this as any more dangerous than jumping out of a plane, or base jumping, or rock climbing or any other activity that you put a measure of trust in another individual. Whether or not it is “good” training or “bad” training is up to the individual taking the course and not subject to others feelings of whether or not they think they are being safe enough, or if the training is “good” enough.

    • twency

      “Can’t”? No.
      Shouldn’t? Yes.

  • Elvis

    Why is it always AK training when this method is used? There seems to be a correlation.

    • Pastor Dan

      That, and unnecessary use of offensive expletives. Over compensation, I suspect. If I am adequately confident of my own manhood, I don’t need either to impress my students.

      • Tritro29

        Has maybe to do with how he was trained in Pirogistan. People tend to carry along their experiences. Otherwise how could you explain the evident overcompensation from Ar-15 crowd. Having twice the weight of their rifle in “customized” kit atop of it? Something correlated for sure.

    • Zebra Dun

      See movie: “Heartbreak ridge”, Clint Eastwood.
      The sound of the enemies weapon is a distinctive sound when fired at you, learn it.
      Or words to that effect.
      Too much Hollywood.

  • n0truscotsman

    Thats part of the risk assessment matrix. The more realistic and ambitious the training, the more risk for injury and death no matter how skilled or experienced the cadre. It is not uncommon in active duty units for there to be injuries during training precisely because the human element is in effect here, imperfect beings and all.

    I can understand their rationale for more realistic training, although when you involve live fire, you better know WTF you are doing and be prepared to deal with any and all consequence should murphy show up with his shillelagh.

  • Grindstone50k

    Still not as intense as James Yeager Photographer training.

  • Shooting With A Purpose

    Count me in the Safety Nazi camp! Nathan said it earlier by saying Tier 1 Operators will benefit from this kind of stimulus in their training curriculum. I’d add they will benefit only after they are well into their training program.

    This looks like a weekend course with folks whom aren’t really ready for that kind of exposure. I’m sure the students are taking turns “hold each other’s signs” as they step up to the firing line.

  • Renov8

    I don’t see an issue….might be too much for some, but I am in for wetting my pants every once in awhile, especially if the training is that real.

  • matthew_bosch

    As a 3 time alum with Center T and AKOU training I can say I’ve never felt in danger during this training and the Dima’s from Center T are some of the most professional, knowledgeable and safe instructors I have ever met. I have taken other courses, and can say their training is far more rigorous in the needed physicality/focus and it’s not for everyone, but I would recommend it. Please feel free to AMA about the training.

    Also Rob Ski is currently in the national guard as well.


    • Frank

      My cousin drives a truck in
      the Guard, does that make him a firearms expert too?

  • So their instructor went to the James Yeager institute of GO F YOURSELF and other PR skills.

    • Nicks87

      It’s a popular attitude among some “instructors”. They like to pretend they are drill sergeants, which is totally counter productive to most firearms training.

      • If I want to be screamed and yelled at, and maybe have things thrown at me, for 8 hours on a Saturday – I’ll just stay home with my wife and ask her when she’s going to vacuum?

        • Zebra Dun

          There. It. Is.

        • dskofstad

          Maybe offer her a new ironing board cover to show her you are very sorry for being so insensitive.

    • lowell houser

      And just like with Yaeger, IT’S WORKING. Does it really add anything? No idea. But this article alone will guarantee AK Op Union more business by people that are sick of everything having a safety label.

  • The_Champ

    I’m not familiar with American criminal law but here in Canada, I would suggest that if the instructor happened to stumble and shoot one of his candidates while doing this particular drill he would stand a good chance of facing criminal charges. Just a thought.

  • Bal256

    Genuinely surprised that I see an article about unsafe training and its not James Yeager.

    • Rick5555

      I was thinking the exact same thing. I actually like Rob’s YT video;s And didn’t expect he would do some thing so stupid. When there’s plenty of alternatives out there. A lot of these trainers have to provide a level of showmanship. So their customers walk away with some cool stories.
      When I read this article. Two things came to mind. This is some thing I would expect from James Yeager. And how many grammatical errors the author made. Which I noticed all his writing pieces have serious errors in it. He needs to learn how to use a period instead of a comma. Hence it’s called a run on sentence.

      • Pastor Dan

        And beginning sentences with a connecting word. With a period to stop the flow of thought between one and the other.

        • Zebra Dun

          Ford vs Chevy, Blondes or Brunettes, the often obsessive attraction to redheads and grammar.
          I thought this was a firearms thread?
          >just kidding<

        • Rick5555

          It annoying reading from a purported professional. And their writing skills are terrible. I know it’s just a blog. However, all those run on sentences. I admit, I’m a perfectionist. So, it’s difficult for me to read all his articles. I can take a typo or mis-spelled word here and there.

          • Cymond

            “He needs to learn how to use a period instead of a comma.”
            Funny, you need to learn how to use a comma instead of a period.

  • RICH

    I don’t have a problem with the rounds coming from behind the shooters, as long as they don’t freak out and run they are perfectly safe. Rob Ski knows where his shots are going. The only issue I have is that I was always training under the assumption that while reloading, if you’re not behind cover of some type you keep constantly moving. That’s hard to do when you are lined up on a range !
    Stay safe People…….

  • Iblis

    This, Rob Ski, is an arrogant self righteous pompous “A–Wipe” that will eventually get someone killed. He should go back to Poland and wait for the Russians to come back. He would be of better use there.

  • Oldtrader3

    I think this is a little much and potentially unsafe for this level of training and I am an Army Infantry Vet.

  • Joe

    As a formee Marine Combat Infantry Vet, and a CQB Team Member Marine I can assure you this type of eastern training is not only not necessary it is counter productive. The Corps continues to use target pullers in the pits so that recruits and Marines are always accustomed to the sound of near misses. If Ski wanted dirt to kick up in front of his students then fine, rig up some squibs, firecrackers what have you. Shoot some blanks (AK blanks are loud as hell btw) and if you want to acclimate someone to incoming fire do it safely.

    • Pastor Dan

      If the students are employees and their employer arranged for the training, I would hope that the employer has provided and required the use of appropriate hearing protection. Just a thought.

      • Zebra Dun

        “Say again I did not hear you?”
        Hearing protection, always wear it.
        I lost a large part of my hearing in service and I miss it and have suffered for the loss.

    • robocop33

      I really never thought about it but yes, being in the pits [pulling targets during live firing IS very much like being shot at while behind cover! Been there, done that, both in the pits and outside. Being outside is much more dangerous and worrisome but the sounds of the bullets are the same.

      • Zebra Dun

        It was a sobering lesson, seeing your buddy Joe schmucatelli from nowhere, New Jersey hit a bulls eye in a tight group eight times out of ten at 500 yards.

  • DW

    Remember When Larry Vickers went to Russia and saw how Alpha group trains. Shots into dirt near shooters, shooting the ground while pushing another trainer/trainee, get shoot in a bulletproof vest then turn around and engage targets, things like that. Maybe it’s a Combloc thing. Maybe.
    To clarify, I do NOT think it’s safe at all, and this kind of training should just stay in Russia.

  • Raoul Duke

    i’ve trained with AKOU twice. i’ve been shot zero times. i recognize that when i get together with a bunch of guys with firearms there are risks involved. based on their professional demeanor and experience level, i’ve always felt safe with the AKOU instructors. based on what i’ve seen in training, i would be more concerned about being accidentally shot by a fellow classmate than i ever would an instructor. ‘safe’ is relative, not black and white. to think that there is ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ training is a little obtuse. it’s all dangerous.

  • IBEW

    I’ve said it before – just when you think you have seen all the gun stupid you are ever going to see…………………….

  • Zebra Dun

    I recall ITR during ICT for Infantry MOS Trainees at Camp Geiger CLNC circa 1970 we had to do the assault and infiltration course under wire in mud and dirt.
    It ran a day and a night event. Night had the addition of Pop up flares.
    The how to crawl exercise was taught with abject brutality by recent Vietnam veteran Marines.
    Low Crawl, High crawl, back crawl, belly, elbows and knee crawl.
    The commands still ring in my ears, “Run in a circle, Hit the dirt, low crawl, high crawl, on your back, on your face get up run in a circle hit the deck, rinse repeat, lather and again” and again, it was called the “Race Track” with every Marine passing it showing torn uniform and skin on the elbows and knees as a highly sought badge of completion.
    While we were crawling through the course pits dug into the infiltration course had either explosives or some explosive type device to simulate artillery and mortar fire.
    Sitting at right angle 90 degrees from the direction of the crawl were three belt fed Browning water cooled Machine guns, welded and locked into a tripod on a cement base to deliver MG fire about a meter above the heads of the trainees.
    It was live rounds, tracer because the butts across from the MG positions were kicking up dirt from the impact as well as the bright popping tracer rounds going over our heads. The detonation in the pits was stunning.
    We were told explicitly, “MARINES, DO NOT STAND UP IN THIS COURSE YOU WILL BE INJURED OR KILLED” as if we did not already guess that.
    It was scary at first but the fact that we were well under the cone of fire and the MG men were not going to actually kill us unless we stood up made it more of a dirty, wet, sweaty muddy evolution.
    I have heard since that the MG’s were switched over to gas actuated gunfire simulators and the pits switched to air blasting devices to simulate arty/mortar fire.
    I believe that is the case here, the shooters know the instructors are not going to deliberately target them, that only an accident will result in a gun shot wound.
    As it is, perhaps it does help, but it is very dangerous to do with a Rifle simply held in the hands, mistakes can happen and a mistake with live fire can kill.
    I’d use arty simulators or loud fire crackers myself if I were in charge, liability insurance is costly as is a civil suit.
    As all comment by me, I am not an expert nor a professional.
    This is simply an observation and opinion.

    • Cymond

      “Machine guns, welded and locked into a tripod on a cement base”
      I think a lot of the complaints here would be satisfied if the gun were permanently mounted in a way that would make it impossible to strike a student, as opposed to a guy running around with an AK.
      Also, rounds weren’t impacting near you, were they?

  • Phillip Cooper

    Guy is a wannabe. Just trying to throw some e-peen around. He won’t get any of my training funds.

  • robocop33

    Just very stupid and unsafe. As stated in some other posts, there are simulated squibs, ground bursts etc. that the military uses that can make your sphincter pucker without the possibility of actually shooting your student!

  • DIR911911 .

    if that guy fired off rounds that close to me my next shots would be in his center mass. if you want to “simulate” something then “SIMULATE IT” (firecrackers, blanks,etc). just make sure we get updated when this guy shoots a student.

  • Yeah

    If you want to train more like the army, prepare to produce a bunch of sub par marksmen…

  • Jon

    It might work in Poland, but than again when was the last time they won a war!!!!!

  • R P Daniels

    Idiot trainers train idiot students. Death is not an option here; it’s an inevitability. Moron….

  • Rick5555

    I agree, I’m terrible in writing. Unless it’s using scientific terms, or about science. But if writing was my profession per se. Then that’s another story. But it’s not. I’m a surgeon. We don’t write out chartings. We dictate and then it’s transcribed. Charting work orders are one sentence if that.

  • One_Jackal

    Miles, I do not know if Marine Corps training has changed or not since the early 80s. But it was common for us to crawl under barbed wire with a 50 cal blasting away over our heads. Do you think Marine training was dangerous? Both recruits and Marines were killed in training.

  • Dropgun25

    Sorry, but you’re civilians preparing for a worst case scenario involving a home invasion. Not a “go to war” let’s fight opposing forces. I like those guys, but I’m telling everyone straight up, if you’re going to shoot live rounds at me less then 12″ from my head, we’re going to to throw down. That’s not only dangerous, it’s down right disrespectful.

    No one needs to risk that sort of danger during training.

  • John Henry Bicycle Lucas

    I’m with the original author of the article. If you have been shot at, you know what I mean. Get out of the way of the lead flying. All else is secondary. This is not pre civil war where men line up like idiots and volley fire at each other.

    Now, I do not discredit the use of live fire, used wisely. The thing is, some idiots that THINK they know all about this and that will take this training or video and decide that is what their group of boy scouts or whatever needs to be doing and it is a ready made disaster.

  • John Henry Bicycle Lucas

    I wonder, too, if this guy actually does any tactical firefight training or is it all range shooting?

  • f.t.

    My opinion as a two decade firearms instructor, this is N O T as safe training practice.
    All one round needs to do is hit something hard that changes its path or fragments it, or breaks up a rock into pieces into shrapnel, right into a student. Not safe or smart.
    Also as a combat Marine Vietnam vet, I don’t really think it adds much to the exercise. I would have nothing to do with such behavior nor should the range sponsoring that.
    Huge liability and now that its on video, they can’t say they didn’t know.
    There are other ways to create stress on the line. Noise from other sources for example.

  • f.t.

    Did you ever see the video of the guy shooting a 50 Cal. rifle and the round hits something and bounces all the way back and hits him in the head. Its out there.

  • Jeff Bickford

    Interesting. The instructor’s passionate defensive response sounds a lot lot that of an alcoholic being called out for their excessive drinking. This represents an entirely unsafe condition. Firing blanks and/or using fireworks would be better at one level. I think you can also see the instructor sweep some of the shooters with his live firearm. This can never be acceptable.

  • notguilty

    Perhaps Atlantic is planning a force reduction and this was Phase 1, the economy is not great right now.

  • myndbender

    I enjoy watching Rob Ski & the AKOU on YouTube reviewing different AK variants, but I don’t think I’ll be spending any money for a “class” that could ultimately be fatal! There’s a difference between “safety Nazis” & plain common sense!

  • Cobranut

    Not to mention what if one of those rounds hits a rock?
    I’ve been hit with shrapnel ricocheting off a hard object in the background, fortunately just a small cut above the eye, and that was from a lot greater distance than this idiot was shooting.

  • Grey Beard

    I am reminded about a video I saw of a guy firing a 50 BMG Barrett at about 100 yards if memory serves me correctly. Nobody was more surprised than he was when one round impacted down range and came sailing back towards him with enough velocity that it would have killed him if it were 2 inches in from his right ear. Fortunately for him it just ripped off his ear muffs and left him thanking his Maker for that wake up call. Never say it is totally safe when dealing with firearms

  • rick0857

    The guy is running that course just the way he was trained, you did, after all, say he was ex Polish Military. That’s how they TRAIN their troops, he’s used to it and had probably done it for years before coming to America. Most likely with NO CAUSALITIES.

  • jcitizen

    Not sure this type of “realism” would impress me. The most fun I had was when I was on firepower demonstration duty, and the demonstrators were shooting like gang busters over my head. We were perfectly safe behind a tank trap and defilade, but the sounds of bullets popping over head was worth every moment. I never received that volume of fire in my life ever again.

  • Jim

    The article stated that the lead instructor was former Polish military. I take it they are influenced by their former ‘Eastern Bloc’ military training tactics. They do things differently over there. The Russians are even crazier.

  • janklow

    somehow i actually find his response worse than the initial unsafe training.

  • jeff

    I do not like anyone swearing at me after USMC boot camp training in the 70’s. That is enough to tell me this instructor is over the top. As for his shooting around the students, I prefer to be nowhere around incoming fire.

  • Shooter

    Anyone who has done nightfire with tracer rounds knows that the round fired can go any direction 360•. I’ve seen them continue downrange, go straight up, sideways, and straight back towards me, even firing at a low angle. That guy is an idiot.

  • Brian M

    This is why I love Easterners… A nu, muzhiki, skol’ko stoyat uroki?

  • CavScout

    Control room operator at a nuclear power plant responded to the question I asked with “Can you do it safely?” and I had my answer. Not all risk can be mitigated, and the world isn’t padded in fluffy pillows.