by Josh Amos

Hello everyone! In this month’s Affiliate Networking column I get to do a bit of virtue signaling and fan boy cheering, because I got to attend Massad Ayoob’s MAG 40 class last week at The Firearms Academy of Seattle, in Onalaska, WA!

Some back story for this article: I first met and trained with Massad in 1996 when I took a couple of his classes. When I first met Mas, the teaching began right away. He automatically treated me and all the other beginners with the courtesy and respect of a fellow armed citizen and not a rookie beginner (which I was). There was a lesson for me in that. Next, for all his bad jokes and kind demeanor, he was a serious expert teaching a serious topic. Yet with all of his celebrity status, Mas was still approachable by any student; no one was made to feel bad about asking a question. The experience was pivotal in my choice to be an armed citizen.


Well, fast forward 20 years and I am very glad to report that the jokes Massad tells are still there, and they are just as bad as ever. Likewise the information that Massad teaches is still more than top notch! He has a width and breadth of historical and contemporary knowledge about legal issues, shooting, and self defense that is amazing. He never rests on accolades of the past; he is always improving and updating his curriculum so he can deliver his best information to each student.

As I mentioned, Massad is still approachable. He welcomes questions in class and tells jokes and stories at break time. More than that, Mas is still willing to stop and spend time with anyone in his class that may be struggling with a shooting technique or legal concept. He wants everyone to understand and succeed. 

Mas also puts deep thought into his teaching. There is always a very well thought out, layered, and hard tested reason why he instructs his students to act a certain way in a legal matter or a self-defense scenario. 

I write all of this because from front to back and side to side Massad Ayoob epitomizes the instructor/teacher that we all strive to be. In all my years as a shooter, Marine, graduate student, and in my various professional capacities, I have had countless teachers and instructors, yet very few share the same status as Massad Ayoob. In a happy coincidence, one of my professors from grad school (a combat fighter pilot from the First Gulf War) has also attended MAG 40 and he agrees.

There is only one Massad Ayoob, and Mas wouldn’t want us to try to be Ayoob clones, however I think that the standards and examples that Mas stands for are important to emulate. For me, those include –

  • Know your topic and always strive to learn more.
  • Teach in a style that people understand.
  • Treat your students with respect. We are seeing more non-traditional gun owners seeking out training: ladies, people with disabilities and long-term injuries, plus various other personal situations. We need to meet their needs; they are not there to meet ours.
  • Make it ok for students to ask for help and clarification.
  • We have to understand and prepare for our students to accept that there are legal ramifications after self defense.

To read more of this month's journal, please click here.