Instructor Zero is no joke! Dude is for real! After spending a day with him at the Pro Gun Club in Boulder City, Nevada, (on the eve of the 2015 SHOT Show) there’s no longer any doubt in my mind that the enigmatic operative from Italy is a force to be reckoned with.
I say this because like every gun guru you see on the Internet these days there’s always that question of authenticity, right? How real are they? How much of what they’re selling is schtick versus valuable information borne out of first-hand experience and backed by hard erudition?
With Zero the answers to those questions are clear. He isn’t fake. He doesn’t sell easy-bake tactics. He doesn’t care about looking good for the cameras or perpetuating a faux persona. He only cares about articulating what he calls the “training concept,” his pedagogical approach to making students better shooters.
What’s included in his “training concept”? Well, I don’t want to speak for the man but from what I garnered there is an emphasis on “thinking outside the box.” Yes, it’s a trite, corporate cliche, something uttered by a sales manager to his foundering flock, but when Zero preaches it it’s more than just a catchphrase, it becomes a creed, a way of adapting one’s mindset to the new threats that emerge in an ever-changing society.
For example, one thing Zero stresses is the notion of relativity. Everything is relative in his world. No two situations are alike, therefore how one responds in the face of a threat will depend on any number of variables and options one has available. The idea is that one should be prepared to confront whatever comes knocking on one’s front door with whatever tool (firearm) one has at the ready.
To that end, Zero believes in putting the focus on training the man, not perfecting the technology. It’s the person pulling the trigger that matters, not the trigger. Maybe that’s not a novel concept, but in a world where dudes are constantly trying to deck out their guns with all the bells and whistles available to, in many cases, avoid the time it would take to master the craft with the bare-bone essentials (iron sights, factory trigger, etc.) it was rather refreshing to hear Zero remind us of that adage: a poor workman blames his tools. In other words, a poor shooter blames his gun. If you can only operate optimally primed tools under optimally pleasing conditions, well, you can’t expect to perform efficiently when the shit hits the fan.
One of Zero’s mottos appears to be train with everything. Learn how to operate non-optimal firearms in adverse conditions. While he often uses a GLOCK in his training sessions, he told us that’s not because he loves GLOCK per se or because they’re the best tool for the job, but because they’re ubiquitous. Typically, no matter where he’s traveled in the world, he runs into students who shoot GLOCKs. He trains on that platform, but he also trains with SIG, Beretta, H&K and all the rest.
There’s a lot more and I’m not really doing it justice, so watch the brief video above it’ll give you a better snapshot of Zero’s approach but even then it’s not complete. It’s tough to boil it all down to a few paragraphs or a five minute video. Thankfully, though, Zero plans on opening up his operation to the public in 2015. While all that’s still to be determined — dates, times, locations — I know I’ll be keeping an eye out to see if/when he’ll be visiting my neighborhood.
Beyond that, Zero also has a great sense of humor. Check out his unique argot, known as “Zinglish”: