You never know when you will need to protect yourself in today’s world. For Heidi Rockey, it was just an ordinary day living in Southern California. She was alone in her garage under her car changing the oil, when two men pulled up in a car and guns were drawn.
“They stopped the car, diagonally in the intersection and exited the car,” she said. “One guy placed a plastic shopping bag over the license plate, obscuring the plate. The other guy reached into the waistband of the front of his pants and pulled out a semi-automatic 9mm handgun. He pointed it up the street at someone or something that was out of my line of sight; I was under my car approximately 25 yards away. He fired five shots.”
From that point on, Rockey decided not to live in fear.
“I told my husband it was time to get back into shooting,” she said. That was 20 years ago.
She now lives in Pahrump where she and her husband run a small school called Calvada Firearms Training, where they teach courses both in Pahrump and Oceanside, California. The two also spend a lot of time at International Defensive Pistol Association competitions.
Today, Heidi Rockey teaches with her husband Rockey.
“No, his name is not Rockey Rockey, but he goes by Rockey,” she explained.
“I met my husband when he owned a sky diving school in Riverside, California.”
Rockey explained that he had been hunting since he was a boy in Nebraska and then he got more involved with firearms when he joined the Marines in 1973 near the end of the Vietnam War. After 20 years in the Marines, Rocky felt he had learned enough about firearms.
Heidi Rockey also said she grew up with a hunting background.
“When I got out I thought I knew everything there was to know about shooting,” he said. “But then I started shooting competitively and really learned to shoot.”
He said the military teaches you the basics and not the finer points.
“In the military though I never learned about staging your trigger,” Rockey Rockey said. “This control of the trigger speeds up your follow on shot.”
Rockey Rockey said when he started shooting competitively with his wife, he was bad at it.
“It was challenging,” he said. “I was pathetic and I don’t like to be told that I am bad at anything. I had to break 40 years of bad habits.”
Heidi Rockey said her husband went from a last-place shooter out of 40 to about 19th in seven years.
She said the two basically improved in shooting by taking courses, private lessons and doing research on the topic.
“We found at competitions that the best shooters want the worst shooters to improve,” she said. “We learned from the best shooters who were willing to give us tips.”
Rockey Rockey said before long they began teaching the basics to other people.
“I would have women that I worked with ask me if I would teach them,” Heidi Rockey said.
She said for her husband, it was easy to start teaching because that’s what he did in the military when he was teaching skydiving. She said it took a bit of prodding to get her going.
“We were approached by the IDPA, who told us there was a market for teaching women,” Heidi Rockey said.
She said there was a need for female instructors, non-military, non-police types to teach women who were easily intimidated.
Now she likes teaching.
“I like to see somebody learn something they never thought they could do,” Heidi Rockey said. “I like to see them progress from being intimidated, to handling a pistol with authority and I like to see them empowered.”
Rockey Rockey says that not all of their students are women.
“We have a student who is a monk that lives in San Bernardino and he is learning to defend the monastery by taking a tactical shotgun class from us,” Rockey Rockey said.
For the Rockeys, learning to shoot better is a skill they hope they never have to use.
“If I shoot someone, I know it will be a life-changing event,” she said. “But I will do it if my life or any family member is in danger.”
The two are firm believers in the right to defend yourself with firearms. The two believe people should just be prepared.
The two teach NRA-certified classes like pistol, rifle, shotgun and self-defense and Nevada concealed weapons permit classes. For more information call 760-612-7499.
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at firstname.lastname@example.org