If you’re like me, you have a brood of family members to protect and provide for. With that comes the responsibility to train to protect, whether that be with your brain, fists or a firearm.
When talking with a co-worker about self-defense training, I was asked: “What’s the most common mistakes when training to protect your family?”
I thought for a second and said: “The mistake of assumption”. Some folks assume they’ve covered self-defense because “I carry my gun, I’m good”. Some folks have been in a fight, “I’ve been there, and done that”. Some folks view concealed pistols as easy to use tools that are pretty much “point and click” and therefore require little to no training.
Those assumptions however, come with a slew of unintended consequences.
When those types of assumption are made, there’s three things that don’t get maintenance in the “protector skills” arena:
- The Basics – The basics need to get mastered by way of regular training. How do people react like it’s second nature to stop a threat? One way is that they master the basics of whatever technique they chose to employ by repetitive training.
- Combat Mentality – The combat mentality required to stop a threat (or even handle an escalating altercation), needs daily conscious meditation . . . .
- Proficiency (under the influence of adrenaline) – Training that gets the heart rate up, while requiring the individual to perform self-defense task . . . needs to occur. Adrenaline needs not to be “thought through” ahead of time – it needs to be TRAINED THROUGH ahead of time.
And as many have said, if you don’t use a skill, you lose the skill. One of the best principles I’ve ever learned is this – “being a protector requires maintaining a perishable set of skills”.
The good news is there are loads of drills and instructors out there, who can help in these areas. But what about some things that can done this week to erase “the mistake of assumption”? Here’s a few simple things that will go a long way in just a couple weeks. Drum role please . . .
- You, and I, and our spouses can practice one perfect pistol “dry-fire” from concealment to the 4-count draw stroke, through proper execution of a “dry-fire” round in a safe training environment. If done once a day for 30 days, I’d bet the average armed citizen will have a crap-ton more training under their belt in a month than they usually do. How much time does this take? Including time to setup your area to train, maybe 2 minutes a day.
- Mentally harden up. One way to do this is to pick one thing you loathe that should get done, and do it today. I try and knock this out once a day just to keep the habit of going after things that make me uncomfortable for whatever reason. Face something unpleasant today. That self-defense situation is going to be unpleasant and it might need to be handled. Another thing that can be done in this area – if you know a combat vet, (this week, not next week) you might give him a call, buy him a beer or cup of coffee and pick his brain on how one develops a combat mentality. 30 minutes, a few bucks and a display of some interpersonal skills can gain a person some awesome perspective.
- At least one time this week, run up and down the stairs, jump on your treadmill and run, do sprints in the back yard until breathing heavy and sweating. Then immediately do your dry-fire pistol/carbine practice. Do it again. And again. If you have a laser trainer that’s even better, because you can see right away the effect that heavy breathing and accelerated hear rate has on the ability to put rounds on target. I can get this done in 20 minutes if I’m pressed for time.
There are oodles of drills, training methods and techniques available for the family protector. It’s not as important as what drill is done, but that the concepts above get their proper place in our lives. That’s the citizen’s real struggle in the quest to proficient self-defense.
Here’s a parting thought – What we believe is demonstrated in our actions at a greater volume than words can match. People that don’t train? People that don’t train in a realistic capacity? They assume they’ve got “it” covered. I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to make that assumption – not when I get to protect the most important people in this world.
Thanks for stopping by,