Read a book by an FBI agent. He was talking about training of bad guys and referenced a wire tap.
One bad guy asked the other what he did yesterday as was going to do today. The reply - went to the desert to practice with pistols and today going to the high school track to run.
Mentioned that 80% of BGs practice at least once a year and 30% each month.
As far as civilians - joining an action club is great. Shooting IDPA is great. I do it all the time BUT - be sure you get, if you can, some professional training. They are different beasts.