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Old December 30, 2012, 01:25 PM   #12
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Join Date: June 9, 2002
Location: northern CA for a little while longer
Posts: 1,744
How much training is enough?
... is it practical to expect the CCW community to all be black belts in firearms? How effective is a large community of CCW’ers who are just ‘really good shots’ on average?
First of all, ask yourself these questions ...

How much driver training is enough? Being able to drive from Point A to Point B everyday, in normal conditions, never encountering any exigent or emergency situations where your safety and life may depend on your driving skills ... may be enough ... until it's not. Drivers find themselves unprepared for emergencies, or getting in over their head when it comes to their driving skills, all the time. How many expected it to happen to them?

How much self defense training is enough? Self defense training & skills? What kind of attacker (and how many) do you anticipate being a potential threat? Under what conditions?

How much first aid/CPR training is enough? How much training, knowledge & experience will you need in order to save the life of yourself, a family member or even a stranger someday?

How much physical fitness is enough? Notwithstanding any physical disabilities, how well would your present level of physical fitness allow you to react and function under a stressful situation?

Kind of depends on the situation and circumstances, doesn't it?

Once you consider the skillset question, however, there's the question of mindset.

I've known some highly skilled martial arts practitioners over the years who could do fine during training, but were unable to access their training and use it effectively when facing an actual stressful situation. Dojo tigers.

I've seen highly skilled target shooters with competitive backgrounds be thrown off their stride when facing a silhouette target intended to represent a human attacker, or having to shoot alongside other shooters on either side, being pelted by hot brass and the noise of gunfire (which is muted by hearing protection on the range, unlike off the range).

I've seen LE shooters fail to identify Non-Threat/No-Shoot situations in demanding qual courses-of-fire, and end up shooting the wrong "person" (full-size picture targets). Low light/shadow conditions make it even worse, but I've seen it happen under the bright light of the mid-day sun, too ... and from close up. If that can happen under the artificial stress of a qual or training course-of-fire, what might happen when it's "for real"? You can't go back, be re-mediated, and then "get another chance" off the range.

So, how skilled, mentally prepared and experienced do you think that you might have to be someday? At what point will you be satisfied?

How about your friends? You have confidence in them, their level of training, mindset and experience when it may be you or your family facing imminent serious bodily injury or death? How skilled do you want that unknown CCW stranger to be when it's your family nearby if something happens?

Decided to get training, and/or "practice" with your friends? Okay. Now there's the potential consideration of what's proper training, and then how to engage in proper practice ... and how often. Training ... followed by recurrent training ... supported by proper practice, done frequently enough to sufficiently maintain acquired skills.

MINDSET. The Freeze/Flight/Fight impulse is often described as being hardwired deeply into our psyche, and as much as many folks might like to think they'll react "naturally & instinctively" when encountering an unexpected emergency situation, sometimes they just freeze, or do something that's counter-productive to the specific circumstances.

Training is said to be able to help inoculate people against some of the adverse effects of stress. Being able to unconsciously access properly ingrained training can be helpful. Why do athletes and other types of competitors practice? Ditto the professionals? You want to fly with a pilot who hasn't been trained to react and respond to emergency situations, and who hasn't practiced?

Videos, manuals, books & magazine articles may be fine as learning aids in many situations, provided they're a supplement to the material being taught by a skilled trainer (who is also available to observe and correct errors, hopefully so they won't carry over into later post-training practice).

How many accomplished and adequately skilled martial artists do you know who have become that way solely due to videos, books, manuals and magazine articles, without formal training from an instructor?
Retired LE - firearms instructor & armorer

Last edited by fastbolt; December 30, 2012 at 01:32 PM.
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