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Old January 21, 2012, 11:15 AM   #1
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Does experience trump training?

I was reading an old thread on here about gangbangers that included an FBI report on gang members. The report stated that many of the gang members had been in multiple firefights in the streets starting at a young age.

I think that whether or not they are good shots or well trained with their weapon, that kind of experience under an insanely stressful situation would really help them in later on if they were ever attempting to victimize someone who happened to be a CCW holder.

The victim would have an insane hormone response with fight or flight instincts kicking in and would probably be more prone to fumble and hesitate. The gangbanger on the other hand would be calm and collected having experienced armed conflict before.

So the question is, how do we train to keep our cool and make good decisions in stressful situations?
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Old January 21, 2012, 02:20 PM   #2
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Are you the guy who grabs an extinguisher and runs toward the fire or run screaming away from it. Are you one of the crowd on the shore watching a car full of kids sinking into the river while mama screams for help or do you dive in. If you train you will do very well because gang banger is hoping for and expecting a victim not a fighter. It's what is between your ears that will determine how you act and your success will be determined by how prepared you are.
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Old January 21, 2012, 02:32 PM   #3
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Well, I'd say all the engine-out training I received as a student naval aviator, and the many hours and hours of emergency drills and simulators in the Navy and in commercial flight training came in very handy in those situations where I've encountered systems failures or indications of a fire in flight.

Jimmy Buffett was invited to fly with the Blue Angels, back in the 90s. As part of that invitation, he had to go to DWEST, and get trained up on ejection systems and emergency egress drills, helicopter dunker, etc.

Not too long afterward, he had a bad water landing in his grumman seaplane, as (IIRC) one of the small wing outriggers caught a wave, and the touchdown ended up with sort of a cartwheel. He was able to get out of the sinking, inverted aircraft, and he attributed his survival entirely to the training the Navy had given him. He said he'd probably have panicked and not had any idea what to do, if not for the dunker training.

I know that being forced to swim a mile in a flight suit, and tread water/drownproof in inert kit taught me that I could stay afloat for quite some time, as long as I did not panic. This came in handy once, when I had to go into a lake after a woman who was in distress a couple hundred yards out, and again when I got ejected from a duckie kayak while on some whitewater.

So, it seems to me that training has definitely mattered in some high-risk scenarios; it also seems to me that it is considerably more practical to get training, than to get experience, when it comes to some things.
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Old January 21, 2012, 02:41 PM   #4
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It's what is between your ears
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Old January 21, 2012, 05:12 PM   #5
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In a one word answer: no, . . . experience does not trump training.

Training allows one the "luxury" of having a plan that may work. Ol grump has the first half of that equasion, true, . . . but the second half of being confident in one's training is what makes the difference.

Go from Viet Nam up to the present: in every conflict the USA has been outnumbered in terms of soldier vs soldier numbers, . . . and yet the body count total has always been in our favor, in many cases by 10+ to 1.

In Iraq and Afghanny, . . . I have been led to believe that the numbers are even further apart, . . . and the only thing that makes the difference is that our men have the training, . . . rugheads have weapons, indoctrination, and desire. An M-4, . . . an M14, . . . or a Barrett, . . . trumps desire and indoctrination every time.

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Old January 21, 2012, 09:19 PM   #6
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I would have to vote for training over experience if the training is
of a quality kind. Training is what can keep you alive to gain that
experience. In Vietnam it was mostly the new guys that got killed.
So a combination of training and experience is important.
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Old January 22, 2012, 01:19 AM   #7
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Experience makes me want to train more.
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Old January 22, 2012, 10:58 AM   #8
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Does experience trump training?
Experience IS a form of training, and that training was done in the real world. Lots of training is make believe, and hence lacks something.

And that is why it seems experience trumps training.

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Old January 22, 2012, 11:00 AM   #9
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There's a large literature on this and it's pretty clear that quality training including realistic simulations enhance performance in the emergency domain that others cited above and it firearms related incidents.

I suppose long experience can be training in a sense. Training does aid in controlling automatic panic and freezes.
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Old January 22, 2012, 12:50 PM   #10
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The gangbanger on the other hand would be calm and collected having experienced armed conflict before.
I investigated gangs for well over a decade and was involved in numerous arrests and interviews of gang members during that time, many of whom had been involved in shootings. We're not talking combat veterans here. Many of them, especially the ones who had been shot before, or had seen their buddies killed or turned into paraplegics were not real happy about being on the wrong end of the gun. Sure, there some cold, hard individuals out there, but the idea that you have all these street-combat hardened veterans out there is pretty much bunk, in my experience.

Robbers usually get off on the power aspect inherent in the crime, but they are looking for easy money and don't want to get shot. Often, there's some type of wind-up for the crime where the victim gets a bad feeling about the situation before he is approached. At this point, before things really take off, the sight of a gun in the victim's hand, maybe just held at the side pointed at the ground, might be enough to derail things and send them off looking for another victim. Just my 2cents.
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Old January 22, 2012, 01:44 PM   #11
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JollyRoger--I'm very interested in modern gang behavior because I live in the middle of an area where they are very active and seemingly "run the town." I've observed robberies and drug-dealing in broad daylight--and so far have luckily evaded any shootings--though a kid was ambushed and shot on a sidewalk two blocks from my house an hour after I had walked my dogs by the exact spot.

They may not be combat hardened per sae (many have actually been shot)--but I've noticed they often use tactics well-adapted to the urban environment and make good use of numerical superiority. I have no proof--but I suspect that they are getting trained by professionals who are more likely connected to national drug syndicates and/or drug cartels as opposed to military/police type tacticians. They know how to do their business fast and get out before law enforcement arrives--and I believe this encourages the use of deadly force. The majority of the shootings I read about generally have no witnesses or leads (partially because of the "don't snitch" and retribution fear that pervades the community).
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Old January 22, 2012, 01:58 PM   #12
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Treachery, cunning and skill of the old can over come youth and inexperience.
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Old January 22, 2012, 02:03 PM   #13
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I've long maintained--and communicated to the police--that I've heard 7.62 high capacity mags being discharged nearby. A local councilman and former detective has recently publicly confirmed that AK 47's have made their way into the hands of gangs. From the TimesFreePress website:

"January 7, 2012, - Demarcus Husband, 23, is found by police lying dead in a yard at 862 N. Orchard Knob Ave. after he was shot in the face at about 7:30 p.m. The residence was riddled with bullets. A near-by residence at 1901 Rawlings St. was also shot up.
862 N. Orchard Knob Ave., Chattanooga, TN."

Last edited by hangglider; January 22, 2012 at 02:17 PM.
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Old January 22, 2012, 02:59 PM   #14
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Here's a little vid that illustrates the effectiveness of an AK as an urban weapon. Now consider these getting into the hands of gangs versus the common law-abiding CCW.
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Old January 22, 2012, 04:05 PM   #15
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I will take the training I have had in the last 2 years (4 Gun Fighting Classes including FOF), my shooting IPSC for 20 years, and two weekend sessions at a MOUNT Camp in Florida for house and neighborhood clearing above any gang bangers street issues. I have shot under stress in many situations and have a good control of my facilities when under stress. I also do not walk around in Condition White. I shoot every week at my indoor range using the many drills I have been taught and have developed myself.
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Old January 22, 2012, 04:31 PM   #16
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Experiences prove your training,,,

Anyone who has ever been in combat can at least understand my statement,,,
Perhaps not agree completely but I doubt many will say it's false.

All (most) soldiers receive the same training,,,
Some of them perform extremely well in their training,,,
But when it comes down to it, they freeze up completely in action.

I once witnessed a completely untrained man in a hold-up,,,
Pick a pistol up off the floor and perform like "Officer John McClane".

I guess my point is this,,,
Training is something that probably never hurts,,,
But in any combat situation (domestic or warfare) one must be tested.

Personally I would rather go through a door with someone whose experience had proven them,,,
Than to go with a highly trained person with no actual experience.

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Old January 22, 2012, 04:59 PM   #17
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I'm at a loss as to what to do to defend against the drive-by AK spray hits. I don't know if city coding allows for sandbags and concertina wire around your house. (only half kidding).
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Old January 22, 2012, 07:34 PM   #18
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Experience is training, but

The bad thing about substituting experience for high-quality, well thought out training is the dropout rate. Getting flunked out of the "experience" training academy can be painful, and terminal.

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Old January 22, 2012, 07:56 PM   #19
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Some great posts tonight, Old Grump summed it up so well.
I will add though nothing beats training backed up by the experience of using that training for real. Even though most “thugs” are just that; remember that some of the better organized gangs are having members enlist in the Army just to study, learn, then teach proper fighting techniques to other gang members. Kinda scary.
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Old January 23, 2012, 12:56 AM   #20
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The soldiers in the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot probably killed more people than any American soldier.

So who do you want at your back a platoon of Khmer Rouge or a platoon from Easy Company 101st June 5th 1944 before they'd heard a shot fired in anger?
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Old January 23, 2012, 03:05 AM   #21
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IMO... Training is how you survive the experience.
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Old January 23, 2012, 04:06 AM   #22
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the other advantage the gangbangers have--they generally have no concern for legal consequences of trigger pulling--which is a huge concern for the law-abiding CCW.
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Old January 23, 2012, 07:40 AM   #23
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I would also say that experience is a form of training. I would give a slight edge to experience however, as training is derived from others experiences.
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Old January 23, 2012, 08:34 AM   #24
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I suppose long experience can be training in a sense.
What else could it be?

It is considered to be training in every other thing, why would this be any different...
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Old January 23, 2012, 09:26 AM   #25
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Go from Viet Nam up to the present: in every conflict the USA has been outnumbered in terms of soldier vs soldier numbers, . . . and yet the body count total has always been in our favor, in many cases by 10+ to 1.
That has as much or more to do with the way the US fights (with complete air superiority, massive artillery support, the most extensive logistical support known to man, and a willingness to spend millions of $$$ on precision guided weapons to kill a couple of guys with $50 AK-47s)....) and who we fight ...... armies/countries/movements with none of those. As in Viet Nam, body count is meaningless, unless you kill ALL of the enemy, before the $$$ and/or the willingness of the American taxpayer to spend it, runs out.

Training is great and trumps experience, but neither will kill an idea, if it has hearts to live in.
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