05 June 2013

Structure in reality is a fantasy- train accordingly

For any type of training to take place, there has to be some structure.  Usually it comes in the way of when to start, when to stop, and rules of how to accomplish the task at hand.  And of course many other rules based on what you can and cannot do for safety sake.

For sake of discussion, we will look at firearms training.  We are dealing with live ammo, so of course the basic firearms safety rules must be obeyed.  Then you have range rules covering movement on the range, minimal distance, and the prohibition of rapid fire.  Obviously the rounds are going one way.

Realizing this, many people move onto competitions that allow for more movement, but have even more structure to control more people.  Structure allows us to be safe and get many people to do many things in a small amount of time.  But ask yourself, if I am training to defend myself or my family with a handgun, does the way I am currently spending my energy, time, and money realistically reflect the most likely scenarios I could encounter in the environments in which I spend time.  If the answer is no, then it is time for a change.

Any level of personal conflict defies structure.  There are no rules governing movement, types of weapon used, or how many people are involved.  The beginning and end will lack definition.  If your pistol comes into play, it will only be part of the fight.  There will be no black and white shoot/don’t shoot scenarios.  You may have to grab your spouse or child and pull them behind you.  You may have to fire inside your vehicle.  You may have to fire your gun as it is in contact with your attacker.  Deadly encounters cannot be survived with a by the numbers approach.

Several years ago I did a demonstration during a class.  I had my buddy who was helping me out put on headgear, holster, and an airsoft pistol.  I told him that whenever he was ready I wanted him to draw his pistol and shoot me.  In response, I would defend myself.  I was also wearing an airsoft.   As soon as I detected the slightest preparatory movement, I slapped him pretty hard upside his head.  My little finger, striking just under the headgear, caused a bit of a brachial stun.  His knees buckled and he fell into the wall before being caught by another student.  See, he thought we were just using airsoft.  He got caught up in the fantasy of structure.  If I am arguing with a guy in a parking lot and all of a sudden he makes a furtive movement behind his back, even knowing he may be going for a weapon, I might hesitate to draw my own pistol.  But based on the situation, I don’t have to hesitate to pimp slap him.  Being intentional and confident allows you to drive the confrontation to an end instead of being driven over.

The key to all self-defense is explosive intentional movement and unpredictability.  I complain about ammo shortages and prices because I want to take my kids out to shoot, not because I need it for training.  Get with some friends and buy some Blue Guns and decent airsoft.  Come up with scenarios based on reality instead of just structure.  You learn by doing.

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