Skill in the use of arms and armor in the defense of yourself, your loved one, and your community doesn’t come naturally. It takes dedication, practice, and perseverance to be able to employ the tools of liberty consistently and effectively.
While some people may have a natural ability to bring to the table, even gifted athletes like Michael Jordan and Usain Bolt spent hours and hours training and honing their skills. It’s the same with the martial arts.
Why we train
Skill. It’s that simple.
And by training, we mean the deliberate study and practice of things like drawing, reloading, target transitions, sight picture, among the list of actions needed to go from being prepared to having to act. Don’t get me wrong, dirt shooting can be fun, but it isn’t training.
And while firearms can be used for recreational purposes, at the end of the day it’s designed to be a life-saving piece of equipment. Would you buy a parachute or SCUBA gear and just figure you know how to use it, or would you get some training? Knowing how to load a firearm, point it in a certain direction, and pull the trigger is nice, but it doesn’t make you proficient.
You owe it to yourself and family to have more than the bare minimum ability to competently use your firearm. Get some training.
“We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” -- Archilochus
Know thy gear
If you train properly, you will gain a great deal of knowledge about your equipment. If you carry concealed, train at least some of the time from the concealed position if the instructor will permit it.
Everyone likes to kit up in a nice war-belt setup, but it’s doubtful that’s your everyday carry (EDC) rig. If you’ve never practiced drawing from concealment, either live-fire or dry-fire, you may fail to understand just how different it is from drawing from an exposed holster, and the results can be deadly.
Training with the gear you will use will quickly show what works, and what doesn’t. You’ll gain comfort using that gear, but never mistake comfort for skill.
One of the biggest benefits to training aside from actual marksmanship and gun handling skills is confidence.
Deliberate training, whether it’s formalized in a weekend-long course by a professional instructor or spending 10 minutes dry-firing to practice your trigger reset, gives you a controlled environment to practice new skills and reinforce old skills.
Just as with any sport, shooting is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced regularly. Because if you don’t, that skill will not be there at the time you need it most. And that can have fatal consequences.
Without training, you have to rely on luck and hope, and hope isn’t a strategy.