Month: January 2014
If You’re Not Trained, You’re Just Pretending
I’ve neglected this blog for several months now, I apologize. 2013 was a difficult and chaotic year for me, personally, and I had to let Tactical Anatomy business take a backseat to personal and professional challenges. I am glad to see the end of 2013.
I hope to be able to put more time and energy into Tactical Anatomy this year, but the first three months of 2014 are going to be very busy for me, so it might be a slow start. At this point I have NO CLASSES scheduled for 2014. Of the 4 SXRV and TTGSW classes scheduled in 2013, only one class gathered enough students to make it possible to hold the training, and I still posted a financial loss on my books. Two of the other three classes had ZERO registrants, despite a lot of emails, etc. I know that trainers across the country are having trouble filling their classes due to the poor economy and the uncertainty caused by the impending Obamacare onslaught, but still… It’s discouraging to see so little tangible support for the training I offer.
If you are interested in attending a SXRV or TTGSW class in 2014, please consider the possibility of hosting the class in your area. If you are willing to take this job on, I’ll give you the tools you need to get students signed up (and paid up!), and in turn you’ll get up to 3 free slots in the class for you and your friends/family. This is the only way we can get these classes off the ground, so please consider hosting.
Training has always been less popular with the vast majority of shooters than hardware is. Yesterday a friend posted a link on Facebook to a training article on The MOAT Group’s website that I thought was spot-on. I reposted it on my Facebook page, and got a few interesting comments.
In particular, I love this quote from the article: “Far too many folks are under the impression that buying and carrying a blade and/or firearm makes them more prepared or inclined to defend themselves. This mindset is like assuming you know how to play guitar simply by going to a store and buying one.”
As a guitar player of many years’ experience, this parallel struck me as being particularly appropriate. Learning to shoot a firearm well, particularly a pistol, is a slow and sometimes frustrating journey. So is learning to play a guitar (like the Bryan Adams song goes, “Got my first real 6-string down at the five and dime, played it till my fingers bled in the summer of 69”). Learning how to play a guitar well enough to stand up in front of people and entertain them is another thing entirely, though… it’s a whole ‘nother level of learning and training to get to that point of musicianship.
The parallel in firearms competency is apt. A man might be able to punch holes in paper at the range with accuracy, and even shoot his deer every fall, but that is not the same as knowing how to fight with that firearm. Learning how to fight with a rifle or pistol is akin to learning how to play your guitar well enough to stand up on a stage and entertain.
The people you can go to for that sort of training aren’t on every street corner. The average concealed handgun permit instructor has no training in gunfighting, nor are you likely to find someone at your local gunclub who can competently teach that class. You aren’t going to learn gunfighting by taking classes from big-name IDPA or IPSC competitors. And you aren’t going to learn it by buying a DVD set from an advertisement in the back pages of American Handgunner. No, you’re going to have to do the research and find one of the schools scattered around the country that do it right, you’ll have to invest the money to travel and pay for that school. It’s not real expensive, but it ain’t cheap.
The problem is that most people look at the cost of a school that will teach them something about gunfighting and they think, “Man, that is way too much money!”… but they never take the time to put it into perspective. You can attend a class at Gunsite or Thunder Ranch for about what you’d pay for a midrange-priced custom 1911. Open up your gunsafe and count your guns, then multiply by an average price of, say $600. If you’ve got 10 guns, which is not a lot of guns for a regular shooter, that means you’ve got $6 thousand invested in guns alone, never mind the money you’ve invested in ammunition, reloading equipment, holsters, match fees, and so forth.
So be realistic: doesn’t it make sense to spend 25% of what you’ve already invested in your firearms & shooting equipment, to learn how to use it effectively in defense of your life?
Last month I read a story about a guy who was fishing for sharks in one of those sit-on-top sea kayaks, with his legs dangling in the water. A shark took his foot and part of his lower leg off, and he was bleeding to death rapidly. Fortunately, he had the foresight to carry a trauma kit with him, and had a tourniquet. Unfortunately, neither he nor his fishing partner knew how to apply it. He bled to death despite having the perfect lifesaving equipment right there, because he never bothered to get the training in how to use it!!!
I urge every reader to think long and hard about this. You never know when you may face a life-threatening emergency that you will only survive if you use the emergency equipment you have on hand: your pistol, your rifle, your fire extinguisher, your tourniquet. Are you sure you have trained with this equipment enough that you will be able to use it effectively when the shit hits the fan, your heart rate is 150 bpm, and your hands are shaking from the adrenalin dump?
If your answer to that question is not a 100% confident YES, then you have just told yourself you need to spend the money and time to get the training that will take you to that level. Tactical Anatomy Systems offers two classes: Shooting With Xray Vision which is school covering the mental aspect of gunfighting, and Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds, which is a school training in the critical trauma care skills needed in the tactical environment once the bullets start to fly. I teach these classes anywhere in the USA, provided enough people sign up for them. Think about hosting one of my classes, or putting together a group of your friends to come down and take the class from me here in Texas. If you want a more comprehensive course in either discipline, drop me a line and I will be glad to help direct you to the schools and trainers you require.
But please, get serious about your training. If you’re not trained, you’re just pretending.
Best wishes to all for 2014.