I and many others in the defensive training industry have been saying for a long time that training must evolve and continue to move forward in training and learning. This doesn’t mean we forget the past. Very important concepts, ideas and techniques for self defense have been forged over time. Some over time to be proven wrong or misguided. Others proven out in real life. With more study and understanding comes changes in the training industry that are proving themselves out in the real world today. There are great lessons to be learned from the teachings of the past. Not all should be disregarded. As time is progressing, especially over the last six years that I have operated T-M Firearms Training, we have seen a change in the minds and methodologies of the teachers. When I started T-M Firearms Training I decided then and there to give my students more. More than just standardized teachings and repetition on the range and repetition in the techniques of empty hands. I put the physical methods and techniques together with the concepts of personal defense. Concepts, the reasons why we do what we do and not just to do it because someone who was better trained than you told you to. We need to have the driving concepts that increase your survival rate in a life threatening situation. These are concepts that will help you develop a defensive mindset. The “Why?” to go with the “DO!” I learned from a very, very wise man that I spent many years and hours every week during those years training and learning concepts and that those concepts can be as important or more important than the physical forms. Concepts are where the mind grows and the mindset is forged.
I have always believed there should be more to a defensive shooting class or a empty hands personal defense class than just 500-700 rounds a day of rounds sent down range onto paper and 20 or 30 repetitions of those drills. Or even the hundreds of repetitions a student will get in a class for empty hands. I have trained in classes as a student where we fired hundreds and even thousands of round in repetitious ritual with little on concept or why we did it. For many years I was like most people who had gotten a false sense of security from my physical ability and proficiency in hitting a piece of paper. I was missing the, “Why”. It was easy, once the skills were developed, to be successful in classes like this. Between military, competition, and law enforcement and formal tactical training I got really good at the doing. When I started learning why my success in training and even the real world really started to improve in leaps and bounds. The things I did now were making more sense and I was becoming more efficient and effective. Adding the concepts gave me greater control of myself and those I was training with or dealing with in a real Use of Force incident.
I teach the skill, have you practice it, combine it with other essential skills that tie to the skill, tell you why, and then apply it in all in a scenario and reinforce it all at the end of the day. The techniques are for the student to practice and maintain on their own after leaving the class. Learning the concepts behind the techniques motivates the student to train more with a greater understanding of not just “DO” but also the reasons for “Doing” it in a particular way for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. The methodology brings the mind to work out responses to stimulosus and not just reactions to actions. Building a defensive mindset is a essential part of personal safety.
Forget your preconceptions and leave them at the door. New concepts and ideas are on the agenda with the shooting and doing. See you in class! Be safe!