Everything we do in life has a price. The price sometimes feels high and sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t just mean cash, but also time. Training has a price. But how much should we spend?
The easiest price to calculate is cash. You should start your training for self defense with the amount of money you pay for insurance. After all, training is a form of insurance, it’s the best kind of insurance. Most insurance pays off after the worst happens, this insurance keeps the worst from happening. So add up what you spend annually (car, life, medical, disability, etc…) and use that as a starting point. Training should include weapons (firearms, improvised weapons, and anything else you are thinking of carrying), hand-to-hand, and physical training. All this training is good for you even if nothing ever happens to you.
Calculating how much time is a little harder, but will come as you find your price. Start with a gym membership and a trainer if you don’t know what you are doing. Then, look for an ongoing self defense class. My favorite class was Jiu-Jitsu. It was a lot of ground fighting and wrestling. Lots of fights go to the ground even though you don’t want to go there in an actual self defense situation. I’ve taken dozens of different types, all were a lot of fun. Next, I’m looking at taking Eskrima (Filipino Stick fighting). A good friend of mine took this art for a couple of years and taught me some great things from it. You should also include reading as part of your training. Blogs like this one are good, but also find a book or podcast that seems interesting, too. Look for some that talk about situations. You are trying to gain experience without actually having to be there.
Shooting is always the question. You need to start with a good class. There are dozens of great schools. Look for something in the beginning level first. I know some of you have been shooting for years, but fighting with a gun is so much different than shooting. After that, think about taking one class per year. Take courses from different instructors and different schools. You also need to practice on your own. I try to do dry-fire practice 3 or 4 times a week, but lately I’ve been getting killed at work and only doing about half of that. You should also be doing live-fire about once a month. When doing live-fire, do the best training you can, at whatever facility you can. I also like shooting competitions. IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) is my favorite because of the people. USPSA (U.S. Practical Shooting Association) is a really cool game that is a blast to shoot. I enjoy the people at the IDPA matches more, so I go to them more often.
That is the basis I am using to plan my training for the rest of this year and next. What is your training plan? Do you have one?