Last week I was listening to Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Podcast. It’s a good show with some great guests. If you haven’t listened to it, you should go check it out. Anyways, a caller asked a question about carrying an empty chamber in his gun on his belt. The caller explained that some Special Forces guys overseas said they were teaching it that way and it was a possibility to carry. Tom responded with a profound “that’s great for Special Forces guys, they can make anything work because they train four to six hours a day on weapons handling skills.”
Very few statements have the power to stop and make us think anymore, but you should read that one again and think about it. Unless you are going to dedicate four to six hours daily to training, what works for SF (Special Forces) guys may not work for you. I never thought of that until now because I was one of those guys training hours and hours a day. When I lived overseas as a contractor I was doing at least one, if not two or three serious training sessions on the live fire range a week. I was also training dry with my rifle and pistol 30 minutes to an hour everyday. That was on top of the actual operating I was doing daily. So what works for me, may not work for you. We all fight differently and have to put our time into what will work for us.
Another statement that made me re-evaluate the way I think about training was when I was at an SF course taught by some Delta guys. I was helping a fellow Marine out that was having trouble with the technique and was ready to give up. I made a comment like lets just keep running it until you get it right and then we will take a break. The Delta guy came up to me and said, “amateurs train until they get it right, professionals train until they can’t get it wrong.” That statement has stayed with me all these years and still is how I run my training for self defense.
With those two things in mind, I put together a list for everyone to start you on your training and what you should be practicing. Take 15 minutes a day to dedicate yourself to training if you carry a weapon for self defense. In a couple months you will make huge strides in your ability to protect yourself.
We need the KISS principle in our lives. So when you do that 15 minutes a day, do one thing for that week. And train until you can’t get it wrong. At the end of the week you aren’t sure, do it another week.
If you are a CHL holder, here is your order of importance, do each one for at least a week, 15 minutes a day:
- Draw to the first shot; Done dry at first, go slow, and let the speed come with practice
- Malfunction Drills; the worst thing that could ever happen to you in a gunfight, be prepared!
- Reloads; start really slow and increase speed with practice
- Move, draw, fire; go back to draw to first shot only do the entire thing while moving. Pick one direction per week, I suggestion moving backward first
- Moving Malfunction drills
- Moving reloads
- Retention Draw and Shoot; Do dry for a long time, go really slow at first, and always mind safety especially rule #3 your trigger finger.
If you carry a knife for defense, practice each for at least a week, 15 minutes a day
- Draw carry position to open; slow and easy, remember speed is economy of motion (use as few movements as possible).
- Stab; come from that open position straight to a stab, slowly at first, make sure you use your entire body.
- Forward Slash; from fighting position, slow and use entire body
- Reverse Slash; same as forward slash, slow and use entire body
- Combo; forward, reverse, stab; slowly using entire body
- Now start back at the top and do it while moving, knife I suggestion moving forward first.
There is about 20 weeks of training broken down into individual weeks. I suggest that you really try to work on it 15 minutes a day, and not just an hour a week. You will do so much better with a little each day. If you want to dedicate yourself to doing more than 15 minutes a day and you will commit for the week, do two techniques, 15 minutes each.