Friday, April 22, 2011

Getting Training

I read and article a while a back, posted by the blogger, "Brillianter", who was talking about the differences between training, practicing and testing.

The gist of it is below:
Training is taking a class. I am trying to stretch this definition into reading a book, watching a video, but it really boils down to being taught something by someone. There are some subjects that can be “self-taught” but really fighting and/or shooting isn’t one of them. I would also say that getting a few “tips”, or “pointers” from somebody really isn’t training either. I can tell you to look at your front sight and press the trigger, but that isn’t the same as “training” you to actually do it. Without feedback and correction it isn’t really training.

Practice is going to the range (or it’s equivalent.) This where you repeat what you have learned in training. Practice makes you better at what you know, but it doesn’t do much for learning new things. If you practice looking at your front sight and pressing the trigger it won’t make you better at reloading the gun or clearing malfunctions. Practice is what creates a “habit” (good or bad.) Undisciplined practice really isn’t practice at all. I see people at the range all the time making their guns go bang: magazine after magazine, box after box of ammo, and they never seem to show any improvement.

Testing is any sort of competition. Shooting IPSC/IDPA, ring fighting or martial arts tournaments are an objective measure of a set of skills. It’s not combat, but it is being forced to produce results under stress. There are those in the “tactical” shooting world that dismiss the guys that play gun games as “gamesmen” or point out that some piece of the game isn’t really “real world.” I would point out that the top-tier military units all seek out and train with the best competitive shooters and try to learn speed, accuracy and gun handling from them. They don’t seem to have any problem with tactics or real world performance.

I really agree with all the points he/she makes. Additionally, I'd add that I think it is important to get trained after you have a firm idea of what it is, exactly, that you want to accomplish. Is it competitive shooting, accuracy, fundamentals, defensive use, etc...? The list pretty big. Having a specific goal will most likely make it easier to select a "path" by which you develop.

The biggest question is how to assess instructors out there... Well, look no further, since Todd Green, who runs, has summarized a lot of the approach in an article too long to reprint here. Go take a look.

We've recently started a separate training calendar here at WIILSHOOT on the calendar page that there is something to fit almost anyone's time/budget/goal.