I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Practice makes perfect”. Well that’s actually not the case. It should be “Practice makes permanent”. However and whatever you practice is what is going to stick. If you practice something and you have a bad habit in that practice and don’t iron it out then you’re just getting really good at that bad habit.
You’ve also heard “Just do it till you get it”. Not so. Practicing until you are brain numb isn’t helping anything either. Especially if you’re on a budget. You might as well throw your money in the garbage.
Here are some tips on getting better quality training. Make better use of your time, money, and resources.
“Slow is smooth; smooth is fast” – Navy SEALs
The SEALs got it right with that motto. You don’t practice scales on a guitar as fast as you can right? Well it’s no different with mitigating malfunctions, performing reloads, getting good trigger control etc… You can’t rush this stuff. As with scales on a musical instrument, you go as slow as it takes to get it right. Once you find that speed where you can do it perfectly, then you start there. Start your reps and once you’re comfortable to the point where it’s like tying your shoes then move up. You only advance in speed when you can do it effectively.
The concept behind the Navy SEALs motto is this: If you do something really fast but mess up, it takes more time to correct that mistake than it does to just do it right a little slower.
“Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools” – Albert Einstein
Getting angry when you train is (I’m sorry) stupid. Getting mad that you aren’t Todd Jarrett after 2 weeks of training is like copying a baby trying to walk. It gets up, falls, and cries. It’s the same way with this video to me. When I see a grown man or woman getting red-faced mad that they’re not getting it right immediately it looks the same as that little girl. If she would get some good vocal training and take her time and practice, she would sharpen up.
Just relax, stay calm, and understand it’s a process. Don’t give up!
“You can only fight the way you practice” -Miyamoto Musashi
Like I said in the opening, you are going to fight like you train. If you don’t train at all, then you won’t be doing much fighting. If you go out and shoot beer bottles for fun and call it training, it’s the same as playing Xbox and calling it a thumb workout. When you train, do things you’d actually do when defending yourself. Train yourself in close quarters, long-range, recoil mitigation, malfunction management, reloads, trigger control, weapon retention, etc… Practice right!
One way of ensuring this is to take classes and train with others. I recommend my YouTube page for videos on technique and theory videos, and I also recommend “The Dynamic Handgun”, “The Dynamic Shotgun”, and “The Dynamic Carbine 1 and 2” from Magpul Dynamics. Amazing videos to get you started. You may not even realize that something you’re doing is hindering you from going to that next level of training and those guys, as well as myself can help you point those out.
This is a perfect example of proper training and how quality teachers will iron out your mistakes.
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle
After you’ve figured out what to train on, how to do it right, and ironed out doing it too quickly and getting mad for not being an expert, you need to do that often. Make it a habit to train right. You want it to be like driving a car, tying your shoes, or anything else you can do without stopping to think about what you’re doing. Think of the timetable on training and efficiency: From 16 years old you started driving. About how long did it take before you stopped worrying about how you were driving? Two or three years? That’s about how long it’ll take of doing something everyday before you’re really great at it.
“You should not have any special fondness for a particular weapon, or anything else, for that matter. Too much is the same as not enough. Without imitating anyone else, you should have as much weaponry as suits you.” – Miyamoto Musashi
This is very important. Musashi really nailed an issue that stretches into our generation of operators and warriors. People are in the habit of putting together a weapon system that is just copying something they saw someone else wear or use. You have to get whatever weapons and gear work for your mission. If that’s home defense and CCW, then a full Marine Infantry loadout with an AR-15/ACOG isn’t going to work for you. A shotgun and a Glock 23 is more likely to suit your needs. So don’t imitate anyone’s gear. Do your research and get what’s necessary.
Also, don’t get too used to one weapons system. My main weapons are a modded Mossberg 500, and a Glock 23. But I don’t limit myself to being able to employ only a shotgun and a striker fired pistol. I can effectively use a DA/SA pistol, SA only pistol, revolvers, carbines, bolt-action rifles, and knives. It may come to pass that my weapons system fails or I don’t have it, and at that point I’m useless if I don’t know how to pick up a wheel gun and employ what’s available.
Slow and steady wins the race
If you want quality training you have to train in sustainable circumstances. You have to train in what is emotionally, physically, and monetarilly sustainable. If you bust yourself up, wear yourself out, and burn up all your cash on training then you may miss the point. You are training into a violent area – yes – but I know this: You train at 40% at most. You can push it but getting injured and worn out isn’t helping much.
Also, don’t sit and train on something for hours without a break. You need pace yourself. Take a day off from it. Train 2 or 3 times a week at 30 minutes each and if you include these other steps, you will be excelling into being very good with your weapon.
Quality is better than quantity
If there’s one thing I can tell you to do, it’s this: Get quality training. Good material, good repetitions, etc… I can’t overstate this. This is paramount. If you get bad material, from a bad teacher, and your practice is inconsistent and frustrating then it’s not good training. And you end up like this guy or maybe even this guy.
What happened in these videos? Training flaws. If they’d been taught how to clear a weapon before a demo, or maybe how to index a weapon from a holster, and trigger finger awareness then maybe that wouldn’t have happened.
Obviously there are other tips you can throw in but these are most important to me. Safety, legalality, etc.. There are many big ones but I don’t need to be a hall monitor. You should monitor yourself in the areas of safety and the law.
- Start training slow
- Don’t get frustrated
- Train on what you’ll actually use
- Train often
- Train on multiple weapon systems
- Take it easy, don’t bust yourself training – Find a way to train that you won’t get burned out on quickly
- Get quality material