Minimalist: Why I Want to Be a Minimalist

Minimalism is the philosophy of having few items that are as simple as possible. We select these items to maximize function in regard to need, thus freeing up the owner to pursue other needs.

I use this philosophy when purchasing self-defense items and contemplating practice/training. The more complex an item or skill is, the more time it takes to learn it and the more that can go wrong with it. We can only effectively learn a number of tasks at once. It takes time to become proficient so it is important to limit the tasks that need learning.

Your inefficient plan doesn’t matter if you take time to master it and then start carrying a pistol. If you learn or learned an inefficient way but fate didn’t give you a need to use the pistol, it ultimately didn’t matter how you trained or practiced to this point.

Most people can’t and won’t wait until they are masters to start carrying a pistol. They might wait a few weeks until they have a basic amount of safety and fundamental training but that’s about it. I don’t blame them, I would too. For them how, what and when they train and practice is vitally important.

When thinking about a minimalist philosophy I asked what is the need. If we select the wrong need we might efficiently learn something that will not help us. So the price of a good efficient self-defense plan is asking a lot of questions up front. Are we training for the correct fight?

What is a self-defense gunfight?

1. In the proper context of the law.

2. When all our life strategies have not kept us safe.

3. Draw the pistol.

4. Present the pistol.

5. Fire the pistol until your legal justification for using deadly force has ended.

6. Interact with law enforcement.

When you practice and train for this keep in mind the normal physiological processes that occur during life threatening moments. How will tunnel vision, audio limiting/exclusion and the inability to calculate distance correctly affect our training plan? Many shooting techniques don’t take these into account. They are often touted as minimalist effective plans. If you train for something that your body simply can’t do when in a life threatening moment, is it really efficient or effective?

A large part of self-defense is avoiding the gunfight but we don’t always get to decide when we need a gun. The bad guy has a say. We might never get in a gunfight or we might get in one the first day we start carrying a pistol.

It is important to maximize our practice for an average, typical gunfight early on. We should learn in such a way that as our abilities improve we can win faster or more complex non-average gunfights.

I have written the how of the above list. In the next few weeks I want to write about the why of that list in more detail.


One comment

  1. Pingback: Developing Your Own Philosophy |

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