The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the larger effects of any act or policy: it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.
Economics in One Lesson
This entire blog has been about trying to get newer shooters to think through their training plan. Many people don’t even have a training plan and their results are sub-par.
For those making a plan or editing their current plan it is wise to ponder the above quote. When considering your own training it implies using a feedback thought process. This feedback goes a long way in making our minds think through our own ego. It also helps add clarity to an instructor’s ego and decide if their plan applies to your need. Taking the time to think about how a certain tactic, piece of gear or type of practice will work itself out over time and in a gunfight might save you time, injury or your life.
This feedback in the self-defense world is about the gunfight and how it evolves under normal circumstances. By searching for this knowledge and understanding the law you can make a reasonable training regiment for yourself.
I used an example of this feedback in the previous Point Shooting entries. Sometimes plans and tactics presented as good training only work for a very small percentage of the human population. Training to use your peripheral vision is just one such idea. It works great in training but simply disappears for most people when they need it most, in a gunfight. A trainer that suggests you should use this type of vision during your training has not taken the time to think it through using the feedback mentioned in the quote. Or they might be the small percentage of the population that can use their full vision under extreme duress. Either way, asking you to do the same is folly. This is where I developed my saying, “Just because (insert famous instructor here) can do it doesn’t mean you should do it.” Just because they were Special Forces or a Police officer doesn’t help you in the civilian world. You need to think through what they are trying to teach and decide if it is a valid tactic for you by using this feedback thought process.
Just because Delta Force tapes targets while the next shooter is firing a few feet away doesn’t mean you should. For the civilian world it’s just unsafe. Not to mention that the berm at the range might have rocks in it causing a splash back of .223 rounds to anyone close to the targets. Yes, that happened to me. They seemed shocked that I told them to go ahead and I would tape it up later. Even the greatest Warrior, Police officer, SWAT officer or competitive champion can have screwed up ideas when they become an instructor. Often times they stumbled to their success or used a large amount of skill to get there.
When it comes to your plan, I suggest you don’t be a respecter of person. As Charles Barkley is fond of saying, “Stay in school and get a free education because you can’t do what I do.”
A great shortcut that you can use when putting together your training plan along with the tactics you want to use is to ask yourself, is there another way? Often someone else has found a safer or simpler way that works as well or better without the drawbacks. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel but you do need to do your research. You must use your mind. Over time you must make your training plan and your tactics your own. Learning to tailor your plans to your life and abilities is key.
Also remember that some of your plans can and will change as your abilities improve. As an example, I often hear instructors telling new shooters to shoot at the bad guy in the high chest area because that’s where all the vital organs are. For me I agree 100%. For a struggling shooter who is having problems keeping their bullets in a 12 inch target they are setting them up for failure if they get into a self-defense shooting that night or even that month. For that student it would be better for them to shoot center mass (usually around a persons diaphragm) thus giving them the best chance to hit the target. Then the instructor can work with the student on a goal. When they reach that particular goal they might suggest for them to aim for the high chest area.