I apologize for my absence and promise to try to do better. Life can get in the way. I am dealing with some serious personal issues, just put the finishing touches on my next book which should be out late summer (and I hope you like it!), went to Shot Show and been working on a proposal for book 4. I know, I’m nuts!
But, I wanted to write about something near and dear to my heart that has been a recent topic of discussion. Training. As a Student. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced instructor or a brand new shooter. Training is critical. With more people buying firearms and getting Concealed Carry Permits, Defensive Training takes on new meaning. You have to be ready to make those split second decisions, and possibly to justify them later. You need to be confident in your ability. You need to practice but perhaps most importantly, you need to take every class your budget will allow.
I enjoy taking basic classes occasionally. Not only do I learn something I want to incorporate into my classes, but I sometimes find things that I want to be sure I’m not doing. Advanced classes, even though I tend to teach beginner by choice, are fun! They challenge my skills, teach me new ones…I am signed up for a Defensive Shotgun Class in Jun! I can’t wait. I’ve never taken a formal long fun class and I think this will be awesome. I’m mostly a handgun shooter, although I have a couple long guns and hope to go hunting one day. But in my situation, living in a townhouse, a shotgun may actually be a better defensive firearm than a pistol, at least for my neighbors.
Bottom line, no matter who you are, or what level you are at, take a class! Not just any class, since you are spending your hard earned money, investigate the instructor and the course content. Make a wise decision, but train.
Then, practice what you learn. I spent some time this past weekend, I have a BOB (Body Opponent Bag). I have a nickname for him, but I won’t share it here. I practiced empty hand defensive strikes, followed by quick draws of a SIRT gun and firing. I practiced rolling on the floor, drawing and firing. I incorporated a few defensive yelling words, and at the end of 30 minutes was very much out of breath and feeling more confident in my ability to get knocked down still draw and fire my gun.
My poor BOB takes a lot of abuse, but better him than me. It is one thing to be shown how to push off an attacker, gain a little distance and fire, or get knocked to the ground, draw and fire without sweeping your own body, it is a very different thing to actually try it.
And…it is fun.
So, train as if your life may depend on it!