Do you practice or do you train?
Do you practice or do you train?
Do you practice or do you train? Pretty straightforward question. But how many consider the two words interchangeable? Lets look at a couple of definitions.
Practice- A method of learning by repetition. Conventional, traditional or standardized method.
Target Practice- Any exercise in which projectiles are fired at a specific target.
Practice by definition is merely a method of learning a traditional method of something by repetition. Now in no way, shape or form am I saying that practice is not important, what I am saying is do not mistake it for training.
We all need to practice things. Draw stroke, reloads, malfunction drills. We all need to target practice to develop and confirm these things but going to the range and firing 100 rounds slow fire into the X ring of a round target at three yards is not training it is what is called "range masturbation" and you are setting yourself up for failure.
By definition training is the "Acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies as a result of teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to a specific useful competencies".
Now what does that fancy definition mean? You have to put the skills that you practice into realistic, challenging, stressful and varied scenarios that you can use to increase your skill level and your chances of survival.
I know everyone cannot afford the cost or time of going to a big time shooting school there are to many life needs that take precedence over it but you don't have to go somewhere to train to increase your skill level you and your shooting friends can use each other to train.
Pool resources buy a set of quality videos and watch them more than once then in a safe enviroment with unloaded weapons practice, to gain basic skills through repetition, and critique each other. Invest in a stopwatch and a whistle if you cant afford an electronic timer. Push yourself to get off fast, accurate shots in a very short time period.
Got kids? Great! With a safe and unloaded weapon in a safe area let them blow the whistle for you. No kid will pass up the chance to make noise. If old enough to go the range take them and if allowed let them time you and give the start whistle. You would be surprised how many other shooters would want to participate. Again if they are old enough and able switch roles with the kids even if they use there trusty .22 rifle shape the rules and time limits to them.
No kids, no spouse, no problem record a start signal on a CD or computer or put it on your IPOD. Set it at different time intervals and while wearing your yogi bear pajama pants in the comfort and security of your living room, with an unloaded and safe weapon, practice your reload drills or whatever else under time constraints.
Read and discuss magazine articles, books anything you can get your hands on then get together with friends and practice those skills.
Use family to help and critique you then put that practice into motion, that is training.
Run drills wherever you go. If this happened right now I would/could use this tactic or technique to solve the problem. If the guy who just walked in the door of the restaurant you are seated in and produced a gun I would respond by doing this or that. You can start this at home. Can you clear your own house with a flashlight? Try it sometime and see what works or doesn't
When you do live fire, if allowed at your range, shoot, scan and move or move and scan depending on what school of thought you are in. Go out in the country somewhere if you can and shoot at a 3D target of some kind. Gallon milk jugs filled with colored water are good targets and you condition yourself that something happens when you shoot a target instead of just punching a hole in paper. Make or buy your own pepper poppers or cardboard drop targets. Use balloons to simulate head shots use your imagination.
Well hopefully this will put some ideas and thoughts in your head. Share what you come up with on the forum, what worked, what didn't. Any new ideas are welcome. Have fun with it.
A man named Charles Darwin, yep the we came from monkey guy, gave a quote that I saw online the other day and seemed to fit here.
"It is not the strongest or smartest of us that survive. It's the one that's willing to evolve and adapt". Now I do not agree with his other theories but this one works. Practice your skills, train to improve those skills, adapt them to everyday life, survive to a ripe old age.