I had a guy email me recently asking me:
“Is it really that bad that we need to own all these weapons and train to protect ourselves every weekend? Our parents did not do this stuff, why are we? Are we getting duped into thinking that this TERRIBLE EVENT everybody is talking about is going to happen to us at any minute, so we better be ready and spend our hard earned money on training and weapons that could be going into an IRA or our Kid’s vacation fund?”
It was an intriguing question, I must admit. It was intriguing to me personally because honestly, I had never thought about it.
It had always been my lifestyle to train.
Yeah at first like most folks it was a hobby, then pretty quickly it became a way of life; and therein my friends lies the rub. The key to really understanding the mentality behind this amazing sub-culture of “tactically minded civilians” is understanding it’s their LIFESTYLE!
You see if it is anything else but a lifestyle, lazy human nature will eventually kick in and suddenly the drive and fortitude to continue will dry up. Your training will become intermittent and worthless and eventually you will become that lowest form of animal, the basest of all creatures; the “tactical tourist.” This person is a member of every tactical or prepper forum out there and is never short on opinions on how to be the deadliest form of mall ninja imaginable.
He is one of those guys that likes to argue why one instructor is better than another or why one instructor’s platform is superior to another. Blah, blah blah. He may have started down the right path, the path to becoming a prepared and dare I say “Dangerous” civilian, but somewhere along the line he slipped off and started following a trail very similar, a trail that petted his ego and made him feel good about himself, but in the end he was no more prepared than when he started and the only thing scary about him is his bank account. It’s a sad but common story.
OK, so you know when you make a statement like this there is one finger pointing at you and three back at me, right?
The solution is quite simple.
You have to STOP talking and START Training.
YOU (not somebody else) have to develop goals of what you want to learn and accomplish and find QUALITY people with solid backgrounds to teach and help you and GET TO WORK!
Compare the time you spend arguing/jawing about a topic or trainer and the time you actually spend TRAINING on that topic.
You will often find the results woefully out of balance.
Get off the inter-web and get out of the tactical training”cult of personality” circus. When I first started, I had no ideal of what I needed to learn, so I learned a little of everything. Modern technique, point shooting, krav-maga, sambo, filipino knife, combative knife, systema, tomahawk fighting, how to pick a lock, how to bypass a siphon block, etc. And as time went on, I tailored and developed COURSES OF FIRE for each weapon system I owned.
Remember: Your skill sets need to be all encompassing, not just WEAPON oriented, but FIGHT oriented.
Your dry to live fire ratio should be like 70/30.
Dry fire is something that can be done practically anywhere so do it!
Your drills should change frequently.“Never get stale or satisfied” was a motto I once read on a gym wall, and I try to apply that to all areas of my life.
Adapt your training to what your enemy is doing. For example, in the military, if VBIEDS (Vehicle Born IED’s) are on the rise, then “How to Assault/Stop/Disable a moving or static vehicle” becomes priority on the training calendar. As civilians we need to do the same. If Active Shooter or Home Invasions are on the rise, we need to hit that head on with SITUATIONAL Force on Force drills.
Lastly, and this is a big one lately. Let’s all stop the useless jabbering about what MIGHT happen in the world and start training to deal with the worst possible case scenario.
From a practical standpoint this is a much better use of our time and resources. Do you honestly think that our enemies are wasting time jabbering about the POSSIBILITIES of what will happen in the future or are they just training to kill us in the most efficient way possible?
The gauntlet has been laid down and TIME is short.
The life you save could be your own So TRAIN Hard, Realistically and Often!
Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous.
We need to “dress for success” to be effective in extreme conditions. Our clothing choices become more important the harsher the climate and longer we intend to stay out in the bush. Since winter is upon us I’d like to share my lessons learned on cold weather clothing.
I don’t treat my clothing any different than I would any other tools; they need to be the right tool for the job to start with. I judge all my tools by how they perform and not by how they look or any other bias’. Whenever people discuss gear there always seems to be bias (caliber debates anyone?), but I really do try to avoid it as best I can. As MSG Dan Morgan said, we have to be ruthless in our gear selection.
Having lived, worked and trained most…
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From the Archives, 2018
“If I asked how to go become a Hunter-Gatherer, how would you respond? Even if you were one long ago, it would be difficult. We’re talking about nothing short of an utter redefinition of how you live, your identity and role in society, and entrance into a new culture. How does one “prepare” for that?”