Training, what is it? What does it really mean to be trained? Many times I find that people are so caught up on being trained that they forget how to independently think. Somehow they forget how to independently engage in Cognitive Thought whether it is Applied Thought and most certainty Abstract Thought. They are for lack of better terms unable to think outside the box. And if they do happen to think outside the box they only think outside the box in the context that they are stuck inside of a larger box.
During a conversation with a potential VODA Client, it was brought to my attention that someone suggested that she should seek me for more training. And it's a good thing generally speaking. But generally speaking with millions of people getting trained in one way or another every year And with so much training going on; the question needs to be asked: "Why do a vast majority of people who train look like crap?" There's a huge disconnect here.
And if they're not physically looking like crap they are mentally full of crap. If it's not the cognitive biases, it's the ego, if it's not their self-esteem issues it's their validation issues. Some time ago I was engaged in a conversation with someone who is very prominent in the E.P. or the Executive Protection Game and he said something to me that really stood out and what he said was this:
"It comes to a point where everyone has the same skill. It comes to a point where everyone can shoot. It comes to a point where everyone can hit the target. It comes to a point where everyone has the same credentials. But what separates you from everybody else?"
And that resonated with me. It resonated with me to the point that it made me turn away from the traditional way of thinking about training, it most certainly turned me away from the traditional methods of training pushed by the NRA and it made me take a step back and really look at the Gun Game for what it was not for what I wanted it to be. This conversation challenged me in thought. Moreover, as a Gun-Fighter it really pushed me to reevaluate who I currently was as a Gun-Fighter and my immediate as well as my distant future as a Gun-Fighter.
There were so many questions that came to my mind some of the questions whereas followed: What is the real worth of being certified by organizations such as the NRA or any state regulated training program?
Does being certified mean that you actually have real skill?
Does one being certified serve as a shortcut for a lack of experience?
How do we define skill?
Is skill relative, subjective, or objectionable?
What are we trying to prove, what is the end goal?
Are we so ego driven that we are compensating for a lack of self-confidence, or are we trying to achieve the impossible task of satisfying are own egos in an effort to gain the self-confidence that was lost, damaged or nonexistent in order to make ourselves whole?
What can I do to give back to not only the Gun Game but to the community in which I live?
It was questions like these and so many more that plagued my mind as a Gun-Fighter. When you really look at the aspect of Gun-Fighting for the Civilian Operator™ I estimate that it only takes up 10% of our lives. This is why my Fight-Efficiency™ methodology is important. That 10% of Gun-Fighting in itself can be broken down as such:
The other 90% consist of you living your life doing whatever it is you're supposed to be doing in life outside of Gun-Fighting and training.
Another thing that should also be addressed is the fact that when some people and instructors perceive someone displaying subpar shooting mechanics and skill; that they should consider getting more training from somewhere in an attempt to fix the individuals problem for the perceived subpar shooting mechanics and skill. Re-articulated: many people think that because one shows a perceived lack of training and skill that they should necessarily seek out an instructor who should be able to train them. Often times nothing is further from the truth.
The reason why this is a fallacy is because almost all certified trainers teach the same training doctrine which is mostly NRA based. This kind of logic is akin to you using debt to pay off your previous debt - The only thing that you get in the end is either transferred and or more debt. Instead, it is VODA recommended that you focus on the core shooting fundamentals in order to build mechanical fluidity and in doing so you will definitely observe a significant positive change in the Fight-Efficiency™ of the Shooter or the Gun-Fighter.
"No one can make you a better Shooter or Gun-Fighter than you. It is you not the bad guy who is your toughest adversary." - VODA
In the end, it has nothing to do with the seeking out of a trainer or instructor. But it has everything to do with the shooter or the Gun-Fighter themselves. What I mean by that is you can dick ride and take a Travis Haley class, Chris Costa class, James Yeager class, Instructor Zero class, Sonny Puzikas class, Rob Ski class, and even my beloved but now two deceased G.O.A.T.'s (Greatest Of All Time) Louis Awerbuck and Paul Castle classes all you want (all of the mentioned instructors and trainers I deeply admire). But without putting the time in yourself to build what I coined Fight-Efficiency™ going to the range and practice it on your own in your own home you won't be shit.
How can I say this? This is because there isn’t any instructor or trainer that can compensate you being lazy. I would recommend to stop worrying about seeking the best trainers and focus on the essential elements of shooting and Gun-Fighting which consist of the core shooting fundamentals and repetition. When you do that you will become smooth, you will become fluid and this is how you build skill.
There is no Lay-A-Way plan, discounts or government subsidies for the lack of confidence, self-esteem and skill. Simply put, you cannot buy confidence, you cannot buy self-esteem, and you cannot buy a skill. They are simply not for sale. The only way to earn these three pillars of shooting and Gun-Fighting is through practice, practice and more practice. I cannot say it enough, confidence, self-esteem, and skill only comes from training for hours and hours on in Day after day after day beating on the drum of your craft. It will NEVER come from instructors and certificates of paper or what people like to call credentials.