As a Firearm Education & Training Consultant I get asked this quite often: "How often should I train?"". For the Civilian Operator™ this is not as simple question in which a simple answer can be rendered.  But typically I would recommend firing and or some sort of training at least once a month and dry-firing as often as you can. When I say there is not simple answer, what I mean by this is that as a Civilian Operator™ your training is centered around several different variables:


  • Lifestyle

  • Budget

  • Ambition

  • Knowledge and skill-set

  • Relationship status

  • Geographic location

  • Employment and type job type

  • Kids and responsibilities


Of course there are more variables to consider but these are just a few that the Civilian Operator™ must take into account! But even more than that, training for the Civilian Operator™ should be based on these  four things:


  • Simplicity

  • Robustness

  • Efficiency

  • Effectiveness


The old saying is that the best things in life are simple. No matter if you are kicking doors in "Idon'tgiveafuckastan" or some place in "Jerk Water USA" or "The City of Fucksville", nothing beats simplicity in training. When I speak of simplicity, I’m speaking about ease of grasping information (training) and ease of applying the information (training) as soon as Shooter or Gun-Fighter obtains it. In fact, I would also go as far saying that the information and should be able to easily mentally digested to the point where the Receiver can engage in "Thought Experiments".


A Thought Experiment allows the "Thinker", in this case the Shooter, Civilian Operator™ or Gun-Fighter alike to mentally take the information (training) given and though the use of cognition, logic and creative thinking while devising various ways in which the training experienced can be used to increase the Fight-Efficiency™ of the Shooter, Civilian Operator™ or Gun-Fighter themselves. 


In order to make this happen that means that an Firearm Educator™ (not a firearm instructor) should be able to not only deliver but synthesize the information in various ways so that is it is immediately comprehensible to the Receiver (Shooter, Civilian Operator™ and or Gun-Fighter).


The training Received by the Shooter, Civilian Operator™ or Gun-Fighter should be robust. What I mean by this is that it should be invigorating, challenging, and solid so that it is easily crystallized by the Receiver. This means training with real guns, like how I do at VODA Inc. It also includes building correct form and muscle memory so that the manipulation of the firearm becomes fluid and instinctive. With that being said the robustness of training should be so that it allows the Receiver of the training to deal with the unexpected variables and latent functions that tend to come about either within the confines of training and or real world applications.


Robust training should also draw upon and make use of the Receivers pass experiences and always seek ways in which the Receiver can make the correlation between the two and or incorporate their personal experiences into the training itself. Another thing is that the training should have measurable results, preferably in real time. The Receiver should be able to make good use of feedback from both the training and the Firearm Educator™ (notice I didn’t say instructor). Robustness of training should balance to of the biggest "NO-NO's" of training:


  • Redundancy 

  • Complexity


In doing so this puts an end to the plateau effect which leads to complacency and "cookie cutter" methodologies. These are the most dangerous things that occurs not only with firearm training but with training in any industry. What we seek to accomplish by robust is the elimination of "the same old same". This leads to a decreased morale, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving capabilities. When variables like these occur it will inevitably negatively impact the Fight-Efficiency™ of the Shooter, Civilian Operator™ or the Gun-Fighter. In short training should allow you to overcome challenges.


Training should not be overly long! For the ordinary man it should not be two and three days, WHAT THE FUCK FOR! Remember ordinary people have "BAR-B-Q's" to go to (my friend Jada loves "poke" LOL!), jobs to work, children to tend to and SEX TO HAVE GOD DAMN IT!!! The training should be efficient enough to still allow the receivers to engage in these activities. So how do we accomplish this? Well to be honest we have to rethink the way in which we train. We have to think about how decreasing training time while still maximizing the effectiveness of the training.


This can be accomplished through the use of Scientific Methods. Merely using the same firearm training model that has been in existence for the last 50 years will not cut it. In short we need to increase the productivity of Shooter in the least amount of time. Now we know that speed and accuracy don’t mix, but we must find the "happy median" Shooter, Gun-Fighter and Civilian Operator™ alike.


Point blank - training should be effective and it my position is that it is simply not. I hold this position because of the conditions in which I see. The only thing that is being pushed is Safety. "Gun Safety", "Gun Safety", "Gun Safety". But the truth is that people are so damn safe they can’t even shoot to protect their own lives!!! Not only is this unacceptable but this kind of focused training is ineffective; if not outright inapplicable in many instances when it comes to applied Gun-Fighting and for the Civilian Operator™. Training effectiveness can be evaluated by the five following at the very least:


  • Skill assessments and diagnostics

  • Cognition 

  • Behavior

  • Performance

  • Maturity


But of the five the following three are of the most importance: maturity, behavior and cognition. See it doesn’t matter how well you shoot, I can give a fuck less about that. Maturity is something that runs low in the Gun Game. When maturity sets in one should come to the revelation that:



  • The more you learn the less you know

  • You respect contrasting positions in respect to training and life in general

  • You are more likely to inquire than criticize in regards to training

  • Seek alternative ways of training and apply them to your existing skill-sets



Maturation of cognition sets in when:

  • One is able to reason

  • Logic dictates action

  • Able to engage in abstract thought

  • Deeper sense of perception

  • Overall sharpening of executive functioning (Flexibility, Pattern Recognition, Decision Making, Sequencing, & Inhibition)


Maturation of behavior sets in when:

  • Decline in attention seeking behavior

  • Chooses character over emotions

  • Seeks continuous self-improvement

  • Seeks not to justify but to understand

  • Able to obtain and articulate insight

  • Conflict resolution skills


This is what aids in the effectiveness on the Shooter, Gun-Fighter and Civilian Operator™. I always tell people that shooting only accounts for 10% of actual training and shooting applications. The rest is study, comprehension and consistent self-improvement and self-reflection.




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