How Far Do You Take Your Training?

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If you want to survive a life or death encounter with an assailant, you need to invest some time training. How far you take that training will depend on a variety of factors, but ultimately it is up to you. Everyone has different requirements for what their training must prepare them for. And we all have different amounts of time, resources, and even physical ability to train.

Here are some factors that impact those decisions.

Risk

When I discuss risk in reference to training I am describing the risk of a threat of physical harm to your person (or the persons you may protect). Obviously a soldier or police officer will encounter far more risk day in and day out than I will on my daily commute to and from work. As a result, if risk were to be the sole basis for deciding how far to take your training, then clearly our soldiers and police officers have a greater need to take their training to a higher level.

Time

Time is another factor that distinguishes how we must train. The busy individual who works late and has many activities on their plate might not have the time to train as hard or as often as someone with a huge amount of free time. Some of us train for enjoyment as much as to be better prepared, so investing time in our training will not be as painful as it may be for the person who trains only to mitigate their risks.

Resources

Whether it is taking martial arts classes, heading to the range, or attending a class or seminar, training requires resources. To train we often need equipment or instruction, and that usually comes with a price tag. We can’t all financially afford to spend thousands of dollars a year to invest in our training. If you enjoy training, you’ll be far more likely to invest in classes and equipment. If you train because you need to or purely to mitigate risk, you might be less apt to spend so much.

Fitness

Some of us physically can’t train as hard as others. I wouldn’t expect a 70-something year old grandmother to be be taking a carbine class and running around with her rifle. Some people have physical disabilities and still others are just out of shape. All of these factors can dampen the level to which we take our training. One exception that should not limit your training is fitness. If you are out of shape and enjoy being out of shape that might affect your training; otherwise it’s a matter of effort to fix that condition.

Interest

Finally, where you take your training is directly related to how interested you are. I’ve touched on this before, but ultimately all of these other factors can be almost ignored if you have the interest to train. There is no reason not to push yourself to a higher standard and to train more if it is something you enjoy. Sure you might hit the point of diminishing returns, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy use of your time.

Not everyone can become a Delta Operator. Your level of training may be limited, but ultimately you decide how far you want to go. Identifying the reasons you want to train can help you decide what your goals will be and how to achieve them.

Why do you train and how does that affect your level of training?

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Comments

  1. When I read “How Far Do You Take Your Training?” and saw risk I thought you were going to discuss the ideas of force-on-force, live fire from retention, live fire from pocket holsters, full speed transitions to difficult positions (urban prone or even kneeling), using cameras or timers to increase the stress, the use of physical activity to increase the heart rate and live fire movement with a buddy.

    In training you can perform skills that have some level of risk of injury, but can have real value. There are other skills that are better performed at 50% speed due to the risk of injury.

    I think each shooter needs to examine the risk vs reward of training these skills to determine if or how they include them. What do you think? I think that would be a great discussion.

    • You make a good point. I did discuss a similar topic back in January: .

      Training is always a risk/reward tradeoff, and in many cases its heavily dependent on how much risk you assume day to day. Clearly someone who puts themselves in harm’s way regularly would have a higher reward for taking risks in training.

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