Train Like It’s Your Last Day To Train

Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Every day of training tends to be a little different. Sometimes we work on precise skills, other times we work on strength or other physically demanding training. Some of these days are easy, and others are not quite so easy.

One common thread ties all of these training sessions together. You should be training like it is your last day to train. There is only now.

Training should never be lackadaisical. Every time you train, it is potentially your last opportunity to practice before the unthinkable happens. Make every session count.

Since every session might be your last, you have two responsibilities to yourself when you train:

Firstly, don’t waste a single opportunity for improvement. Don’t just go through the motions, instead put 100% of your concentration and focus into every repetition you practice. If you can only set aside a limited amount of time to train, then make every second count. Wasting time is fine when you are doing something of limited importance – training to defend yourself does not fall in that category.

Secondly, don’t let fatigue or discomfort slow you down or stop you. Whenever you hit that wall of fatigue or maybe even pain, take this an opportunity to build mental toughness. No one ever got anywhere by taking it easy in life. Work through the discomfort and fatigue and keep pushing on.

When it really matters, you won’t have the opportunity to stop for a breather or to go half as hard. Not only should every training session be like the last you’ll ever have, but every single repetition should be like the last. There is only now.

When it gets tough, dig deep and keep going. You have only two options when the chips are down: succeed or fail. Don’t take the second option.

I’m Not Here To Tell You What You Want To Hear

Photo by Lisa Padilla

I’m starting to realize something that scares me. Of all the millions of gun owners, and millions of martial artists, how many of us really train with the right mindset? Think about the instructors out there, whether the high-speed low drag types or the 27th degree grand master of whatever. Many of these instructors are out there teaching what people want to hear instead of what they need to hear. After all, giving people what they want is what pays, and money talks.

Most of the world seems fixated on the idea that everything will turn out alright if you do a certain dance or have some special tool. Take a bad-ass self-defense course and you’ll become so awesome that bad guys are going to start falling out of windows just because you looked at them. You too can dodge bullets if you take the right class and get the right ‘training’.

Martial artists are the same way. If someone grabs your wrist (clearly not punching you in the face with the other) all you need to do is turn this way slightly… look how easy that is. Not only does your attacker stop what he is doing, but he pulls out a cell phone to call the police and confess.

All of this stuff is bullshit. And I have a feeling most of you reading this agree if you take your training seriously.  The real world isn’t all candy canes and gum drops.

Yet people eat this stuff up. Shooters are constantly looking for the perfect piece of equipment for an across the board solution. They seek classes taught by “experts” that will give them the entire set of skills needed to survive in any situation. No other training required – who has the time?

The only reason I can think of as to why people fall for the “too good to be true” is that this is what they want to hear. People don’t want to know that the world is a scary place. They don’t want to hear that they are not prepared, or their skills are insufficient. They don’t want to know that thousands of hours of training could still result in some crack-head putting a round in you, not because he’s a bad ass, but because you are that unlucky. Even high-speed low drag operators can get shot.

When you look at the ‘training’ world this way, it’s frightening. Why would you want to think about the fact that you are vulnerable? Human life is relatively fragile, but we all want to be indestructible. With the right tools and training, no one can hurt us right?

This mindset may help people if life is good and we don’t end up in a life-threatening situation. But this same mindset will get you killed if you do end up there. Sure there are plenty of cases where some lucky guy with a dusty shotgun he has yet to fire wins the day and becomes a hero, but do you really want to rely on luck?

I would rather train hard every day. Blood, sweat, and tears won’t make you indestructible. But if you train hard, and focus on making your training as bullet proof as you can, you MIGHT have a chance. I’d rather take the realistic chance than the unrealistic guarantee any day.

I hope you would too.

Mission Statement

Today’s post marks the 50th post on this blog since I launched it back in December. While this isn’t a huge milestone by any means, I thought it would be a good time to refocus and define a mission statement. While this is sort of a line in the sand, my mission will always be changing as I learn about you (my readers) and what you are really looking for. Ultimately my mission is to serve my readers.

My mission

It is my mission with Indestructible Training to bring awareness to training. Too many people actively decide not to train because they have put their faith in equipment and expect that is enough to protect them from anything. Others have inactively determined that they have no need to train because ‘it can’t happen to them’. Through my writing and related activities I would like to convince these individuals that they do need to train if they want to be prepared for the dangers in the world.

It is my mission with Indestructible Training to motivate the casual student to become a serious student. To take the individual who might carry a firearm and practice once or twice a year and help them train more regularly and with better effect. To take the casual martial artist who might train purely for pleasure or competition and add a seriousness to their training so they focus on the real world and applying their skills to these scenarios.

It is my mission with Indestructible Training to support the serious student and help them get more from their training. To help them decide which drills and exercises to perform. To assist in developing training plans. To inform them about training mindset.

It is my mission with Indestructible Training to provide motivation, tips, tools, and information to anyone who might train and wants to take their training to the next level. I recognize that not everyone will want to spend every waking moment training, so I want to help make everyone’s training, whether an hour a year or 10 hours a day, as effective as possible.

It is my mission with Indestructible Training to help improve my readers’ ability to survive violent confrontation through improving their training. I recognize that training in itself does not make someone indestructible, but by making training well-rounded and properly orchestrated, the chances of survival can be greatly increased.

Finally, it is my mission with Indestructible Training to help you! To answer your questions, to help start and continue the discussion about what you need to improve your training.

What It Means To Be Indestructible

When I first set out to put together this blog I spent a decent amount of time thinking about what I might call it. One theme that kept coming back to the forefront of my thoughts was that of being indestructible.

I’m willing to bet that 9 out of 10 of you at some point have fantasized about being like our favorite heroes from the movies. Who wouldn’t want to have the skills and instincts of characters like Jason Bourne, Bryan Mills, Bruce Wayne, or Frank Castle? Well if you won’t admit it, then I will. What makes these individuals so great? They rarely make mistakes. They solve problems with extreme prejudice and have a very particular set of skills.

Why wouldn’t you want to have the qualities that make these fictional characters indestructible? I can’t answer that. But I might be able to help you to figure out what separates these individuals from you and I. What separates the stratum of indestructibles from the rest of us? Great choreography.


If you could see the future and add special effects you too could be indestructible.

The other difference is that these characters, in their fictional worlds, have all invested great amounts of time into their training. Their training has cemented the skills that make what they do possible. This eliminates the need to think about the basics and allows them to consciously focus on solving the problem at hand. Effectively, their training becomes Indestructible. We are not indestructible, nor can we ever be. But we can always strive for the closest approximation.

“The beginner trains until he gets it right, the expert trains until he cannot get it wrong.”

I’m sure you’ve heard some variation of this quote. Train your skills until they are automatic. Make your training solid so it cannot fail. One of the surest paths to defeat is to have your training fall apart when you really need it. When your training is indestructible then you will be as close to indestructible as you can get.

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