“You gotta train like you fight!” This vague phrase that gets so many worked up and causes us to go over the top at times. But, what does “training like you fight” really mean? Is it gear and equipment, or environment, or what?
In my personal and professional experience when people talk about training like you fight, they often mean wear a bunch of gear, and look “tacti-cool”. Going to the range to sling some lead wearing a leg rig, armor, and a helmet makes you look super cool, but do you wear that when you go to the grocery, or out for dinner? There is a time and place for such a load-out, but self-defense in public is not it.
Where else do some claim you have to “train like you fight”? How about in hand to hand defense? Oh yeah, I have heard too many times that you have to train like you fight when going hands on. Let me tell you something, I pity the poor soul that is on the receiving end of my “training” if we are going all out. I do not trade punches. Through extreme violence of action, I am going to do as much damage as needed to end the threat as quickly as possible. However, I spend time sparring, and working on my skills. This allows my muscles and mind to get used to the right movements, so when the time comes, I can go full-out and win the fight.
Ok, we have looked at a couple of examples of what people think “training like you fight” looks like. Now, let us look at what training like you fight should properly look like, shall we?
In order to understand how we can train for a fight, we have to learn what our fight will look like. It will likely be over in just a couple/few seconds, someone is probably going to be injured, and the threat will not announce it self and you will not have time to plan.
In order to prepare yourself for a real world threat in a safe training environment, there are some simple steps to be taken. This list is not exhaustive by any means, but, is a place to start. These steps are simple and anyone can do them.
- Mentally prepare yourself
- While driving to work you can perform mental rehearsals, learn more about that here. You have to get your mind in the right place for combat before you are in it.
- Put everything you have into your training, regardless of the topic (ie: hand to hand, knife, gun, etc.)
- Putting everything we have in our training is free, and will automatically up our game. I assure you, when your life depends on it, you will not be engaging haphazardly. Note: This does not mean go 100% on your training partner, this means engaging yourself in the training and giving it everything you have, every time.
- Train with the tools you will actually have on hand ( your concealed carry load out)
- When you are grocery shopping, what do you carry? A compact handgun, and an extra mag in your pocket? If so, train just like that, how fast can you get that mag out of your pocket? Learn your abilities and bottlenecks, then start removing bottle necks.
- Get good quality training.
- There are a lot of good trainers out there, find one, and get trained! Do your homework first to ensure they are certified and a good instructor, running good, modern tactics.
- Don’t waste your time on worthless drills, techniques, and popular Tacticool methods.
- For example; engaging a target with one or two shots, whipping the gun back to compressed ready, and whipping your head around, “scanning” for additional threats is a waste. You are building training scars into your training. Work the fundamentals, then start to add effective tactics.
The five points above are an outline, and they may take numerous different forms and combinations. We are all only have 24 hours in a day, between work, sleep, and life, we do not get as much time as we may like to train, we have to make the most out of our time and training.
What can we learn?
Training like you fight is a buzzword. If you are making the most of your effective training, you are preparing for the fight.
Not all “training” is created equal, some is a waste of time; don’t waste your time.
There is no way to account for every potentiality. Master the fundamentals and basic tactics, and they will give you the advantage in a fight.
Use the 5 tips above to improve your skills starting today!