Claude Werner writes in the 26 June 2012 edition of The Tactical Wire regardign how much training people actually need. He argues that it’s not as much as we in the “pro training” community might advocate:
Still, every year hundreds of thousands of people, who have had no training whatsoever and who seldom practice, successfully defend themselves with firearms, often small ones, from villains intending them harm. Accordingly the statement: “But you need to actually train with said gun and practice often if you expect to save your life with it one day” isn’t necessarily true. In fact, there’s not much real evidence to back up that kind of statement at all.
Claude’s analysis of why we have this skewed perception:
The essence of the problem is that those of us who study mortal combat professionally have constructed a fusion of the worst possible law enforcement and military incidents. The resulting amalgamated adversary is an extremely formidable boogeyman who a T-1000 Terminator would have difficulty defeating. Actually finding a criminal who remotely resembles that boogeyman is quite a different matter.
He’s right on that point. I think this is in part due to the fact we don’t always have reports of incidents. Police don’t record non-events. The newspaper doesn’t report non-events. Example: I know someone who has to pull his vehicle over to handle a phone call and some paper shuffling. While sitting on the side of the road, a vagrant emerged and approached the truck. My friend had his mental alarm bells going off, so he rolled out of the door with his gun drawn. The vagrant stopped, postured a bit, then left. Did anyone other than my friend’s friends hear about this incident? And it’s not like the vagrant was searching for Sarah Connor.
But if I may toot the KR Training horn a bit, this is one thing I’ve always appreciated about Karl’s approach.
Many, perhaps most, criminals are capable of committing the most unspeakable acts against pliant victims. Once defensive tools come into play, the criminal’s motivation tends to flag quite rapidly. Economically based criminals are in the business of victimization not fighting. As soon as a gun comes out, it’s an obvious clue that the victimization has gone sour and turned into a fight. Not good from the criminal’s point of view. The most common response is to point to their watch – “Oh, look at the time. Have to go now.” Actual gunfire makes the souring of the process even more evident.
This is what we know, and this is what we teach. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard Tom Hogel bring up the “oh, look at the time, I just remembered I have a dentist appointment” line. KR Training strives to bring reality to the table by looking at as much data as we can, not just further the hunt for Sarah Connor.
It’s an odd statement coming from someone who makes his living doing firearms training, but, as I see it, the NEED for training and pistols whose caliber begins with 4 is much overblown. And often what is taught is of questionable relevance to the needs of a mainstream person. If we in the community want to see more people get trained, we need to adopt a “less is more” philosophy and make our training relevant to the mainstream’s needs and resource constraints.
Here’s where I think we need to look at Claude’s words carefully.
Is much of the training overblown? I think so. Look at endless YouTube videos of people visiting training schools. Look at the things being taught. Is it really Red Dawn? Is there really a worry about zombie apocalypse? Many tools and techniques aren’t NEEDED for someone to defend themselves successfully. But I’d also agree that “what’s need got to do with it?” because if you want to learn as much as possible, that’s fine. The only reason I’ve wanted to learn long range “sniper” shooting was for long-range hunting, like up in the mountains where maybe I’d have to take a 300+ yard shot. But who knows if someday that might be relevant in other contexts.
But don’t let Claude’s words fool you. He’s not advocating NO training. What he’s advocating is the training community looking at what we’re teaching and ensuring it’s relevant and meaningful. Again on the KR Training front here, I like how Karl created a graduated curriculum, each class rather focused on one or just a few important concepts, and ensuring the most important things are covered first. For example, Defensive Pistol Skills 1 works on the basics of “gunfighting” like getting fast accurate hits from 0-5 yards and drawing from concealment. Reloads are just not that important at that level and most people aren’t going to need to reload in a fight. But reloads are discussed in DPS2.
How much training do you need? Probably more than you think, but probably less than some might have you believe.