Problems with the Training Establishment – Raymond Dettinger

The same old problems exist in both the martial arts and firearms training. I always called it the “Training Establishment” setting up the rules and training lesson plans. These rules and lesson plan writers have their own methods of creating experts being certified with paper certificates.  The qualified experts teach others the same ole stuff passed down for a hundred years. Or, somebody just sets themselves up as an expert just for fun or whatever.

Let us take a look at how most firearms training is done. You shoot behind a barricade at 25, 15 and then 7 yards from your motionless paper target. If you get half your shots on paper, you are now “qualified” to protect yourself from a person behind you and going to hit you over the head with a brick.

Now, let’s talk about how real gunfights go down. Low light conditions, so there goes sight alignment. Firing distance is about a couple of 7 feet. One hand is usually used to fire with. An average of 3 shots are fired. Missing the target is common because of the adrenal stress problem. So, what does barricade training do for us when it does not match with street reality?

This is why modern pistol craft has to be multidisciplinary like the martial arts. No one shoe size fits all. Also, all of the upfront awareness and risk assessment skills should be taught before anybody picks up a gun. Also, legal, adrenal, aftermath should be taught before touching a gun. Guys, shooting is easy. People can accurately shoot targets blindfolded from 7 yards out if properly trained. Just think what they can do with their eyes open. We all know that we must understand how violence gets started in order to avoid it or prepare to shoot it out. The biggest point to firearms training is learning EMPTY HAND skills to avoid the first blow so you don’t get knocked out, disabled or killed right off. So a gun without empty hand skills is can be hazardous to your health.

When I started out learning all this in law enforcement, I wanted to learn only effective stuff. I could not find it. I went to local Karate Schools and the instructors all bragged about making their students to 50 knuckle pushups. I needed to know immediately how to handle people trying to kill me with a knife. I had to go the the old WWII manuals to learn. I am sorry that the martial arts could not have helped me at all during that time.  Reality is the best filter for BS methods.

There are the other problems of just what type of training do you need in self-defense with a gun? There are many styles of sport combat shooting like IPSC, PPC, Cowboy Action Shooting and a hundred more. These are sport combat competitions. The participants in them are good. However, they have $5,000 specially built handguns with special ammo usually given to them for free by gun companies. The problem is that these sport combat people sometimes think that their skill sets are also self-defense based on their firearms marksmanship skill which based on the process of shooting: Sight Alignment, Sight Picture, Trigger Squeeze, Breath Control and follow through.

These things may be hard to do in a dark alley when suddenly attacked by a gang out to hurt you. Believe me, you will not have the time or the rational to do them. Some schools sell the sexy military house clearing methods. These are ex-military guys trying to make some money by selling the sexy stuff in the name of self-defense. Clueless people flock to the previously mentioned instructors because they are “experts”. Indeed, they are experts in what they do, and they are darn good at it. Good for them.  But when they claim their methods are transferrable to street and home defense, things can get screwed up. Buyer beware as they say.

People must do their research to find good instruction but, like many things nowadays, it is hard to find professionals in any endeavor. Bullshit Artistry seems to be the thing now days.