In the early years of our classes I would get frustrated at the time versus content ratio. I had so much information to cover; it wasn’t just a matter of covering the basics, we wanted to cover contingencies as well. What I learned early on was there was no way to cover all that material in a 2-day or 3-day class to the level we were happy with. Call us merciless slave drivers or perfectionist, it just wasn’t meeting our objectives. It was at that point we took a look at what made up a competent gunfighter; someone who had no defeciets. Someone that was so well rounded they were one step ahead of the bad guy. The results were the creation of what we call the “Core Skills” that make up the total package.
Usually when we bring up the Core Skills folks want to know what they are, well they vary from weapon system, mission and current skill. Some examples would be pretty obvious such as marksmanship, drawstroke and reloads, some others are strong hand only, multiple threats and movement. The other problem we ran into was folks who want to jump ahead or bypass some of the Core Skills. While you can, you run the risk of failing to create the most reliable system or worse overlooking something. We have found the most success by using a progressive approach on top of saturation training. So, the first is a logical approach towards learning and the later is developing at least proficiency if not mastery before moving to the next skill. It’s no secret; but it works.
Everybody wants to be a rock star, they see themselves through their ego and not reality. The biggest example of this is folks who practice only what they are good at and not what they suck at. Then there is the real problem, which is knowing what you are good at and knowing what you want to improve. Without valid assessment tools you find yourself spinning your wheels on truly reaching your potential. Some folks are happy with their performance, others are more inclined to push themselves to achieve more an more.
The other problem we see is folks who play the odds, they will use statistics to defend their failure to train. We see this a lot more lately and to the point where folks can develop a false sense of security. The fact remains you cannot predict with 100% accuracy where your gunfight will occur; but yet folks have developed entire training systems based off this notion. There is no easy way to excel, if there were then everyone would be a Navy SEAL or Army Special Forces/Rangers. God given talent will only get you so far, after that the pool is divided into those who have the will to train harder, longer and with greater intensity.
The Core Skills defines the type of gunfighter who finds himself in a situation where he says, “I got this” versus “damn, I wish I had practiced that.” It really boils down to that and you can come up with all sorts of excuses as to why you may avoid it, but in the end what are you willing to do to be the total package.