Does attending a single class constitute training? What if the instructor is a high-speed low drag bad ass… is it training then? What if I take one class a year? Is that considered training? Personally, I don’t think so. By definition, sure, you are training every time you attend a class. But to me, training is not just about sitting in a room with linoleum tile and uncomfortable chairs. Getting solid instruction is a big piece of training yourself, but ultimately even a 24-hour 3-day course might not be enough to save your life . . .
Training is about more than getting instruction. If you want to truly be prepared for whatever comes your way, it’s what you do between classes that matters the most. Attending a class helps show you skills that you’ll need. The instructor helps you perfect and integrate those techniques and tactics into your skill set. When you go home it’s your job to perfect and maintain them.
If you want to get to Carnegie Hall, that means practice. And lots of it. We don’t all need to practice every day, but when push comes to shove the length of time since our last training session will matter more than the length of the training session itself.
You can get by attending only one class a year, but only if you are practicing on your own to keep your skills sharp. Training at least monthly is a realistic goal most shooters can work toward. Even if that just means dry firing for half an hour once a month. Even that much will help keep your skills fresh. Obviously training every day would be more beneficial, but we live in the real world where most people’s lives won’t allow that time of time commitment.
Practice is what will make your reaction to an assault resistant to the disastrous effects of stress. Practice is what will win the day when your life is on the line.
Getting good instruction is a great start, and I certainly recommend taking classes regularly. But if you don’t practice what you learn, then you are leaving to chance that you will be able to defend yourself or your family when it really matters.
If you liked this post, check out www.IndestructibleTraining.com, Nick Savery’s blog discussing integrating training across a variety of systems and platforms for the purposes of self-defense.