In the video below, Tier 1 Citizen admits that “there’s nothing ‘real world’ about the training environment.” That said, the gun guru defends high-speed, low-drag instruction as “stress inoculation.” I suppose that’s true. But what’s also true . . .

Is that [well-structured] force-on-force training is the best “real world” armed self-defense instruction money can buy. IMHO.

FoF is expensive and not entirely realistic. For one thing, all the protective gear doesn’t allow participants to read facial expressions (key to communication). For another, no one gets killed (hopefully), so the stakes aren’t that high.

Anyway, assuming you’ve had armed self-defense training, how valuable was that instruction for a ‘real world’ scenario? Is there any way to measure that?

42 Responses to Question of the Day: How ‘Real World’ is Your Gun Training?

    • Exactly right. I’m just playing, and that’s the way I like it.

      Anybody who wants to spend hundreds or thousands on FoF-based training can do it if that’s how they want to play. I’ll be out in the boonies playing the way that’s funnest for me (and bonus: range time is free).

    • Joe R, when ( if ) one of those live rounds deflates your head like a balloon then you can come back to TTAG and brag about it….oh wait, you’d be dead. Aw shucks. 🤢

  1. My training is way better than the grandma or little girl featured in a gun hero of the day who fires a gun for the first time killing an intruder.

    My training is a static range that costs $100 a year plus ammo.

    • Texas liar is calling out someone who actually used force against another person compare to his simulated training? You have no clue what some of these people did with training before they had their violent encounter, which will be more traumatic that any training you will have. Assume is a lawyers best defense because all lawyers are liars and all liars are lawyers.

      $100? Must be the best of the best training for that high roller.

      • The question is “how valuable was that instruction for a ‘real world’ scenario? Is there any way to measure that?” My point is that there are a ton of people who don’t even go to the range that stop violent attacks, and anything beyond nothing is puts one ahead of those people who successfully defended themselves with no training or even practice.

        There was recently a story about a woman who googled how to use her son’s rifle after her ex said he was coming over. She shot him twice and killed him. The ex’s sister was sure he would have killed the woman and her young daughter.

        I’ll be waiting for you to call Howdy1 a liar for his comment. Or John Boch for his.

        • There is no quantitative way to measure training, but if you are to somehow inclined to place a value on training, especially if based upon scenarios of real prior incidents, you can measure it as “did you learn something that may help you?” Yes or no.

          Your grammar is odd, it seems to me that auto-correct is interfering with your typing. Anything beyond nothing is valuable (I agree!) but may not be worth more to those who successfully defended themself with no training (although researching online is training).

          Boch is correct with how little training comment, but his double-negative sentence brings he rest of his statement into question.

          How would howdy be a liar? He is referencing a statement made by another and bringing questions to its validity. The only thing I don’t like is the use of Wikipedia; some stuff has found to be inaccurate on that sight and people regularly put in bad information to mess with others.

        • There is no quantitative way to measure training, but if you are to somehow inclined to place a value on training, especially if based upon scenarios of real prior incidents, you can measure it as “did you learn something that may help you?” Yes or no.

          Your grammar is odd, it seems to me that auto-correct is interfering with your typing. Anything beyond nothing is valuable (I agree!) but may not be worth more to those who successfully defended themself with no training (although researching online is training).

          Boch is correct with how little training comment, but his double-negative sentence brings he rest of his statement into question.

          How would howdy be a liar? He is referencing a statement made by another and bringing questions to its validity. The only thing I don’t like is the use of Wikipedia; some stuff has found to be inaccurate on that sight and people regularly put in bad information to mess with others.

  2. its hard to convince someone that their training method is flawed. i learned a lot from doing IDPA and IPSC. IPSC can definitely teach your some training scars but so can IDPA as well. There is a video of an officer in a gun fight and he starts policing his brass in the middle of the gun fight, definitely learned that from IDPA LOL. but IPSC does kinda teach you to just stand in the open so they both have pro’s and con’s when it comes to using those are your only “real world” training. Most of us simply just can not afford a firearms combat training class. maybe now that the wife is out of school and working that will change for me at least. im so ready to not be the only source of income. I have been wanting to take one for years now.

    • All training is inherently “flawed” and leaves negative scars, because it isnt “real” and your brain knows it. The real problem with training lies in relying too heavily on one kind of training (i.e. your “policing brass” example). Its why our police and military rely on a broad spectrum of training to include: static line KD ranges, UD movement ranges, force on force, FATS (expensive video games), competition, etc. We recognize these people as veing in a “profession of arms” and this is the best they could come up with that money can buy….. you get a very broad cross section of people of course, so this training will benefit different people differently (i.e. tx lawyers comments above). But this is the best they’ve come up with so far.

  3. LOL. Most folks have had precious little formal training. They don’t even know what they don’t know.

    It’s not all bad though. Hollyweird trains the bad guys, so they are even less capable than the average Joe Sixpack.

  4. No training is complete unless your targets have been dressed in skinny jeans and had mechanical devices added that throw Molotovs, bricks and scream “You’re a racist Nazi piece of shit!” at you while a full scale replica of Wolf Blitzer drones on about how the attacks in Spain are copycatting Charlottesville.

    I do my best. I recently added speakers to my outdoor range with a loop of various antifa chants like “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Nazi scumbags gotta go!”. Next I’ll pay a bunch of off duty cops to stand around behind me and not do fuck all!

  5. If you watch the Active Self Protection YouTube channel the first person to get shots on target usually wins. I have started practicing my draw more and also multiple targets. I would love to do some FoF training but it is insanely expensive.

    • Recognizing threat indicators (getting a jump on the buzzer so to speak) and utilizing cover (limiting the other guy’s abiliity to put shots on target first) go a long way to winning too…. in a gun fight always cheat and always win my friend.

  6. Is full-on force-on-force “realistic” training really necessary?

    How much training did the guy who shot the 7/11 robber have? What about the old lady who shot the guy beating her door in?

    Seriously, how many “trained” people have had to shoot a dude robbing a 7/11?

    • Firearms training is just a hobby. No different than kayaking or mountain biking, which are my hobbies.

  7. Depends a great deal on the “real life” going on around you. One size does not fit all. Where I live, I’m much more apt to need to shoot a rattlesnake than a mugger. IDPA doesn’t seem to address that very well.

    Of course, knowing how to use the gun well is probably only about 10% of what you need to learn and train for. Three priorities (not necessarily in any order): Situational awareness, knowing how and when to avoid confrontation/de escalating a confrontation when possible, and being willing and able to do whatever is NECESSARY to survive when all else fails.

    If you don’t prepare for those, it won’t matter how well you can shoot.

  8. Commenters are right that training is expensive – went to a gun show recently and some training company was there and said a couple days of their training was only $500 plus the shooter had to supply 600 rounds of ammo (and probably pay for travel and a hotel room at the site). That would deter a lot of people (including me).

    One can have all the training in the world, but Joe R. is right about the lack of incoming rounds. One thing I learned in Vietnam was that no combat action ever goes as planned (when it WAS planned and not just reactive) once it starts. As has often been said, once the rounds start flying, all combat planning is invalid. I presume that would be true in an individual self-defense encounter, too – no amount of training could prepare a person for all possible contingencies or the “buck fever” response. In my view, the most valuable thing training does is to hone the motor responses and instincts, so that one doesn’t have to think about that stuff when the SHTF.

  9. RF has pointed to a wikipedia article, in the past, stating the vast majority of defensive firearm uses were by those with little to no training.

    Training is great. What do you think the actual percentage of all gun owners that have training? What about the percentage of those defensive uses that had training?

  10. Twice I have written to gun mags regarding FoF versus “all guns are always loaded”. Neither have been published.

    I have thrice done FoF as part of live fire classes. Frankly, it’s as real as I would like my life to get (although I’m mentally prepared for the real thing (I hope)).

    Soooooo, how do people feel about facing real handguns (albeit modified and double-checked) in Force on Force?

  11. IMO, IDPA simply provides best bang for the buck in self defense (pun intended). Yeah, I know it is a game. Combine it with weekly range time punching some paper and a little dry fire practice, you have a reasonable rout for the average person to go that is very affordable. After all, shooting skills are perishable, you need the routine practice to maintain your skills and your mindset.

    • Invigorating is a nice way to put it. Hell, I shit myself. No lie. I was scared. Wanted to scream like a little girl. Instead, I shot back. Then I got pissed. Shot back lots more. Got drug back to helo to get taken outta the fight. Had the nickname ‘Stinky’ for years. Fun Times.

    • Yes. Invigorating. Surprising. Terrifying. Nothing in the world like the feelings you experience after the first time.

  12. I think that any kind of gun game that helps you learn how to quickly bring your gun up on a target is a great place to start. I like USPSA but IDPA is a lot of the same.

  13. One good aspect of FoF is the gloves and face mask and bulky cloths mimics the effects of fight or flight on human bodies. The gloves and cloths limit your feeling and the mask gives artificial tunnel vision and breathing difficulties.

  14. most civilian gunfights are defensive and not offensive in nature, one thing about a fire fight is it all goes south in a hurry
    there are so many permutations of possible scenarios that you cannot possibly train on each and everyone!
    Best I can do is find my gun, make it function and reload under stress with an adrenaline dump, find cover and or concealment and know he difference, beat feet ASAP. if I can

  15. What if gun “training” was like driving to and from work everyday. All the dangerous and crazy s#it you see and or have to avoid in order to keep you and your vehicle in one piece and get safely from point A to point B and back again.

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