When you seek out training do you look for safe, familiar courses or something harder?
The only way to really know how you will do in a critical incident (other than surviving a real world experience) is through challenging training.
You have to test yourself against a known standard of performance then push yourself to improve. There are those who are almost ‘uninvolved’ with their own training. They seek out safe, fun, familiar courses so the payoff is just feeling good. They are actually fooling themselves and even worse, conditioning themselves to a standard of mediocre performance. If you always stay comfortable you will always have a false sense of your true ability.
Now I’m all about fun and enjoy casual shooting for recreation. But not when I want to grow my abilities through training. If you are enjoying yourself and performing easily in training, excelling – hearing and doing nothing unfamiliar – you are in the wrong class.
Remember defensive handgun skills are highly perishable. Good training done years ago may not grant immediately successful ability today.
Put another way, people often have the false idea that in a crisis they will somehow “rise to the occasion” as far as overcoming a violent threat. The truth that decades of collective experience reveals is very different. The facts are, you will “fall down” to the level of your training.
So training that’s difficult, complex, and a little over your head is what you should seek out. A course that bases its teaching off known standards that are proven to work. You should like what you’re doing of course, but always be a little concerned that without your best, most serious and concerned effort, you won’t pass.
The consequences of failure in a hard training course are a better awareness of your true abilities under stress. You may not like it, but you now know what you have to work on to improve. You still go home.
The decision to brush yourself off, check your ego, and then dedicate time and effort to do the work necessary to increase your ability- to be better prepared than you were…
That’s up to you.