Do Not Mistake Enthusiasm for Training for Motivation to Train

Rob Pincus |

Don’t mistake “enthusiasm for training” for “Motivation to Train”. Training can be fun. Many people attend training classes as a hobby. Some even consider a course a year with their buddies an annual vacation. Don’t be a hobbyist in the area of defensive skill development. It is great if you gain pleasure from knowing that you are better able to defend yourself or your family if you need to. But, if the only reason that you train is because you enjoy it, you will inevitably start compromising your training… you’ll start deferring to techniques that you perform best in the training environment, not the ones that would serve you best in a fight.

You might spend more time on the things you are already good at, possibly chasing a small improvement, instead of working on things you really should be improving. You’ll start rationalizing the deficits of gear that you like, instead of choosing gear that is best suited to your context of need. You’ll start attending training courses without regard for the consistency or integrity of the material, but simply to add another certificate to your collection. I’ve seen this with many students over the years. They will complete an intense two-day defensive shooting class, far more training than most people with CCW Permits will ever undertake, and then ask what other pistol courses they should consider taking! For the vast majority of people, they would be well served simply practicing the things that they learned in a Combat Focus® Shooting class for the rest of their lives and spending their limited training resources in classes covering other topics such as emergency medicine, unarmed combatants, home and family defense or the aftermath of a defensive gun use. Worse, far too many people who start out sincerely interested in learning defensive skills end up on a path that takes them into what I call “Fantasy Camp” courses, learning military type skills like “CQB” (Close Quarter Battle) or taking “Sniper” courses. Those types of things can be a lot of fun, but they don’t provide much practical value to someone carrying a 9mm pistol with them as they go about their daily lives with co-workers, family and friends.

Stay focused on learning and practicing defensive skills that you could apply in the context of a dynamic critical incident based on your life activities and environment. Shooting can be fun…but, training should be seen more as a worthwhile endeavor and practice is work that needs to be done to develop and maintain your skills.


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About Rob Pincus

Rob Pincus has been educating people about defensive shooting and related personal defense topics for over two decades.