“If you can’t stop the average dude from raping you in the shower, the last thing you need is a Carbine Class.”
In Civilian self-defense training courses you often have certain trainers that require a “pre-requisite or “pre-req”” of certain courses before you take a certain class. For example, before you take an ADVANCED Handgun Course, you might be required to take BASIC Handgun, etc. This is to ensure you have the rudimentary basics down before moving on to a more advanced skill set. This also, more importantly, ensures both the safety of the student and the instructor, but also creates a FOUNDATIONAL “BUILDING BLOCK” concept of learning. It is a solid concept and has been used in Academia worldwide since time immemorial.
Unfortunately, for the most part, it is not being followed in modern civilian self-defense training today. What is being followed is men and women who are NOT establishing a COMBATIVE base of skills to build upon; or in layman’s terms, they have ABSOLUTELY ZERO skills when it comes to defending themselves empty-handed. But instead of trying to rectify that, they are skipping it and moving directly into FIREARMS related skills thinking one supersedes the other. This is a gross misunderstanding of Combative Martial Concepts and is not CONDUCIVE to the student establishing a real-world effective martial skill set. Nor is it helpful in helping to create and maintain the Combative Mentality needed to survive in the increasingly violent world in which we live.
The key word (and FIRST word) in ANY type of FIGHT, whether it be GUNFIGHT, SWORDFIGHT or FISTFIGHT is (wait for it….) FIGHT!
What good are you if you know how to shoot nice tight little groups on a piece of paper but don’t have the cardio conditioning to fight off an attacker when he jams up your gun or fouls your draw? What good are you after 20 seconds into a clinch you get gassed and a thug takes your knife or gun away and kills you with it?
This dangerously unrealistic ideal that having a G19 in an appendix holster and a Benchmade clipped in your pocket is the answer to your self-defense woes is a LIE!
Carrying a Handgun on your person is a start but is only the FIRST BABY STEP and is in no way the END of the journey! Go Deeper! Get out of your Comfort Zone! Find some type of empty hand training that suits you. I like Combatives and Krav Maga, others may like BJJ or Muay Thai; whatever floats your boat, just ensure the fighting style is about FIGHTING and not about COMPETITION. (This goes for firearm training as well!!)
Understanding the Combative Continuum
Combative skills are built, layer upon layer starting with empty hand and then progressing from there; stick, knife, firearm. If they are not built layer upon layer, you are not building your skills on a solid foundation, and sooner or later, you will come against a situation (ie PERSON) that will find that weak spot and exploit it and most likely in the process, injure or kill you. The CC is not just about getting ready for a fight, it is getting ready to fight in the most efficient way possible. Coach Bear Bryant said it this way:
“The WILL to WIN compares little with the WILL to PREPARE to WIN.”
By approaching any fighting system from the perspective of PREPARATION and EFFICIENCY, you are streamlining your training and helping ensure that in that day of trouble, your brain has to recall ONLY what it needs to KILL THE THREAT and SURVIVE. If any of these steps are skipped (ie to take that Advanced Carbine or Pistol Class for example) you will have built your foundational martial skills on sand and NOT on solid concrete, and sooner or later, your “house” will sink!
Since I started with a catchy quote, I will end with one too:
“The scars on your knuckles should ultimately teach you how to have callouses on your trigger finger.”
Let that one sink in and then go out and find a down-n-dirty Combatives and Force-on-Force class and pretty soon, after a few bruises, it will all click.