Thoughts on Training: Guest Editorial by Dan Brady

I would like to see The Combative Mind Blog become a conduit for useful (not like much of the crap found on the gun forums) personal security information. In that vein, I would like to introduce Dan Brady, a former Marine, municipal police officer, deputy sheriff and now employee for the DOD. Dan is one of my students and I have selected him to be an instructor for Handgun Combatives courses when the enrollment is more than I can handle alone. Enjoy! -Dave Spaulding

Thoughts on Training
Dan Brady

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There's several versions of an old saying anyone reading this is familiar with; "Train like you fight, fight like you train." Or "Hard training makes for easy combat." Or even "Sweat more in training, bleed less in combat." There is some wisdom in these old saws. The principle being if you practice your skill at arms under adverse conditions with the weapons you actually use, when it comes time to spill blood your mind and body will be less likely fail you.
So why is it we refuse to do so? Time and again I go to a class and half the shooters there have OWB holstered 1911s, and are dressed from head to toe in 5.11 and Blackhawk. I ask them what they wear and carry to work and the answer is frequently, "A suit and a Glock 26." Or "Uniform, duty belt and Glock22." My all time favorite was a patrol rifle class not too long ago and a cop from another southern state I was next to on the line was the gear envy of every student there. Deluxe custom SBR with a suppressor, high end red dot optic, nice 1911 sidearm and Oh My God, the money this guy had sunk into his plate carrier, chest rack and "combat pants". I asked him if the walking gear display is what he used on duty. He said, "Nah man, we use Ruger Mini-14s and Glocks, but this is my class gear."
Now Im a firm believer in the right to pursue happiness, and if that is what made that guy happy, more power to him. For me, my current employer doesn't use rifles on patrol (yet) so I have spent a significant amount of time brushing up on my pump shotgun skills since that's my patrol weapon and what will potentially save my life or the life of a brother.
Class time, gear and ammo are pricey and everyone wants to have fun on the range but the truth needs to be told. If you are doing drills and going to class to practice life saving skills, Practice with the gear you use in your everyday life. Practice under less than ideal circumstances. If it rains on your range day, go anyway. If its snowed 3 feet before your match day, go anyway. Do a set of jumping jacks and a set of push ups before your next El Presidente drill or plate rack run. Yup its going to adversely affect your time on the drill. But I'm confident it will reflect in your real world abilities and increase your time on this planet.