30 Dec, 2014
As a trainer, I get a good bit of email and Facebook inquiries relating to what I offer in training, and why they should pay for the training offered, because “It’s available on youtube, or in a manual”. (Side note: If I post any AAR’s, they’re usually for a new class I’m offering, I don’t need to pat myself on the back by posting what people think about my training for every time I have a class, it get’s somewhat redundant.), I always advise them that although they might watch a video or read a book that good info can be gleaned from, getting it in person, from a QUALIFIED trainer (example: Taking rural small unit tactics training from a guy who has only ever done metro SWAT, is not what I’d call getting your moneys worth, that’s not a qualified, EXPERIENCED “instructor” in that skillset), gives you a more solid understanding of the fundamentals. There are a number of reasons for this:
1) You are shown a tactic or technique, and are able to see details that can be explained, and that isn’t always available in a video or book.
2) You are able to ask why it is performed that way.
3) You are able to ask about something you think might be effective (the “I saw it in a movie once.” question). An experienced instructor, generally speaking, can tell you if it will or will not work, and why it might be a noisy version of suicide.
4) I’ve heard the “You don’t know, what you don’t know” phrase a lot recently, well to add to that, here’s why I think you should take training, “You don’t know, what you do know.” By that I mean this. Most people that are willing to pay for training, have some common sense, right? There are things you know and experiences you’ve had in life that can be used as a way to help you understanding what you’re learning. This is why I always ask what the student’s background and occupation is. Here’s an example: A successful deer bow hunter will, in a crude way, understand principles of camouflage. Why? Because he’s used the practical application of that skill to bag a deer. Or this: A pilot understands how to read a aviation map, right? Sure he does. The key as an SUT instructor, is making that map “Down to earth REAL” to him. Until you make that terrain go from an “academic” understanding of what he’s seen on a map and flown over , to REAL “Foot Pounds”(copyright, patent pending, trademark MDT2014) because he’s walking it with a load on his back, and learning how to pick a good ambush site based on the terrain (developed from an initial map recon), he doesn’t really understand what he’s been looking at when he surveys a map, at least not from a combatant/defender’s point of view, but he still understands maps, and that’s a start.
5) Although meeting people of like mind, and networking with them is not what I’d say is a primary reason for taking certain types of training. The ability to network with people you know are serious (you’re serious, and they’re taking the same class as you, right?), can not be underestimated. I have met more quality, like-minded people while instructing (as a business owner) in the last 4 1/2 years, than all the time prior to that. I attribute it to this fact, everyone I meet in a course, is serious about their survival, and learning the skills necessary to advance their ability to do just that. They don’t pay lip service to it, they put their money where their mouth is, get down, get dirty, TRAIN and LEARN. In all seriousness, youtube and books, are just half measures, and anyone who has paid for decent instruction will tell you that.
Get out and train, do your PT (not some BS program geared towards a “physique”, but a practical exercise routine, designed to increase your endurance, and “real world” strength). Don’t make the sixth principle of patrolling “In all things, look cool” your mantra. Think “Tough” (farmer), not “Fluff” (the pretty boys), when it comes to training and PT. Figure out a routine you can do anywhere, even in the woods (that’s unless you are taking your bowflex, or free weights with you. What, you thought you didn’t need PT after SHTF?).
Don’t fall for the “You don’t need hands on training, just buy my DVD/ watch my YouTube channel, etc.”, You’re already good to go, ’cause you’re a ‘patriot’.”, or “You too can be a “commando” in three easy steps” crap. (On a side note,this just pisses me off, everyone knows what Commando’s were, and are. Those who want to downplay the history of the men, who were not half ass actors, but TRAINED, HARD ASS DOERS, don’t get it. They are trying to make out like commandos were the norm, not the exception, and anyone espousing this belief should be questioned about their true motivation, realistic understanding, and introspective ANALysis.) Can you be as hard as those guys? Sure! Do you need to be to do what needs to be done? No, but every little bit helps. Will you be, when the time comes? I doubt it, but it’s a great standard to shoot for, right? Giving yourself a “Highspeed” name/title/rank won’t save you when the hammer drops. What will save you is “what you know”, how well you know it (the goal is to make it second nature), the physical ability to do “what you know” well, and the HEART to give it your all, stay in the fight, and never give up!
The “What you know” is the point of this post. Don’t tell me you can’t afford training. I personally have cut costs in half for groups (see website), specifically because I know times are hard! I know others who are doing the same, and/or offering some courses (DTG) at very economical rates, so don’t give me the “I can’t afford your training, can you cut the cost.” BS, while your 50 lb. overweight ass is sipping a Starbucks venti cappuccino with extra whipped cream, eating a bag of Chips Ahoy (name brand of course), in your brand new Chevy Tahoe after picking up your $3,000 AR (that you just had a $1200 optic put on) from the gun shop. You know, the AR that you have no idea how to use (sorry, that’s right, you watched a video, right? My bad. True story BTW).
Here’s one more thought. As my friend Bergmann likes to say on his blog and forum, “SEAL’s are not Survivalists, and Survivalists are not SEAL’s.”. That simply means this. Are survivalists, commandos? No. Are commandos, Survivalists? In a very specific arena, they learn how to survive what they do for a living, but they are not Survivalists. A Survivalist needs to be a “Jack of all trades, and a master of some.”(generally, you want to try and master the “saving Life and Limb” category). The point is, you don’t need to be a commando to survive SHTF (Hell, you have to know a lot more than what they learn in the military, in a broad variety of topics. I can just imagine SEALs conducting a hydroponics class LOL). You will need more than militia/martial skills to survive SHTF. You will need to think like a Survivalist. What, are you just going to run from firefight to firefight? I think not, and if you believe that’s your destiny, you might want to set down the controller, and stop playing Modern Warfare 3 for a couple years.
Bottom line, what do you want? Do you want to be the guy who everyone says, “Damn, that guy sure had some awesome gear but was fatter than a prized swine!”, or “Remember that guy who showed up with the $5000, 17 lb. sniper rifle, with no clue how to use it, and couldn’t carry it a mile.”? This is what they’ll be saying posthumously about you, if you’re that guy. If you don’t have the wherewithal to train (Not just tactical training), or the intestinal fortitude to do the right kind of PT (Not just for tactical engagements) to enhance what you’ve trained in, don’t bother with the gear and weapons. Your survival will be based on dumb luck, or the pity of someone who took training and PT seriously. It’s that simple, I believe Clint Smith said this about the topic, “If you look like food, you will be eaten.” Refuse to be on the menu! Have a Happy New year my friends, I believe it’s gonna get real interesting.
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE