Gun Fighting is a Skill That Requires More Training, Not More Information - ITS Tactical
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Gun Fighting is a Skill That Requires More Training, Not More Information

By Chris Sajnog

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Please join us in welcoming back former Navy SEAL and current Director of Training at  Center Mass Group, Chris Sajnog as a contributor on ITS Tactical.

As a retired Navy SEAL and Director of Training at Center Mass Group, I’ve been around firearms for most of my life. During that time I’ve seen lots of “new” shooting techniques come and go; some good and some not so good. One thing that’s never changed, is what it takes to be a great gunfighter, hands on training.

Training at the range

Whenever people ask me how they can shoot like a Navy SEAL, I always say the same thing: dry fire, lots and LOTS of dry fire. I never mention any particular technique or any of the well known  fundamentals of marksmanship. Nope, what you need to do is train. Sure there are plenty of great little tricks out there and I’m always trying to acquire new tools for my toolbox (actually, not to brag but I’ve got more of a tool shed than a box), but no matter what skill or technique I’m working on, I’m working.

Watch This!

As we push on into the information age, the way many people view what is considered “training” is changing. You see, I’m noticing a disturbing trend lately when I talk to people about firearms training. I’m finding many are no longer willing to put in the hard work necessary to learn the art of warfare, since it would be much easier to just buy the latest training book or video. Then all they have to do is kick back on the couch with a few cool-ones and train!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got no beef with getting more information or learning how to do something through a shooting book or video, and there are some great ones out there but the caveat is, once you’ve got the information, you need to use it. Don’t just sit there like a wallflower, skin that smoke wagon and do a little ballet with that boom-stick.

I Don’t Have Time For That!

Of course this new non-training trend is not exclusive to firearms training. I became a CrossFit instructor a few years back and ever since then I have friends and family asking me to put together workout routines for them. It usually goes something like this:

“Hey Chris, I’d like to have a good workout routine and was hoping you could design a two-a-day, six-day-a-week hardcore program.”

Are you working out at all now?

“No, I’ve been pretty busy.”

OK, I’ll make you a deal. If you can workout 30-minutes a day, 3-days a week for one month, I’ll design you a custom program.

To this day I have not designed a single workout program for any of those people.

“Education is not the piling on of learning, information, data, facts, skills, or abilities – that’s training or instruction – but is rather making visible what is hidden as a seed.”

~ Thomas More

Informed Dissent

So what does this mean for you? Well, if your training is already as good as you want it to be, then you don’t need to do anything. But if you want to be better and you’re just sitting around waiting for the next “Dyno-Reflexive Combat-Carbine” video to come out so you can improve your ninja skills, it means you should just take the information you’ve already received from the first video (or book) to the range and see where your skill level is.

Milk the knowledge you already have for all it’s worth and if you get to a point where your training is becoming stagnant, hop back online and order away! But if you’re hammering the basics and really working to be the weapon and not a tool, then this journey in self-mastery will not soon end.

Even when you get to the point that you’ve mastered the basics, just remember that advanced shooting is just the basics done smoother and faster (and the video costs an extra $34.95).

Shoot for the Stars

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) said, “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” I interpret this to (loosely) mean that you can’t learn how to shoot by just watching more training videos or reading more shooting books but that you should go to the range and shoot if you want to get better. I think if ol’ G.G. were alive today he would say (with a heavy Italian accent), “Gun fighting is a skill that requires more training, not more information.”

Galileo didn’t discover the Milky Way by watching videos or reading books, so what’s your range plan? Post how you train in the comments below, then get to the range and shoot for the stars!

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Chris is a former Navy SEAL and the Director of Training for  Center Mass Group, which was founded by two retired Navy SEAL Instructors. Giving people the experience of being trained by the most elite combat unit in the world, Chris is currently a Maritime-Counter-Terrorism and advanced marksmanship Instructor who has trained DOD, DHS, FBI, CIA and multiple foreign allies in all aspects of combat weapons handling, marksmanship and Maritime Operations.

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