Publisher’s Note: John has penned an important reminder about getting the basics down cold and adapting to changing social norms and tactical methodologies that are relevant to the fight for freedom today.
The “gray man” profile is becoming increasingly important as governments around the world leverage surveillance technology to “protect” the tax cattle on their plantations. Your orientation on protective kit is your business but the more sublime and blended the equipment, the more likely your choices in a bad actor scenario will be expanded instead of limited due to your opting to be tacticool.
Sacred cows make the best burgers. Enjoy. -BB
The dogma bubble that surrounds factions of the Survival/Threeper movement (that actually trains) is a thing. This is a negative that must be fought as fervently as the Alt-Righter who wants to supposedly go toe-to-toe with the local chapter of Antifascistisk Aktion over whether dear Emperor Trump represents the fascist take over of America or not.
Much of this is a result of what we can call institutional inbreeding or inertia. By this I mean that without any outside frame of reference for things like ‘tactical training,’ we are selling ourselves short due to the limited exposure. Without a healthy appetite for learning and a passion for the continual search for knowledge, people do not progress. They stalemate or worse, they retrogress. In practical terms we fail to be the best we can be yet we convince ourselves we are studs.
This phenomenon can be seen all through out both the mainstream firearms training culture and the Threeper subset in particular. People take instruction by one person or company and it ends there. Or they have one ‘expert’ they go to for everything. They have literally ‘taken that class’ and that is the end of it. Practice afterwards is usually minimal if at all. Some even feel that taking one weekend class on a certain set of tactics actually makes them a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and fit to hop on the next Foreign Internal Defense mission and train up “Indigs.” They need nothing more. That is all they need to know. They have no outside frame of reference to even know if the instruction was great, bad, mediocre, or complete Derp that will get you “kilt in da streets.”
I’ve heard a great analogy on why we need to constantly seek new knowledge and leverage the experiences, skills, techniques, mindset and training methodology of others. Imagine in ones dogma bubble they only drink coffee. That is all they get and it’s all they know. They do not nourish their body with a gallon of pure spring water per day. They’ll never have a glass of cold milk. They’ll never know the taste of ice cold Gatorade on a hot day or what a sip of Apple Brandy made at a remote spring in the Mountains tastes like. They never empty their cup of coffee to enjoy any of the other varieties of beverage. The blinders will never be removed unless they empty their glass some time and fill it up with something else.
World-class musicians, chefs or competition shooters did not get where they are because they only have one influence. They did not just learn one way and end there. They constantly sought the newest and freshest techniques and methods to make them better.
Some folks think because they took a class from instructor X that they can cross that skill off the list of things they need to learn. Often you hear, “well smarty pants, what exactly can teacher X show me that instructor Y hasn’t already?” or “why should we take A’s class when we have B, its all the same thing.” This shows a profound lack of understanding of the training world and learning in general. Often Y or B in the examples above are mediocre sources of information or have a particularly narrow outlook on certain issues either due to being sheltered themselves or because of their background. Such as a military guy only knowing things from that perspective, and has no idea about the legalities surrounding use of force in the states.
There is no one expert on anything. At the risk of sounding like a good little communist, I do not think everyone has a piece of the training pie, but I do think nearly all reputable sources of information and SME’s do. Each vetted source of info may present new information, techniques or material differently that resonates with you and creates an instant ‘ah ha!’ moment for you. And you’ll probably never know it till you actually experience it.
I recently attended a Frank Proctor/Way of the Gun class. He changed a significant portion of my shooting technique in just a weekend class. If I were close-minded and had ‘already taken that class’ mentally, I wouldn’t have learned the recoil management techniques he is famous for. After falling apart on the first shooting on the move exercise, I never would of gotten his expertise on what I was doing wrong and how I needed to fix it. He wouldn’t have revolutionized the speed at which I can put rounds on target by adjusting how I view my sight package and harnessing my subconscious mind and applying it to shooting fundamentals.
Yet, Proctor doesn’t have all the answers. If I want to learn to fight with a pistol around a vehicle efficiently or learn to defend myself in the 0-5 feet gunfight, he isn’t the guy. But there are other SME’s for that like the guys in the Shivworks Collective for close range self defense. Centrifuge Training, Talon Defense, Sage Dynamics and Guerrilla Approach would show you how to fight from a vehicle. (Don’t start with the ‘pillars aren’t cover!’ vs. ‘get off the X’ vehicle tactics schools. Save it for another venue)
If we are trapped in the dogma bubble and only follow a cult of personality around or only can access certain Anointed One’s to get information from in our training network, we do not get all the information we need. Especially relevant to the dooms-dayers out there; without an outside perspective, we may not even know that we are more likely to get into a gun fight on the way home from work in a bad neighborhood or in our houses than to get attacked by a column of “Norks” while out on a greenside patrol. (Civilians: raise your hands if you have had to conduct a combat patrol in real life that was not in a training environment. Go ahead, I’ll wait) This dogma bubble actually subverts one’s level of competence because you simply don’t know, what you don’t know.