The Battles of Lexington and Concord

I just spent the entire weekend with a few dozen of my fellow Americans shooting an Appleseed event in southern Arizona soaking up the history of April 19/1775 and sending lots of rounds downrange in a deliberate fashion to hone skills and allow men to “see what they are about”.  I know, I know, this the same date the media and usual suspects will obsess over the events at Waco and the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma.  It is not that I don’t mourn for the dead in both those events but this particular time and date 235 years has a much more direct correlation to our current pathos and misery.  We are here and suffering under this monstrous Federal leviathan because we forgot who we are.  The men and women who stood up to the mightiest military machine on planet Earth on that fated day in 1775 knew that liberty and freedom had a price.  They knew that their neighbors and friends and family did not exist off of each other in the Remora Nation we created here and now.  They were Porcupine Nation and proud of it.  Never once would they lift a finger against the mighty British empire unless they had been provoked and worse.  Theirs was a society of hard work and volunteerism and to quote Natty Bumpo when accused of being a loyal British subject in “Last of the Mohicans”: “Frankly, I ain’t subject to much at all” or Captain Reynolds in “Firefly”: “I ain’t runnin’ no more, I aim to misbehave.”

Take the time today to search the ‘net if you have History Deficit Disorder and educate yourself.  Lord knows you can even unplug the infernal device and pick up a book like “Paul Revere’s Ride” by David Hackett Fischer.  If you want to live free, stop just thinking about it.  Educate yourself, turn off the TV, turn a trade into a hobby or vice versa.

And BY GOD, learn to shoot straight.

You can own the finest weapons produced but if you can’t deliver consistent shots out to 500 meters, what good are they?  They are Liberty’s Teeth and need to be cared for as well as you may.  We have resisters in Afghanistan defending their homeland from foreign invaders (again) with rifles nearing a hundred years old and they are winning.  Those men know what they are about.  Do you? -BB

Date Wednesday, April 19, 1775
Weather ~55-65`F, winds calm
Location Lexington and Concord Massachusetts

Great Britain versus The US Colonies
Belligerents

Great Britain

Casualties Force: 1500
Killed: 73
Wounded: 174
Captured: 53

…these united States

Force: 3800
Killed: 49
Wounded: 39
Captured: 0
Overview

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were actually the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. They were fought on April 19, 1775, in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge, near Boston. The battles marked the outbreak of open armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in the mainland of British North America.

About 700 British Army regulars, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, were ordered to capture and destroy military supplies that were reportedly stored by the Massachusetts militia at Concord. Dr. Joseph Warren alerted the colonists of this. The Patriot colonists had received intelligence weeks before the expedition which warned of an impending British search, and had moved much, but not all, of the supplies to safety. They had also received details about British plans on the night before the battle, and information was rapidly supplied to the militia.

The first shots were fired just as the sun was rising at Lexington. The militia were outnumbered and fell back. Other British colonists, hours later at the North Bridge in Concord, fought and defeated three companies of the king’s troops. The outnumbered soldiers of the British Army fell back from the Minutemen after a pitched battle in open territory.

More Minutemen arrived soon thereafter and inflicted heavy damage on the British regulars as they marched back towards Boston. Upon returning to Lexington, Smith’s expedition was rescued by reinforcements under Hugh, Earl Percy. A combined force of fewer than 1,700 men marched back to Boston under heavy fire in a tactical withdrawal and eventually reached the safety of Charlestown.

The British failed to maintain the secrecy and speed required to conduct a successful strike into hostile territory, yet they did destroy some weapons and supplies. Most British regulars returned to Boston. The occupation of surrounding areas by the Massachusetts Militia that evening marked the beginning of the Siege of Boston.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his Concord Hymn described the first shot fired by the Patriots at the North Bridge as the “shot heard ’round the world”.

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Rascal Rebel Rancheros by Bill Buppert

Linda Traynham managed to get a a spot for me on W&G and I am honored.  She is a delightful and erudite Texan who corresponds with me regularly.  Take a gander at her scribblings on W&G for they are worth your attention.  I penned this a catharsis after most unpleasant general homeowners meeting for our Homeowners Association which is populated by the usual timid and statist souls who seem to people most of these organization.  Timid in the respect that they fear being left to their own devices and worst of all, don’t trust their neighbors with private property. -BB

Apr 15th, 2010 | By Bill Buppert | Category: Economics, Featured, Morning Whiskey

Most people want security in this world, not liberty.

~H.L. Mencken, Minority Report, 1956

Saturday night ended my tenure on the local Home Owners Association (HOA) Board as I was vigorously voted out of office. Not only did I lose but the President (I was the VP of the Board) took a few moments before the meeting’s official commencement to indecorously launch a personal ad hominem attack against me for sowing so much discontent including the barbs and arrows of instigation, burrowing in the organization and egads, even quoting from my blog; in fact, quoting from the text of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals which I have permanently posted as a warning to others. I am now stigmatized as an “agitator.” My riposte to this completely unexpected broadside was that I would not engage in personal attacks or handbag fights. I also reminded the audience that my original platform on which I was elected was rather clear at the outset: private property rights and secession. I had a reputation as the sole “Nay” vote for many of the initiatives of the HOA, for which I was held in low regard.

What, you may ask, is my offense? I wished to secede from the HOA and questioned its very existence.

In yet another quixotic enterprise of the sort I am known for, I thought I would work within the system to make it better. Two years earlier I had stood for the vacancy with a simple two tier platform. I would approve any architectural review where the adjoining neighbors agreed because private property had primacy over the HOA and I would press for secession of the Rascal Rancheros as we had come to be called. We are a band of nine lots with our own road connected to the northwestern perimeter of the HOA. The entire HOA is comprised of nine-acre minimum parcels in the country. We Rancheros are unanimous in thinking that the dues paid year after year for essentially being ignored and seeing them used on the other side where a greater number of homeowners live was an inglorious arrangement. We even had to pay for our own cattle-guard to replace the rickety gate at the entrance to the road where it met the main arterial. We were rather alarmed for our safety because there were incidents where large groups of illegals from our Southern neighbor would gather for pickup which meant that to get to our homes, we had to exit the vehicle and open the gate and then close it behind us, a potentially hazardous undertaking. Arizona is an open range state and we could not leave the road unattended by a barrier, as we were responsible for ensuring our cattle did not use our road to go for a stroll on the highway where a collision would have a bad ending for all parties involved.

The cattle guard enterprise provided a great demonstration project to me where through no coercion or from a directive on high, free Arizonans got together and pooled expenses and labor to benefit a group sharing the road. Now, mind you, this was done for a bridge project on the other side where most of the HOA lives and many volunteer hours were used but the lion’s share of the cost was borne from the collective (there is that word) coffers of the HOA for that project. This was not the case on our side; all the monies and labor were from the Rascal Rancheros above and beyond the tribute paid already. It was decided at the beginning of my tenure that we would not accept offers of help and money from the Association in spite of the squeaky wheel (me) being on the board. The thinking was that if they had ignored us for five years, if we accepted a scintilla of Caesar’s coin, they would haughtily proclaim that we were benefiting from the HOA membership. We were on our own and used the board membership to press for our rights. (Ed. I have two cattle guards myself, and here in Texas the welded pipe alone runs $4500. Bill says he managed for $3000 plus their considerable labor digging a trench, installing the cattle guard, and rebuilding the fence.)

On the Board, I have always offered a gentlemanly comportment even when we disagreed and I refused to participate in personal attacks. In the months preceding the General Meeting in April, the whisper campaigns began and the usual suspects would fill hours of leisure time damning or speculating on the nefarious intention of myself and any other Rancheros who would dare to ask The Question:

We wish to secede as friends and neighbors with no acrimony and simply pursue a neighborhood arrangement where private property is respected and no taxes/dues are levied and no liens are threatened for non-compliance with a quasi-government regime known as an HOA. Can we go now?

A hushed voice would mutter: “Why, that would be anarchy?” To which I would respond with a delighted “Yes, Indeed!”

The malice and ill temper we experienced was amazing to those unacquainted with these disagreements. There is nothing personal in this request and it is a question that has confronted mankind since time immemorial. It is the authorship of tribes and nation-states at the macro-level and the germination of divorces in Western culture. It is the genesis of self-determination and the individualistic notion of being left the hell alone. There was even one impassioned question at the annual meeting Saturday asking who would maintain the roads if the HOA were not there. As if, in the absence of a stick or fetter, everyone would simply helplessly watch their roads fall into disrepair as they gorged themselves on cheap carbohydrates and regretfully took their eyes off the television screen momentarily to gaze wistfully at the pothole-ridden wreck in front of their homes. Walter Block addresses this with alacrity in his pioneering work on roads. Over 60% of all unimproved roads in Kansas, for instance, are in private hands and maintained by the owners. Before we emigrated to Arizona from Idaho we had a quarter miles driveway we maintained to our home in the country. And, gasp, we had a part of it we shared with a neighbor which we maintained voluntarily. (Our quarter mile white gravel road requires very little maintenance, and I could buy a great deal of gravel for the $5,000 the local fellow wants to pave it. I had him make me a 75? long parking area instead. It cost half as much–ouch–but it is far more useful. This is a beautiful example of the difference between what governments and associations think the peasants should have and what we’re willing to pay for ourselves. Ed.)

Of course, all this speaks to a deeper philosophical issue within the problem: naked fear of freedom. No matter the government entity, whether the collectivist Forbin Project in DC or the local HOA, there is a real doubt that once the threats, liens and stukach pipeline to local authorities is somehow thwarted and people are free to dispose of and manipulate their private property as they wish, all hell will break loose and these former HOA enclaves will become festooned with lime green trailers, brothels, drug dens and huge endless junkyards (wait, are we talking about FEMA camps in New Orleans or government housing projects?) People left to their own devices without restrictions in place will do as they wish with their private property. The most laughable objection by the mandarins who insist the HOA is a positive force is the notion that if you signed on to join, why should you have recourse to leave? (Editor’s note: I have never seen a case where “membership” in an HOA was voluntary; “joining” is written in deed restrictions. A contract where only one party benefits is not valid.) With that logic there would be no divorce and we would still be a British colony. Sheer balderdash. Almost makes an HOA sound un-American but that brings me to my next point.

I submit that it is now viewed as un-American if you don’t submit to authority. The HOA debacle just brings the message home in a very personal way that those who cherish freedom and liberty are now the odd men out. You should have seen the look of sheer fright and terror on some of the faces in the audience when the possibility of secession or dissolution was entertained (albeit briefly).

The HOA president ironically hoisted her argument on the quote from Edmund Burke, which she had written on the whiteboard, to wit: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (Laughter from the Editor. On our side at least briefly, albeit unkowningly, was she?!) Burke wrote this in Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, 1770. In The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, edited by Henry Froude, Oxford University Press, 1909, Volume 2, page 83, He was speaking to the evils visited upon the citizens by government. One can only approximate an HOA as a quasi-governmental entity if it has the power to foreclose and take your house for failing to pay tribute. A curious quote indeed but even Burke saw this when used by politicians as a cheap ploy and a substitute for critical thinking.

It is an advantage to all narrow wisdom and narrow morals that their maxims have a plausible air; and, on a cursory view, appear equal to first principles. They are light and portable. They are as current as copper coin; and about as valuable. They serve equally the first capacities and the lowest; and they are, at least, as useful to the worst men as to the best. Of this stamp is the cant of not man, but measures; a sort of charm by which many people get loose from every honourable engagement.

Again, the primary cause of all the bitterness and calumny in my local HOA was the thought of loosening the fetters and letting private property owners make their own decisions absent approval of their putative betters on the Board. Again, hubris prevailed at the meeting when one of the outliers in the audience mentioned this was not a ballot as indicated but a straw poll. The response was that the sentiments of the paying members would be taken into account but the Board would do as they wished per the CC&Rs. (Your Editor again: man, that’s true representative government.) It goes to show that even at the smallest level, the excesses of collectivism and government corruption are a clear and present danger to those who simply wish to live free. L. Neil Smith made the observation that if a man has to be convinced to be free, why would he deserve it? Back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, if a man felt hemmed in or bothered by the ever encroaching government presence, he could head west but then we arrived at the Pacific Ocean and had nowhere to go, unless you set sail. (Ed.
Robert Heinlein: “When a civilization has grown to the point where ID is required, it is time to move on.”)

I think HOAs have become the monstrous and destructive entities they are because of the odious marriage with government which they embraced with a full measure of enthusiasm. Refuse to put the proper paperwork in for architectural approval despite the onerous compliance with the tax-eaters at the Building Department? We will put a lien on your house and render it useless as private property. Have you grown apart and wish to leave? Tough, we need your money and we can tell you what to do. (ROFLMCutePosterior off. I was threatened with a court order by the Redland Woods HOA in San Antonio unless I submitted a building plan for adding four windows to the third floor of my house. So I complied with the following: “1. Cut holes to accomodate finished window size [60 x 30) in the walls. 2. Frame said holes in with 2 X 4 timber as appropriate. 3. Install windows by nailing to the new studs. 4. Repair sheetrock and paint. 5. Restore outer walls to conform to the new windows.” That was the end of that. Without so much as a comment from the bad guys! Put in new windows without their permission? THERE goes the neighborhood.)

George Staropoli put it succinctly:

With this understanding that the HOA is a legal form of governance, our elected officials must accept the de facto reality that HOAs are indeed an un-American political government that control and regulate the people within planned community subdivisions. Our elected officials must refute the neo-American false arguments that HOAs are not governments, a self-serving argument to permit the special interest lobbyists to formulate, and to establish control over, the legal structure of this authoritarian government. The HOA, not being subject to the Constitution and the 14th Amendment, denies citizens their privileges and immunities otherwise protected from all public government denials. Our elected officials need to realize that the pro-HOA lobbyist position is an affront to and a rejection of our (theoretical) system of government.

Another question emerges: is the surrender of liberties and private property rights worth the alleged protection or increase in property values? Will this long term belief make Americans callous or even hostile to individual rights and prerogatives?

If you are thinking about buying in an HOA community – walk away.

Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it. ~G.K. Chesterton

Regards,
Bill Buppert
Whiskey & Gunpowder

See:

http://whiskeyandgunpowder.com/rascal-rebel-rancheros/

Village Praxis Series: Training Notes

 

Pay particular attention to the four levels of mastery mentioned in the essay below.  Whether you are improving marksmanship, trekking ability or simply honing already mastered skill sets (what the heck is that), use the four levels to determine what the training plan should be.  As a soldier and officer, I discovered that there is no ground-pounder worth his salt if he is not an effective teacher.  This is distinctly different from the indoctrination masquerading as teaching that goes on in the government education system in America.  There is no direct impact on the student as far as their safety and well-being immediately unlike the practice of marksmanship or mountaineering.Although I will submit that the present government monopolized system in America is creating a long-term hazard – enabling generations of unexamined subjects for the vast collectivist hell that has been under construction here since Teddy Roosevelt was in office.  That hell is very close to full fruition and implementation as the march to a Marxoid utopia gains more momentum.

Skills, whether fixing a car or climbing a scree run or hunting game are not simply about the physical manipulation of tools but the grokking of a combination in the interface of the experiential and the intellectual.  Your ability to teach marksmanship, for instance, will by implication require you to know why weapons behave the way they do and how to read a target to determine diagnostically why a shooter is making the mistakes they are. A large part of good luck is meticulous planning and war-gaming of contingencies;  here is a guarantee:  you will never exceed your highest level of training.

Put together a plan and unplug yourself from the electronic ether and LEARN something and keep doing it.  Match your skill sets to your region and what you are interested in accomplishing.

Thanks to Mike V for the essay below. -BB

Praxis: Training Notes


US Soldier Training Iraqis in Map ReadingFrom a very serious, very experienced trainer up North we have these excellent points.

Some training notes that might help folks move beyond “rote memory” and “group lock step”….

Energize your FTX’s by Determining Skill Mastery and Adapting Your Style to the Men

If you’re using “Group Lock Step” methodology when you train your folks and you don’t see a high level of enthusiasm for training, you might be using the wrong method for the group you have under your ‘wing’.

Sometimes, believe it or not, trainers don’t take into account various levels of skill mastery or consciousness that their trainees have in various tasks. Trainers are human, and sometimes have the mistaken pre-conceived notion that everyone they are going to train is most likely brand new to the subject or cannot process information or learn quickly. Don’t think so? Ask a group leader you trust to critically observe your next training session. Have him to note how you talk to the men, their reaction, how many get bored (and how fast that happens), start side conversations and even wander off to do something else. If this is happening, chances are that you are using ‘group lock step’ training methods on a group that needs to have their training flow adapted to the level of skill mastery they possess which is higher than you’ve guessed. To be clear, if the example used above is occurring in your group, it’s a bad thing, because not a lot of effective training is being accomplished, and if you’re like others, you realize we don’t have much time to spare. But don’t take it personally–it’s not your fault to this point, because ‘group lock step’ is usually what most folks who’ve served in the military or other public service organizations are indoctrinated with when they are taught to instruct.

Group lock step is the kind of training where the group only goes as fast as the slowest guy. When bringing a large group of people into an organization that has specific behavior requirements or task performance requirements, such as a professional military organization or a large manufacturing plant, it usually works. However, even in those places, as folks advance and their potential is developed, the ones who can get away from group lock step training and get into areas they can learn based on their ability to master a task or subject.

Here’s an example of group lock step applied to an imaginary class on ‘ruck sack familiarization’:


Instructor (in an authoritarian, “Full Metal Jacket” DI type voice): “This is your ruck sack…get-to-know-it. Today, we will learn the basic parts of the ruck sack, their function and basic ruck sack terminology. At the end of the day, you will recite the definitions of each part. Then, tomorrow, if any of you have what it takes, we will move on to putting the ruck sack on and adjusting the shoulder straps which will also be evaluated not only by how long it takes you to do it, but how smoothly you can do it. From there, those who proved they can hack it will learn about loading it with your personal belongings. I will watch each step you take. If you do something wrong, I will dump your ruck sack out and you will begin again. You will have 3 chances to do it right. By the end of the next 3 days, you will have learned all about your ruck sack and will be able to take it into the field!”

So, how many guys you know are going to enjoy that kind of instruction? I’m betting not many.

Now, make no mistake, group lock step training has its place, usually when bringing individuals from diverse backgrounds into a culture that everyone is totally equal and egos must be ‘trimmed’ before the group can effectively perform or with an entire group that has no skill mastery of the subject you are going to cover, but even then, as the group gets into the subject, group lock step has to be modified as the individuals in the group start to learn at different paces, picking up the elements of the task series more quickly or more slowly than you are presenting them.

In our environment where everyone involved has the freedom to stay or leave as they choose, this method can lead to the downfall of your group. Why? First, many of your folks are probably veterans who most likely feel they’ve already “paid their dues” and have various levels of mastery in the skills you’re trying to teach, re-teach, or maintain mastery in. Secondly, group lock step instructors tend to be very autocratic in delivery on every subject or task dealt with, and men who’ve ‘been there, done that’ don’t appreciate that particular style, let alone guys who are brand new to your group. Very few will appreciate the “PWE” (prick with ears) type of trainer.

In our world, we usually have a group with a spread of comprehension abilities and experience where some learn very fast and some learn very slow, and one or two just might take a lot longer to “get it”. These facts should demonstrate that group lock step will not be effective in most cases because a significant percentage of your group will get bored from not moving forward at a pace that keeps them engaged in what you’re trying to accomplish. You’ll know if this is the case when your FTX attendance starts to drop and before you realize it, all that attend are you, your training assistant, and your closest buddy in the group.

So, if you want to energize your FTX’s by getting your more experienced people engaged and basically break out of group lock step into a much more effective method of training, you must understand and accept that mastery of task performance is based upon ‘task maturity’. We’re not talking about age, emotion or intellect here. Maturity in this case is defined as the level of possessed ability to perform the task with little or no error without any prompting from supervisory or instructor personnel.’ In plain language, it means how well the trainee can do the task without thinking. Determining task maturity is the key to the speed with which the trainee can move through a set of tasks you are training him on.

Generally, your men will fall into one of the following categories in their overall ability to perform in the field. Later, we’ll look at how your men can be tops in one area and clueless in another, and how to recognize and get them into the top level of mastery. So, let’s go over the four categories of skill mastery.

Unconsciously Unskilled: “I don’t know what I don’t know.” This is the brand new guy who shows up and hasn’t even bought a MBR yet because he doesn’t know what he should have. He doesn’t know a flank from a front, a false horizon from a real one, and what’s more, he knows it and knows that you know it. If the SHTF now, this guy, out of necessity, and if he wants to live, should be paired up with a fully trained man and be told: “You do exactly what I tell you, no more, no less.” To do otherwise in this case would be to put him and your entire group in jeopardy. But, all things being equal, and the S has not HTF, this is the man you will have to start slow with until you see how quickly he can pick things up.

Consciously Unskilled: “I know I don’t know much.” This is the guy who’s been to a couple FTX’s with you and has been jolted awake and now understands that he does not know much about surviving in a hostile environment. He may have learned that he’s not in the shape he thought he was; he doesn’t know about camouflage or first aid that much; and he sure doesn’t know what it takes to move undetected through an area where people are hunting him. Basically, he’s in ‘boot camp’ in your group. Again, assigning him to a more experienced man might help him out, especially if your experienced man has a heart to help out the “newbie”. “Do as I do” comes into play, and high levels of encouragement when he’s having problems learning a particular set of tasks.

Consciously Skilled: “I know how to do it but I have to concentrate on it.” This guy has successfully completed all your ‘basic’ requirements. He’s qualified on the AQT, he is fit enough to demonstrate all your PT requirements, he’s seen the importance of having all the required gear, he knows how to blend in with his surroundings, he knows his rifle fairly well, and so on. But, he has to be reminded from time to time because the skills haven’t become ‘second nature’ to him where he not only can perform them without thinking, he knows when to perform them without thinking. You’ll see errors in his performance at this stage. He’ll need correction, reinforcement, and possibly retraining on a given task or subject. However, it’s important to note that at this stage, the trainer should be encouraging and save any ‘negative reinforcement’ for dire situations, because at this point you’re trying to get him to the top category of skill mastery.

Unconsciously Skilled: “I don’t have to think about it; I just do it.” You know this guy as soon as you see him. He doesn’t need to be told how to do something. He just does it, sometimes anticipating what, where, who, when, and how. He’s the guy who can do everything you require quickly and effectively, and then he turns quickly to help someone else get through the task who’s not so fast. He’s the guy who, when he does ‘screw up’ a task, can laugh at his own mistakes and joke about being a prime example of what not to do. Bottom line: He’s got his act together.

Each of these categories also have complimentary training styles you might find successful employing with the various levels of skill mastery enountered:

Unconsciously Unskilled: Tell them how to do what you want them to do. Be firm, but talk to them the way you want to be talked to in the same situation. “Ok, this is how you set up material to build a fire when you don’t have accelerants. First, you gather tinder. Tinder is any material that will catch a spark and flame within a very short period of time. Some examples are…. Ok, now that you know what tinder is, I want each of you to get at least two handfuls in the next 15 minutes and come back here.”

Consciously Unskilled: Encourage them through the steps. Not so much telling here as helping them figure it out and reinforcing their learning with praise (not effusive…a simple, “good job!” could be the ticket). “Each buddy team needs to set out all the materials for a fire within 50 minutes. This includes tinder, match sticks, logs, and, of course, the position you’ve prepared to build the fire at taking into account wind direction, overhead smoke dispersion, and heat reflecting material. Remember, lay your material out before you start to make a spark! It’s more efficient when you have a small flame going to have everything you want at your finger tips! You guys did this great yesterday, so I know you can do it well again today!”

Consciously Skilled: Participation. Let them work through it and be there to back them up when they ask for it. When they’re stumped or having problems, you can get them thinking by saying, “How would you do it?” or “Remember when we did it yesterday?” or “You can do it…take a breath and relax…now, what comes next?”

Unconsciously Skilled: Delegation. Look for results. Allow improvisation, modification, and initiative. “Men, each buddy team needs to have their shelter constructed and camouflaged within 2 hours. It must meet our sanitation and defensive posture requirements as well. I’ll be by to check on you later. Let’s go.”

Movement between the skill levels can be extremely fast or slow, depending on the task complexity, prior experience, and individual ability to pick things up. Think of skill mastery being on a continuum with an indicator that slides on a silicon rail. This is where it gets tricky.

Why? Because you, the trainer, have to recognize almost immediately when a person you’re training slides from Unconsciously Skilled to Consciously Skilled or any other category of skill mastery and adapt your training style to where they are at the moment.

So where do you start, you might wonder. On day one, the first FTX your man attends. Make some time before you start to talk to him about his experiences. Get an idea of where he is by observing him with the other men. How does he handle his equipment and weapon? Is he at ease, clumsy, or somewhere in between? Does he seem fit or is he a chain smoker? Is his clothing arranged “hollywood style” or for function? All these factors may help you determine where’s he’s at in skill mastery. Time will be your major measuring tool. As the day wears on, you’ll be able to observe what you need to in order to determine the most effective training style.

Employing this system across the board will provide a large return on the investment of time you and your folks have put into getting themselves ready for what appears to be in the future.

Many thanks to Mike V for this brilliant essay and you can find more at the Sipsey Street location in my links.