Training Discipline

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PDN Executive Director Rob Pincus discusses the concept of training discipline: when you are in the training environment, you want to have enough discipline to not do what behooves you only in the training environment.

Training — and Training Discipline — for the Real World

That may seem obvious. If we’re in the training environment doing any kind of self-defense training, we’re supposed to be getting ready for the real world, not just trying to perform well in front of a piece of paper or steel with our firearms training or against a heavy bag if we’re doing unarmed striking training. But a lot of people miss that point when they’re actually getting their reps and trying to seek the highest level of skill performance.

What we should strive for is the highest possible level of practical skill application in the real world. Sometimes you’ll fall into the trap of trying to do well at things that do not relate to the real world but apply only to the training environment. You may even compromise your techniques or gear selection so you can shoot 1/10th of a second faster in a firearms training drill. While that may seem like a valid goal, if you’re developing skills you can’t apply to a real-world defensive situation, you’re wasting your time. Most dangerously, you may be building false confidence.

Keep Your Ego in Check

Training discipline isn’t always easy. Considering our ego involvement, and how we can be competitive in a training environment, it’s easy to focus on high scores. But when it comes to life-and-death skill development that you will need in a chaotic and surprising event defending yourself, don’t get sucked into the trap of wasting time and energy making yourself feel good about isolated skill performance that doesn’t have any real-world correlation.

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