With so much information out there, much of it completely useless simple “models” help you sift through it all. In this case a model is a “system used as an example to follow”. They are universally used to guide people in various endeavors, in this case training. Training models are not new, nor is this one. It’s nothing more than something I have developed over 45 years of training in technique or tactic based systems. Gleaned (or stolen) from some of the worlds finest teachers from various martial arts, weapons, and firearms training from all over the world it has proven to be simple and effective.

Why – Train with Purpose

Training without purpose is exercise, not a bad thing, but not necessarily productive or useful. If all you are trying to do is burn calories than fine, have at it, if you are training to improve or maintain proficiency you need a “why”.

Knowing why before you start focuses your mind and minimizes wasted time while maximizing training value. It should be step one for many reasons, maybe the most practical being preparation. Why you are training determines things like equipment and venue. If you decide to practice your presentation from concealment you need the gear you carry every day, the cover you wear, and a safe place to practice. If its dry practice then a proper environment where you cannot be interrupted. Live fire requires a range that lets you do that, or a place you can do so safely. If its presentation for competition or duty it may be different, knowing why better prepares you for success. Why is also about purpose, the actual application of what you are doing and how you do it. Is it self defense, duty, off duty, home or vehicle defense, competition, or just fun time. Does it need to be practical, not necessarily, it can just be pure enjoyment. Some of the most fun I have with firearms is practically useless for me. It’s just plane fun and you need both, knowing the difference is the key while striking a proper balance. Training without enjoyment is work, work gets old without some fun in there, do both, just have a purpose either way.

What – Make it Matter

Most who practice meaningless things seldom progress. When it does not matter you just wont do it, not consistently. Training needs value to promote buy in and encourage focus. Practice things that matter to you whether due to practicality, necessity or enjoyment. It may not be something you want to do, progression often requires practicing things that are just not much fun, but if it matters you will still do it. Stoppage drills are not fun, if you fight with your firearms they are critical. Having a gun that works helps but it still matters. Depending on the contest presentation (draw) may be all about time, same with reloads. Conversely time may not be a huge factor, proficiency under adverse conditions may be what matters. I seldom practice “speed loads” these days with a carbine, why, it matters little in my current situation. Short of a photo op for an article or demonstrating at training it has little meaning. I have it on good authority standing while loading your rifle in a firefight gets you shot, not my plan. Currently it’s all about proficiency from various positions, behind cover or on the move. I don’t wear tactical gear during practice, why, well I NEVER wear tactical gear in the real world. Not my thing anymore, all my practice is with a spare magazine in a pocket. For you it may be completely different, or different on that day making the “why” so critical, but either way what you do needs to matter to you.

How – Efficiency is ALWAYS important!

Each technique may have some particular detail, but none are aided through inefficiency. Being efficient in what you do and how it’s done is always beneficial and advantageous without regard to the application. Efficiency lessens time, increases effectiveness and promotes proper application. Always think “economy of movement”, it is the key factor in being efficient where movement or manipulation is present. Does not matter if it’s a draw, reload, stoppage drill, punch, strike or cut, wasted movement makes you less effective. In real fights it can be deadly, when competing it costs placement or even a match. Everything takes time, but time wasted is time that can never be recouped. Smooth direct movement is the key. Simple math, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If circular movement is required shorter circles are more efficient and best generated from the center out.

Balance and stability are key to efficient movement. If you must become balanced prior to moving that time is wasted and a good opponent will never let you find it. One of the keys to effective fighting (all of it) is maintaining or regaining your balance while taking your opponents. You may not be afforded a perfect position, but with training you can become as balanced and stable as possible given the circumstances. That’s why training from positions less than perfect are so critical, it’s what happens in the real world. Perfect positions are what you strive to achieve but will probably never acquire. Yet, if you never learn to find them you never will. Your practice should always seek to find balance and stability in order to promote efficient movement.

Bottom line is pretty simple, practice and train with a purpose based on something that matters to you always looking to be as efficient as possible. The beauty of this model is in its simplicity and universal application not only to your training, but most anything. Doing so promotes consistent and measurable improvement, something that should be the ultimate goal of all learning and training.