Make Lists to Guide your Training

Most people in the wide world of self-defense, preparedness, personal protection, or whatever we might call it, are enthusiasts in a particular aspect of the greater whole.  As an example, I am a handgunner, and I am a specialist and enthusiast in the use of the defensive handgun.  Therefore, shooting and training with the handgun is something I enjoy, it is not only one aspect of preparedness for myself, it goes well beyond that in my own life.  Most of you are likely an enthusiast in one aspect as well; maybe you are a serious Ju Jitsu or Combatives practitioner.  Maybe you are a long range rifle shooter.  Maybe you are a paramedic or EMT.  Perhaps you are a fieldcraft or survivalist expert.  So, we all tend to focus heavily on a specialization, but we too often forget the many other aspects of personal preparedness. 

To be ready for violence or other emergency there is a baseline of needed skills that we all should be training in, at least to a minimal extent.  Handgun skills, combative skills, less-lethal weaponry skills, traumatic medical skills, etc…, are among the most important of these demands.  While we might specialize in any given one, we should at least train to a baseline of ability in the others as well.

I think a productive thing to do is make actual lists for each of these skills and then, literally, draft out the skills that you wish to gain and maintain in each.  Obviously, start with the most important elements of the skillset.  As an example, while I have done combatives training with a variety of instructors, it is not my thing and I am hardly an expert in such.  So, as part of my comprehensive approach to skills development, my combatives list would start with the most important element of hand skills, such as the non-confrontational posture/fence, and the default cover position.  From there, all the other aspects of striking, grappling, and ground fighting that is most essential to the non-enthusiast can be listed.  As one makes time for combatives training with partners or on the bag going forward, the list can be referenced so that the important skills can be focused on.  This is one example.   

A further example, most of us are not paramedics or EMTs, but we should train in emergency bleeding control, CPR, and a few other medical skills.  Craft a list with the most pressing skills first, such as CPR, tourniquet applications, would packing, etc…, and go from there.  Again, listing it out will help you hit on what is most critical when you have some time to devote to the skillset. 

Most of us in this field likely specialize in a specific skill and spend a lot of time and effort getting better at that single thing, and I think that is OK.  However, we cannot disregard the other essential skills in self-defense and preparedness, so listing it out is productive. 

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