2016: Looking Back

As the year has been drawing to a close, I decided to follow what I did in 2015 (see here) and look back at this article on Training Goals for 2016 and see what I achieved, what I completely ignored, what was addressed that needs more work, and so on.  I am always looking to grow and learn, and unless we make these status checks along the way, “progress”, an already difficult to define thing, can escape us.  So, following along in the format from the above article….

Formal Training

In formal training, I achieved my first objective of taking a “classic” pistol skills class.  In this case, it was the two-day pistol class offered by Kyle Defoor.  Looking back on this course from 6 months ago, I still consider it an excellent class, and I’m still trying to make all that Kyle taught us work for me.

I exceeded my objective of increasing my “tactics”-based classes.  In addition to the Armed Movement in Structures class (AAR here) with Craig Douglas of Shivworks, both classes I took with John Murphy (see here and here) dealt with street tactics and also vehicle tactics. 

I also exceeded my objective in the area of edged weapons training, taking two courses, one with Tom Sotis; the other with Greg Ellifritz (see here and here).  I also continue to study Tom’s many online videos and have also studied a lot of the available videos of Michael Janich.  I feel like it has all been helping me understand much better; I think I’m finally beginning to “see” things.

I yet again managed to completely ignore unarmed combatives, though at least some elements thereof were addressed in Greg Ellifritz’s Extreme Close Quarters Gunfighting course (see here).  I plan to train with Greg again in 2017 and finally begin to address this deficiency.

Informal Training Goals/Practice

This was an area in which I feel like I started out really well, but as the year went on I gave it less attention.  I have been good about dry practice and using my SIRT pistol as well, but my range trips became more infrequent as the year went on.  This was mostly due to a change in schedule as my children started at a new school, but also due to a lack of motivation for which I am solely to blame.  The availability of good ranges in which to practice (see my article here about my dislike of going to the range) didn’t help much, either.

Having said all of that, I did dive feet first into IDPA, surprising myself, to be honest, by doing so.  I only shot in four total matches, but I got a good taste for what it is all about.  Moving forward, I need to decide if I want to compete to win or just compete as a form of practice.  Time will tell on that, but I do plan to continue with IDPA.

Adult Learning

I feel like this was a positive for me this year.  I spent a lot of time reading printed books and materials (many of which are now in our Recommended Books section), good blogs (Greg Ellifritz’s blog being a standout), and some of the online forums.  I also greatly utilized my workout time to listen to many podcasts, primarily Ballistic Radio and The American Warrior Show. 

I had hoped to outline more of my range sessions and other bits of practice, but the issues I had with my range trips outlined above made this less enticing for me and—I can only assume–of little interest to our readers.  Had I always been able to secure the “draw and fire” lane at the one range I frequent, I could have posted my progress on many different drills and standards.  Alas, I think I secured that lane once all year, and so my range trips generally turned into Dot Torture or other more mundane drills and skills assessments.  I will try to address this issue in my 2017 Training Goals in a few weeks.

Finally, though it’s never been a goal of mine to see how I will do when the chips are down (I would prefer a more boring life), I once again had that opportunity when my wife accidentally mixed two medications she should not have (see here).  While my performance was not what I would call stellar, she is alive today, so there’s that.

Final Thoughts

That is really about it.  I hope our readers take the time to do a similar, or perhaps even more in-depth, assessment of their goals and whether or not they were met.  What I wrote above is probably not the most interesting stuff, but my hope is it spurs our readers to assess themselves.  Did you spend too much time on the couch?  Or did you achieve some or all of your goals in 2016?  Please share below or on our Facebook page.  Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “2016: Looking Back

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