Last year, I took the time to get some training/practice goals posted so then I could at least roughly evaluate my progress by year’s end. Frankly, as a teacher, I should do a better job of setting goals that are measurable and achievable within a year. For this post, however, I am going be more general in nature. Once I start to zero in on the specific goals I would like to achieve, I will list them and then see if I can achieve them.
I am already enrolled in two classes in 2017, and I expect that number to increase up to six or seven. As always, one of the classes is a classic pistol fundamentals class. In this case, it is the one-day pistol video diagnostics class taught by John “Shrek” McPhee, the Sheriff of Baghdad. I am very excited to have him break down everything I do on video and then tell me all of the many things I am doing wrong.
The other class I have already signed up for is a one-day Groundfighting class with Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training. I took two classes with Greg in 2016 and am really looking forward to finally addressing this gap in my training. John will be attending this class with me, so it should be fun.
John and I will also be attending the three-day Rangemaster Tactical Conference in March. This is an exciting opportunity for us both to attend a bunch of seminars presented by some of the biggest names in the self-defense training industry.
In addition, I also plan to sign up for Greg Ellifritz’s Tactical First Aid and System Collapse Medicine class, hosted by John Murphy of FPF Training. I have not taken any formal medical training since taking the Dark Angel Medical class in November of 2013, so I feel like it is time to revisit this topic. I spoke with Greg briefly about this class, and while he covers some of the same material as the Dark Angel class, he covers a greater breadth of medical topics if less depth on immediate care. It should serve as a nice complement to the Dark Angel class.
In addition to continued focus on pistol classes, I would also like to address shotgun and carbine this year. To date, I have never taken a shotgun course, and I completely ignored the carbine in 2016. Hopefully, that will change in 2017.
Last year started out so well in this regard, but the wheels really came off the wagon. This year I need to rededicate myself to hitting the pistol range at least every other week. I would like to decide on a few drills to establish baselines and then work to improve in those areas (remember? Measurable goals?).
I also plan to explore my options in joining a private club/range where I can drill and practice what I would like to practice rather than be so restricted at my local range. I am sick of going to the range and being told no rapid fire, no head-shots, no drawing from a holster, etc. For convenience I will still hit the local ranges to work on pure fundamentals, but if I join a private range I will have many more options.
I plan to continue to shoot local club matches of IDPA in 2017. I shot in a total of four matches in 2016, so will look to at last double that this year. IDPA has changed some of their rules for 2017, so I need to start studying the changes to see how that will affect me. To date, I have primarily used IDPA as a vehicle for practice off a pure square range, so if I continue to use it for that purpose then the various rule changes may not matter much to me. If I decide to shoot to try to win, then the rules will obviously play a larger role.
If you saw this picture I posted on Facebook on Christmas…
…then you know that I will continue to try to soak in as much knowledge as I can in the self-defense arena. In addition to books and blog and magazine articles, I also learned a lot from the various podcasts I listened to last year, and plan to continue to listen to those as well as a few others that have popped up on my radar.
I (and John) will continue to review pieces of gear that we found (and invariably paid for ourselves) that we think our readers may all find of interest. Neither one of us is going to perform torture tests on the items we review, but we have and will continue to give our items an honest shakedown of everyday use for people in our situations. Those items that we consider to be particularly useful often find their way onto our Recommended Gear page.
Once again, welcome to my personal journey of learning and knowledge. At times, I will refer back to this post to reflect on what has been addressed. I will also let our readers know when more specific goals are set, and then I plan to update our readers as progress (or lack thereof) takes place. Happy New Year!