As I do each year, I like to get at least some general goals and objectives laid out for the year. These aren’t resolutions per se; in many cases, funds have already been paid and this is just a way for me to give our readers a sneak-peak into what I plan to do this year.
I have already booked five classes for 2020. One is a class hosted by Green Ops in Virginia called “Contact and Control Techniques and Tactics”. This will be—for me–an all-too-rare foray into integrating more physical contact into my training. This is an area for which I regard myself as woefully underprepared. As humans we tend to train in what we do well; I am trying to break from the norm this year and work outside my comfort zone.
Second on the calendar will be John Murphy’s (FPF Training) “Advanced Skills and Tactics” class. I have taken other coursework with Murphy before, of course, but his curriculum is always changing and I have never taken a two-day class with him.
Currently third on the calendar is a class that just went “live”, “Compact Carbine Deployment Course” with Bill Rapier of American Tactical Shooting Instruction. John and I have trained with Rapier before and really like his classes and his perspective. This seems like an interesting niche class, combining carbine skills with some of the unique attributes of these smaller carbines.
Currently fourth on the calendar is Shotgun 360 with 360 Performance Shooting. Unlike all of the other shotgun courses I have taken, this will be a two-day class, but will be taught by two instructors I got to work with in 2019: Tim Chandler and Ashton Ray. My shotgun skills improved a lot in 2019 but I would like to get them up to a similar level of proficiency as my handgun skills. I feel like they are nearly there and this two-day class is probably the best path to get them there.
My final class for the year will be a second class with Bill Rapier. This is a Force-on-Force class, which John will attend with me. I’ve had mixed experiences in force-on-force before, and not nearly enough of it on my training resume, so this is must-see TV for me.
I may add another class, but the above add up to a pretty penny. However, as it currently stands, compared with last year I am looking at 3 fewer days in hotels and no airfare, so my travel expenses will be significantly reduced. Nevertheless, with an unlimited budget of money and time, there are probably at least four other courses I would love to take this year, so hard choices have already been made. What I like about my current lineup of classes is that it presents a good mix: some close-contact/hand-to-hand skills, pistol skills combined with other self-defense elements (pepper spray, verbal judo, etc.), carbine, shotgun, and force-on-force. One other thing to note is that, with the exception of the lead instructor for the Green Ops course (a guest instructor), I have already trained with all of the other instructors above at least once. As I am not a masochist, readers should definitely view this as my endorsement of each of them.
I only managed to shoot in four IDPA matches in 2019. My goal will be to shoot in at least five this year. I would also like to try a two-gun match this year as well.
Informal Training and Practice
I plan to continue to be active in the monthly training group of which I am a member. I only missed three of the ten meetings in 2019 (one due to a family trip, one due to my father’s death, and one due to savagely bad weather). I have also renewed my membership at my range (taking advantage of a sale promotion around the holidays). Last year I made it to this local range 28 times, and I hope to at least equal that in 2020.
Other Formal Training
Depending on how the “Contact and Control” class goes (how does my body respond physically?), I might enroll in a local martial arts academy. I have found one relatively close by that I have had others “in the know” check out for me and they assure me it looks like it is quite legitimate and “checks all the boxes”. If my body feels good to go, then it will only be finances and time that would hinder this decision. Again, this is something that would be “outside my wheelhouse” and therefore something I should probably just do.
Other Related Goals
I plan to run at least one of my handguns through the “2,000 Round Challenge” this year (probably my primary training Glock 19). This involves preemptively cleaning the firearm and replacing any parts, and then shooting it for 2,000 rounds without any cleaning or other maintenance and recording any malfunctions or breakages that occur during the 2,000 rounds.
On my own practice time I also plan to shoot as many of the skills tests as possible that are outlined in Karl Rehn and John Daub’s book, “Strategies and Standards for Defensive Handgun Training”. I will start with the “easiest” of the drills and work my way through them (such as my local range will allow). I have shot many of these drills/standards before, but I will run through them all again and see how I do (sharing with our readers along the way, of course). Being a new year, I might as well start at the basics, and it will also make my range visits more interesting.
Finally, one thing that I did last year (but never wrote about) and plan to stick to again this year is shooting each of my firearms at least once this year. I do not want to be one of those people with a safe full of guns that never get shot. I feel like if I am not shooting them, then I should probably be selling them. And I really do not want to sell them!
I have already started a new exercise regimen, as I had definitely been slacking in this area. I try to do a decent mix of cardio (running, biking, etc.) and strength-training. With a few “physical” classes on my calendar this year, I have extra incentive to work on this. My basic goals are to drop 10 pounds from my overall weight and to run a sanctioned race of at least 10 miles this year. More nebulous goals that I have not “quantified” are to increase my overall strength and endurance and to literally change the shape of my body (I am discovering AIWB carry to be more of a challenge of late. Yikes!).
I need to write more. Last year I wrote a total of 21 articles. I shall make it a goal to write at least 22 articles this year.
That’s about it. Who thinks I can manage to achieve all of these goals? 80% of them? What goals do you have? Feel free to share in the comments below or on our Facebook page, as we always welcome civil discourse. Thanks for reading. And go out there and train! I can be reached privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.