Over the last couple of years, I’ve attended several tactical training and competitive shooting events. I noticed that there seem to be at least three types of mindsets on the field. The tactical training events, the majority of the guys show up will have “tacti-cool” gear. The competitive events, the shooters will show up with the latest and greatest race gun. And finally, you have the student who shows up truly wanting to learn how to be a better shooter with just what they have.
I personally am guilty of having crossing some of those three types of mindset.
When I started out, despite my lack of experience, I wanted the best gun there was; meaning I wanted what was considered cool looking. But I didn’t want it to be the “Honda Civic” of guns. Then when I got into the competitive world of shooting, I wanted the latest and slickest holster there was, hoping that would help me draw faster and by miracle win the matches with 100% accuracy. Then I wanted these nuclear glowing big ass sights on my gun.
But today, now that I have “experimented” and ventured to any of those fore mention events, I’ve decided to returned to my roots of why I started carrying a gun; its about being a proficient and effective concealed carrying gun owner. To accomplish this, I realized that I need to strip away all that flashy stuff and work on my core fundamentals, starting with mindset.
Having all the cool ass hardware and gear won’t mean shit if I’m not training with it. I’ve seen guys show up on a class all decked out like they just fast roped into a hot zone, swinging their cocks and talking like they’re some Tier 1 Operator. But I wonder, do they really wear all that stuff on a daily basis? Or are they just really one of these weekend wannabe gunfighter?
To be fair, I’m sure they had a reason why they chose to dress up like that. You know the type I’m talking about: Chest rig filled with PMags with a drop leg holster while sporting a FAST helmet. Whatever their reason was, I hope that the fundamentals pistol class helped them.
The Cliche Training
I would rather be the guy in ragged jeans and a no name brand holster just crushing the drills every single time. But more so, am I working with my everyday carry? If I’m wearing my gear in concealed mode, I should be practicing like that as often as I can. Now of course, I like to go to the range and throw on all my cool shit. But is it helping me or hurting me?
Lets also consider my dry fire practice sessions. I don’t know about you, but when I do my dry fire exercise, I also wear my daily concealed gear. I work from concealment. I work on my fundamentals. But I stick to my carry gear only because this is what I will be carrying with me at all times. So ideally, I am being, by all purpose, practical in the sense of training like I would be defending myself.
Understanding Mindset Not Gear
I remember hearing a BUD/S instructor telling one of his students, “…take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you…”
Little did I know at the time how important that line was. But gear shouldn’t be defining your ability to handle or use your weapon effectively. It’s your actual training that ultimately matters. All that skills come from the foundation of your mindset whenever you train.
As Bruce Lee once said: “…it’s not how much you have learned, but how much you have absorbed from what you have learned. It is not how much fixed knowledge you can accumulate, but what you can apply livingly that counts. ‘Being’ is more valued than ‘doing’.”
In the end, a gun is a gun and a bullet is a bullet. But your mindset starts with you to train like you are fighting; because if you are ever really force to fight, hopefully you will fight like you trained.
So challenge yourself whether or not you are you truly training with your everyday carry gear and utilizing what you learned by putting it into practice.
Or are you ok with just being a mall ninja?