No, I'm not an expert, but I'm gonna yap about this anyway. Cause it's MY blog and I can bitch and moan and...
er, where was I? Oh yeah, experts.
Specifically, self-defense experts, some of whom get a lot of money for training and are completely full to the gills with what comes out of the south end of a northbound cow. Make no mistake, training from someone who truly knows what they're doing could be priceless if you ever get into a win-or-die situation; hell, if it helps you stay OUT of that, it's paid back ten times the price easily.
I'm talking about the clowns to whom 'tactical' is about every fifth word out of their mouths, who have 'tactical' from their combat-special kneepads to their 'tactical' grips to their 'tactical' light and on and on(by the way, have you noticed that 'tactical' in the name bumps the price considerably?). They're the ones who take people who're worried about being attacked in a parking lot or at the ATM or hearing a breaking window in the night and start shoving what's supposed to be special ops or SWAT equipment and training at them.
A while back Dad gave me the April '06 issue of Guns magazine. There's a guy named John Connor who does a column called Odd Angry Shot, this one was titled 'Carts & Horses'. He was an observer at a "world-renowned tactical training center" to report to the investors what he thought. He didn't think much.
The "Professional Operator" set up a scenario in a two-story 'Kill House' where there were three- maybe more- heavily-armed terrorists in the house with unknown armaments and you, all by your lonesome, had to take them out so how will you do it? Connor's description of the guys' methods sounds like something from a Jackie Chan movie. Then he chased them all through it one at a time, killing them all of course. The finished "sweat-soaked, financially fleeced, demoralized, and had learned exactly squat" as Connor put it. Then the Professional Operator turned to him and asked "How would YOU go in?" Answer was "Uh, that would be, umm... stupid" followed by he'd be about two klicks that way calling in an air strike or artillery.
"You can't do that!" was answered with since there are porta-cans outside, I'll wait till one or more come out and whack them. "You HAVE to go in!" and "there's no armed backup available" was answered by "I'd dial up the Suicide Prevention HotLine and tell 'em Help! I've gone terminally stupid! Stop me, please!" And it went really downhill from there.
His point was this clown was trying to teach what he considered advanced steps (dumb ones at that)to people who didn't know the basics yet. The basics ALWAYS come first. How to shoot properly before fancy moves. How to assess your threats and options. Taking a guy who's worried about being robbed and putting him into a commando armor suit to run a 'kill house' is idiotic: he's not ready for OR needing that.
If you have a firearm for home and/or carry, you learn to shoot it well. You don't have to make offhand 3" groups at 25 yards, far more important to quickly and reliably get decent groups on a silhouette at your defense ranges, which are generally from contact range to ten yards max. And practice doing it one-handed and with your off hand, too; what if your strong side is tangled
up or injured? Look at what would make you less attractive to a bad guy looking for a victim, where you might need to be more alert for what. Simple things that will make the big difference.
Remember, you practicing how you'd check your house at night if you had to IS training. So is looking around the store or the ATM area or parking lot and thinking "what would I do if...?" If you keep it realistic, it counts. I've seen people set up a chair and table as if in a restaurant to practice draw & fire & move; somebody else used two chairs- one to sit in and one to simulate the door- to practice shooting from a car. Good training from someone who knows their backside from a hole in the ground is invaluable; if for some reason you can't take classes like that, work out scenarios in your mind and practice them. If you can't do the stuff at the range you go to, do it at home with an unloaded gun(MAKE SURE, DAMMIT!). Getting it in your mind and reactions how to react to something and what to do is the big thing.