Firearms Food for Thought: Self-Defense Training, Yes or No?

    Your lights are on/But you’re not home/Your mind is not your own/Your heart sweats, your body shakes” (Robert Palmer, “Addicted to Love”)

    You break out into a sweat, perspiration drenching your skin even though you’re standing still. Your respiration rate increases abruptly; your heartrate skyrockets. Your digestion system shuts down as your body directs all resources instead to your muscles. Your body experiences an overwhelming dump of adrenaline and noradrenaline as your sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive. It’s fight-or-flight time, and these side effects only touch on the physical side of the equation.


    There are conflicting schools of thought on the value of firearms training beyond the basics. Specifically, there are two schools of thought when it comes to self-defense training. And even when it’s possible to agree some form of training is needed the type of training becomes an issue. Should you train to fire from various positions given that there is no predicting what could take place during a firefight? Should you train to shoot with your weaker hand for the same reason? Or should you simply work on honing accuracy and grouping with an eye for human-body placement once those are well and truly mastered?

    Of course there are many ways this discussion can be broken down into a number of other areas. Should you even be carrying a gun for self-defense if you haven’t trained properly or is simply knowing the basics of gun safety enough? What is muscle memory, really? Is there an ideal way to carry a gun for self-defense? Do you need to use your CC gun of choice while taking self-defense classes? Do you need to train with your chosen defense ammo? The list goes on.

    It’s an argument that seems to come up regularly and one it seems will never be laid to rest no matter how many experts speak up, no matter how many studies are cited. What do you think?


    TFB Staffer

    TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.