Training to Failure
I’m tired of flamingos.
I am annoyed at bureaucrats that wear cheap suits and smell of stale alcohol.
I do like foreign cab drivers, and books about philosophy… but plastic suburban middle managers cause all sorts of primal urges to boil to my surface.
Women that wear too much makeup on their face concern me.
Men that wear too much makeup on their face concern me more.
Skinny jeans are weird.
There is a binary outcome of any contest. Either you win or you loose. Unless you are in the ultimate contest where your life is on the line this very instant… you ALWAYS get to play again.
Winning and loosing means very little to me. Because the winner by definition has a whole bunch of losses under his belt.
Shaking it off and doing it again… that is far more impressive.
That is also why we do not tolerate defeatism.
Failure? Sure… we actually embrace failure. When we fail, when we analyze what caused us to “underwin” that evolution. When we figure out how “not to make a lightbulb”…. we grow.
The Hegalian concept of progress goes like this: A thesis takes us inevitably to an antithesis which then leads to synthesis.
So… let’s look at it from the stand point of the gunfighter:
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The would be gunfighter approaches the line. His “thesis” is that: he is a badass capable of mystical ballistic arts, a true Master at Skill at Arms. After firing a string of shots, fumbling a tac load and leaving a partially full magazine on the ground, he realizes that out of the four shots he fired only three hit the target. He has just been slammed upside the head with an “antithesis”…
He is NOT the Samurai he thought he was.
From this realization comes a “synthesis”… an understanding that he must proceed down the road towards “Shibumi” a sate of effortless perfection… a destination that he has not yet reached… and one that can only be reached with countless dedication to practice.
He must train constantly, train consistently, and train with purpose.
Giving up and walking away is the only option that is UNACCEPTABLE!
In fact, the only way that our student of the gun can gain the knowledge that he simply must attain is through a deep understanding of failure.
During our last CCW class, a student went into “defeatist mode”. After shrugging his shoulders and angrily re-holstering his gun… our instructor Ivan “The Massive”, began a high decibel counseling session.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!”
“YOU ARE NOT QUITTING ON ME! I HAVE NOT… NOR WILL I EVER… GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO QUIT!”
“TRAIN TO WIN! PUSH PUSH PUSH! NEVER SURRENDER! NEVER ACCEPT DEFEAT!”
Those of you who have met Ivan “The Massive” who is an active duty member of the armed forces and part of the Special Forces community, will understand that having him single you out for counseling can be a somewhat intimidating experience.
Later, back at the tables while reloading… Ivan in a more even tone explained to the student the need for maintaining a “training attitude”.
“Look… even in my line of work… success is not achieved by doing something once. It is the accumulation of doing it again and again and again. Checking to see if you are improving, and measuring that improvement. If I am handed a new assignment, one that I have limited familiarity with, I need to school myself and become proficient. That by definition will be based on a foundation of screwing it up multiple times until I finally learn how to do it right. If I don’t accept that reality, I will never achieve mastery at anything.”
The student understood. His attitude was adjusted and slowly… steadily… he improved.
Those of us who carry a gun, those of us who simply own guns, have a responsibility to become Masters at Skill at Arms. That only is achieved by doing… over and over again.
With rights come responsibilities….\
You have the Right to Keep and Bear Arms….. you have the Responsibility to train! When training you have the obligation to accept your reality at that moment… and push yourself knowing that the road to perfection is paved with the trails of failure.