Less Is More

by | Sep 15, 2020

It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential —- Bruce Lee

When I’m asked to prove that accelerated learning combined with stress inoculation holds up in the real world, I never cite studies and I rarely mention all the lives saved by my students.

I demonstrate.

I demonstrate the key concepts by taking a complete handgun novice to the skill level necessary to engage a human attacker (sometimes two) within ten yards with a Simunitions or Airsoft pistol in an unscripted attack with pre-incident verbalization.

In ten minutes of training time.

The novices dig it.

Some “experts”, after they pick their jaws up, try to pick apart what they just witnessed — “it’s point shooting, it’s unsafe, these people are ringers, etc. etc.”

The real experts, who have a body of experience, training, and maturity, who’ve learned to trust their own eyes, say, “How did you do that?” followed by “Show me how.”

Not a problem.

It’s simple.

“Start where you want to end up.”

If your goal is to train a human to use a pistol to protect themselves, does it make sense to start there?

What might happen if you STARTED with shooting another human (with Airsoft or Simunitions)?

If you apply Bruce Lee’s adage “Hack away at the unessential” you get to a principle of design — critical path.

What are the bare minimum task elements that MUST be accomplished to achieve the goal of using the pistol to defend yourself?

My friend and mentor Ed Lovette said  back in the 90s that “20 years from now, no one is going to care about what caliber you used, what stance you used…all they’re going to care about is that you got the gun out and shot the bad guy before he shot you.”

That’s the critical path and the cornerstone foundation of a “fighting” (rather than marksmanship) platform.

Shooting a human in a controlled stress scenario establishes in the belief system of the novice-trainee the experience of bringing a gun out under stress, firing shots that hit a dangerous human target, and continuing to fight till that threat stops.

With that foundation, which addresses mindset/willingness simultaneously with the task of working the weapon at close quarters, how much more, and how much faster, could you build on that?

I’ve demonstrated, repeatedly, in front of expert witnesses, that once that foundation is in place you can progress to advanced marksmanship and expert qualification on paper quickly.

In 1/4 to 1/2 the time allotted in most police and military academies.

See one case study here:

And numerous experts comments here: