Scenario based training

Thanks to the generosity of Karl, I will be taking the first time offered Personal Tactics Skills class at KR Training.

One thing that is interesting though, in talking with Karl and Hsoi, is the lack of interest in scenario based training. People simply aren’t interested in it. They want to do the live fire stuff, since ‘gun going bang’ is awesome, while learning gun skills that can help save their life. The problem is, there is a lot that becomes apparent in scenarios that you wouldn’t learn otherwise.

Scenario based training, in my opinion, is just as important as just firearms training. Why? Practical application. It’s all about learning how you will react when the rubber meets the road. Scenarios are a culmination of applying everything you have learned in a controlled environment. If you make a mistake, you learn from it, apply what you learned, and move on. There is a lot more that goes on in a situation than just ‘threat, draw, bang, bang, bang, scan for threats, reload, holster’.

There is always some kind of build up, be it body language, guy acting funny, or what have you. Why is that guy in front of me so jumpy? Why is he wearing a parka in Central Texas in the middle of July? Why is that car circling the parking lot so many times? See, everyone has their own opinion of when they feel threatened and when they would draw. You could show a video of a situation to 10 people, and 95% of the group would have a different time when they would draw and a different time when they would shoot. Do you know what that threshold is for you? Sure, I think everyone can form their own opinion when it would be best for them, but, is it appropriate for that situation? That is where scenarios come in, it allows a person to formulate and refine their force threshold of drawing and/or shooting.

Then, there is always some kind of de-escalation. You shot the guy, the guy is down, now what? Are you going to perform CPR on the guy? Who is going to call 911? How are you going to deal with the police when they arrive? They know they are going to be responding to a situation where one person has been shot/killed, and one person just shot that person, so they know there is at least one gun involved, which is going to get their adrenaline going, plus add in the fact that you just shot someone, so your adrenaline is going, and…see where I am going with this? Do you know how you are going to de-escalate after a situation like that? Sure, there are some basics that everyone should do, like call/have someone call 911, but everyone is different and will react in different ways. Again, this is where scenario based training comes in. You learn how you are going to respond after a situation, mistakes you might make, that kind of stuff.

In the police academy, I went through a total of 25 training scenarios, 10 were force on force with simunitions, 6 were in the use of force simulator trailer, 5 were Domestic Violence, and 4 were Redman. I learned something from each scenario I did, be it something I did or learning something from what my partner did. The same applies to any kind of scenario you go through, you learn what other people do, be it right or wrong, and learn from that. The more you learn, the better you are. If you go through one scenario, and find yourself in similar scenario later on down the road, you know what to do to reach the best outcome. If you made a mistake the first time, you won’t make it again the second time.

And who knows, you may find in a training scenario that a particular holster doesn’t work for you. You may find a certain carry position is better than what you are used to. The only way you might find those things out is by being put ‘in the moment’.

As one instructor told me, “It is better to learn the hard way in training, than to suffer and die on the street.”


2 Responses to “Scenario based training”

  1. […] Jay wrote a good piece on the importance of scenario-based training. […]

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