When it comes to being successful in any subject, it is vital to have a solid grasp of the fundamentals. It does not matter if it is martial arts, shooting, or survival. I know this sounds like common sense, but I’ve witnessed a lot of people who fail to perform, look for the quickest fix. They attempt to make up for that failure, by looking for the newest gear they can buy or latest techniques on YouTube.
We have access to technology that can connect us to instant video streaming for step by step instructions on anything. The equipment available to enhance our weapon systems is nothing short of amazing. This, however, is the problem. With the availability of this technology, we sometimes fail to see the reason for our deficiency in the first place. We lack the fundamentals upon which to build.
A personal example of this is when I first started training Jiu Jitsu. While training, I wasted a lot of energy trying to control my opponent’s with strength. This worked fine on new or weaker people but when I tried to control experienced opponents with strength, I was easily swept. This lead me to search online and ask other students how to counter specific sweeps. After a while, I grew frustrated with this cycle. I decided to take private lessons. The first thing my instructor told me was that I, “lacked the basic fundamentals.” I had to put in a lot of work on my fundamentals before I was able to pull off setups and slick submissions. With that being said, I still practice my fundamentals every class.
Another example is the guy who tells you he can’t shoot a [insert firearm here] but is dead on with his firearm of choice. I call bullshit. You can shoot any firearm with proficiency if you use the proper fundamentals: grip, trigger control, sight and picture alignment, etc. You may not manipulate the weapon as well as another firearm you are more familiar with, but you will hit what you’re aiming at.
This concept crosses over to any subject. It makes no difference if you are into bushcraft, survival, self defense, or underwater basket knitting. Starting with fundamentals as your foundation and building into the more advanced aspects of the subject matter is going to yield the most consistent positive outcome. Looking for the newest technology or latest fad as a shortcut may give short term results, however it will most definitely slow your overall progression. For instance, you can easily make fire with a lighter and fire starter log, but if your goal is long term survival, would it not be more important to know how to start a fire without these items?
Look at the best athletes, shooters, survivalists, basket weavers, or whatever. The one thing they all have in common is that they have a firm grasp of the fundamentals. Without this base skill set, they wouldn’t be able to layer advanced techniques or strategies and be successful. Instructor Zero is a perfect example. That guy can shoot. He is fast and accurate. How many times do you think he has practiced his draw? If his draw was slow and sloppy or he jerked the trigger when firing, there would be no way for him to shoot as well as he does. Well see for yourself…
Fundamentals are the key building blocks to any skill set. You should not try to learn to shoot on the move if you haven’t learned to shoot in the first place. With that being said, learning the fundamentals is not enough. We need to continue to hone those skills to maximum proficiency and train our minds to perform the fundamentals on demand without fail. So, no matter what your passion or goal is, get some professional instruction, put in the work, and build yourself from the ground up.
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