You have hit the nail right on the head. Practice.

If I have time, I ride, hit the gym, take naps and go to Barnes and Noble.

And even my practice sometimes lapses into friends chasing beer cans with a Ruger 22/45.

I don't know whether it's age, routine or simple apathy, but total razor-sharp combat skills in an eye-gouging death match with a trained Brazilian knife dueller just do not hold my fancy anymore.

Oh, I like info from SWAT and Combat Handguns, I always have and always will. I love my 1911s and my .40s. I have good doors and windows, alarms and several other surprises for would-be aggressors.

But I just got my splint off, and healing is a ******. I don't want my wife cut up or disabled. Avoidance is my order of the day.

Granted, sometimes the exit is blocked by rough men. I just don't want to run an IPSC course and reload all of the ammunition.

Laugh if you will, but I truly believe that my job has migrated from 'compatriot' to 'mentor.'