I had the opportunity yesterday to attend a Bulletproof Mind seminar, put on by Buckeye Firearms Association. In my opinion, training doesn't do any good if you don't take the time to analyze and reflect on the experience in some way, hence why I am writing an "after action report."
I will be upfront and say that I was biased in a positive way towards LtCol Grossman even before attending this seminar. I have had a copy of his book "On Killing" for several years, and it actually traveled with me to both Iraq and Afghanistan. I read it a few times while in the service, once before my first deployment, and then again while I was in Afghanistan. And several others in my platoon read my copy as well, especially in Afghanistan, where we had a fair bit of kinetic contact with the Taliban. And it seemed to do a lot of good for a lot of us, and helped my friends understand what was going on in their heads. So, I already had high hopes for the seminar yesterday.
I am a firm believer that you have to train the "software" just as much as the "hardware" when it comes to self defense. If you are serious about self defense, you use your defensive mindset every single day. You may be carrying your gun every day, but you certainly don't need to shoot it in defense everyday. Your mind is actually your single best defensive weapon, and you can probably avoid or deter the vast majority of threats, just by being alert and observing your surroundings, and recognizing a threat when you see one. So, if all your self defense training consists of is going to the range and punching holes in paper, to me, it is deficient, and you should expand your horizons.
I am not going to try to paraphrase or give away any of what LtCol. Grossman covers in his seminar. But, some of the topics covered include:
Current threats in society, and some of the causes for violence in society.
Possible future threats that society will face
Some of the Psychological aspects of self defense
Physiological reactions to threats
The psychological aftermath of a defensive shooting
I really enjoyed the seminar, and got a lot out of it. I think that it was a good reminder of why I go through the daily hassle of strapping on a pistol before I head out the door. If you have been getting lax in your carry habits, it might be a good thing to attend the seminar. I would also very highly encourage any recently returned veterans who have been deployed to combat overseas to attend, as someone who fits that category, I found it extremely worthwhile. I personally also think that it could be quite beneficial to someone who is on the fence about carrying for self defense, or even anti-gun people, if they would attend. I think it could help pull the wool from over their eyes, and see what is going on in society. LtCol. Grossman conveys the information in an intelligent manner without any false bravado, and does an excellent job of keeping the crowd involved and interested.
So, if you have a chance to attend one of these seminars, or anything else presented by LtCol Grossman, I would highly recommend you take the chance. It is just as valuable as a day at the range, and will help round out your defensive training, adding more tools to your tool box. I actually thought the day went extremely fast, and at no point was looking at my watch wondering when it was going to end. You can also pick up his books, or some books he was written forwards or had other input on, up at the seminar without needing to pay for shipping (I bought a copy of "On Combat," and added several more to my wishlist.) And, if you have an old dog-eared copy of one of his books that traveled the world with you you can probably get it signed, and have a minute with him to talk about where the book has been.