Let’s get this out of the way: few if any of us train as much as we should. I know I don’t—while I frequently hit the range for some casual shooting I’m not running handgun drills, practicing tactical movement, or drilling transitions between weapons or from to hand to hand as much as I should. So, in this, I’m a guilty as the rest of you.
I think the go-to excuse for many of us is the lack of time and proper facilities. Not everyone has a range in their backyard, or space to run the drills they ought to, or time to hit up a gym and get a grappling workout in. With that in mind, I’d like to suggest some ways in which you can train at home, and some gear you can build to help you do it.
Setting up an indoor range for dry fire drills only is something we’ve discussed in the past, and I encourage you to do so. This space also gives you options for practicing your draw-present-fire-scan-reholster sequence, as well as transitioning from one firearm to another (eg, long weapon to handgun) or from a weapon to hand-to-hand. Get on this—these are vital skills.
Speaking of hand-to-hand, though: while there’s really no substitute for live training with a resisting partner, there are some things you can do at home with the aid of your own DIY grappling dummy. Unlike a punching bag (we’ll get to that in a minute) a grappling dummy allows you to run drills in which you grapple, practice joint locks and other manipulations, and throws. Nowhere near as good as a training partner, but it’s something to do at home when you have time. The grappling dummy is also flexible: build a stand for it and you can start practicing fighting with various self defense tools including tactical pens and improvised weapons. These skills are important tools in the toolbox; keep them sharp and ready to deploy.
Ok, ok, I hear you back there: you want to punch and kick things. I get that—not only are those good self defense skills but they’re also great exercise and a stress reliever. Well, good news yet again: DIY punching bags are relatively cheap and easy to build. The plans here are for a backyard/garage setup, but I bet apartment dwellers can make it work if they get a little creative. It’s a lot more convenient than having to head to the gym every time you want to get some training in.
Let’s shoot the elephant in the room and talk about the gym, since the subject has come up. I’m willing to bet more than a few of us are carrying some extra weight and maybe aren’t as strong as we should be. Again, I’m guilty as well, but if we’re serious about CCW and self defense we all need to work to be in the best condition we can. We’ve talked before about workouts for concealed carry, and I strongly suggest picking a routine and sticking with it.
I’m sure you all have your own thoughts on this, and I’d love to hear your at home training ideas via email or in the comments section. Please get in touch and until then stay safe out there.