Train VS Practice



In the Self-defense focused training community – both on the firearm centric and martial art centric sides – there is an ungodly amount of foolish arguments. 9mm vs 45acp, AIWB vs strong side, point shooting vs sighted, combat sports vs street arts, modern systems vs traditional fighting methods, etc and etc. to the point of head spinning nausea. If we harnessed 1/10th of the time and energy spent on such discussions, we would exponentially add to our time actually, you know, training.

One of the worst and most insipid debates is a fairly recent one. In this one, proponents will argue for the merits of “training” or “practice” and assert in the strongest fashion that one of those is better than the other. But is there really any merit to this?

To really grasp if this is valid, let’s look at the standard dictionary definitions of these two terms. First, training:


 the skill, knowledge, or experience acquired by one that trains


And now, practice:


repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.”


Um, that is the exact same thing. So arguing which type of activity to engage in because one is superior is akin to arguing that swimming is better than moving through the water on the surface by using your hands and feet for propulsion. Kind of a waste of time. Basically, both terms mean the same thing, and any attempt to differentiate between them is just an exercise in foolish semantic games.

Maybe we can get back to what really counts?

Recommended Book

if you have any interest in any way in becoming a better shooter, buy this book now:




It is an excellent book that covers practically everything you need to know to build your own dry fire shooting program. She covers it all, and covers it well. Every mistake I made over the years, she eliminates the possibility of it for the reader. And for $4? It is a steal.

Daily Morning Practice

Time. And our lack of it.

This is an issue I keep coming back to it on this blog, because for probably 98% of us, we just don’t have the time we want to train to the level we would like, and to train all the things we think we should. Because of that, I am only trying to find solutions. Not just for myself, but in order to maybe provide help to those of you out there who are in the same situation I am in. I have written a number of articles, and done a number of videos addressing this, but here is another one that I hope fuels some people quest.

Since we all face time management issues, we need to be realistic in how much time we spend training. One way to deal with this is the idea of short, but constant sessions. We can try to carve out 1-5 minutes as consistently as possible and train what we can. Ideally, it would be the same slot every day. Let’s look at the idea of doing something for three minutes every morning. If we set it up properly, we only have a literally get up a few minutes early than normal, but we can start to add mileage to our training flight log.

As an example here, let’s plan on doing one minute of hip escapes, one minute of hip lifts, and one minute of technical stand ups. Set a timer for one minute, with say a 15 second break, and begin with hip lifts. You can use this easy motion as your warm up. One of the added benefits is that they need no equipment. Just get on the ground with enough room to move a bit and go for it! Setting the timer is the most prep work needed. Start with a few slow reps, then gradually push the limit and stretch as far as you can. Not only are you working an incredibly useful physical skill, you are pumping blood and mobility into your lower back, hamstrings, and hip flexors – all very good to get you through a normal and routine day. You should be able to do 10-20 good repetitions in the allocated minute.

Here is a quick tutorial on the proper mechanics of a hip lift (otherwise known as an Upa in BJJ):


When the time signals the end of the round, take a deep easy breath, and start doing hip escapes. Again, you are waking up important parts of the body while working good technique. Make sure you are going to each side equally. In the minute round, you should get 10-30 reps, depending on your speed and how smooth you do the action.

Hip escape tutorial:




For the next round, do technical stand ups at the same pace and once again do a nice bit of therapeutic action on your body.

Technical Stand Up :



At the end of the 3 rounds, go shower, and get dressed for the day. Easy peasy! Don’t even have three minutes? Cool! Do one minute only, and cycle each week or month through these three skills.

Or, if you would rather work another skill set, you could easily fill in the slot with shadow boxing. Or dry fire. Or place a kettlebell close by and do a minute each of Goblet squats and two arm swings.




The possibilities are truly almost endless. Find what you need to work on, and get up a couple of minutes early and start getting in solid reps that don’t seem like much, and take up little time from your day, but add up quickly over time and help performance immeasurably.