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You may come across offerings for "tactical training" or "tactical krav maga" over the course of your practice. Tactical training or combat training can be valuable toward your goals, but you must choose the correct training for your needs. I would like to clarify what this means for you as a practitioner, and explain the differences across the different branches of tactical training. It can be dangerous to train incorrectly and with the wrong purpose.

Tactical training means combative training using weapons such as rifles, handguns, knives, and more. There are three branches of tactical training, each with a different purpose.

  • Military — This type of training deals specifically with military scenarios and uses a large variety of weapons, most of which is not applicable for law enforcement officers and civilians. The training involves a variety of tasks and responsibilities concerning military personnel only, such as preemptive force, infantry tactics, coordinating with other response units, or drills that instill selfless service. Individuals who are not members of the military can be endangered and become unsafe if they attempt to learn and train in these skills, due to building instinctual response and reasoning toward incorrect and incompatible goals.
  • Law Enforcement — Tactical training for law enforcement includes training with handguns, rifles, tasers, batons, and smaller assault weapons than used in the military. Law enforcement officers are subject to the use of force doctrine, which requires that LEO use the minimum force necessary to control the situation. This means that tactical training for law enforcement must include careful decision making about the use of deadly force and de-escalation training.
  • Civilian — Throughout the Western World, there are restrictions on owning and using weapons. For example, civilians might be prohibited from using certain weapons, or cannot openly carry weapons outside of their property. All gun-owning civilians have significant responsibilities (moral and legal), including using deadly force only in legitimate cases of self-defense. There are many examples of lawful civilians using a gun for self defense, only to find themselves in jail or bankrupt in the legal mess afterwards. The decision-making process for a civilian when considering using deadly force is significantly different from military and law enforcement decision-making, so training in the wrong way can result in dangerous instinctual response.

In general, tactical training for civilians should teach:

  • de-escalation

  • the purpose of each weapon

  • which weapon is the most effective for the owner's needs

  • safe operation and weapon handling

  • creating a safe routine for self and family

  • training scenarios within the vicinity of the home and with the context of family members in the home (home invasion, CQB within the home)

  • using drawn weapons (no real need to train shooting from a holster, since most cannot carry their guns)

Make sure you are training in the best way to match your goals. Train safe. Train smart. I hope to see you this week while my friend and high level professional tactical instructor Kfir Cohen is here from Israel, conducting a three day Tactical Intensive in Santa Clara.


Danny Zelig

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