Something you will hear if your around Max very long is “you don’t know what you don’t know” and that could not have been more true than my experience at his past weeks Combat Team Tactics class.
I came to MVT through Max’s book ‘Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises‘ wherein Max tries to wake the good people up to what could happen in SHTF “Murica”; the plot line and the characters were great but one thing that truthfully went over my head were many of the scenes involving Small Unit Tactics (SUT). Heck I had been in the military (Air Force) but like the vast majority of those who serve in all branches I was nowhere near the pointy end of the spear in fact I was probably as far down that shaft as you could get.
Therefore, I realized that maybe I needed to read Max’s other book ‘Contact: A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival‘ where he explains what those Small Unit Tactics are, the how and why. Read it, put it away for a week or so then picked it up again and reread it; okay now it made a little more sense so I went back and read Patriot Dawn again and the story took on a whole new exciting aspect for me.
Now I was intrigued because in soul searching truth I knew I had just enough gun handling and SUT knowledge to be worthless to my family if not just downright dangerous to them. For many including myself that is the biggest hurdle of all — the admitting that you don’t know shit about defending yourself or others. That being a man doesn’t automatically mean you have some gene preprogramed with all the knowledge that will turn you into a warrior —some modern day fictional Rambo that can handle any situation and give me the ability to kill those that would do me or more importantly the ones I love harm.
Ego when you really have the ability is one thing but a false I can step up and do what is needed when needed ego is what I think most of us have; that and the fear of admitting to ourselves and others that our “abilities” are bullshit. Yes, fear — the fear of looking foolish in front of others.
So, what other reason did I have for being hesitant about taking one of Max’s classes, truthfully it was I didn’t know what I didn’t know and that is what made me hesitant, that and the fact I was nervous as hell about “running through the woods shooting guns” — I was scared I might screw up and hurt someone.
Murphy’s Law is Murphy’s Law and anything can happen but Murphy is going to have to work hard to make safety an issue at Max’s class. Truthfully, I have never felt safer around a group of people shooting guns and training than I did at CTT. I cannot over emphasize the amount of safety that Max builds into his classes. First thing, every day there is a safety lecture with each new training element taught by explanation, demonstration/walk-through and then live fire or as Max refers to it “crawl, walk, run”. During each session either Max or First Sergeant stand over you watching everything you do to make sure you don’t do anything overly stupid or unsafe and I swear in some case they almost seem to know what dumbass thing you were going to do before you even did it.
And yes I’ll admit I was “that guy,” the one that had to constantly be reminded to watch my muzzle. Was that pounded into me for three days: yes. Was I warned that if I didn’t get it straightened out I would not be able to do some of the training because I might endanger others: yes. Was I embarrassed: yes. Was I resentful — HELL NO! I came here to learn and if I was screwing up then dammit I wanted Max and First Sergeant to point it out to me! Bad people wanting to take my things and kill me aren’t going to point out my mistakes they are going to exploit them and then I’ll be dead and of no help to my family and I wasn’t going to let a little thing like a bruised ego or pride get in the way.
Did I get better: yes, did it go from conscious thought to unconscious thought when it came to muzzle awareness and safety application: yes, and will it stay that way: only if I practice because all skills are perishable.
So screw ego, pride or whatever it is that might be keeping you from training!
All the macho know it all, prepper, survivalist, great hunter, I can take care of myself holdup in my retreat don’t need anyone else crap, will only get you killed maybe a little later that most but eventually because when the SHTF you will need help and not just any help but trained in SUT help.
When the SHTF ego or pride won’t get you through it, they ARE NOT a substitute for training and without the training you will be dead very quickly and if that is the case then truthfully I couldn’t care less because the training is here at MVT. I will only feel sorry for those that are depending on you for their survival if your ego/pride or something else was more important than training.
I think I have gone through every emotion there is before during and after taking CTT, but one thing is clear I stand a better chance of survival today for having done so.
Did I learn: yes. Am I better: yes. Will I need to practice: yes. Do I need to come back and take the Combat Rifle Skills Class as First Sergeant suggested: yes. Will I: yes, and I’ll also take the CTT class again and again and again. Why? Because skills not practiced perish, so even if you were part of the pointy end of the spear years ago are you still good to go? Have you truly trained lately, and I don’t mean some square range class where the paper targets patiently wait for you to get squared away, I mean MVT trained?
My wife, daughter and grandkids stand a little better chance today because of the training I received — don’t let anything stop you from getting the training you need so you can say the same about the ones you love.
Thank you Max and First Sergeant for working so hard to try to keep good people alive; just know there are 12 more out there that stand a better chance because of you.