27 Dec 2016
December 27, 2016

Integration Is Key


Integration Is Key


As training instructors and we have a duty to train our clients to the most competent level. Question is how do we ensure we do that? Some believe reality based training is the answer while some others believe extensive training in each area, such as firearms, for a specified time is the answer. Each of these each are valid training methods and tools but I believe integrated training is critical. I am writing this to share my training methodology in this area, but first lets back up.

Before the integrated training can be effective all clients must be proficient in their core programs. It would do no good to conduct integrated training into an environment where the clients do not know how to perform the basic and core skills. This article is about the more advance training where the basic skillsets are already understood.

First let’s define what I consider integrated training. For my purposes, Integrated training is that training which incorporates all core or defined areas of training such as physical tactics, weapons handling/marksmanship, team tactics etc. in a comprehensive, functional and optimal manner.

Now, let’s talk more specifics. Conducting reality based training will bring realism to the venue of training, however, it will only be as effective as the integrated training that was instituted beforehand. An example of integrated training would be conducting team tactics training where there are multiple core skills tested. But this training is first conducted in a “static” and controlled environment where integration drills are conducted at a controlled pace and clients are provided an opportunity to learn HOW to integrate their training. For instance, while conducting a slow deliberate walkthrough of team egress tactics, a scenario is played out, again in a static or “walkthrough” manner, additional stimulus is introduced such as a subject approaching and presenting a firearm in a threatening manner. This is where we integrate by talking about Use of Force, conduct weapon disarms, physical tactics and others areas.

Once the client has gained confidence in these skills the scenarios move to an “Engaged” evolution where they are played out at a pace which is faster than a typical walkthrough but also slightly slower than what a real encounter would be. Once engaged evolutions have been accomplished to a satisfactory level, based on predetermined evaluation criteria, the level of intensity can increase to a “Dynamic” level where scenarios are played out with as much realism as safely possible. These allow skillsets to be reinforced under stressful conditions and strengthened through both classic and operant conditioning.

Integrating your training through enhanced instructional methodology is a no brainer in my book. I think this is because I have been exposed to many different types of methodology, some good….some bad. And based on my experience in both receiving and providing instructional training, integrated training has a proven track record. From a client’s perspective, I have to also believe they will leave the training you provide in a positive and confident manner after having actually performed their skillsets in a purposeful way.