View Full Version : Use it or lose it

07-11-2010, 09:20 AM
I've witnessed on numerous occasions an interesting phenomenon. It's the "use it or lose it" syndrome when it comes to skills.

Recently a guy I know came back to our gym after a couple month hiatus. When I first started this guy kicked my arse six ways to Sunday every time we spared. Later it got to the point where I beat him now and then, and he beat me now and then.

Watching him during the learning time of the cl***, he had lost a lot of core skills that I know he had seen and done dozens of times previously. When we sparred he was way behind the power curve.

Had that been a real life or death deal instead of a friendly "tap" out, well you can figure it out. Not saying I'm a badarse, far from it, just pointing out how little time it took for him to "lose" the skills and fundamentals he previously held well.

Back in the long long ago in a galaxy far far away, I used to have a bunch of friends that shot and trained together fairly regularly. You could always tell who had been working with their weapons and who hadn't been in the time intervals between getting together.

The ones who had done "dry work" or even went to the range by themselves were without exception, always smooth in their manipulations. "Smooth" usually equates out to "fast and smooth" also.

The ones that had not done any dry work where still- sometimes after years of training- having to look at their weapons during manipulations. Their eyes were down on the weapon, not up looking for threats as they should be.

In simple language- they weren't using it (what they learned) so they were losing it.

Yes I know it's tough to get to the range, especially for folks in the cities and suburbs where every gun hating ordinance known to man prohibits a lot of gun ranges. Even then, a lot of public and private ranges prohibit anything more than very slow fire- 1 round every 2 seconds max, no moving while shooting, etc.

Yet the motor skills required in most of these things can be kept sharp doing dry work.

A ten minute period working with an unloaded weapon and a couple of empty mags in your garage once or twice a week will yield benefits you will be able to see on your next "live" shooting trip. Trust me on this.

Good luck, keep practicing.

fallout boy
07-11-2010, 02:49 PM
I definitely need to train more.