We often get asked that question in the days leading up to a weekend that’s forecasted for a downpour. You know what, for those who don’t have much experience with firearms it’s actually a very fair question.
Southern California… sand, surf, bikinis, bronzed surf Gods and well… occasionally inclement weather. Some of you have trained with us in what I term “Martini Weather.” 72 degrees, 2-3mph slight offshore breeze, scattered high cirrus clouds with nary a worry in sight. This however is not always the case. At times, yes even in beautiful Los Angeles, we endure powerful wind, cold temperatures and unrelenting rain passing through our tranquil land of sun-kissed palm trees.
There are actually many benefits to training in inclement conditions. Primarily, bad guys operate through varied climatic conditions, which by logical deduction, means you are forced to respond in kind in a corresponding condition. Another obvious and yet somewhat overlooked factor, is that human beings respond quite differently when the environment does not favor optimal biological operation. Hands shake, vision degrades, contact surfaces shift, clothes stick, gear becomes drenched and “clingy” etc. In short, that which might normally work flawlessly is grossly uncooperative.
Heat is another matter. When we sweat and become dehydrated, the onset of fatigue is more pronounced, unprotected skin is subjected to UV ray bombardment and contact surfaces can be hot to the touch. Learning how to not only deal with these adverse conditions, but excel in them holds enormous value towards your gaining an advantage over your opponent.
We have had thousands of students who have trained and prevailed in all of the aforementioned situations. There is a supreme satisfaction in pushing yourself a little farther than you thought you could be pushed. Your instructors are enduring similar conditions and are aware of how and when to push you, and of course your welfare is always to the forefront. It’s a great learning curve and it’s fun!
Years ago when I trained with SEAL Team 6 members, they proffered a profound philosophy: “At some point you’ll be dry, warm, fed, rested… it’s just not right now and if you don’t make it, it won’t matter anyway.” I think that makes a lot of sense!
In summation, embrace the “suck” when it comes, learn from it and know that at some point it will be behind you and you will have accomplished something of value… knowing how far you can go!