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How do I train for free?

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

Money is tight for a lot of people right now and for many the idea of paying for firearm training is a luxury that is hard to justify. I totally get it. The reality is that while I believe knowing how to safely and effectively use a firearm is important, it’s not as important as having food on the table for your family or a reliable vehicle to get around. Luckily there are tons of ways to train for cheap or completely free. If you can afford professional training it will fast track your progress but there is nothing wrong with being self-taught, so long as you do it the right way.

There are so many resources out there that you can attain a surprisingly proficient level of shooting without ever stepping foot on a range. One of the best resources out there is Youtube. Things have changed a lot in the past few years and now you can find excellent training resources from top tier trainers all over Youtube. There are two main potential issues with getting your training off Youtube, the first is making sure you are choosing quality instruction and the second is being accountable and consistent in your training.

Finding good content can be tough, especially as a beginner. It can seem like everyone out there is an amazing shooter with Instagram worthy highlight reels and ten pages of credentials. Seek out training that matches what you are looking for. Learning basic pistol fundamentals from a Navy SEAL is a bit like learning to doggy paddle from Michael Phelps. Can they teach you? Yes, of course. Is it taking advantage of their real skill set? No.

If you are just starting out, I highly recommend videos by Jerry Miculek and his daughter Lena Miculek. Both are very high-level competitive shooters and Lena in particular has some great videos catered to beginners.

For competitive shooting tips and more advanced techniques I look to professional competitive shooters like JJ Racaza who has numerous videos covering competition style shooting.

For a more tactical focus there has been an explosion of tactical training made available on Youtube. Some of it is great, some of it might get you killed in a real gun fight and sometimes its hard to know the difference. For whatever you are learning make sure you know the why behind it, there is no one way to do anything and the techniques that might work for a Navy SEAL might not work for a cop or for a single mom at home with her kids. I can recommend training from Warrior Poet Society, Scott Jedlinski and Aaron at Sage Dynamics.

The second issue with training yourself is that without anyone to correct you it can be easy to develop bad habits and it will likely take you much longer than if you had someone correcting you as you go. Watching a ten-minute clip on Youtube and practicing it for a few reps will not be enough to cement that skill in your brain. If you are going to teach yourself make an effort to film yourself practicing and look over the video to confirm you are doing what you think you are doing.

With just a cell phone and some Youtube videos you can have access to better training than 95% of law enforcement and the military and all for absolutely free. What a world we live in!

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