McRae TerrAssault 2

There Is Too Much Social Media On This Firing Line: The Dangerous Future Of Tactical Entertainment

September 23, 2015
Aaron Barruga

  
The tactical training industry exploded in the mid 2000’s. This period coincided with the height of the Iraq War (Petraeus’ Surge), and the fighting that took place in Afghanistan’s mountainous border with Pakistan. During this time, American media also covered the entire spectrum of warfare. Brutal house-to-house fighting in Fallujah and coalition airstrikes in Kunar were brought into the American household via the Nightly News.

Wartime coverage provided by news outlets is not a new phenomenon. However, the 2000’s brought about some of the most prolific changes to spectatorship of modern warfare through the use of social media and user generated content. Armed with a M4 and a helmet camera, hundreds of soldiers have uploaded their experiences to websites that are devoted specifically to battle focused media. Before “YouTube fame” was a common term, thousands of spectators had viewed Blackwater snipers engage Iraqi insurgents, and Delta Force Operators perform hostage rescue.

Exposure to wartime coverage through traditional news outlets and the more recent mediums provided by the Internet has altered our methods for determining source credibility. First, when an individual watches an accredited news outlet, he subconsciously creates metrics for what “right” looks like. With regards to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, viewers create conventions that align with the following checklist: (1) The events are taking place in the desert (2) there are soldiers running around in uniform (3) I see guns-conclusion: this is what combat looks like.

Viewers then use these models and apply them to other forms of media. When watching combat footage on the Internet, the same checklist can determine what “right” looks like. The closer a YouTube video aligns with what is shown from an accredited news outlet, the more likely a viewer is to consider the content legitimate (yes, fake combat footage does exist). The cumulative effect of building heuristics to determine credibility is that we may properly construct our interpretation of what “right” looks like; or we may empower the wrong individuals and concepts. 

The Rise Of Tactical Entertainment

Commercial tactical instruction benefited from wartime coverage delivered by both accredited news outlets and the newer forms of user (soldier) generated Internet content. For trainers posting videos to YouTube, they only need to look like what consumers consider “right.” This task is easily accomplished by: wearing camouflage or North Face-style pants and shirts, having a cool looking gun, and most importantly-growing a beard.

Absent of robust credentials, individuals that look the part are able to build massive brands around their methodology. Under these circumstances, training begins to value flair over function, and concepts that are incompatible with fundamental skills are relabeled as doctrine. Furthermore, the accelerant qualities of social media create communal consensus. From the consumer’s point of view, how can something be wrong if it is wildly popular on Instagram? Consequently, source credibility, experience, and judgment can be measured more by social media following than real world experience. 

Crossfit Case Comparison

In the early 2000’s, Crossfit exploded among the exercise industry. Individuals unfamiliar with Olympic-style weightlifting were now snatch-clean-lift-swing-battleroping themselves to exhaustion and injury. However, the prevailing mindset among Crossfitters was that pain meant growth. Unfortunately for thousands of Americans, pushing through pain meant exacerbating various forms of tendonitis.

Why did Crossfit gain robust popularity? First, Crossfit’s business model is extremely conducive to franchising. Spending $500 on a seminar to become “certified,” allows gyms to open their own Crossfit franchise. Second, the randomness of Crossfit’s programming does produce results, however, these results are not targeted towards goal specific performance. Rather than enhancing sport related abilities, Crossfit only makes people good at working out. Third, the communal effects of working out in a group formed camaraderie that made any physical activity more enjoyable due to the added social components.

Crossfit’s methodology has been challenged since its inception; however, counter-arguments were unable to gain traction due to the ubiquitous popularity of Crossfit. How can a concept (franchise) that exists globally be wrong? In the past few years, accredited news outlets and exercise professionals have vigorously criticized Crossfit’s methodology. As a result, gyms with Crossfit franchises have reverted back to being Olympic weightlifting establishments; and institutions that choose to remain Crossfit specific have restructured their programming to incorporate material that focuses on injury avoidance and meaningful programming.

Crossfit is not bad, misunderstood and poorly taught Crossfit is bad. The same holds true with tactical shooting instruction. Similar to Crossfit “instructors” that are parroting information they learned in an eight hour seminar, unaccredited tactical instructors can regurgitate information at a base level, but will always fail in expanding upon on a concept due to lack of experience.

One Sided Dialogue

Contrary to law enforcement and military organizations, commercial training is driven by what consumers are more willing to pay for. Mission success relates more to increasing profit margins than remaining honest to the fundamentals of a discipline. Distortion of knowledge by commercial firms proliferates because legitimate tactical organizations (LEO/military) do not even participate in the conversation about tactics and training. Does the marksmanship NCO for 1st SFOD-D care about what is being written in the comment section of YouTube video? No, or at least not until he retires and starts his own commercial training company.

For credible instructors, scrutinizing an unaccredited, but popular instructor is too risky.

Regardless of being right, challenging an instructor means challenging his brand and potentially alienating his client base. Moreover, challenging an individual backed by multimillion-dollar firms can expedite ostracism from the industry. Consequently, the Tier One credentials valued by government agencies to perform real world missions go undervalued in an industry driven by clever marketing and brand exposure.

A common business axiom is that you should focus less on highlighting the flaws of a competitor’s brand, and spend more effort emphasizing the strengths of your product. Although this applies to business, this concept is incompatible with academically advancing knowledge within a discipline. With regards to tactical shooting instruction, credentialed individuals should absolutely critique flawed methodology. Why-because lives are at stake.

Although social media has contributed to the proliferation of questionable instruction and tactical entertainment, it has also facilitated exposure from reputable sources. Mike Pannone of CTT Solutions recently wrote an op-ed that rigorously critiqued a pistol carry method known as the temple index. In Pat McNamara’s upcoming training DVD he frustratingly addresses search and assess methodology. Although Mike and Mac will not change the minds of the individuals that staunchly defend the temple index and search and assess, they will influence the opinions of thousands of spectators that are observing the arguments.

Compounded Effects By The Year 2020

The consequences of learning poorly recited tactical information is apparent, however, to properly understand the significance we must look at the compounded effects. Over the next few years, tactical medicine is going to be the next trend in training that gains explosive popularity. Although marksmanship-style courses will not go away, the market for this type of training is entirely saturated by both credible and questionable instructors.

Poorly regurgitated tactical medicine training poses a specific threat to patient survivability. Individuals that have been improperly trained will worsen certain wounds and injuries in such a matter that it may cause permanent damage or loss of life. In 2005, shooters highly scrutinized open enrollment tactical courses taught by individuals with questionable backgrounds. In 2015, Instagram has undermined much of the source verification process. Real world experience can now be waived if an instructor has tens of thousands of followers. At the current pace, there’s no reason to assume that tactical medicine training will not suffer the same dynamic by the year 2020.

Aaron is a Special Forces Veteran and teaches classes in Southern California. Check out his website at guerrillaapproach.com and follow him at instagram.com/guerrilla_approach

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56 Responses to “There Is Too Much Social Media On This Firing Line: The Dangerous Future Of Tactical Entertainment”

  1. Bill says:

    One of the most cogent and philosophically rigorous analysis of the phenomenon written. A good additional read would be Errol Morris’ “Believing is Seeing.”

    This is a field where we don’t have good, evidence-based standards on what is “right” and what is “wrong,” nor standardized needs assessments or measurement rubrics, other than overly simplistic things such as time to first shot or group size. Ideally tactical medicine will be more evidence-based, but even the entire field of medicine is much less rigorous than say physics.

    • It will be interesting to see how things unfold in the next 5 to 10 years. Marksmanship is not as well reinforced as the academia of medicine (with regards to wide spread agreement on practices). However, the industry myself correct by then with more and more credited individuals coming out of the woodwork to call out nonsense.

      • SSD says:

        Right now, it’s a race to the bottom as every guy who smells a sucker has put out a shingle promising firearms training. It doesn’t matter if they know what they are doing or not.

        I believe that this will all come to a screeching halt when the government either shuts it down or imposes draconian regulation after it comes out that someone trained an active shooter or terrorist. Few, if any trainers conduct background checks on their students. Why, a trainer in Vermont was just shot by student who was a prohibited person. He was providing shooting instruction to her (yes, her) and she shot him because she wanted his firearm. This time, the trainer paid the price but in the future, others may as well and that will certainly garner the attention of the anti-2A movement.

        Any industry that fails to self regulate, especially while there are tools available to do it, is just begging for a bureaucrat to step in and help them out.

        • Fly on the Wall says:

          This.

          Any industry with lethal second or third order effects needs to police itself, lest it be externally regulated or prohibited by professional bureaucrats.

        • historia says:

          I think the term “accelerant” Mr. Baruga used regarding social media is spot on I have been referring to twitter as an accelerant myself. I had not thought about the other SM outlets or the impact it has on the industry etc.
          SSD thanks for posting this

      • Shep says:

        What standards are you using for marksmanship? Do you believe yourself more accredited than Rob Leatham now that you are instructing armed citizens? I wrote a bit about your article at pistol forum but am happy to discuss it here as well.

        https://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?17353-quot-There-Is-Too-Much-Social-Media-On-This-Firing-Line-quot

        • If I had stated I was better than Rob Leatham I would click through your link. Otherwise, I think engaging in your dialogue would just expose me to a bunch of poorly worded polemics.

          • Terry B. says:

            Aaron,

            I looked over there and I think you called it right. And thanks for making me look up “polemic”.

            TLB

        • Eric B says:

          Wow, that’s pretty ballsy. “Hey, I wrote some shit about you and your article on another blog. You should check it out.”

  2. Roy Woodall says:

    Murphy’s law of combat… “the professional soldiers are predictable it’s the amateurs that are dangerous”.

  3. Terry B. says:

    Aaron,

    Admittedly I’m outside the industry looking in. But I am paying attention. And I think that you are absolutely spot on! Well said.

    TLB

  4. Mc Cain, P.T. says:

    James Yeager…’nuff said.

    • Kaos-1 says:

      You think he’s bad. That youtuber guy from “range time” couldn’t even hack 30th AG , now the dude thinks he’s Mr. Travis Costa Haley and runs his own “training courses”.

      • Dirty Leg says:

        The worst part is, many of the big youtubers FORGAVE that piece of trash. Even MAC, who was a Marine and should know better, still has him promoted on his “recommended channels”. He got away with it.

  5. Fantastic article, love the crossfit comparison

    • Thanks, this took a while to edit so that it made exact sense with the overall body of work.

    • straps says:

      Think the Crossfit® comparison is good? Check out the increasing concern about “rogue” yoga “instructors.”

      Great article. “Combat” training of the type glorified on Youtube is of almost ZERO relevance to 99.9% of Americans who need capable and relevant instruction in the defense of their home, and probably less than zero for folk who need capable and relevant CCW training.

  6. Dellis says:

    Cory Jackson of Range Time, which is now defunct, fits the description within this well written piece.

    I wanted to train with them at one time cause hey, they had the endorsement of Travis Haley afterall so they had to be good right? WRONG!

    Stolen valor and just people who parroted what they had been taught and seen on DVD’s. I am thankful to some friends who smacked me into reality on just who are the real instructors and who are YouTube celebs.

    Great read Aaron, thank you.

    • Dirty Leg says:

      You know that POS still has a channel up with quite a few weekly views, right? Other big youtubers essentially swept it under the rug and he got away with that crap.

      • Dellis says:

        I had no idea…don’t people care anymore where they spend their money and time??

        Why spend your hard earned money of lying trash when they are great solid trainers out there?

        I refuse to spend my money on any company that endorses this liar.

  7. Scot says:

    Excellent

  8. BillC says:

    It also really comes down to people are afraid to be wrong. No one likes to admit that they were part of a defunct form of thinking or practice so it’s easier just to say that something isn’t wrong.

    It’s okay to be wrong and change your mind after new data/evidence/information comes out and things have been trialed or re-evaluated.

    • I think a big problem is we associate our methods with our identity and ego, instead of truly approaching them from the standpoint of always seeking to improve.

    • Lex says:

      @BillC
      Good point. There’s something to be said for the theory that our brain is wired towards “winning” arguments /social status. Hence why we feel bad when we lose arguments; rather than happy we get to discard bad ideas in favor of better ones. We all do dumb stuff. Sure, we change our minds; though often without acknowledging so: If we were wrong then, why, we might be wrong about something now. Inconceivable!
      There’s something to be said for intentionally being the dumbest/weakest/least experienced guy in the room every once in a while.

  9. Jon, OPT says:

    Good summation of industry evolution over the last decade+. The bubble burst within the industry in a far different way than I expected; rather than product saturation, it became an overflow of idiocy and badly made, highly advertised gear; from posers, to shooters who people believe have credibility based on sleeve tats and beards (he mentioned bacon and whiskey, he must be a true, real steel, veteran, BTDT operator!). Those who keep it real are losing market share to assclownery of epic proportions, it is both hilarious and highly frustrating to watch.

    Keep preaching brother Aaron!

    Jon, OPT

  10. Chris K. says:

    Excellent article; it’s entertainment to most, and the true way isn’t usually flashy or entertaining.

  11. Joe says:

    Tier 1 credentials are nice but if you can’t teach what you know how important are Tier 1 creds ? I had a higher education math teacher that was a certified genius but he wasn’t hired by the Institute to be a genius, he was hired to be an educator!

    Beards, tats, multicam, arc,teryx, aor–1, and a Daniel Defense carbine do not the bad ass make. Agreed.

    But does being a credentialed BAMF make someone a teacher? I do not adhere to the notion that “those that can’t……Teach” but I also don’t see the value strictly in having been an Assaulter, Sniper, DM, Breacher, UNLESS that person can ALSO teach others. I would rather recieve instruction from an 0311/ 11B with 1-2 combat tours that is an excellent instructor and a teacher than a Tier 1 URL raid Assaulter that can’t teach.

    • Johnny says:

      So are you referring to the author or is that a general statement?

    • Jason says:

      I agree but the ability to teach wasn’t the focus of the article either. Learning to teach well is a trial by fire and, like you said, people can be very proficient but absolutely trash at teaching others those skills.

      But the main focus here was “we need to have a better way of vetting good teachers/practices from bad ones so the public isn’t tricked into thinking is a good practice.”

    • ninjaben says:

      If you retire as a Tier 1 guy, with exceptions you probably spent time teaching in either a school house, your subordinates, or indig (depending on your upbringing). Teaching/Mentorship require unique traits, but this is not the emphasis of the article. Guys who need to shoot well in addition to turning to former members also turn to professional shooters in order to learn how to shoot. I am not sure if Barnhart has to devote anything to advertising and is probably booked supporting government alone. He may have no “real world” experience, but his biomechanics are unreal.

      Here is my advice to civilians. If you want a guy to teach you how to shoot fast and accurate. Find a pro competition shooter. If you want to learn “tactics”, find an individual who was a recent instructor at a specialized military or law enforcement unit. “cutting edge tactics” are perishable unless you stay tied in with a community, or are one of those unique people who can self educate.

    • Ron says:

      Why are so many people worried about what students wear, facial hair, etc? All that matters is if they learned something and became more proficient & safer shooters. The rest of this is Internet BS.

    • straps says:

      True. Being a good instructor in any discipline takes patience and empathy (yes, even in gladiatorial skill sets) IN ADDITION TO intellect and skill.

      I’ve been processing what Aaron said all day, and it isn’t isolated to firearms training. Upside to Social Media and VoD is good information supported by good commentary (yes, corroboration is possible, even on the internet), the downside is Youtube Glock Fu.

      Really, it’s on the buyer–the student–to understand the guy who’s been putting warheads in foreheads as a member of a team downrange (where prosecution or litigation isn’t even a hazard) may/may not be the guy for the only 8-16 hours of professional Personal & Home Defense instruction (and 500-1000 rounds of ammo) s/he can afford this year.

      This makes it no easier for the “good” instructor with the solid program (and not-quite-full classes) to watch an over-full class struggle to get cooler (but alas, no more skilled) after a day on the line with internet sensation Tab Hunter…

  12. Disco says:

    Yeah…..I don’t watch that crap either. I’d ratger shoot my own guns than watch a buncha loudmouths like Yeager and other people I don’t care about

  13. Baret says:

    I’d like to echo the comment of Bill above ^^^ because it rings true.

    “This is a field where we don’t have good, evidence-based standards on what is “right” and what is “wrong,” nor standardized needs assessments or measurement rubrics, other than overly simplistic things such as time to first shot or group size.”

    There are many training philosophies out there because… well – its subjective. Just like the Rabbis of 1st Century Judaism had different paradigms of the law because the law was left open for interpretation. There are objectively based things when it comes to training. Doorways are bad, cover is good – things like that. But there isn’t some holy grail, 10 commandments of tactical training written that we can all reference to for what is right and wrong.

    And this is where things get a little tricky dicky because when we start talking about what is RIGHT information and what is WRONG information, I see people mistakenly execute the GENETIC FALLACY almost religiously. The genetic fallacy, in a nut shell, means that it doesnt matter where you heard the information, what matters is whether or not the information is true. I love the author’s point about “For credible instructors, scrutinizing an unaccredited, but popular instructor is too risky.” Bravo! Because it doesnt matter who’s teaching a fundamental pistol class where all you talk about is “grip, sight picture. trigger pull,” what matters is IF THE INFORMATION is conducive to what we understand as fundamental – and is the instructor communicating it in such a way to where the students learns it. Personal experience, from the standpoint of the instructor – unfortunately, doesnt really amount to much when teaching a class. Why? Because it doesnt matter if you’ve had 100 confirmed kills in Iraq, what matters is, can you communicate in such a way to where the student can understand and RETAIN that information. That’s why people teach. Believe it or not, its not to make money, people teach to communicate information effectively. Would I prefer an instructor who has had combat and real life experience to those who have not? Absolutely! But understand, that doesnt change the potentiality that the information can be dangerous or flat our wrong. Case and point, I am beginning to teach and work closely with Green Berets. They have guest instructors who come in who are the “Tier One” operators and have openly taught them some of the most God awful “if this, than you should do this” stuff. But it comes from a Tier 1 Devgru operator, so it must be legit? Of course not.

    But what also needs to be addressed is that these experienced operators come out of active duty, and teach classes, but now – starving for content – will just make up the most random stuff, why? Because they need new class and they need to feed their “followers.”Why do they do this? Because they are experienced, who can come up against these strong personalities? Now most of what I’ve seen doesn’t fall into that “desperate for content” category. What I think we need to be teaching students is to question and critically think about what they are learning and not default to the statement “well i survived 4 combat tours, do what i say!” (which I’ve been told that before in a class)

    In conclusion – fantastic article – very well written!

  14. Jason says:

    Great article! This really brought the issue into focus and not in the back corners of shooting forums. Funnily enough, the medical world still does have similar. Even if things are tested and checked more rigorously, all too often you’ll see some bigwig at a convention showing off the newest gadget and it’ll look awesome and he’ll sell it well. But is it actually going to make a positive difference in how you do things?

    For that, I go to people I respect who know their stuff and ask them. They tend to be a bit quieter and down to earth and they usually can tell me what’s legitimately useful and what will probably peter out in 2 years.

  15. Jakob Weidl says:

    This is the First Time ever for me to comment anything on the Internet,
    but your execellent article made me do. Thank you Mr. Baruga for
    absolutely bringing it to the Point!

  16. Lex says:

    How can you link crossfit with tacticool training and not include a link to this bit of performance art? http://youtu.be/jOg25HlBNiU

    • MikeB. says:

      While this has nothing to do with the original article posted, I have to point out that the guy in the video actually muzzled his head doing the hanging situps while shooting.

  17. Ron F. says:

    Well written, and well argued. Thank you for this piece.

  18. Ron says:

    Great post but it isn’t going to resonate well in all parts of the internet. They are too busy trying to promote themselves or their friends. Hence the “A Civilian CCW Student Would Learn More From a LE or Civilian Instructor Who Carries In Bad Places”, its their new marketing attempt. They run on the misguided information that SOF guys only do missions dressed in black, running in teams, and with large support packages. Thats simply not the case, Low-Vis ops are a huge part of what they do and has been for 30+ years. Even more so today. I’d prefer to train with an Instructor who has carried in places that if he gets caught would get him killed or arrested. Every watch a terrorist safe house running low-vis? Or some Internet celebrity who teaches and bases everything on a weekly trip to Wal-Mart?

    As for “Relevancy” of the SOF training not fitting the civilian world how can it not be? This is something I see over and over from certain cliques as a way of passive-aggrsssive down playing SOF qualifications. Ever been qualified to be on a team responsible for CT? Loaded train packed with hostages? Hint: it takes amazing shooting ability, target discrimination, focus, etc. Everything a civlian would face defending his home, defending himself in the Mall, etc.

    In my opinion the SOF instrructors are the most relevant to U.S. civilians.

  19. Nicco says:

    Great article! I work in the outdoor training industry and we have several similar problems.

  20. Thumbs up! Very good.

  21. Eric says:

    The end of the article is so true. The “tactical medical” community is getting hit hard right now with “medics” and “companies” who are pushing shady equipment and embellishing backgrounds. They are playing on the lack of medical knowledge by citizens and law enforcement to make money.

    Then you have “big name” companies buying into the BS and selling items which have no peer reviewed science behind them. When asked about this, the companies say they are just the “reseller” and have no control over the science behind the product. Are you f’ing kidding? This is life saving equipment!

    The ethics of some in the current “tactical medicine” community are horrible!

  22. Nattydreadbushdoc says:

    Tactical medicine market is already saturated. Price wars between providers have lowered the daily wage for instructors to such a low rate that it is rare to find quality instruction anymore. If I see one more tactical medical blog advocating stuffing tampons into bullet holes I may…

  23. Mark Royer says:

    Good article. Another hard part are the number of students that bought the latest multi-cam gear, wonder-nine and special AK-AR and now want a class. Now it is straight to advanced whiz bang tactical class. Then there is hours spent trying to teach them how the gun works, what sights are and the general direction of the target. And the rest of the class does not get what they paid for.
    Yet the end of this article does a good job of denigrating the very type of class and instructor that is needed more than the advanced tactical guys out there. The guys that enjoy teaching new and intermediate shooters. The guys that will prepare those people to take part and learn from the advanced course.
    The funny line was that the marksmanship market is saturated. Actually the industry continues to teach that the students an buy their gear, watch a couple of vids and be ready for a 4 day advanced carbine marathon. Safety, marksmanship and intermediate classes are way to important to the future of our sports and rights.

    • SSD says:

      Most of the higher end instructors require students to progress by taking basic and intermediate classes. If they haven’t taken those courses with them, they require proof that they took them from someone they know and trust.

      • Mark Royer says:

        Not so much. Proof is either lacking, non-existent or my favorite…”Come to my class. I’ll teach you what you REALLY need to know.” 3 of us packed our stuff and requested (and received) immediate cash refunds at that one.
        I don’t teach “tactical” but I have attended enough to see the reality of that part of the industry. Most sadden me more than enlighten. But I learn something with every class, even if it is only how not to teach a class.

  24. AJ says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Recently got in a heated online discussion with a “trainer” running a so-called PMC course after criticizing his techniques. He did not want any constructive criticism as he felt his way was the only way because that’s what he was “taught at Blackwater” and “used in the real world”. In fact, he would delete many critical comments. After watching a series of cringe-worthy online videos for his business I had to wonder who was paying for this course and if I should share the videos with a wider audience to see what other experienced LEAF shooters would have to say. The worst part were some of the fanboy comments gushing about how cool it looked. All I could think is somebody was going to get shot imitating this guy’s amateur cowboy BS.

  25. El Terryble' says:

    I think that this article aptly describes asymmetric vulnerabilities in the outgrowth of the self-defense and tactical training market which arose when the domestic political-security situation reached synergy with the international security situation. However, I do think that there is a tendency to over-analyze processes that are derived from organic situations. War is a phenomenon that is endemic to the human situation- though the tools and methods may change with time, fundamentally, war is a spiritual struggle of will by entities, whether these entities are individuals, nations, cultures, governments, religions, or some combination thereof.

    Conflict as it relates to war, and competition as it relates to the market place, are complementary of each other. Organizations, such as the military, whose raison d’etre is to win wars and battles, is different from organizations that are oriented to create profit; but only in that the failure of military organization’s is of much more consequence than organizations oriented for profit. Therefore military organizations are organized more rigidly and hierarchically. This however creates problems from an internal organizational standpoint, with barrier’s to entry, as well as ideological and doctrinal myopia (this is why militaries that are generally composed of freemen, like the US, Roman’s, and greeks, outperformed their dictatorial, tyrannical or authoritarian opponents, like the Nazi’s, Persian’s, Carthaginians, Soviet’s, and Imperial Japanese; i.e. because they had a broader spectrum of idea’s and capabilities to draw from) There is a definite market for self-defense instruction, techniques and procedures. The determinate for the success of various TTPs, is whether they add value to the survival, defense, or victory or those utilizing what they’ve been taught. The market place weeds out products and services that cannot compete, or that don’t add value to the purchase or consumer.

    Tactical instructor’s would do best to offer added value relevant to the situation at hand. The Global War on Terrorism, especially in the the Iraq surge of 2007 vs.”The low footprint” strategy, and in Afghanistan with Aggressive COIN vs. the zero-civilian casualty mentality; taught us that over-reliance on doctrine, or specific TTPs, created bloated and unresponsive military strategies and bureaucracy. It is for this reason that the tactical training and self-defense industry should resist the temptation to over-accredidate and put up barrier’s to entry for those who want to reshape the tactical situation as instructor’s. The 21st Century Warrior will have the same spirit as their Spartan or Roman forebears, only with different tools. Science can give you all the power in the world; but it cannot tell you the proper way to use that power.