There exists a great Chasm in the world of law enforcement training. The Chasm between Realistic Training and Reality.

We (law enforcement trainers) go the extra mile to build realism into our classes. We try to add negative consequence for mistakes made in training. We try to add factors that induce stress. We use inert weapons that look and feel like our real weapons.  But does it get us there?

I recently went through our agency’s active shooter training as a student (by far one of my favorite training classes ever) but as the scenarios went on my wheels were turning upstairs.

The Simmunition rounds flew. People got shot. It stings when you are hit. It makes you realize how easy it is to get shot in a gunfight. But does it get you there?

I knew these people were not really trying to do me in. I know that their intent is to make me a better cop. I know that stress inoculation, repetitions and realism in training can help you find your “flow” state in the fog of real-life confrontation. But does training get you all the way there?

In the humble opinion of this LEO trainer…not quite.

What does?

Mindset. Self-evaluation. Self-assessment of your personal skill set.

When we acquire a new skill or polish an old one, we need to place its proper home in our head. It needs to get put in the proper “drop-down menu” in our brain to be accessed at the right time in the right place for the right reason.

Once the classroom hours are over, once we walk out the door and away from the teachers, we must evaluate in our hearts and minds that which we are capable of. We must allow the lessons learned to live within us. Training dies just like a plant if it is not watered and given light. If you throw your training kit in the trunk and never practice these skills again until in-service the following year then the skill dies.

The Chasm is us. The individual. We are the divide between realistic training and reality. The agency is not capable of giving you everything you need. They cannot make you great. The complete cop is only built from within.  You must train yourself. Period.

The ever-amazing Lt. Colonel Grossman said “Do not expect the combat fairy to come bonk you with the combat wand and suddenly make you capable of things you have never rehearsed before. It will never happen.”


The key to evolution is mostly in what we already know. Rehearse it. Bridge the chasm. You have the tools.


#beathinkingcop #rehearseandtrain #knowledgeispower
#tacticsforlife #getyourflowon #summonstheblackbird #scienceofourcraft