All Skills Are Perishable!

I was recently listening to a presentation from a gentleman by the name of Dave Canterbury, during which he uttered a phrase that inspired this blog post. Mr. Canterbury is an interesting and practical individual whom you may know from the first two seasons of the Discovery Channel series Dual Survival. A US military veteran, he is also one of the most knowledgeable people in the country when it comes to survival, preparedness and bushcraft.

During the presentation, he used a phrase that I often use and wholeheartedly agree with: “all skills are perishable.

While I have typically referenced this when teaching firearms, it does apply equally to all practical skillsets and is therefore an important principle in The Empty Cup mindset. Every physical skill that requires a mix of coordination, dexterity, timing, concentration, and conditioning (including martial arts, firearms, blacksmithing, woodworking, mountain climbing, hunting, fishing, etc.); will degrade over time unless sufficient effort is made to “keep the knife sharp.”

Before going further, let me clarify that I am talking about the maintaining of skills. If one hasn’t trained thoroughly enough in the first place to have developed a decent level of skill, they are still in the acquisition phase, not the maintenance phase.

This is one of the reasons I am not a big fan of so-called “short-term self-defense courses.” Typically, the participants are under the impression that once they complete the course, they will have iron-clad self-defense skills that will allow them to defeat any aggressor and they will never have to train again. While this makes for great marketing, it is totally untrue! How can someone believe they can perform anything under duress after having only put a few hours into practice?

The same can be said for persons who take a few firearms lessons and then go out and get their License-to-Carry (LTC). While the shooting proficiency test in Texas is rather easy, many of these individuals had very little practice with a handgun to begin with. Sadly upon getting their license card from the state, most will seldom if ever go to the gun range to practice in the future.

This is the difference between being an amateur and being a professional. An amateur dabbles in something and thinks they can do it; a professional continually trains and knows they can do it.

With all of the upheaval taking place in the world, including active attacker events, defunding/devaluation of law enforcement, social turmoil and rogue politicians seeking tighter controls over the masses; learning to defend oneself and becoming self-reliant are more important than ever before.

Unfortunately, each of us must ask ourselves some rather uncomfortable questions that most people prefer to avoid:

  • Could I defend myself, my home, and my family if I couldn’t depend on help from law enforcement?
  • How important is my health, personal safety, and security?
  • Do I spend more time on social media / sports / entertainment than I do considering the previous two questions?

I strongly encourage you to take the time to re-read and contemplate those questions. If you come to the realization that you are in need of training, we can help. We offer professional instruction in all aspects of self-defense at:

Austin Ving Tsun Academy (martial arts & self-defense)

Texas Defensive Training (firearms, improvised weapons & active shooter response)

By the way, if you contact us by 6/15/22 and mention this blog post you’ll get a 25% discount off any of our training programs.

In closing, if you enjoyed this post please like, forward and share.

Thanks and be safe!

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