Training Decisions… Red Pill or Blue Pill?

Training Decisions… Red Pill or Blue Pill


Most of us are familiar with the pop culture movie trilogy the “Matrix”. In the first installment of the three movies, the main character Neo (played by Keanu Reeves), is faced with a life changing decision.


Neo was a character who was always yearning to learn more and seek the truth in life. He heard of the Matrix but was not sure if it was real or just a folk tale. In our story Neo is seated before Morphias (played by Laurence Fishburne) and is presented with a decision. The decision simply (or not so simply) was to choose ingesting the “red” pill or the “blue” pill. Morphias indicated to Neo that if he took the blue pill, he would continue life as he always had living within the Matrix. If he decided to take the red pill the truth of the Matrix would reveal itself. Morphias goes on to say that before Neo makes his decision, that the Matrix cannot be explained but rather experienced and all he was offering Neo was the truth. Well, if you saw the movie then you know what happens. If you have not, go see it to find out what happens. Let us just say Neo does in fact find the truth.


Patriot Firearms School - Red Pill or Blue Pill image


So, how does this tie into firearms training? For decades most defensive training was modeled after law enforcement and military qualifications. These qualifications were measured by using shot timers and achieving a minimal score. This method of training was mainstream defensive training for decades (and still is in many schools and by trainers). This training model is based on performance in a controlled environment. The shooter knows exactly what they are going to shoot, exactly how many shots to take, and all with a high level of anticipation to shoot. Training based on “performance, control, and high anticipation, is a game or competition shooting and does not evaluate the application of your skills in a defensive context. Compare this training model with USPSA or IPSEC competitions and you will see a striking resemblance. Training with this model and labeling it defensive training is like taking the blue pill, living within the Matrix. It is not reality based defensive training.


After you take your first Intuitive Defensive Shooting class and are exposed to the counter ambush training model you may feel like Neo did after he ingested the red pill. You may feel that you were fooled and mislead for so many years. The veil will be lifted, and the truth exposed. The IDS training philosophies and methodologies really flies in the face as to what has been considered the gold standard training methodologies for decades. 


Patriot Firearms School student utilizing the balance of speed and precision target


The Intuitive Defensive Shooting program is designed to help the shooter become more efficient in the context of a Dynamic Critical Incident and focuses on teaching and developing skills that work well with what the body does naturally. A dynamic critical incident (DCI) is defined as chaotic, threatening, and surprising therefore applying your skills under these conditions is in context to the counter ambush training model and is training for the worst-case scenario.


As humans we want control over any situation or circumstance, but the reality is, we very rarely will have control in a DCI. Let us break down the DCI. Surprising means you did not expect it to happen another word no anticipation whatsoever. Chaotic can be defined as the never-ending surprise and is not predictable. Threatening is, well, threatening the life of you or your loved one. You can see right away how using this training model differs from the “high anticipation“ and “full control” aspect of the gaming training model.


In IDS you will learn the skill development cycle, which is to Learn a skill, practice a skill(s), and then evaluate the application of your skills in context to a DCI in a counter ambush simulation. Evaluating your defensive skills in a counter ambush simulation is a crucial aspect to the skill development cycle. If you merely practice your skill and not the application of your skills (in context to a DCI) then you are merely “performing” skills in a bubble which will yield no real value in determining the real application of your skills in the worst-case scenario.


Another aspect to the IDS training model is deviation. The target dictates the amount of deviation we can have in our bullets impact on the target. Deviation is defined as where we want the bullet impact to go and where it can go. Developing the skills to achieve defensively accurate hits while applying minimal deviation control needed to stop the threat faster is key to realistic defensive training. A defensively accurate his is defined as any hit that significantly impacts the targets ability to pose a lethal threat.


Taking the “red pill” reveals that the Intuitive Defensive Shooting program works well with what the body does naturally and goes way beyond the competition “performance, control, and high anticipation” training model and has to do with applying your skills in “context” in a dynamic critical incident- a worst case scenario.


So now I have to ask you…. Red pill or blue pill?

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.