Why You Need Tactical Training
(This article was originally written, a couple months ago, at Sam Culper’s request, for inclusion in III Magazine. Unfortunately, I got lazy and kept forgetting to email it it him. Now, I’m going to put it up here. Sam, if you wanna put it in the magazine still, feel free, brother. –JM)
“Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets.” General George S. Patton
Many people in the world today, and most especially in the United States of America, suffer from a delusion. Brainwashed by the intellectual conceit of the modern nation-state, they accept a romanticized image of the guerrilla fighter created by poet, painter, and photographer, that encompasses either the dashing cavalier of the 18th and 19th century, or the high-tech “superman” of the modern “Tier One” Special Operations operator. This image of what could accurately be called, from a historical perspective, the “modern” guerrilla, is one who is shaped–directly or indirectly–by the organized, state-sponsored military that has armed, equipped, trained, and/or fought him. This image, while obviously valid on some levels, is a far cry from what is often erroneously labeled the “Fourth Generation Warfare” guerrilla, but could more correctly be labeled the “classical” or “tribal” guerrilla. This type of local fighter has existed far longer than civilized society or the “conventional” military concept that civilization endorses as “regular.”
What we refer to as “unconventional” or “irregular” warfare is far older than so-called “conventional warfare, despite the intellectual conceit of western military hubris. The currently fashionable idea that 4GW is somehow new or novel is a product of a belief system created by the formal military educational system that views anything that does not correlate to the established nation-state endorse view of “proper” warfare as being “unconventional” or even “irrelevant.” The average prepared citizen, whether he served an enlistment in the military or not, can be forgiven for the understandable practice of deferring to his more professionally educated fellow citizens in uniform, and should not feel bad for this misunderstanding, as even–perhaps especially–professionally educated military officers and NCOs, including many within the Special Forces community, also suffer from this institutional conceit.
In order to understand the fallacies and shortcomings of this hubris, and hopefully move past it, we need to understand the foundations of the 4GW view, and look past it to see why what is “new” is actually very, very, very old. In brief, 4GW theory holds that warfare has evolved through four basic intellectual generations:
The era of massed formations, most clearly evidenced by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
The era of massed firepower, characterized by the Napoleonic-era formations with musket and bayonet, but also by the WWI concept of trenches, tanks, and machine guns.
The era of maneuver warfare, characterized by smaller, more mobile elements of uniformed, regular forces leveraging mobility and more efficient weapons, to destroy the enemy’s ability and/or will to fight.
The “post-modern” fourth generation of non-state actors using networks in the political, social, military, and economic spheres, to convince a more powerful nation-state enemy that their strategic goals cannot be achieved without paying an unbearably expensive cost.
(I recognize of course, that different theorists offer different arbitrary divisions between the different generations.–JM)
Well regarded military theorist John Robb (and I’m a big fan, so don’t think I’m being disrespectful to the guy) defines 4GW as a method of warfare that uses three basic tools to inflict what he terms a “moral victory” over an enemy. These include:
Undermining enemy strengths. This can be as simple as using primitive TTPs to undermine the enemy’s ability to leverage technological advantages to their benefit. Using couriers for communications, in order to avoid electronic signals intercept eavesdropping would be an effective example of this.
Exploiting enemy weaknesses, such as the use of IEDs to target risk-averse American military forces who confine their travels to heavily armored vehicles, along established roadways, in order to avoid the inherent risks of gunfights, would be one example. Blending in with the local civilian populace, in order to reduce the ability to effectively leverage the lack of cultural awareness training of most American troops, by reducing their ability to determine friend vs. foe, is another, when you consider the (rightful) American prejudice against killing non-combatants.
Using asymmetric operations.
Robb cites several very valid reasons for the returning prevalence of what is mistakenly labeled 4GW methods of warfare:
The loss of the organized nation-state monopoly on political violence.
The rise in cultural, ethnic, and religious conflict as a result of weakening nation-state influence on populations.
Globalization of industry and communications making the tools and methods of the guerrilla more readily available to non-state actors.
Finally, Robb describes some of the tools that characterize this “new” way of warfare:
Rear area operations that target the civil society of the enemy, rather than his armed forces.
The use of terror as a psychological weapon.
Ad hoc improvisation, to use the enemy’s strength against himself.
The problem with this idea that “4GW” is somehow novel is that it is fundamentally flawed, as soon as we shed the biases of our institutional conceit, and look back through history without the filter of modern, nation-state arrogance. Even many of the “differences” between 4GW and “traditional” guerrilla conflict that Robb cites are really just differences between the “tribal” guerrilla of antiquity and the modern nation-state influenced guerrilla.
While the “4GW” guerrilla has access to global media/internet dissemination of TTPs, the fundamental tactics of the guerrilla, including ambushes, raids, sabotage, and assassination, have been used since antiquity. Sure, the “post-modern” guerrillas has access to explosives and automatic weapons, night vision technology, and satellite communications, but those are force multipliers, not force creators. Without a fundamental understanding of the underlying tactical concepts of small-unit warfare, which have been common to all societies, prior to the development of the modern nation-state, they amount to nothing of substance. Multiplying anything by zero still results in a net gain of zero.
The prevalence of guerrilla warfare, as the influence of the organized nation-state wanes, is certainly nothing new. While it seems so to people who cannot grasp a world without the security of the organized nation-state, guerrilla warfare is not new. The nation-state concept and even the formal military of the ancient empires are really historically young. The use of guerrilla warfare TTPs, in the absence of nation-state influence is older than civilization itself.
The idea that survival is only viable for small groups means conflicts are fought by small-unit elements is likewise neither new nor novel. Whether this granularity results from a need to avoid decisive engagement by numerically or technologically superior enemy forces, or because subsistence living realities mean that you are limited in tribal manpower is irrelevant. The fact is, the use of small groups of fighters to influence the actions of an enemy goes back to antiquity.
Likewise, the vulnerability of open societies and economies to attack by “irregular” forces is novel only if you ignore history even as obvious as the Roman empire.
Technological advances may make it easier for the non-state actor to leverage the weaknesses of the enemy, such as the aforementioned use of IEDs, but the guerrilla throughout history has used whatever technology was available to do the exact same thing. It’s the technology available that has changed, not the fundamental principle of leveraging those weaknesses. Technology has always been changing.
What we, as modern, “civilized” people see as 4GW would more accurately be described as “first generation warfare,” or 1GW. It is far older than any other form of human conflict, and in fact never really ceased to exist, other than in the collective imagination of people too arrogant to see that the nation-state concept was experimental at best, from the beginning. Guerrilla warfare is, in fact, older than civilization itself.
Long before the advent of agriculture and the resulting formation of farming societies that provided the ability to produce quantities of excess food per laborer that are required to support a standing army of trained, professional warriors, tribes of hunter-gatherers existed in close proximity to one another. These tribes competed with one another for access to limited resources like game animals and fresh water, no differently than modern man competes for limited resources like raw petroleum: with violence.
Throughout the vast majority of our species’ spectacularly bloody existence on this little blue sphere we call home, both before and since the rise of civilization, most conflicts have not been resolved by well-equipped, nattily-dressed parade ground puppets of conventional military forces. On the contrary, for most of humanity’s existence, wars, rivalries, and grudges have been settled by small bands of haphazardly armed, ill-disciplined, and poorly trained or even untrained friends and neighbors banding together to protect their own turf, or to expand their control over finite resources by invading their neighbor’s turn and killing or enslaving the competition. Our modern use of “conventional” and “unconventional” labels for conflict is a reversal of the historical precedent. From the historical perspective, guerrilla warfare is far more “conventional” than formal armies are.
Like the modern interpretation of the guerrilla, the classical tribal guerrilla used hit-and-run, asymmetric methods, choosing the survival advantage of fleeing before a stronger enemy, unless the fight could be clearly leveraged into his own favor. While many psychologists and revisionist historians have adopted the feel-good, New Age humanist view that animal species, including mankind, possess a natural aversion to intra-species killing, at least in the case of humankind, the archaeological and historical record demonstrates that they are wrong. Using the idea that inter-tribal battles were largely “ceremonial” affairs that actually resulted in little bloodshed or killing are patently absurd. The important factor that these pseudo-scientist “experts” overlook, or else pointedly ignore in the interest of a preconceived political position, is that “battles” are not the guerrilla’s fight. Instead, like his modern equivalent, the tribal guerrilla was more inclined to use the raid in the quiet, dark of the night, to kill his enemies in their bed, by burning the damned lodges down around him, followed by quickly fleeing before the victim’s friends and family could mount an effective counterattack. Only a sucker sticks around for a “fair fight.”
That is the “way” of the classical guerrilla, just like it is the way of the “4GW” guerrilla. The idea of constraints being placed on the behavior of the guerrilla, or that he must fight according to the accepted rules of “conventional” military thought is also a cultural conceit without historical or archaeological relevance. “Mercy” in tribal guerrilla wars is seldom given or expected. Just like a modern US soldier, captured by so-called 4GW Al Qaeda fighters can expect to be sodomized, beheaded, or both, before being killed, a captured tribesman, through history, could look forward to being burned, castrated, beheaded, sodomized, or sold into slavery, if in fact, he wasn’t simply eaten. His women could expect to be raped and then killed, or sold into slavery. Even children would be either killed outright, or enslaved. Villages would be razed, crops destroyed, and livestock stolen. While we may naively expect the “modern” guerrilla to be constrained in his behavior by cultural background or training, or the demands of his nation-state sponsors, the use of this type of terror by the classical guerrilla sheds further light on the fact that the use of terror by “4GW” terrorist is in fact, not new at all.
Guerrilla warfare, whether referred to for what it is, or given some cute new label to make it more marketable, is neither pretty nor romantic. The tribal guerrilla wasn’t interested in playing by opponent’s rules, if in fact, his opponent had any rules to play by. For the guerrilla, classical or modern, warfare is not an extension of politics. Warfare is simply survival.
In his 1996 book illustrating the advantages of modern civilization and the nation-state that resulted, “War Before Civilization,” archeology professor Lawrence Keely points out that the evidence indicates that tribal societies engaged in inter-tribal “guerrilla” conflict suffer an average of 0.5% loss of their total population per year in directly conflict-related deaths. For the current US population, that would be the equivalent of 1.5 million deaths per year–more than all combat deaths in American military history, from 1775 until today (just under 850,000 according to the sources I checked).
The absolute truth is, fighting as a guerrilla, whether modern or classical/tribal, pretty much sucks. You don’t get to go home and sleep in your soft bed, wrapped up around momma every night. Perhaps not for any nights for months or years at a time. You may never get to go home, since it may very well end up burned down by rivals who want your territory for themselves. You may not be around to protect your wife and children. Even if you are around, sniper fire can come out of the blue, at the least expected time and place. Kidnappings, rapes, and destruction of property are the norms in guerrilla conflicts. If you think, because this is “Amurrika!” that things will somehow be different, you’re fucking deluded, and missing the point of the entire preparedness conversation. People you love are going to die. Your wife may die. Your children may die. Whether you pick up a gun, or don’t pick up a gun, you will probably die.
Life as a guerrilla, regardless of the overall impact of the conflict, will suck. It will not be comfortable. Many people in the liberty and preparedness movement cite the fact that some Taliban-aligned Pashtun tribal fighters in the mountains of Afghanistan were discovered to be fighting against US/Coalition forces clad in “man-jammies” and sandals, equipped with little more than a wool blanket and a single spare Kalashnikov magazine. The apparent lesson “learned” by these aspiring American guerrillas is that this guerrilla shit must be easy. Unfortunately for these folks, their ignorance is demonstrated by the fact that they’ve overlooked two critical facts:
The equipment load-out of those Pashtun fighters was discovered during battle damage assessment (BDA) studies. In other words, they were dead…Guess that load-out maybe wasn’t so ideal after all? (A gross oversimplification, I know, but it’s valid enough to make the point worth paying attention to)
A Pashtun tribal fighter from the mountains of Afghanistan is considerably tougher, physically and mentally, than you and I put together. Arguing otherwise isn’t even as benign as ignorance. It’s sheer stupidity and bravado. When you grow up sleeping on a blanket or two thrown on a packed dirt floor, in a mud hut with no window or door coverings except maybe a blanket or old hide tacked up, subsisting on rice, beans, and a handful of half-cooked, spoiled meat, while running up and down mountains all day, and fighting from the time you’re old enough to pick up a Kalasknikov rifle, and never advance to sleeping in a protected environment like a real house, with a soft mattress under you, then maybe you can convincingly argue otherwise. In the meantime, sleeping on a soft bed, in a warm house, with your biggest fear being whether the cable bill can be paid this month does not make you guerrilla warfare tough.
When I was a young Ranger private, one of my mentors was a very skilled martial artist and a pioneer in what would become MMA. Knowing of my profound interest in all things combatives related, he once told me, “Ranger Mosby, a lot of guys come to the Regiment because they think they’re going to learn some high-speed karate shit. They get disappointed when they don’t, because we simply don’t have the time in the training calender for that silliness. When we do have time, we focus on stuff they think is too simple to be effective. What those idiots don’t recognize is, interpersonal violence is interpersonal violence. Regardless of the scale of the battlefield, the fundamentals of victory remain the same. I don’t care if it’s a brawl behind the bar, two rifle squads slugging it out in the jungle, or the armies of Good and Evil battling it out on the plains of Meggido, in the end, it all boils down to speed, surprise, and violence of action! The concepts you learn here, whether as a rifleman, a SAW gunner, or on a machine gun team, will do more for your “martial arts” knowledge than all the shoulder throws you will ever do in the dojo.”
Being the highly motivated young Airborne Ranger that I was, and hungry for any knowledge that could glean from my wiser, slightly older, but vastly more experienced mentors, I remembered those words. In fact, I went back to my room in the barracks, almost immediately (I think it was after he allowed me to recover from the front leaning rest position for asking some sort of dumb-ass question about combatives…), and copied them into my ever-present journal. It wasn’t however, until I was considerably further along in my military career, while serving as a junior SF weapons sergeant, that I really began to understand what he meant. It wasn’t simply a matter of being faster, sneakier, and meaner than the other guy, although those certainly help. It wasn’t just about being more fit and stronger than the enemy, although that damned sure helped too. The truth was, the same tactics, techniques, and procedures that helped us successfully prosecute a small-scale fight against the Taliban in a tight canyon in Afghanistan, were the same TTPs that would allow me to prosecute a fight anywhere, against anyone.
Whether you expect your fight to come in the bush, crawling around on your belly, eating bugs and drinking water from a stagnant, muddy pool, or you expect your fight to come in a large urban area, in fast moving sports cars, with pistols and stolen MP5s, or you expect your fight to come in your living room, against an up-armored FEMA or DHS entry team (in which case, you’re a dumbass for being there when they arrive), the same fundamental concepts apply, if you actually hope to win and survive.
You need training, regardless of what you think. If you’ve served in a combat arms unit, in combat, you probably possess the fundamental skills to survive the initial bursts of violence as well as anyone, providing you the ability to learn as you go about how to modify the TTPs you already know, for surviving without the benefits of air support, indirect fire support, and a long support train behind you. If you’ve never worn a uniform though, or even if you have, if you’ve never performed in a profession that required you to mentally and physically prepare to look another human being in the face, while shoving eight inches of steel into their flesh, and dealing with the psychology of that, while still being able to provide leadership to others, you have no idea what you don’t know.
What you don’t know is, you need tactical training. Being an effective fighter does not come naturally to anyone, I don’t care what anyone tells you. The fact that you can out shoot all the guys in your local pistol club, or all of the local cops who bother to come to the range doesn’t mean shit. The fact that you’ve won every fist fight you’ve ever been in at the local watering hole doesn’t mean shit. Being a big fish in a little pond is not the same thing as being a big fish in the ocean. The sharks aren’t going to fight you on your terms, regardless of your fantasies.
While a Special Forces soldier should doctrinally be a subject-matter expert on guerrilla warfare, I don’t know many of us who are so bold or naive as to presume that we have all the answers. I certainly don’t. Whether looking at SF UW doctrine, or “traditional” light infantry doctrine at the team, squad, and platoon level, the doctrine, as it stands, may not fit a future conflict strictly. The doctrine may not even necessarily be how things actually get done today (it certainly hasn’t been for most of the GWOT in the SF community. Only recently has the SF community collectively returned to its UW roots after spending the better part of a decade focused on direct-action, door-kicking HVT missions better suited for the Ranger Regiment and SMUs). What the doctrine does, whether SF UW, or Light Infantry, is provide a frame of reference to begin to gain an understanding of the nature of the beast we’re dealing with. It is a reflection of the combat arms community’s collective self-image of how we hope to prosecute these types of operations, or at least how the authors of the appropriate manuals hope we fight.
When considering the future application of this doctrine, whether in training or real-world applications, it is crucial to recognize two critical factors in regards to the doctrine, and choose to either apply the lessons that the doctrine teaches, or modify them to your perceived image of what is going to happen:
At some level, despite the best efforts otherwise, a trainer’s own intellectual conceits, as a product of a 20th century upbringing in a largely Judeo-Christian culture, as well as subsequent professional military education and experience, will necessarily influence the conclusions that we reach, regarding the effectiveness and applicability of doctrinal considerations.
A good trainer, with intellectual honesty, will recognize the existence of these prejudices and conceits, and strive heartily to overcome them.
There is a very sad condition that exists in people everywhere, that is especially apparent in the gun and preparedness communities, for men to delude themselves into believing that they know more than they do. There;s even an “official” name for it, developed by a head-shrinking psychiatrist somewhere. It’s called “competency bias.” We all (and yes, I’m including myself in that “we all.”)want to believe that we’re naturally competent at anything we might ever want to do, and we tend to conveniently ignore or dismiss any evidence that would disprove our delusions.
Unfortunately for both ourselves and our families, in the long term, we often get away with this in trivial matters. “Oh, I’m a good carpenter!” says the accountant who’s never swung a hammer for wages in his life, and the last thing he built was a birdhouse in Cub Scouts. His delusions won’t harm anyone, as long as he limits himself to building birdhouses. When he decides that he knows how to build a human house though, and absolutely refuses to even consider the help or advice of professionals, while he might get lucky, the house is likely to fall down around him. Even in a best case scenario, and he does manage to build it solid enough to not fall down in his lifetime, the roof and seams leak, the windows and doors sag and stick, and the whole building settles, because birdhouses don’t have foundations to worry about.
“Hell, I’m a great driver!” says every man everywhere, who refuses to take a defensive driving or high-performance driving class, despite repeated fender benders and traffic tickets. That even works out well for him, until he’s staring into the eyes of a 600lb elk, in the middle of a two-lane blacktop, as he comes around a blind corner at 75MPH, at 0300. He either ends up with an elk in his lap, or the family minivan, along with the whole family, ends up on its roof, in the bottom of a ravine, unseen by passers-by on the road above the next day.
“I know how to shoot! I’m better than any soldier at shooting! I shot my elk last year at 1500 yards, with my .30-06, holding two inches over his back!” says the hillbilly (actual statement, made to my face in a hunting camp!) Never mind the fact that the hillbilly obviously lacks an understanding of even the most elementary ballistics, and has absolutely no range estimation abilities whatsoever, while being too cheap to invest in a decent laser range finder.
“I’ve read all the field manuals and I’m an expert in infantry tactics. It doesn’t matter that I can’t actually execute them because I’m forty pounds overweight though, because I’m going to be a 4GW ninja master, so I don’t need that stuff anyway!” says the 5’8″ 230 lb computer programmer turned militia commander, who really couldn’t even tell you what range his rifle is zeroed at, because he doesn’t understand that an 8″ group, at 100 yards, from the prone supported position, is not something you admit to, let along use as a standard for marksmanship, at even the most elementary levels of shooting.
Competency bias, in mundane matters, is humorous. In life-and-death situations though, it results in the wrong people dying, because egos and pride are too important to some important. The comfort of sitting on the computer, blathering on blogs and forums about your prowess as a 4GW guerrilla commando ninja expert, and master of post-modern urban warfare, is far easier, and more comfortable than crawling around in the woods, sprinting from position to position, getting sweaty, tired, and bug-bitten while actually learning to be a novice guerrilla commando ninja expert. Sipping a Coke and whiskey, while typing about your incredible physical prowess in crawling up storm drains, and leaping rooftop-to-rooftop, three stories up, like a “Tier One” commando, is less miserable than being hungry, thirsty, dirty, smelling like you haven’t bathed in a month, and physically and mentally exhausted to the point of tears, from realistic, effective training. Who cares that it might actually keep you alive in a fight? That shit is hard work!
Do you actually know how to develop and set up a multi-layered, in-depth security program, utilizing LP/OPs and roving security patrols correctly? Do you know how to plan and perform those security patrols? Do you know what to look for when planning a security patrol? Do you know how to hit a realistic, partially-obscured target, at 200 meters, with your rifle? When you’ve been moving under the weight of your fighting and sustainment loads for the last week, and have just sprinted three hundred yards?
You need tactical training. You know, in your heart of hearts and soul of souls, that you need training. You just have to turn your ego down and listen to your brain for a change.
Realistic, effective tactical training will teach you how to shoot, move, and communicate effectively. If you’re twenty pounds overweight, with a bodyfat percentage higher than 15%, I can categorically state, with absolute certainty, that you are not capable of moving tactically, correctly. If you cannot shoot a 2MOA group, from the prone, under field conditions, with your choice of fighting rifle, while rested, you do not know how to shoot effectively. If you cannot perform a speed reload, or immediate action, with your choice of fighting rifle, while in full gear, winded from running sprints or individual movement techniques, and blinded by the sweat running into your eyes, I can categorically state, with absolute certainty, that you do not know how to shoot effectively. If you’ve never performed a live-fire hasty assault or break contact battle drill, with multiple small teams moving over the battle space, I can categorically state, with absolute certainty, that you do not know how to communicate effectively.
Realistic, effective tactical training, in today’s environment, is about more than shoot-move-communicate though. It will teach you leadership skills, under field conditions. It’s about mission-planning and troop-leading procedures, even in four-man cells. It’s about preparing yourself and others for future survival.
Realistic, effective tactical training will teach you, better than anyone can ever tell you, exactly how dismally out-of-shape you actually are. Good training is a suckfest and a gut-check. It will require you to reach down the front of your pants to grab your nuts, and confirm that you really do have the intestinal fortitude to man the fuck up and do the right thing, by getting yourself in shape, so you can do what you need to do, instead of just talking about it.
Realistic, effective tactical training will open your eyes to the importance of your spouse not only being accepting of your preparedness plans and actions, but of her being an active, willing participant. You’ll begin to understand that your partner really is your partner, and that you are not the only one in your family who needs to be trained. Your wife and even your kids of weapons-handling age, should be trained.
Realistic, effective tactical training, planned and executed by someone who knows what they are doing, will teach you how to think about security, not just for your family, but for your home and your community, against a broader range of threats, in ways that are cost-effective, as well as simply effective. Planning just for home defense, or just for your personal or family retreat security is not enough. That’s the equivalent of saying, “I’ve got a gun in my nightstand, so I can leave the doors and windows unlocked, with bundles of cash sitting out on tables, even though I live in South Central Los Angeles. I mean, fuck, I own a gun!” That works great…right up until a crew of bad guys are coming through your front door with Kalashnikovs and hand grenades, while you’re sitting on the couch with the wife and kids, watching “The X Factor” and your gun is still in the nightstand. You need to learn to plan for security, at home and retreat, in a holistic manner, and good tactical training will give you the tools to do that.
If you believe a fight is coming, whether you think it will be against the security forces of a tyrannical regime, or whether you think it will be against outlaw bands of cannibalistic San Franciscans, it doesn’t matter how many books you’ve read. If doesn’t matter how many times you’ve earned the Appleseed “Rifleman” patch. It doesn’t matter how many “Advanced Urban Combat” courses you’ve attended. Until you get quality training in the application of those skills in small-unit tactics, you’re just a lonely dude with a gun. Realistic, effective tactical training is a force multiplier you can’t live without, because you won’t live without it. If you don’t want to, or can’t, get to training with one of the guys in this collective “preparedness/liberty” community who are teaching, that’s okay. Go talk to your old high school buddy who just ETS’d after multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, and convince him to help you develop some training plans. You need the training.
Regardless of the existence of educational and cultural biases, based on the established military orthodoxy of the organized, formal nation-state military, the reality is, small-unit tactics are small-unit tactics. The same underlying principles have worked since the time of antiquity, to leverage available technology (bows and arrows versus massed formations to precision rifle fire versus small-unit formations; burning a lodge down around the enemy’s family with torches and animal fat versus using a thermite charge to accomplish the same thing; sabotage of enemy food supplies via poisoning livestock or water sources versus blowing a rail line to interdict mass transport of supplies) against an enemy. While the current doctrine, SF or infantry, may not be perfect, it really is the best idea that the collective experience of fighters and historians can come up with for what will work to prosecute the fight. As the man said, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Get the training and you can begin to develop a frame of reference for what works and what doesn’t, so you can make intelligent, informed decisions about how to modify what is already known to work, versus what you think might work in the future.
Now, when it comes to training, be like Nike and “Just Do It.”