Thoughts on integration of skills – Terry Trahan


For many, many years, I have been involved in the modern martial arts/combatives
arena, and in the survivalist field as well. The reason for this is that I see the whole issue as having one goal, keeping my butt safe and alive.

I have many approaches to this, and have spent alot of time trying to tie them all together into a cogent whole. If they are all covered under one umbrella, it makes categorization easier, and it makes communication and teaching easier.

Since everyone loves labels these days, I had a lightning bolt hit me about what to call my approach to learning/training. As we all know, as evidenced by the title of my blog, what I do is called WeaselCraft. But what I do to integrate things into it is G.O.S.T. The purpose of this is not to have a cool sounding name, but to have an easy way to explain the whys and wheretofors. G.O.S.T stands for Goal Oriented Self preservation Training.

That is the purpose of this whole exercise. The goal is to stay alive. The ways to achieve this goal are many and varied. It includes such things as EH combat, knives, impact weapons, guns, flexibles, survival, E&E, trauma first aid, etc… What we need is an over arching framework to fit all this into. I have heard this approach called eclecticism, modernism, or(one of my faves) Integrationalism.

The point is to have a way of looking at life, and skills, that makes it easy to categorize the skill you are learning, and fit it into your framework. We will have skills that are frontline, like the post I wrote previously on Congruency. Then we will have skills that are secondary. This means that they are important, but not as reliable, or are for specific instances. Then, we have the skills that don’t seem to have any tangible, immediate payoff, such as primitive survival skills, or Tactical Medicine.

Even exercise, which for me is the RMAX approach, I highly recommend it, fits into this outlook/framework.
What we need is to integrate all our skills into our lives, and minds. It shouldn’t be a list. An example, instead of “I’m working gun now, next I’ll work on my first aid skills. Tomorrow will be my knife day, followed by my striking and grappling training”, what we should try is to integrate all of them into one training package.

Obviously, we need to work on individual skills, like shooting, but in our minds, we can link them, and then, take a training gun, and integrate knife work into our gun retention, and then simulate getting hit, and having to care for ourselves in a Tac-Med situation.

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