Skip to main content

Good Luck Comes With Good Training

Good Luck Comes With Good Training

During a recent exchange of texts with a friend who is a force-­on-­force problem solver, Sensei James Williams, I responded to his news about running his first martial arts class in a dojo with “Good luck, James.”

His reply was more pointed: “You guys didn’t depend on luck. However, thank you.”

Williams teaches ancient wisdom for the modern world. I definitely don’t disagree with him when he made that statement to me about luck. But it made me start to think, Do we become luckier as we become better trained?

To some, luck is arbitrary. Rolling the dice, fairly dealt cards, rock-­paper-­scissors, flipping a quarter, etc. In reality, I believe we can make our luck increase with better training. This is especially true if you happen to carry a gun for a living, or if you carry a gun for personal or family protection. The more we train, the better our luck becomes, or at least the better our odds of having the fight go our way.


So what does this really mean? When I teach, I try to get the point across that we are training for the 1 percenters, not the 99 percenters. If we train for majority of the people, we more than likely will win 99 percent of the fights with the 99 percenters. The problem is this: The 99 percenters are not the ones who you will have an encounter with. Instead, you’ll likely face off with the same violence produced by cop killers, terrorists and violent individuals who make up the small percentage of our population. The violent among us has only the following objectives: To kill you, your family and to destroy your way of life.


So, what does luck have to do with the “baddest of the bad” 1 percenters that we’re training to eliminate in a violent struggle? Everything. We need to be prepared to bend the rules and increase our odds to win that fight. We do this with realistic training that allows us to thrive in a fight, not to simply survive it.

Do you continually thrive to increase your lethality? “Lethality” may sound like a bad word, but if you are carrying a gun you should hone your skills to that razor’s edge. This can’t be accomplished with lackadaisical training.

In a gunfight, several things matter; speed being one, accuracy being the other, but not necessarily in that order.  Why would an increase in speed make a gunfight go your way? You can’t engage a threat with the pistol in the holster, or with the carbine slung across your chest. You have to get your gun efficiently and effectively into the fight. Nothing bad happens until you squeeze the trigger, so do everything as fast as you possibly can, then slow down and make your shots count. Every time there is a fight, speed really does matter.

With the elephant in the room neutralized, let’s get on with increasing luck exponentially. Start by increasing your accuracy. If you can’t hit what you are shooting at, it doesn’t matter how fast you happen to be. As I’ve said before, “Do everything as fast as possible except for squeezing the trigger.”


Accuracy will be weighed and measured with each pull of the trigger. Has the threat been eliminated? If not, continue to engage. I would say this: You can never train to be too accurate in a fight. As your anxiety or pressure gets to you, accuracy will slip away. We must always push ourselves during training with smaller and more difficult targets. In a gunfight, you don’t know what you will have to shoot at.

Back to luck. I believe we make our own luck, and we can enhance our own luck. We do all of this with combat-­ focused training. Flat-­range skills are great and necessary to building fundamentals, but when the rubber meets the road, we need to enhance our training with realistic scenarios and get quality coaching. There are many trainers that can show you the ropes, just be sure that their training is realistic and not simply a circus trick.

As an old saying goes, and one I have heard from many buddies after a successful combat mission, “Better to be lucky than good.” This statement isn’t really how they handle the rigors of combat. They have honed their skills to that razor’s edge. Hopefully, they picked the time and place for their encounter, and have readied themselves and their equipment for their trial by fire.


Hardened warriors don’t rely on luck; they make their luck. Rely on your training. Don’t rely on superstitions or a lucky rabbit’s foot. And by the way, where in the world did that ridiculous tradition come from? 

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle

First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle

At the heart of the rifle is the Model 2020 action which wish designed and built with very tight tolerances thanks to Springfield's technology-driven manufacturing capabilities The stainless steel action features an integral recoil lug, and pairs with a fluted bolt employing dual cocking cams and an enhanced extractor for high pressure loads. The blueprinted and precisely machined action allows Springfield to offer the Model 2020 with .75" MOA accuracy guarantee. Despite being a production rifle, the Model 2020 should rival more expensive custom builds.

Guns & Ammo TV: Shooting 1,270 Yards with the 5.56 NATO

Guns & Ammo TV: Shooting 1,270 Yards with the 5.56 NATO

Guns & Ammo Rifles & Optics Editor Tom Beckstrand was on location in Idaho where he pushed the limits of the 5.56 NATO cartridge in this segment of “Long Range Tech” for Guns & Ammo TV. Pairing a SIG Sauer MCX Virtus rifle loaded with Hornady's 73-grain ELD-M ammunition, Beckstrand attempted to ring steel set at 1,270 yards, an incredible distance for any 5.56-chambered rifle and beyond the typical range for an AR-15.

Trijicon

Trijicon's New Specialized Reflex Optics (SRO)

The Trijicon SRO is specifically designed for pistol use. The wide field of view and clean, crisp dot makes it easy for users to find and track the dot in both target and competitive shooting applications.

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For others, the debate goes on. In this segment of “Cameras Don't Lie,” competitive shooters Patrick Sweeney and Jim Tarr head to the range to put the vaunted loads on record, and then consider the footage.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

In this segment of Air Gun Reviews: Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle Rifles

Air Gun Reviews: Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle

Guns & Ammo Staff - September 02, 2020

In this segment of "Guns & Ammo TV," Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr...

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight ready.14 Red Dot Ready Pistols You Must See Handguns

14 Red Dot Ready Pistols You Must See

James Tarr - December 20, 2018

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight...

The Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm has a unique and versatile multiple-­zero system and an erector assembly unlike any other on the market. The Z5(i) is an excellent choice for an all-­around hunting scope.Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm Scope Review Optics

Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm Scope Review

Tom Beckstrand - September 09, 2020

The Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm has a unique and versatile multiple-­zero system and...

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new RMRcc, they plan on dominating the concealed carry market as well.Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry Optics

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry

Jeremy Stafford - October 01, 2020

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new...

See More Trending Articles

More How-To

Nothing beats live fire, but when times get tough, we've got to be resourceful. Shooting airsoft, air guns, BB and pellet guns, laser trainers and dryfire all equate to time pressing triggers.Training at Home While Avoiding COVID-19 News

Training at Home While Avoiding COVID-19

Chris Cerino - March 21, 2020

Nothing beats live fire, but when times get tough, we've got to be resourceful. Shooting...

Here's what is impacting the flight of your bullet and, ultimately, its accuracy.Understanding Ballistics of Long-Range Shooting How-To

Understanding Ballistics of Long-Range Shooting

David Emary - May 14, 2020

Here's what is impacting the flight of your bullet and, ultimately, its accuracy.

In this Guns & Ammo TV: Appendix Carry Equipment and Training How-To

Guns & Ammo TV: Appendix Carry Equipment and Training

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 14, 2020

In this "At The Range" segment, Contributor Kimberly Heath-Chudwin and former U.S. Navy SEAL...

To ease you into the shooting world, we've compiled a list of must-do activities and ordered them by the season — winter, spring, summer and fall.Intro to Shooting Shoot 101

Intro to Shooting

Guns &Ammo Staff - April 14, 2020

To ease you into the shooting world, we've compiled a list of must-do activities and ordered...

See More How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now