It’s no secret that one of the most important things about being a gun owner is learning to be a “well prepared”, “well trained” gun owner. But it takes a lot more than a monthly trip to the local range to become a proficient shooter, and that trip itself does little to nothing to help you cope with the unexpected. Bad guys are rarely made of paper, and in most cases…they’re shooting back. We cannot stress enough how important training is, for your skills, for your body, and for your mind.
What exactly constitutes “Training”, and when is enough enough?
When it comes to finding a training facility, and a qualified training professional, please remember that not all training is equal, and there is no limit to what there is to learn. We can all find someone that teaches us about sight picture, sight alignment, but training is much deeper than that. Training has to be more than a casual knowledge of firearms and what bullets do when they hit the target. Training is about more than how to squeeze the trigger, it’s about WHEN to squeeze the trigger, and when NOT to. Training is also about being physically and mentally prepared for circumstances as they present themselves as well as being prepared for the aftermath. This is why, when it comes to training, you find the most qualified people to learn from. After all, the lessons you learn are going to be put to the test if and when you are confronted with a self-defense scenario. Bad training will most likely result in bad results.
When looking into a qualified facility or person, you want to find someone who is well versed both as a professional and as a civilian. Someone who has “Walked the Walk”. As far as a facility, you want to be able to simulate as many “real world” scenarios as possible. No, you are not going to be able to replicate each and every set of circumstances, but having a varied training can better prepare you for the unexpected. While it is impossible for any of us to be able to predict all of the circumstances that we might find ourselves in, it is our responsibility to train for as many scenarios as possible. Just carrying a gun is NOT good enough.
For me, as much as I would like to claim that I am the worlds greatest shooter, or most accomplished instructor, I know that I cannot. While I do have more trigger time and range hours than the average gun owner, I do not have nearly as much as I would like. Knowing my own shortcomings and my desire to overcome them, I try to add to my box of tools whenever I can. So, when the opportunity to go to Special Ops Fitness and see first hand what I would be in store for as a “student”, I jumped at it.
This all started a couple of weeks back while I was covering a promotional competition. It was there I met Cody Nix. Cody is the owner and head trainer at Special Ops Fitness in Moorseville North Carolina. Special Ops Fitness is not just a firearm training academy, it is a total fitness and self defense experience. Cody, a retired Green Beret with over 25 years of military experience, is no stranger to the rigors of training, or the pressures and reality of combat. Combining his experience in both the military and private sector, along with his expertise in physical fitness, Cody has developed a regimen that pushes the limits of the average shooter and the experienced operator alike.
Whether they come to S.O.F. as a novice, or have years of training already under their belt, Cody can tailor a program that enhances the shooters existing skills, and corrects deficiencies. No matter your skill level, you can ALWAYS be better. If you aren’t sure of your limits, Cody will find them and help you redefine what those limits are.
When I first met Cody and he explained his program to me, I couldn’t help but notice his calm, pleasant demeanor. A nicer guy you’d be hard pressed to find…and that worried me. I figured that when I showed up at Special Ops Fitness, the “Nice Guy” would be nowhere to find, and in his place would be “Gunnery Sgt. Hartman”, barking orders and making me regret my own existence. That was simply not the case. Cody, while pushing the students beyond their limits, was encouraging, supportive, and very attentive to every detail. Cody made sure to take time with each and every student, individually addressing any issues and taking steps to correct them.
At Special Ops Fitness, there is a very strong emphasis on “FITNESS”….both Physical, and Mental.
When Cody first explained to me how he conducts his classes, I knew that it would be a challenge…but a challenge I am not yet able to take on due to my recovery. Having just recently had complete knee replacement surgery, I am still finding myself with a limited range of motion. So, from behind the relative comfort of my camera, I watched a dozen or so of Cody’s students running the various courses and shooting scenarios that Cody devised. There is no “Stationary” shooting taking place here. If you’ve got a firearm, you’re on the move. Whether it was shuttle racing while carrying 60lbs of weights, or dragging a 160lbs concrete slab, obstacle avoidance, or running the gauntlet, Cody makes sure that you are pushing yourself to your limit, and helping you go beyond it.
Now, once the students have their heart up and racing, Cody works with them on their firearm proficiency. From the draw, he studies every motion and makes corrections until the student is able to achieve a repeatable level of performance. Putting some pressure on the shooter brings out flaws that would otherwise go unnoticed, and worse, unaddressed. It is when the body and mind are taxed that both our weaknesses and strengths are revealed. Special Ops Fitness aims to exterminate one while enhancing the other.
As I mentioned before, I am still recovering, but as I continue to heal, I will be taking advantage of some of the training at S.O.F. Nobody says that Physical Therapy cannot also be fun.
Below is some footage we shot while visiting Special Ops Fitness, followed by a conversation with Cody.
For more information on Special Ops Fitness, please visit their website HERE
Or you can find them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/specialopsfitness/
Or you can find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/specialopsfitness/
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