Tactical Preparedness vs. The Trump Slump

To be truly dangerous to your enemies, train at MVT.


It was reported to me that many businesses in the tactical and preparedness industry had bought in a ton of stock prior to the election, anticipating a Hillary win, and that they have been desperately trying to sell off that overstock due to the Trump win. It simply amazes me that people base a lot of their preparations on who occupies the White House, but it is a reality in ‘the business.’ A very odd way for people to make their knee-jerk ‘threat assessments.’ I took a different view, as a tactical training company – the election of Trump meant (to me) that I was not immediately expecting more anti-2A laws coming down the pike, which meant time to continue to build the business, and on a personal level, train and prepare. Because that is the key point – the election of Trump does not free us from the reality of ‘the collapse,’ it simply means that the current administration is not overtly hostile to gun owners and Liberty. A breathing space, nothing more. We still live in extremely uncertain times.

So what is it? Why did so many people appear to crawl back under the comforter following the Trump win? Those that had at least partially woken up to the need for tactical preparedness, in many cases, just went back to sleep. Amazing, and not rational. At MVT, we have a very active group of Alumni who return again and again for training; they have internalized the warrior ethos, and train to be prepared to defend their families. But we have noticed a distinct drying up of ‘new blood’ coming in to classes. It is definitely a phenomenon.

It is at this point in the post that I expect nasty comments from the usual crowd, those entitlement-socialist-think-they-support-Liberty-conservatives, who will pipe up and say ‘screw you Max, you are just in it for the money.’ So I will preempt that with the following comment:

Max Velocity Tactical was never my intent. It grew out of writing ‘Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post-Collapse Survival’ and an assessment of the poor advice and training I was seeing out there. It became a vision with the loose mission statement: to bring real combat proven tactical training, adapted to civilians, in order to keep the good folks alive. It began it as a part time activity, then I decided to give up my ‘real job’ to do it full time. It does of course have to be run as a business to ensure continued viability, and most of that goes back into reinvesting in equipment and training facilities. We have come a long way, and now we are even training SOF as well as civilians. MVT is really the only option of its kind for this type of training – we are doing this full time with excellent facilities and course design. We have not become rich doing this, and do not expect to do so. It is a calling, and extremely rewarding to see people grow tactically and with their leadership capabilities. So yes, it is a business. Do any Liberty loving Americans have a problem with that?

There was always a niche market for MVT, because the vast majority out there cannot or will not effectively train and prepare. They are the unconsciously incompetent. The students at MVT come from those who rationally identify the need, and take the steps to prepare. They come from the consciously incompetent and the consciously competent. They have to have sufficient humility to be trainable, which is sadly lacking in our society, full of false egos and untested blowhards as it is. All in all, MVT alumni are a great bunch of people, and I am proud of them.  At the end of the day, however, if the trickle of students to MVT dries up, we will have to do something different. Simply move on. Looking at that remote possibility from a purely detached perspective, it would be a crying shame, if the training offered at MVT simply goes away due to the lack of takers. Don’t cry to me that there is no combat training available to civilians, if you never bothered to show up when it was offered! How many times do I hear that companies only offer training to Military/Law Enforcement and ‘vetted civilians’? Yet here we are at MVT, offering the best tactical training on the market, primarily to civilians, with a small niche training SOF. Don’t make us flip those priorities, please! Amusingly, it could come to pass that MVT goes away simply for being TOO GOOD at what we do, when the market really just supports people messing about on the flat range conducting training of a dubious tactical nature, designed to appear cool.

Training, and how it relates to the Four Stages of Competence


The ‘Trump Slump’ is a definite phenomenon. I am not sure how to tackle that, or if I even can. We have, as explained above, started to see the effect of that on new student bookings at MVT classes. How do I encapsulate the risks we face in these uncertain times into one post? I cannot. How to persuade people of the need for effective tactical training and preparations when they are locked into unconscious incompetence and ego? I cannot.

Here is one thing, however, that I can perhaps try and explain, and I will do this by copying in a part of THIS PREVIOUS POST. Please read this with the thought that perhaps you may not see a need for tactical training, maybe only a  need for concealed carry in case of a terrorist threat, and thus why do team tactical training at all? Read on:

Consider this. Most of you will be familiar with the concept of ‘Shoot, Move & Communicate.’ Let’s look at those in turn:


  • This seems to falls into two camps: either weapon manipulation and handling is poor, or it is excellent but lacks a proper tactical frame of reference, and stops short of actual tactical knowledge –  and in many cases becomes dangerous to the student, because poor or inappropriate techniques are taught, and training scars deeply embedded.
  • When you have a culture that is firmly embedded on the flat range, instructors run out of things to teach. They often get into the realm of teaching ‘cool guy’ stuff or inappropriately teaching CQB techniques which are then misused in open tactical environments. Often, it is more about the cult of the instructor than the training itself.
  • If you stop at weapon manipulation on the flat range, you are not following a tactical training progression. You have nowhere to go – not the student, not the instructor. In reality, we could all shoot better / faster or whatever – but most of you do not have infinite time to become a performer on the carbine. The truth is that you only need to be able to shoot GOOD ENOUGH to be effective in a tactical environment, so long as you have the knowledge and ability to pull off the move and communicate parts. And if course, preferably a team and the ability to operate with it – but if you don’t the correct tactical training will at least give you that advantage.
  • In short, sticking on the square range is a rabbit hole that can in fact be very detrimental.
  • The purpose of MVT flat range training is to teach effective weapons manipulation / muscle memory / operational (real) safety / shooting techniques to allow students to effectively run the gun under pressure ‘out in the wild’ on the tactical ranges, and thus in combat. It is not an end in itself.


  • You must be able to move tactically. Unless you are trained , you will have no idea. You must be able to move to cover, and then move appropriately by fire and maneuver.
  • If you are not trained to move under fire, you will likely freeze in place, which could also involve you freezing in a standing position, if that is what you have been taught.
  • Conducting an initial response – the RTR drill – will break the initial freeze, and hopefully get you out of the initial threat.
  • Knowing drills to conduct under fire, whether that be assault or break contact, will help you break the second freeze that can occur in cover, and get you moving to a place of safety. Or victory.
  • All of this is operant conditioning. Tied with the ability to manipulate and run your weapon under pressure, you are starting to get to the ability to break the freeze, keep your ‘head out of your weapon,’ and being able to survive those first few moments.
  • But you cannot do any of these things without being able to locate the enemy, which means you have to scan, constantly. This means that you have to train to ‘get your head out of your weapon’ and get away from that tunnel vision on the flat range targets. You have to have your head on a swivel and be aware of your surroundings. Train to fight against tunnel vision.


  • You cannot do any of the moving without being able to communicate.
  • You cannot communicate effectively without being able to look and see where the enemy is, where your buddies are, and how that relates to the terrain.
  • Newbies on the range can only shoot at Ivan, and move in a robotic manner, simply because they have been told to. They are ‘sucked into Ivan’ and find it very hard to ‘get their head out of their weapon.’ Tie that in with poor weapon manipulation under stress and now you have a cluster waiting to happen. No one is communicating, no one is moving, or at least not with effective suppression.
  • You cannot move under fire without effective suppression of the enemy and coordination.

The Whole

  • Thus, at MVT we are not really teaching SUT TTPs. Oh yes, we do teach them, but that is not even the true value. Rather than absolutes however, we want you to take away the tactical principles that you can apply to your real life situations.
  • The true thing we are teaching at MVT is awareness and decision making under stress.
  • When students first hit the tactical ranges, it is a cluster. We know that. They get better. They get even better the more they train, and the more repeat and varied classes they do. But do you want that level of performance the first time you have a critical life or death self-defense situation? To literally be the muscle memory gorilla beating at your weapon with both hands because you cannot make it work and you are overloaded with the stress of the situation?
  • Yes, you can introduce stress on the flat range. But that is not the whole story. You need to introduce stress and decision making with realistic live fire and force on force scenarios. Only then will the lessons be truly hoisted home.
  • MVT is training and preparing you psychologically for combat. We encourage the physical fitness, we train the physical skills, but we are developing the psychology of battle inoculation, stress conditioning, awareness and decision making.
  • Here are a couple of comments from a multiple-Alumni students on this post: ‘Roundup: Texas Report, Updates & Thoughts:’
    Justin :I’m a three year, Texas Alumni. I have gone through the progression of crawl, walk, run. This year with Max bringing Force on Force to Texas my eyes were truly opened. I’m a member of Team Cowbell and as a team we have gotten pretty good at the drills Max teaches. Going into FOF I was sure Team Cowbell would rule the day. When the rounds start coming the other way you learn really quick that you’re still learning. The situational awareness you get from moving in the woods scanning for movement that might shoot back at you is priceless.

    Working year after year you can see the progression. Look at the difference between the River Assault 2015 and Anatomy of a Team Assault Videos on YouTube. I’m in both and I can see a HUGE difference. Watch the head movement, the communication, the lack of robotic movements. It’s just more fluid.

    shooter: I will echo everything Justin said above… I cannot begin to describe what a huge leap forward the UTM training was! It’s a good solid smack up-side-the-head with the reality that being good at “running the drills” is NOT the same as “knowing how to apply the tactics”. You DO have to know how to do the drills well, but that’s not enough. You also have to be able to ebb and flow with the changing situation, apply the drills, and adapt them on the fly. I can’t imagine any other way to really learn that lesson, short of actual combat… and I’m pretty sure UTM hurts a lot less when you screw up!

    One more thing: Max is dead on when he said that this stuff definitely increases awareness in your everyday concealed carry world. You begin to actually perceive more of what you see in your peripheral vision, you become more aware of who’s where and what they’re doing, and you become more able to rapidly shift your mental focus back and forth to/from weapon sight to the other 99% of the world around you. All of that is an unexpected benefit which I never got from the dozen or more handgun and “carbine” courses I took from various big-name instructors.



When I write posts such as this, many take it as a ‘rant.’ It is not. MVT is doing very well after four years of being in operation. My point is to make observations on the general state of the firearms / training industry and the issues that I see. Given that I set myself the mission to provide training to ‘keep the good folks alive,’ I can of course not be happy with the poor state of affairs that I see out there.

I realize that many will not make the personal investment and sacrifice to provide the level of training that MVT offers. I would just hope that we can get the word out about what we do at MVT, in order to make more people aware, and thus drive the industry because people are demanding better.

I know, I know: what we teach at MVT are true warrior skills, and not mere games at the range. I know that this fact in itself puts many people out of the demographic. But I am aware of that, and I know that most people are not warriors, they are not true protectors. They are fearful and weak. The people I am interested in are those with the courage to step up, identify the need, and make the commitment to get some real tactical training.

You may find some interesting thoughts on this topic in this recent Guest Post:

Guest Post: ‘So Why Would You Do Tactical Training?’ by David

To be truly dangerous to your enemies, train at MVT.

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