How well do you document your training?

I had the pleasure of taking a Massad Ayoob training right after I started at the USCCA. He was awesome - definitely gave me a different view of self-defense. After that class, I started preparing for my legal defense as well as my physical defense. Now I keep track of different training I do physically and what I do to improve my mental preparation for self-defense and legal defense.

How well do you document your non-range and range training and education?


I document everything. I have a word document outline. Under the notes section I include notes of significance and photos of certs issued.

I use google docs so it’s accessible when I need it.

Looks like this:

Filled out:


That’s awesome, @BrophE! Do you also keep track of the reading material, videos you watch, and/or participation in different forums or social platforms that can show your continued education outside of formal trainings?


I document everything, even the sitting with friends “what would you do if…” scenarios.

If it causes me to think about my reaction, it’s training.


I document what I shoot at the range or at home:

  • which firearm
  • which ammo and details (bullet weight and style)
  • distances and # of rounds and group size at each distance as well as issues such as flyers
  • firearm issues or malfunctions such as stovepipes
  • observations on what is working/not working
  • particular drills I worked on or adjustments I’ve made to technique
  • sometimes I take target photos

I just recently started doing this and I am noticing an improvement in my rate of improvement, so I’m going to keep doing it.


I have my CHL for Oregon and Utah…

I’m not good at documenting…


I always take pics of my targets so I have documentation of how good or bad I’m doing.

The other day I had an ah ha moment. For a while now shooting with my Shield I wasn’t as accurate as I am with my M&P 2.0c or HK P2000sk.

After shooting the M&P and the HK I pulled out the Shield for a run. Immediately I noticed I was pulling the Shield to my center mass on the draw. Moved it to my normal straight up draw position and solved the problem. It’s all documented.

During SD training, I point shoot, everything was going left, not low left, just left. If I’m just plinking I use the full sight picture and slow fire to work on things that might be causing issue.

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I find if I write it down, what I plan, what I did, that it makes me think through what I did more carefully and methodically than when I don’t.
That’s often when I get the ah-ha … because I’m more attentive to the review details and completeness.

Be sure to document off range training and education as well. Reading/watching videos is a great way to train your mind to make good decisions - which is what you’ll want to be able to speak to if you ever have to legally defend yourself after a physical self-defense incident.


See now, I didn’t get the reason for off-range training documentation… POP!! Ok. Now I get it!

I picked this up at USCCA’s 2018 Expo while going through a couple of Dave Young’s training sessions. I keep a small notebook journal (10x7) where I record the date, skill(s) I was practicing, weapon(s) I was using, and round count. I also include any notes to myself (e.g. work on clearing garment for faster draw). I also save the targets (keep them in the box the targets were shipped to me in) and capture abbreviated information on the targets (weapon used, drills executed, rounds). I’m really excellent about keeping/tracking my information on my targets…my journal can be hit/miss sometimes (pun intended).


Off range documentation demonstrates that you’re always striving to improve and learn (or so I’ve been told).

I did a simulator run (ok about 10 because I was hooked and no one was stepping up), I documented every scenario. The firearms instructor for the SO was impressed that I was being so detailed not only in documentation, but asking a lot of questions.

I was virtually eaten alive by a dog because I didn’t shoot the pup.

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@BrophE - totally going to up my game on this one.
time to do some thinking about how I want to log. there’s a much bigger picture here that I was missing before today, but now that the light is on, I’m on a mission.

@Zee I adapted my training log from an app I was using, as I started advanced training the app left a lot to be desired.

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What app were you using, @BrophE?

@Dawn CCW Guardian