Earlier this year, Greybeard Actual, also known as Matt Little, published his book The Way Is In Training. Mr. Little penned this treatise in 2022 and it covers everything and anything that pertains to learning, training and cultivating martial skills. The Way Is In Training should be an obvious interest for anyone interested in the topics of firearms skills development, competition, martial arts, physical fitness and most importantly the philosophy that accompanies these topics.
The Way Is In Training can be described many different ways. At the aggregate level, it’s like a textbook with so many different topics, chapters and sections relating to life, applied violence, fitness, mindset etc. Unlike the typical textbook, this isn’t a boring dry tome. The whole book is full of things like Mr. Little’s photos, personal details, along with recollections of colleagues, comrades and competitors.
Mr. Little and I became acquainted while attending the same local USPSA matches. Funny enough, I bought my copy of this book from him in the parking lot after a match one Saturday. At the next match, I told him, “Man, I wish someone would have bought this book for me when I was 18 years old.” And that’s the best way to concisely describe what The Way Is In Training is all about. If you’re interested in guns, training, shooting and everything else about that world, this is the book you wish you had when you were a young man. Its pages are packed with plenty of lessons and examples or things to critically focus on. I’m confident I’m not speaking only for myself when I say this, but a roadmap on showing you how to best circumvent the bullshit when I was younger would have been nice.
The fact that The Way Is In Training is laden with philosophical references and motifs is probably my favorite aspect about this book. Mr. Little readily illustrates the influence of works like Miyamoto Musashi’s Book Of Five Rings or Yamatomo Tsunetomo’s Hagakure have had on his life. Besides those, other luminaries like the Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius are discussed. The philosophical content of The Way Is In Training resonates with me deeply because I’ve reached a point in my own personal “skills journey” where I’ve recognized its true value. In fact, in order to advance even higher in skill you have to truly embrace this stuff. Mr. Little covers Musashi’s concept of “no-mind” or mushin for example. Understanding this concept isn’t too complicated but it’s mandatory in order to level up.
Both the first and last parts of The Way Is In Training cover philosophical concepts and mindset. That said, the “meat” of this book is full of concrete and practical information and lessons. And it’s quite comprehensive too. Topics covered include things like daily nutrition, tactical medicine, striking, tactics or even how to teach others. There are too many examples to list here, but from cover to cover, The Way Is In Training covers nearly 150 different topics divided across five sections. The boon for the reader of this book is getting to enjoy a neatly packaged collection of Mr. Little’s lifetime of experiences.
In addition to his own experiences, Mr. Little includes many useful lessons and materials from other sources too. Throughout the book, a plethora of high level shooters and their useful drills are mentioned. Names like Frank Proctor, Les Kismatorni, Todd Luis Green, Bill Wilson, Alex Acosta and Hwansik Kim among others come to mind. Although Mr. Little himself is an instructor who teaches classes of his own, he still includes other instructors and their shooting standards such as Scott Jedlinski from the Modern Samurai Project or Mr. Gabe White.
Besides all of the philosophical concepts covered (which I think are useful to anyone who reads this book), all of the practical knowledge contained in the book is neatly organized so that anyone can keep coming back to it as needed. It’s there for those wishing to refresh or looking for the next steps as they figure things out along their training journey. Once again, a work like this one would have been so useful for my younger self.
About The Author
Matt Little is a career US Army Special Forces soldier who concurrently served as a career Chicago PD SWAT officer. Either line of work afforded him with a wealth of knowledge and experiences which he poured into his book, The Way Is In Training. Now retired from two careers of service which have spanned most of his adult life, Mr. Little still remains active as an avid dynamic pistol competitor both in USPSA and IDPA. He and his wife Angela run a training company, Greybeard Actual, that offers shooting and tactics courses to both civilian and Law Enforcement students. Please click here to learn more about Greybeard Actual.
The Way Is In Training is available from Amazon in many formats including paperback, hardcover, kindle or audiobook. Alternatively, if you run into him at a match, he might sell you one from the trunk of his vehicle. ;)