Practice, Practice, Practice
Training is essential. You get knowledge and some hands-on experience. Knowledge is important but it will not save your life in an emergency self-defense situation. There are physical and mental skills that will have to be learned and then practiced. Handling a firearm, getting a pistol out of your holster without injuring yourself, or deploying a shotgun for self-defense is a lot harder than it looks on TV.
The only way to lock these skills in is practice—lots of it. Research shows that it takes between 1,000 and 3,000 repetitions of a physical act to commit that act to muscle memory. So you don’t just take the class. You have to practice to convert that knowledge and hands-on training to the practical physical and mental skills necessary to protect yourself and your family.