You’ve seen it before time and time again — the YouTube videos of foreign Special Operations members drawing their weapons in non-traditional ways lightning fast, engaging two targets with rapid headshots from the hip, transitioning to a knife, stabbing another target in the chest. Well, you’ve probably seen some version of this — you know the types of videos I’m talking about. Throwing tomahawks while backflipping, breaking brick walls or lighting something obscure on fire and eating it … these videos are showcases that serve to inspire awe across the globe at the deadly capabilities of their operators.

The idea is largely perpetuated by film and television. To the lay person (filmmakers included), it stands to reason that the more skilled the operator, the more complex his skill sets will be. A low-level operator may know how to shoot accurately; a high-level operator will know how shoot accurately while hanging upside-down from the ceiling.

It’s like this with dancers or musicians. While the more skilled musician may choose to play more simple sets or solos, they can rock a complex guitar solo that will blow the minds of the entire audience.

This line of thinking is false, and actually hurts the training of the operator. Dancing and music are performance careers, built entirely to entertain and tell a story. Soldiers are completing the specific, very practical task of defeating the enemy.