All about Aiming and Being Inclusive

All about Aiming and Being Inclusive

This is a discussion on All about Aiming and Being Inclusive within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; As long as we keep the correct context of the fight in the fore front, this inclusive approach is a very good way to train. ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    All about Aiming and Being Inclusive

    As long as we keep the correct context of the fight in the fore front, this inclusive approach is a very good way to train. Fluid concepts that flow through the situational dependent aspect of the fight will be better than set techniques......any day of the week!

    With these truths in mind, while working varying distances, needed precision, time pressure, position in the reactionary curve, necessity and type of movement, necessary visual input of the entire encounter, and retention considerations it is plain to see that it is not a "one size fits all world."

    Here is the full sight continuum as I see it (opinions may vary) As individuals, I feel that we need to find out what is necessary for us to see, at a personal level, to be able to make the hits inside of the correct context of the fight.

    Gun focus

    Hard Focus on the top edge of the front sight
    Hard focus on the front sight
    Solid sight picture
    Flash sight picture
    Shooting out of the notch
    Front sight only with focus on the gun

    Target focused

    "Type two focus" Focus on the threat with a fuzzy sight picture
    Front sight only with focus on the threat
    Aligning down the top of the slide
    Metal and meat (silhouette of the gun)
    Below line of sight with peripheral vision input of the gun

    The last one works all the way down to "half hip." If you can see your gun in your peripheral vision your brain will use that information to help facilitate your hand/eye coordination.....whether you want it to or not. That is what the brain, eyes, and body does.

    There are also point shooting and body indexed firing position with zero visual input on the gun.

    There are muscle memory techniques such as Quick Fire which relies on punching/driving the gun to the targeted area.


    I know that many people will say that this is too complicated. But it really is not as long as you have the fundamentals down and you have the basic knowledge of “seeing what you need to see.” This does not mean that we consciously pick and choose between thirteen different options. It just means that we know exactly what we need to see and do (as individuals) to make the shot within the correct context of distance, time, needed precision, and movement.

    The focus of my handgun courses are usually from seven yards and in. This is the “most likely” situation for self defense shooting. Due to recent church and mall shootings this “most likely” aspect needs to be supplemented with additional skill sets. These skill sets leave behind the threat focused world of close quarters combat and leads us into alternative aiming methods and a versatile approach to the use of the sights. This seamless integration of body indexed skills, point shooting skills, alternative aiming methods, and versatile sighting methods is the only way to cover the entire fight continuum.

    Most of my students come to me with solid sighted fire skill sets. Most of them can use their sights while using controlled movement. My job is to give them additional skill sets to go along with these skills. This makes the focus of my course point shooting and dynamic movement. But there must be a clear and seamless integration between what the student already does and what I teach them. To do this you must integrate the reactionary continuum, the movement continuum, the draw stroke continuum, the sight continuum, and the trigger and grip continuum into one “just do it!” concept. This can easily be accomplished as long as the curriculum is set up in a building block approach and you have the drills in place that solidify the concepts.

    I have begun using the “zigzag” drill in all of my courses. I usually run it out to twenty five yards so that the student can see the difficulties of shooting on the move at these distances. This drill really nails down the continuums of the fight (except the reactionary continuum, but I have other drills that work that one.)

    As we look at the drawstroke continuum it is plain to see that there is no "one point" better than another. Full extension is great for marksmanship, but it sucks for retention and when the urgency is so high that we can not get to full extension before being shot. Half hip or count three has limited marksmanship, but kicks ass for retention and when the urgency is extremely high. Three quarter hip or mid point is simply a compromise between the two. It is a balancing point of marksmanship, retention, and when the urgency is high.

    "The fight will be what the fight will be." If we can all agree that the context of the fight is the dictating factor, then it is clear that a fluid, sliding scale approach, that covers the dynamics of the encounter in the most effective and efficient manner as possible, is the very best way to go.

    To have full extension and one retention position as your only options force fits these skill sets into sub-optimal positions in the fight continuum, positions where they are simply not the most effective or efficient response within the correct context of the fight. By being more fluid we can work the draw stroke continuum in conjunction with the fight continuum. Where the gun is drawn and used at the optimal position within the balance of speed and accuracy, taking into consideration the retention and visual input needed, while keeping within the main goal of "to hit and not be hit."

    Guys, this all sounds complicated......but it is not. This is what people with good instincts do. This is what they do when they are under pressure and working at the subconscious level. That makes this as uncomplicated as it can possibly be. To accept what your "good instincts" want to do is never a mistake. For those that do not have good instincts, this stuff can still be taught in very short order.....it just has to be explained and drilled. Let's face it, not all of us have good instincts....and that is why we seek out training....to improve where we might be lacking.


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Cold Warrior's Avatar
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    Hard bad aiming habits of Old Cold Warriors and former soldiers: My pals and I and other old guys, who recently got our CCW licenses and started shooting with friends again after 30 years: CCW NRA instructors had to tell and yell at us..."SHOOT! SHOOT! SHOOT! DON'T AIM! SHOOT!"

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array Cold Warrior's Avatar
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    Vs. too-quick instinctive cop shooting, when we could draw a .38 six-shooter revolver and do a double-tap in two seconds, time after time with practice, raising the gun from holster to waist, holster to waist, holster to waist and aim it straight. That is why that thumb-break retention device was nice, to slow you down and make you think instead of shooting too quick.
    Last edited by Cold Warrior; November 9th, 2009 at 05:16 PM. Reason: misspelling

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    Hard bad aiming habits of Old Cold Warriors and former soldiers: My pals and I and other old guys, who recently got our CCW licenses and started shooting with friends again after 30 years: CCW NRA instructors had to tell and yell at us..."SHOOT! SHOOT! SHOOT! DON'T AIM! SHOOT!"
    Cold Warrior; If you feel you are to slow on the trigger may I suggest a class with Roger Phillips. I took his Point Shooting Class and was amazed at what I could do and how fast it could be done. Even us old guys can learn new tricks once in awhile.

    Here is a link to the class I am talking about.....
    http://www.suarezinternationalstore.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=839

    And here is the link to his business website...


    Fight Focused Concepts - What*we teach

  5. #5
    Member Array Bart's Avatar
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    Wyatt Earp Said, "Draw Fast, Shoot Slow".

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart View Post
    Wyatt Earp Said, "Draw Fast, Shoot Slow".
    Yep, and Jelly Bryce had a .43 draw stroke and Bill Jordan had a .26 draw stroke. They drew fast and shot fast and won many gunfights.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweatnbullets View Post
    Yep, and Jelly Bryce had a .43 draw stroke and Bill Jordan had a .26 draw stroke. They drew fast and shot fast and won many gunfights.
    Man! Most people don't even think that fast.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    After Cowboy shooting for over 20 years, I have developed a bad habit of point shooting. THe Single Action revolver is a great point shooter. I couldn't remember when I last looked at my front sight. except when shooting the Cowboy rifle. On this I removed the rear sight and use the front sight only out to 50 yards.

    I have just started shooting IDPA and am find out I need the front sight. The Semi don't point shoot for me as well as the Single actions.

    So its back on a learning curve.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    The gun comes from the holster which is on the hip. To train only to fire the gun once it is between your eyes and the bad guy causes you bypass any chance of shooting the bad guy from the pelvic girdle to the abdomen. The pelvic girdle is super vascular and in a very effective circulatory and structural target.

    This is part of default targeting where in due to distance the gun by being horizontal between you and your attacker, or being in contact with him increase the chance of effective rounds on target.

    When fighting off the ground I would estimate that in training about 90% of rounds fired during force on force are contact shots. - George

  10. #10
    Member Array diverdown247's Avatar
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    And what about those scenarios where sight alignment isn't possible for one reason or another?
    I'm all about fundamentals practice and fight like you train, but there are times where you literally have to shoot from the hip.

    Many people don't train on those scenarios and I think Crimson Trace's new defensive tactics video illustrates how those situations can come up and why it's practical to have a laser at your disposal.

    I've not been an advocate for lasers...they work both ways, but now that my wife CCW's we've purchased two of the Crimson Trace units and for good reason: Rapid Target Acquisition in awkward scenarios.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    The Fallacy of the Retention Position and the Need to be able to Shoot Throughout your Draw Stroke

    The retention position is another “Sacred Cow” that simply does not stand up under critical thinking or inside “force on force” (FOF) training. The idea that you have only one position that will take care of the full spectrum of retention problems, that you may come across, is simply ridiculous. If you adopt and train in only one retention position, then you are forcing a suboptimal “niche” technique into a concept driven, continuum based skill set. This “force fitting” of techniques to replace fluid concepts is the undoing of the “technique driven” training of the recent past.

    As in almost anything that we do in regards to self defense, there is a continuum in regards to retention. This continuum is once again based on the distance of the threat and the dynamics of the encounter. The distance aspect of this equation speaks for itself. The main goal is to protect your gun, gun hand, and gun arm by “extending out” only as far as is needed, dictated by the difficulty of the shot. This concept is very cut and dry….at least until we add in the variables of the dynamics of the encounter. It is the “dynamics” that much of the training of the recent past has completely ignored. The context of the fight dictates the amount of extension of the gun that is allowable and necessary. The weapon and the forward drive of adversary are additional factors that must be considered. Your movement response to these factors also must be taken into consideration.

    As we recognize, once again, that this is not a “one size fits all” world and that the situation is the dictating factor it is plain to see that having only one retention position ties our hands is so many ways. Retention is a concept…..not a position. It is a fluid skill set….not a locked in positional technique. The retention positions that I have been taught in the past were geared towards very limited situations. On the most part they were stand and deliver techniques that were only good at “hands on” bad breath distances. Now this may be good for “one foot” but what about one yard, two yards, three yards, four yards, against a knife, against an impact weapon, with dynamic movement, and after you have gone “hands on” and created some distance?

    From my experience with FOF, I feel that we all need to start considering retention at about the four yard mark. The reason for this is simple. Remember the retention main goal;

    “The main goal is to protect your gun, gun hand, and gun arm by “extending out” only as far as is needed, dictated by the difficulty of the shot.”

    Four yards with two men extended towards each other is really only a two yard gap. A two yard gap can be close by a stationary adversary in around .5 of a second. Contact at .5 of a second….and that is without a weapon that extends the adversaries reach. Factor in an adversaries forward drive and the time is considerably less. To come out to full extension on an adversary within four yards is just daring for a gun grab attempt or an attack on the gun hand and arm. By compressing the gun inward you accomplish two very distinct things, you take the gun further out of reach and you let the adversary know that you are not an idiot. Projecting the gun is a fool’s mistake. By compressing the gun you are limiting the adversary’s choices and possibly taking away his best choice.

    If we accept that compressing the gun is a good tactic at four yards, well then it is obvious that compressing it even more so, is a good tactic, as the distance decreases. If all of this sounds familiar, it is because this concept has been around since the 1930’s. Fairbairn and Sykes understood the need for a fluid retention concept. Quarter hip, half hip, and three quarter hip were designed, in part, with the main goal in mind. One thing that we need to keep in mind is that these “hip” positions are just points that you can flow to and through. They are not “set” positions….. they are fluid points that had to be given names so that they could be discussed. Work the concept not the technique!

    This concept of retention is so far superior to a retention position. It takes in the reality of a violent encounter…..which is all based on distance. The fluid use of kicks, punches, strikes, the use of a knife, a sword, etc, etc are all based on distance. To have only two shooting positions make as much sense as having only two ways to strike.

    As we look to the dynamic movement skill set, it is very important to consider retention as we work the oblique angles or parallel tracking. At certain distances, with certain movement we actually close the distance. This fact must be kept in mind. Do not project the gun and open yourself to an attack on the gun, the gun hand, or the gun arm.

    If we look at retention from an open minded point of view, it becomes very apparent that any retention training that does not incorporate quality, fluid, combat proven point shooting skill sets is simply training to be ineffectual.

  12. #12
    Ex Member Array Cold Warrior's Avatar
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    Civil War reenactors have shot toward their enemies many many times, instinctively aiming over their heads to keep fom hurting them, an ingrained habit.

  13. #13
    Member Array ECHOONE's Avatar
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    Unfortunately you have put to much thought into aiming! It is a well known fact that in the stress of combat shooting or defensive shooting that happens in low light scenerio's within 3-10' we DO NOT USE OR SIGHT'S, We also tend to not breath,even though we always practice our breathing technique's,and we tend to keep both eye's open.When our adrenaline hits us everything changes and we actually just point shot, we do not attempt to use our sights.To do so would only be a waste of valuable time if the assailiant is within a few feet of you,the second or two you use to sight in is all he needs to shoot or be on top of you with his knife!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECHOONE View Post
    Unfortunately you have put to much thought into aiming! It is a well known fact that in the stress of combat shooting or defensive shooting that happens in low light scenerio's within 3-10' we DO NOT USE OR SIGHT'S, We also tend to not breath,even though we always practice our breathing technique's,and we tend to keep both eye's open.When our adrenaline hits us everything changes and we actually just point shot, we do not attempt to use our sights.To do so would only be a waste of valuable time if the assailiant is within a few feet of you,the second or two you use to sight in is all he needs to shoot or be on top of you with his knife!
    Unfortunately you have put way too little thought into aiming!

    I am proficient with a gun from one inch to 500 yards. From a pure sprint, to controlled movement, all the way to prone. From way behind the reactionary curve all the way to a completely dominant position.

    Closed minds lead to exclusive thinking.

    The fight will be what the fight will be!

    You have no control of what fight shows up on your doorstep. Do not become a victim of your niche/pet technique due to your lack of thinking.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I do a lot of draw and shoot from the hip out to 7 yards and can constantly put rounds COM,start slow and develope muscle memory,by shooting and readjusting to hit where you want,over time you can end up doing double taps that are within 2 inches
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