How do we know we won't freeze up?

This is a discussion on How do we know we won't freeze up? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; To get the proper mindset you will have to do more than just shooting at paper targets. Get a training buddy and practice running through ...

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Thread: How do we know we won't freeze up?

  1. #61
    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    To get the proper mindset you will have to do more than just shooting at paper targets. Get a training buddy and practice running through different scenarios. If possible take some advanced firearms/self-defense training.

    There are some excellent training materials available if you cannot afford to take a formal course.

    You will react the way you have trained AND practiced.

    When and if you ever find yourself in a worst case scenario, you will find you do not have time to do anything but react. You will not have time to use your fancy night sights or your fancy laser. You will be within 3' to 11' from your attacker. The encounter will last between 3 and 5 seconds (on average) and it will seem like 3 to 5 minutes. You will not have time to be afraid or be nervous. That will come afterwards, so be prepared for that as well.

    No one knows for sure how they well react until that first time comes. The better prepared you have made yourself, the the better chance you will do fine.
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  3. #62
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    good thought-provoking question, all of us are different...some may freeze up no matter how much training they've had, others just go with the flow like nothing is happening and go through the motions as they are trained
    you mention practicing drawing/muscle memory and that is good
    thinking through scenarios ahead of time and thinking what-ifs are also good for thought-provoking

    my $0.02......
    mindset and training are the only things that combat this

    I've come within a split-second of pulling the trigger on someone 3 times now and I wasn't going through thought processes in my head, thinking of steps, thinking of the draw, thinking of stance, grip, observing what the suspect was doing, etc.....it all just happened and thankfully I didn't have to pull the trigger but I was to that point
    I credit our training for this and having the mindset that I do

    mindset is something you have to have instilled firmly in your head way BEFORE the event takes place, you can't decide when the shooting starts that you're going to survive and do what you've been trained to do, that has to be in your head 24/7/365, mindset also entails you will do whatever it takes to survive....whatever it takes

    training.....its impossible to have too much training
    training assists with your proper mindset and making good habits for you
    bad habits are hard to break and should be replaced with good habits, for when you are under stress you will revert to your habits (training)
    when the SHTF you will have adrenaline dump, increased heart rate/breathing and you will have to combat this with controlled breathing (search on here for combat breathing)
    people say practice practice practice for a reason....thats so when the time arrives you won't fumble drawing, getting to cover, putting rounds on target when you need to one handed or two handed, can reload with an injured hand, clear malfunctions, etc
    practicing all this leads to the proper habits which you will revert to under stress/SHTF situations

    for anyone wanting to get a taste of this, take some force on force with simunitions rounds used...not airsoft (though those courses do help)
    simunitions rounds sound just like real gunfire (and hurt pretty dang bad when hit....I testify), the weapons also feel and perform pretty much like the real thing too
    these situations/training do wonders for your thinking of "what will I do if....." while under stress, we did it in the academy and do it twice a year at qual time and the situations/scenarios make us all better cops and I believe will help anyone with this
    It made me quickly realize how I will react in these scenarios, how my body reacts, combat tunnel vision, adrenaline, perform under stress, losing fine motor skills, etc. I also learn something new everytime we do these courses every 6 months.

    ok, that was more than $0.02
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  4. #63
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 64zebra View Post
    good thought-provoking question, all of us are different...some may freeze up no matter how much training they've had, others just go with the flow like nothing is happening and go through the motions as they are trained
    you mention practicing drawing/muscle memory and that is good
    thinking through scenarios ahead of time and thinking what-ifs are also good for thought-provoking

    my $0.02......
    mindset and training are the only things that combat this

    I've come within a split-second of pulling the trigger on someone 3 times now and I wasn't going through thought processes in my head, thinking of steps, thinking of the draw, thinking of stance, grip, observing what the suspect was doing, etc.....it all just happened and thankfully I didn't have to pull the trigger but I was to that point
    I credit our training for this and having the mindset that I do

    mindset is something you have to have instilled firmly in your head way BEFORE the event takes place, you can't decide when the shooting starts that you're going to survive and do what you've been trained to do, that has to be in your head 24/7/365, mindset also entails you will do whatever it takes to survive....whatever it takes

    training.....its impossible to have too much training
    training assists with your proper mindset and making good habits for you
    bad habits are hard to break and should be replaced with good habits, for when you are under stress you will revert to your habits (training)
    when the SHTF you will have adrenaline dump, increased heart rate/breathing and you will have to combat this with controlled breathing (search on here for combat breathing)
    people say practice practice practice for a reason....thats so when the time arrives you won't fumble drawing, getting to cover, putting rounds on target when you need to one handed or two handed, can reload with an injured hand, clear malfunctions, etc
    practicing all this leads to the proper habits which you will revert to under stress/SHTF situations

    for anyone wanting to get a taste of this, take some force on force with simunitions rounds used...not airsoft (though those courses do help)
    simunitions rounds sound just like real gunfire (and hurt pretty dang bad when hit....I testify), the weapons also feel and perform pretty much like the real thing too
    these situations/training do wonders for your thinking of "what will I do if....." while under stress, we did it in the academy and do it twice a year at qual time and the situations/scenarios make us all better cops and I believe will help anyone with this
    It made me quickly realize how I will react in these scenarios, how my body reacts, combat tunnel vision, adrenaline, perform under stress, losing fine motor skills, etc. I also learn something new everytime we do these courses every 6 months.

    ok, that was more than $0.02
    It may be more than .02 but you sound a bit like clint smith...Very good post sir.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

  5. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    It may be more than .02 but you sound a bit like clint smith...Very good post sir.
    I guess I'll take that as a compliment LOL
    wasn't my intent, just telling my point of view and my experience from training and my short time on the street
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  6. #65
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 64zebra View Post
    I guess I'll take that as a compliment LOL
    wasn't my intent, just telling my point of view and my experience from training and my short time on the street
    It was a compliment. So many times we over complicate things as we train. Your post hit the points and made them very clear.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

  7. #66
    Member Array hengst's Avatar
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    Cut and dry...fight or flight...just remember you freeze you die ...that ought to wake you up
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  8. #67
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Appreciate your comment Hopyard. My main point is that the likelihood of being in a position where I have to worry about "freezing" is next to nothing because I do not intend to place myself in a situation where "freezing" has to even be a thought--it has worked for 68 years, most of which without a firearm and I do not see it changing anytime soon. When I decided to own a firearm and assume that responsibility, I also assumed a responsibility to examine myself and understand what my limits were. I know that I can react positively to difficult situations with rationale and caution and calm, and would not be carrying a firearm if I did not feel that 1) I would do everything in my power to eliminate any opportunity to have to use said firearm and 2) I would do everything in my power to use that firearm if #1 should somehow fail me. Practice is fine and dandy and having a big bad firearm is fine and dandy and having a nice holster and a laser etc etc is fine and dandy--it still does not, IMO, convince you of your ability to confront a situation that is literally life and death---that is something you must truly believe is in you--be honest with yourself---if you have to ask this question--will I freeze or not--you are probably better off without a firearm.

  9. #68
    Member Array metallic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Hopefully your training will make it a reflex rather than a response. A reflex is instinctive; a response is thought about.

    Panic does funny things. As a former SCUBA instructor, I taught students over and over how to respond to dive emergencies, yet at the first sign of trouble, I almost always saw panic override training.
    I can attest to this, I had a "mishap" while finishing up my scuba diving certification. I was practicing an out of air situation that required buddy breathing, and I wasn't familiar with my instructor's gear and wound up putting his spare regulator in my mouth backwards. I pretty much made a mad bolt for the surface as soon as I got a huge gulp of sea water instead of air.

    Now here's the thing about panic, my decision wasn't even voluntary. I didn't think about what was happening to me, I wasn't thinking about the effects that a bolt from 60 feet to the surface could have on my lungs. In fact, I could say that absolutely zero conscious thought was occurring at this point. From a mental standpoint, I had completely shut down and let my baser instincts take over. And this is why panic is so deadly.
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  10. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frogbones View Post
    I should say that the only "shooting" I've been through was salt rock being shot @ me cause I was on a persons land fishing in a pond. Most recently having an encounter with some wild dogs..that I had to put down via my SKS.

    The other encounters were what came with the territory of growing up on the South side of Chicago, and then finishing my teens and twenties on the South side of Houston.
    Talking about dogs reminded me about being scared. One of the scariest times I was ever in was being confronted by a dog and knowing that unlike the movies, shooting the dog would not stop it from hurting/killing me.

    I was carrying a 9mm with 16+1 hollow-points and if the owner had not come out and ordered the dog back, I was going to shoot and try to keep from being hurt.

    One of the scariest things you will ever see is an enraged dog coming at you!
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  11. #70
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    I have had 2 occasions in recent memory, both in 2009, where I needed to draw to stop a threat. Both times I came very close to shooting someone. Both cases I reacted almost automatically so I think my training and practice is doing the job. I also do not think that I will freeze up in a similar situation.

    I think the secret is to practice, practice and practice. Then, practice some more.
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  12. #71
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    I read some of the recent replies and in them I see terms like "hopefully" and "I do not think", when relating to "freezing up". Lots of replies emphasize practice, practice, practice. IMHO, there is no "practice" for the real thing and "hopefully" and "I do not think" I will freeze are, quite frankly, not good enough---if you cannot believe in yourself there is not a firearm out there that will help you. This is not about the firearm or practice, this is about you, and your limitations (physically and mentally) with your firearm, and it is your personal psychololgical makeup and commitment that you should be aware of and the very positive conclusion you have come to on a deadly confrontation before you CC.

  13. #72
    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    The statement has been implied that combat is different from SD. All SD is combat and all combat is SD. Even aggressive combat (attack) is pre-emptive SD.

    I have killed and it did not affect me mentally or emotionally and still doesn't to this day.
    Some killed and it did bother them, and it still does decades later.
    Others around me could not kill and they died.

    We all had the same extensive training.
    We all had the same thorough psychological preparation.

    I have no pat or easy answer.
    I don't know why it didn't bother me and it did them.

    You won't know why until it happens.
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  14. #73
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    "You never rise to the occasion, you always fall back on your training."

    I think thats an Army saying but I could be wrong, I heard it somewhere but forget where.

  15. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjh2657 View Post
    The statement has been implied that combat is different from SD. All SD is combat and all combat is SD. Even aggressive combat (attack) is pre-emptive SD.

    I have killed and it did not affect me mentally or emotionally and still doesn't to this day.
    Some killed and it did bother them, and it still does decades later.
    Others around me could not kill and they died.

    We all had the same extensive training.
    We all had the same thorough psychological preparation.

    I have no pat or easy answer.
    I don't know why it didn't bother me and it did them.

    You won't know why until it happens.
    That's an interesting observation, and I can easily see how that would be the case. I have always believed that if a self-defense scenario came up where I had to fire in order to defend myself or someone else (ESPECIALLY my family), that it isn't something that is going to weigh on my conscience. The exception would be if the aggressor ended up being someone who was not yet an adult (for example, a 14 or 15 year old). That doesn't mean I think I will hesitate, though. I will defend myself first and worry about the consequences/feelings later.

    What's going to happen if a situation really comes up? Hopefully I will never have to find out. I do know that I am committed to winning. Since I was uncomfortable carrying a loaded weapon without a safety, part of my repetitive training will involve thumbing the safety off every time I unholster my gun until I don't have to think about it anymore.

  16. #75
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    We never truly know for sure, but in my case I feel confident only because I have been in several VERY fast moving life or death type situations in my lifetime and have yet to "freeze up" in anyway. In fact, almost the opposite is true. I seem to become more decisive. I hope the same holds true should I be faced with having to use my weapon.
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