I think the stance is just the beginning. I prefer to think of what comes after as "footwork."
If you understand why you form your shooting stance the way you do, it will help you come as close as possible to duplicating those conditions while you're moving. And from there to shooting positions that don't really involve footwork, like on your back, seated, etc.
There are a number of videos on the web of people going through practical shooting stages. If you watch people who do practical shooting well (or some show featuring military operations) you'll see people either walking while shooting or while prepared to shoot. You'll notice that they keep their knees flexed and they are able to hold their weapons on target, frequently staring down the sights the entire time.
I have to disagree on this. You want to practice what will actually happen. Getting into a stance should be muscle memory and you should be able to do it without thinking about it. The whole purpose of a stance is a foundation for for better marksmanship. If you are off weight or off foot then accuracy goes out the window. This is something I hammer in my CCW class. Stances might save lives. A good stance will reduce your silhouette and present less of a target and give you a better foundation to fire a well aimed round.
I have had to shoot in self-defense and I do know what I am talking about.
Point shooting on the other hand is a bit different. You jut clear leather and fire, one handed. This should be immediately followed up by an aggressive stance, both hands on weapon, and indexing.
Moving and shooting. Call it the "groucho." This is feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, torso pulled forward but comfortable, weapon up looking down the sights, arms slightly bent, (for right handers) left foot out front. Now walk. ONLY FIRE WHEN YOUR LEFT FOOT IS OUT IN FRONT! When doing this, your stance is in the popular weaver style yet you are moving. Fire two rounds center mass as soon as your left foot strikes the deck. Now you are moving and shooting.
Constant practice will make this muscle memory and you will do it with out thinking about it. Under fire having a good head on your shoulders and keeping calm during a firefight so you can do this will most likely save your life.
Having a good stance is the basic fundamental in marksmanship either for competition or self-defense.
Read the findings of Col. Rex Applegate.
Amazon.com: Bullseyes Don't Shoot Back (9780873649575): Rex Applegate, Michael Janich: Books
His results are no matter what stance you train in you will end up in a crouched isosceles stance with a one handed grip. Muscle memory doesn't mean a thing under stress.
Thankfully I can practice at home, and don't have to deal with the constraints of a range.
I shoot in a traditional stance, right and left handed, one handed, sitting, while moving and at targets in different directions. It's more fun. Nothing more fun than sitting on the porch plinking away.
My suggestion is to learn as many as you can, become proficient in them and remember that in the end itís the hits that count. Whatís new now was old hat when I shot my first IPSC match back when Jeff Cooper was just about the only game in town.
Standing and shooting is less desirable than shooting on the move. Point shooting should be high on your training program.
Dad, who is a wickedly good pistol shot, told me to stop thinking about stance, grip, and sights and put the bullets in the middle of the target!
Stance, grip, breathing, mental gymnastics of various types ... all of these are techniques we use to ostensibly improve balance, steadiness, elimination of outside distractions and other factors that affect aim, response time, application/direction of strength or force, and other elements.
Yes, I'm betting that for any given situation a person would have one perfect stance that would have resulted in the best outcome. Though, there are so many variables in a situation that what perfect elements those were might never be known. It changes over time, with age, with amount of sleep, with the urgency of the situation. So, we train with various techniques, see how it goes, then train again.
I try to listen to folks that are digging to find stress-proof or emergency-proof techniques that help to eliminate the variation in times of stress/emergency. They're onto something.
And yet, those who end up truly proficient at it (whatever "it" is) very often state that clearing the mind of all the petty concerns is often the way to improved performance. Such as, when we see someone "in the zone" and note how effortless it looks. Often, such folks report they weren't thinking of much at all.
Some combination of those techniques will likely tend to work better overall.
Building on what CCW9MM said, did anyone catch them discussing the mouth pieces that some of the Olympic (& other pro) athletes are using?
They were talking about how they help distribute tension and muscle strength and how it releases 'something' (I forget what) and helps focus and balance.
And they start at like $600 :smoke23:
I don't believe in the perfect stance in a SD situation. As long as my bullets strike where I aim, then I'm good to go. I do believe as someone mentioned here that working on stances and such, learning the basics will definitely help you later no matter what.
Thankfully, I have never had to shoot in self defense. That said I have noticed in IDPA competition that when my stance is poor I can still shoot accurately; however, my split times open up noticeably.
Stance matters very little in Marksmanship. Sight Alignment and Trigger Control matter a great deal.
Gunfighting is a Martial Art and in any Martial Art Balance and Body Control should be practiced. People see a Katana and think hmmm Martial Art, Bushido etc. People see a firearm and think John Wayne, Bruce Willis etc. It's a perception thing.
The battle is won by the Warrior not the weapon, the weapon is only the tool.
I constantly practice moving off the "X".... and in both directions.....so where would stance matter other than maybe having your weight evenly ballanced....?
I was taught to never stand still in one place or the lead could be flyin' back at ya..............