Is it enough?

Is it enough?

This is a discussion on Is it enough? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What is the goal behind the training and practice in the use of the handgun in defense of our person or other? It would seem ...

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Thread: Is it enough?

  1. #1
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    Is it enough?

    What is the goal behind the training and practice in the use of the handgun in defense of our person or other?

    It would seem one of our goals, if not the main goal, should be that we are able to deliver rounds on threat in the shortest period of time once we determine that is in fact necessary.
    The training we seek from anyone, is probably to be as proficient in drawing from concealed, or from a duty holster [likely if we are LE], and using various skills to stop the potential lethal threat to us in the shortest time.

    Many factors come into play to be able to deliver rounds accurately enough [we’ll discuss this later], and with sufficient speed, to keep from being killed or maimed by others with the handgun we choose to carry.

    The mission statement of the handgun involves a few things here. One is that a handgun allows us to carry a tool that’s sufficient to accomplish our goal from any given distance whether that be from bad breath to well beyond it’s normal parameters. That it also has enough power to persuade an aggressor to stop their actions against us by causing them enough physical harm or perhaps by just seeing we have that capability before they fully act out an aggression against us to begin with.

    Being an inanimate object, the handgun does our bidding by our own personal abilities with that tool. It can’t act on it’s own, it needs our mental and physical intervention [input] in it’s use to allow it to perform adequately. What is adequate takes so many forms through as many variables, that it is now up to us and our direct input with that tool to solve the problem at hand.

    It’s not enough to just be able to make use of the tools inherent accuracy or it’s particular attributes to be accurate in doing so. If it were, bull’s-eye shooters would be the best at defending themselves. It’s also not enough to just be able to rapidly fire our handguns either. We need to couple the guns inherently accurate attributes with quick shots [working the trigger mechanism] in concert with each other. But are those two criteria enough in and of themselves? We all know they aren’t, there are elements that still need to be brought into play here which require further skills.

    Handhold/gripping of the weapon would have to be considered an important aspect. One handed or two, there are a few variations that seem to be the mainstay in today’s training. One that’s been made very popular and riding a wave of interest in the last decade is the two handed “high thumbs” grip developed and used almost exclusively by the masters
    and their followers of the various competitions. The other the thumbs locked down two handed hold which has been around for decades and which I was trained in some 25 years ago now.

    No matter which two handed grip/hold you use, if you can keep rapid fire recoil controlled adequately, either will work and trainers should not attempt to force a shooter to change from using either unless of the two mentioned unless there’s an obvious problem with the shooters present recoil management.

    After recoil management we would probably expect trigger control to be next in important. Trigger control is likely related in some way to our “recoil management” of the grip/hold on the weapon. Trigger control should be isolated from the handhold as much as it can be, and based on the shooters physical attributes [length of fingers, size of ones hand] it can become apparent that the various grips/holds they are using might need to be changed to allow for a more uniform and repeatable trigger pull.

    We have seen many shooters who do not practice enough with their one handed shooting as they do their two handed shooting. There are probably several contributing factors in why shooters tend to practice/work the handgun one handed less than two handed. One of the biggest reasons may be the square range practice most have been accustomed to in the past at both public and private ranges. Many have more interested in the past in what their “groups of shots” look like [how small they can make them] than how fast they can shoot or being cognizant of their need for increased recoil management as their speed increases, not to mention their understanding of the need for increased management of both recoil and trigger speed.

    Another reason is likely that they don’t see the same results [the same groupings of their shots] on the targets when shooting one handed due to recoil being harder to control with one hand than two as well as not being to isolate the trigger finger and fire as rapidly with the one hand. Though the reasons can be explained here for the deterioration of speed and accuracy [a combination of recoil management and trigger control], through practice and proper training, shooting one handed can be brought to the same level of proficiency as their two handed shooting skills through guidance in these matters by someone who understands what’s needed here, and more importantly perhaps the methods that can be incorporated to achieve the same success using one hand as they enjoy while using a two handed hold.

    The goal of anyone who is interested in self defense with a pistol is to master the above so that it becomes a subconscious and reflexive act to bring all the skills necessary to “run the gun” optimally in the physical sense so we may then move forward to concentrate on the mental aspects of defending ourselves in a dynamic environ under stress as is created when our very lives are in imminent danger from various outside stimuli as we move about in our normal daily activities.

    Once we have the above physical skills of “running the gun” ingrained into muscle memory and we are comfortable enough in those skills, we can then move into the higher order of making use of the various techniques [those that become separate skills later through repetitions and practice as they are themselves ingrained into our subconscious] that can be optimally applied as necessary based on their individual strengths in any given situation.

    As a person who trains others in various skills [techniques], I have a responsibility to ensure my students are at the subconscious level of “running the gun” physically, to a particular level of proficiency, which allows them to react and ultimately use the skills/techniques they may need to know and to call upon one day to defend themselves in the most expeditious and efficient manner and to a successful conclusion where they survive a threat to their very existence.

    Is this enough in and of itself, to be at the level necessary to run the gun physically at the subconscious level, having all the various skills/techniques we can train into the student individually, or is there an even higher order that can follow. Is it enough to give the students, say 20 separate techniques that they can then purportedly call upon under crisis?

    It’s certainly advantageous to have as many skills/techniques as possible to call upon. The more we have of these at our disposal the more we can call upon almost instantly when the need arises. Is it as far as we can take the students or ourselves?

    Is it enough?

    Brownie
    The mind is the limiting factor

    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor


  2. #2
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    No, its not. Read your own signature line, Azqkr.

    It more of a mental game, the mental preparation, ability to deliver the acts we train for, and what everyone always forgets; the aftermath.

  3. #3
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    Good, very good sir.

    There's a lot more to follow in the near future, this is just the first of a few posts that will follow up on these initial thoughts.

    Brownie
    The mind is the limiting factor

    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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    Very good read! I need to re-read a few times because some of it has sparked interest in my own ways of practice and reaction.

    I agree with SIXTO also. We can all practice daily and build great muscle memory and the skills we need to do what we have to do to protect ourselves and loved ones, but we need to work on our mental aspect of it as well.

    Am I ready to take someones life if my life is in danger? Am I ready for what comes after taking a life? When will I pull the trigger?

    There are so many questions that we need to ask ourselves daily to prepare our minds for what may happen some day.

    all of the above is in my opinion of course.
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    Good solid stuff

    For the majority of us here I suspect - who have at very least undergone some degree of ''regular'' training, the pre-requisite to follow that, is to practice every darned thing we can think of.

    Even then it may never be the ubiquitous ''enough'' but the more versatile we can become the better our chances - as we may have to adapt in a heart beat to the strangest of circumstances, should the day come we fire in defence of self.

    This must include ambidextrous shooting, shooting from retention and also embody many varieties of movement - both while shooting and with the view to gain hard cover.

    The whole gamut is about as broad as one's imagination wishes to make it.

    I am still totally taken up too with SouthNarc's ''task fixation'' theme - until I really gave that thought deeply I had not considered just how important (nay, critical) it just might be.
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr View Post
    What is the goal behind the training and practice in the use of the handgun in defense of our person or other?
    This may not be quite what you intended to talk about, but I think the ultimate goal of all personal defense training is to keep ourselves and others safe from harm in the face of potential criminal violence. Gunplay is one of the techniques we have to do this, but it should also be the most rarely used. Alertness, avoidance and discouraging criminals from selecting us for victimization should come into play before it becomes a deadly force situation. In some circumstances, other techniques like verbal challenges or non-lethal force may be appropriate.

    Knowing how to shoot effectively is important because it is the last resort. Once we get to that point there's really nothing left to fall back on. If we screw it up, we or some innocent third party could end up dead. We need to be as good as we possibly can, but we should do everything possible to avoid it.

    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr View Post
    Is it enough to give the students, say 20 separate techniques that they can then purportedly call upon under crisis?

    It’s certainly advantageous to have as many skills/techniques as possible to call upon. The more we have of these at our disposal the more we can call upon almost instantly when the need arises. Is it as far as we can take the students or ourselves?

    Is it enough?
    I think it may be too much!

    I don't know how long of a training period you're talking about, but when you mention 20 techniques, it makes me a little nervous. I am still an beginner at this and I've only taken one relatively short training course. It was a good course, with a great instructor, but if there was a flaw, it was that I didn't feel like I got a chance to practice some of the techniques enough to feel comfortable with them (particularly shooting around cover and low-light shooting, which I can't really just go to the range and practice). Until I get a chance for some more training in these areas, neither low light shooting nor shooting around cover is going to come naturally to me in a combat situation.

    I think it would be much better to give students a deep understanding of a few techniques, rather than a shallow understanding of many. It takes a lot of practice to be able to perform these techniques unconsciously under stress. The stats I've seen for muscle memory vary, but they generally involve thousands of repetitions at a minimum. Too many techniques means that each of them gets less practice. In addition, you will have to consciously choose between them in a combat situation, rather than just defaulting to the technique you were taught. Too many choices can be paralyzing!

    From a beginners perspective, even though I want to learn as much as possible, it seems to be best to concentrate on depth first (becoming really good at a small number of fundamental skills), rather than breadth (being a jack-of-all techniques but master of none).

    That said, I agree with you about the need to practice off-hand and one-handed shooting (I try to incorporate these into both my dry-fire and range practice).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Is it enough?
    Nope.....not for me it isn't.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Shooting skills and age

    Handgun shooting skills deteriorate with age, even with practice.

    I know that at 65, I was more skillful with all firearms, and at 55, 45, etc.

    Today at 75, my firearms skills are limited.

    What has not been lost is my ability to be deselected. My O skills, my use of OODA. My senses still work.

    These skills take practice--at least as much practice as gun skills, and require constant use, and may be far more important.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  9. #9
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    I Agree...

    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    Good solid stuff
    For the majority of us here I suspect - who have at very least undergone some degree of ''regular'' training, the pre-requisite to follow that, is to practice every darned thing we can think of.

    The whole gamut is about as broad as one's imagination wishes to make it.
    Knowledge and exposure is very important, but if you have become accustomed to 34 different techniques...and in the heat of battle you needed #35...what do you do?

    With a whole bunch of potential scenarios out there, I say...

    Be exposed to as much as possble, practice around things that feel comfortable to you...then practice some more...then practice some more...

    Being a generalist of 40 techniques is not the same...

    as being an expert with just a few of... don't have to think about it, in the dark, eyes closed, muscle memory movements. If you can do it very well...you'll do it well when you don't have time to think about it.

    When you don't have time to think...what will you do?

    ret
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  10. #10
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    I've got a one on one training schedule this week for the next 5 days. I'll get back to this subject and where I'm going with it in a few days after that.

    I have some ideas roughed out and I'm going to test the ideas and theorems I have put together, with this student as the test subject, at the end of his weeks training.

    I'll get back to everyone then. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to others comments and thoughts of what I'm talking about in my original post here.

    Brownie
    The mind is the limiting factor

    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

  11. #11
    New Member Array B1911's Avatar
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    Practice makes perfect, right? Nope, practice makes permanent. You have a gun strapped to your hip...you're ahead by 20%...the rest of the 80% depends on you and how you train physically and mentally. I will say that the subject of training can be ran into the ground, to the point where one might get overwhelmed. Train on the basics until it becomes permanent, then some formal type of training like force on force would be helpful. Still, when the adrealine goes through you, it still may not be enough.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    ret--that is the reason I harp on OODA.

    When the event is in progress is not the time to decide 'door A or B or C or?'

    These decisions have to be premade, or you will use up extremely valued time to decide. Being ready means knowing your action/response in advance based on his/their action/s.

    A simple example is person approaching you asking 'do you have the time? Answer is no, and you do not stop moving! Is this the response/action of the normal courteous person? No it is not, so it must me practiced.

    John Farnam has a crackerjack about 2 hour lecture on 'being deselected'. Several other instructors do a good job with this subject too. A good NRA 'Refuse to be a Victim' instructor will present similar material.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  13. #13
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    What I have found is people have no idea what true violence is like and at the moment of truth they lock up. At some point training has to address this and teach the student how to work through it. The techniques that are taught to student need to be simple and above all…effective in the manner they are used and advanced techniques need to build from the simple ones.

  14. #14
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    Yup, what 7677 said. Mental prep is just as imporetant as the physical.

    Also, remember no matter how good you think you are, there is always someone better. Its my job to make sure they are not smarter.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr View Post
    What is the goal behind the training and practice in the use of the handgun in defense of our person or other?
    For me: I refuse to be a victim. I realize that the system isn't out there to be my own personal protective detail, nor can it be expected to work that way, given time and distance (when calling for help). I have a responsibility to protect me, my family ... our lives; not anybody else. The goal is to have a choice at hand. The goal is to equalize the disparity of being "behind the curve" as a defender against an attack. Practice gives you blisters. Training builds up callouses and ability to withstand pain, deprivation, severe exertion. Training helps to focus the mind on the set of actions, skills and tools that need to come together in order to withstand an attack.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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