Wrote this in Nov 06-- members thoughts on the subject?
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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?