Lesson in muscle memory

Lesson in muscle memory

This is a discussion on Lesson in muscle memory within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; It's been a while -- way too long a while -- since I've done any self-defense dry-fire practice to speak of. In the early years ...

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Thread: Lesson in muscle memory

  1. #1
    Member Array Skippys's Avatar
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    Jan 2010

    Lesson in muscle memory

    It's been a while -- way too long a while -- since I've done any self-defense dry-fire practice to speak of. In the early years I ran several drills several times a week but have gotten out of the habit. My range times over the past year or so -- about three times/month -- have been primarily with my 10/22 and an AK47, followed by maybe 25-50 rounds from one of my carry pistols.

    Anyway, I have lately been re-reading various bookmarked posts about dry-fire drills and realized last week I really need to get back in the habit.

    My first session was as sloppy as it had ever been. Draw stroke, sight alignment, etc. was terrible. And I was going sloooow! Don't know how many times I was on target only to find I hadn't switched the safety off before pressing the trigger. Or how many times my shirt got in the way, or at which point to push the gun forward. My tactical reloads were decidedly untactical. Etc. Etc.

    So here's the lesson: A month ago I got another car. In my previous car the garage door opener was in a little drawer in the dash; my new car has a programmable opener between the sun visors. In the beginning I was reaching for the former location every time. Today, a month later, not so much, but still occasionally unless I think about it first.

    A firmware update on my phone has me now learning a new keyboard, just as I was getting good at my 'swipe' keyboard. And the older we get the more work it takes to overcome old habits or create new ones.

    Habitual movement is honed and sharpened by experience, and it takes a long time to re-establish a pattern. Of course one of the patterns not to get into -- in dry fire or live fire practice -- is making the trigger pull part of the draw stroke. That has to be deliberate, not habitual.
    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array LuvMyPX4's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
    Greenville, SC
    Very good point and thanks for the reminder. All too often I let little things in life rob me of the 15 minutes or so it takes to practice.
    Zechariah 10:5 They shall be like mighty men in battle, trampling the foe in the mud of the streets; they shall fight because the LORD is with them, and they shall put to shame those that seek evil.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Tinman517's Avatar
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    May 2014
    Las Vegas/SF Bay Area
    I totally agree with your comment with regard to trigger.

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
    Southern State USA
    every now and then when I back out of my driveway, I find myself reaching for the column even though my shifter is on the floor. I attribute it to stimulus habit action that was formed sometime in the 70's.
    Think like a man of action - Act like a man of thought

  6. #5
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    Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    I got a little bit out of the habit of practicing the draw/dry-fire during the ammo scare. Why would lack of ammo affect dry fire? Because I don't want to re-chamber the same round again and again because of the danger of excessive pressure from setback. Since I didn't have much carry ammo I wound up leaving it loaded all the time and my dry fire practice suffered.
    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

    “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” - Naguib Mahfouz

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Consistency is the name of the game.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Ky Backwoods
    Yep, the more effectively we can perform the necessary steps to accomplish a task from muscle memory, the more we can use our CONSCIOUS mental-processing ability to address the dynamics unfolding at the moment.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

  9. #8
    Member Array DonPablo_VA's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Northern Virginia
    10,000. That's the magic number of reps for a lot of things in life before they become second nature to you.

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