How do you train to change a habit?

How do you train to change a habit?

This is a discussion on How do you train to change a habit? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was reading on a thread about one eye vs two eye shooting. And I wondered that for those that said they wanted to try ...

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  1. #1
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    How do you train to change a habit?

    I was reading on a thread about one eye vs two eye shooting. And I wondered that for those that said they wanted to try to learn to use two eye, how are they going to do it?
    Knowing that it may take a while, do you spend a fortune on thousands of rounds and weeks of range time ($$$).
    Do you use a laser training system (like Laserlyte)?
    Or some other method?

    I would like to know because I am in that boat, and I can spend a lot of money on ammo and fees, or about $200 for a Laserlyte, which should last longer and I can use it at home.

    Thanks for your input.
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    I have always aimed with one eye open, and see no particular advantage in changing at this point.
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    You really don't need any type of visual feedback to get used to keeping both eyes open. Dry fire practice from the draw will go a long way toward getting used to keeping your eyes open. Draw and sight. Rinse and repeat.

    You can do this for dry fire training and then when you go to the range for live fire you'll be able to see how you're doing.
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    Senior Member Array DaGunny's Avatar
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    The only way is to train, train, train, and train some more until it becomes natural. If ammo cost is an issue, you might try using a .22 pistol that has the same mechanics of your EDC. When you close one eye, you immediately lose your peripheral vision to that side, which is dangerous in any gunfight.
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    You need to train your eyes to see two different things, and your brain to use two different images. Time at the range will test these skills, but won't teach them to you.

    Go out and buy a dot sight if you don't already have one. A cheap one will do just fine. (I have a famous maker sight for which I paid $25. It says "Famous Makertm" right on the side.) For now it won't matter if you mount it on a handgun or a long gun. You can spend big if you want to, but it isn't necessary for what I'm going to suggest.

    Next, determine which is your dominant eye. That is the one we're going to use with the dot sight. Mount the dot sight on whatever gun, and block off the front of the dot sight with a lens cover or a piece of cardboard. Now hold the gun in a firing position. Look at the dot in the dot sight with your dominant eye, and at the target with your non-dominant eye. When your brain superimposes the dot on the target, pull the trigger. (Your spouse or "significant other" will appreciate your doing this with an unloaded gun if you are trying it in your living room.) Remember, you are training your eyes to see two different things, and your brain to use two different images.

    Once you have mastered this skill with dry fire, go to the range and confirm you can hit a target your non-dominant eye sees using a sight your dominant eye sees. Now try unblocking the dot sight, and make sure you can still shoot with both eyes open. Later you can remove the dot sight entirely, unless you normally have it on that gun.

    OK, so you're too cheap to buy a cheap dot sight. You can do pretty much the same thing by making a hole in a 3 x 5 card and attaching it to the muzzle so that you can see the sights, but not the target, with your dominant eye.

    I'm leaving out a lot of details (and a lot of theory), but this should give you something to start with.

    John W in SC

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    Distinguished Member Array Exacto's Avatar
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    Your eyes can only focus on one thing at a time. Focus on the front sight, to do this (focus) you will need to use both eyes. It will take a little time, but if you want to change, this will do it.
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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaGunny View Post
    If ammo cost isn't an issue, you might try using a .22 pistol that has the same mechanics of your EDC.
    FTFY


    But seriously, I like dry fire when I'm just sitting around the house. At the range, just take it slow and make sure both eyes are open for each shot. Eventually, you will automatically do it.
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    VIP Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    John_W is right on track. In another thread a guy asked about shooting rifles scopes with both eyes open, and another member suggested simply using a cardboard tube to get used to dividing brain images.

    Have you ever looked at those optical illusions where you have to relax your eyes and then the 3D image pops out? it's not really the same skill or technique, but the idea of training your brain to control images is the same.

    I will even intently stare at a small spot, anywhere, and then slowly close my non-dominant eye. you should notice that eye "pushing" the image before the eye closes. Then Slowly reopen that eye, you'll notice the image is off center and shifts it's way to focus. the key is being able to do this and keep a sharp focus on the target with your dominant eye. you're teaching your brain to "filter out" the secondary image, while still using it for reference.

    I like the blocked-off red dot method sounds like a good technique specific to the application that should work well. my wife is hand/eye dominant crossed, and this may even help her with that...
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    Scientifically, it takes anywhere from 17 to 30 days to change a habit depending on which study you read. Of course, this assumes it is a repetitive habit that you experience every day.

    If it were me, I would practice getting my sight picture with both eyes repetitively without actually shooting. As noted above, I don't think it will require shooting, at least not a tremendous amount. Once you are comfortable getting a sight picture, you can take it to the range to actually try it shooting.
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    Great, you guys might have saved me $200. (your dividend check is in the mail). I was thinking I needed to practice this with accuracy to target.
    Thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyPX4 View Post
    Great, you guys might have saved me $200. (your dividend check is in the mail). I was thinking I needed to practice this with accuracy to target.
    Thanks
    You do. However the first step is simply breaking the habit, then you retrain for the new habit, and then you work on accuracy and refining the habit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GatorGuy407 View Post
    You do. However the first step is simply breaking the habit, then you retrain for the new habit, and then you work on accuracy and refining the habit.
    All that sounds like work, and what is the payoff? I know of the better field of vision, but, since we don't know if and when a SD situation will arise, we also don't know if it will happen in the 30 - 60 days we are trying to transition from one eye to two.
    If the need arises to defend, will that sudden indecision cost you the second you needed to fire first? And since my closed eye snaps open when I fire, did I really lose any advantage?

    I realize I started this thread asking about training during the transition, but the replies got me thinking of the in-between time. so I am just going with the flow.
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    I don't remember where I read it but some guy recommended shooting with both eyes open with something taped over the lens of your non dominant eye shooting glasses for starters in getting accustomed. I can't vouch for the worth of this method because like Mike1956 in post #2, I've never felt the need to change what I've been doing with one eye open.
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    Forget the "experts." If it works, leave it alone. Some would expect a one-eyed fat man to shoot with both eyes open or else.

    I can and often do shoot with both eyes open, but sometimes not. It depends on what I'm shooting and why. After all, we're not chameleons.
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    VIP Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyPX4 View Post
    All that sounds like work, and what is the payoff? I know of the better field of vision, but, since we don't know if and when a SD situation will arise, we also don't know if it will happen in the 30 - 60 days we are trying to transition from one eye to two.
    If the need arises to defend, will that sudden indecision cost you the second you needed to fire first? And since my closed eye snaps open when I fire, did I really lose any advantage?

    I realize I started this thread asking about training during the transition, but the replies got me thinking of the in-between time. so I am just going with the flow.
    the problem I see with only being trained to shoot with one eye closed is this;

    in a stressful situation, you're going to do one of two things; either it's engrained enough that you will close the eye, aim and shoot. or you won't
    so? ...well, it's going to be hard enough t get a good shot off in the middle of the night, in your boxers, looking down the dark hallway in your house, shaking and adrenalized, having to close an eye re-inforces the need for proper sight picture, which is fine and good, but slow. (yes, i'll turn this into a point-shooting discussion...)
    OR... in the adrenaline and stress, you simply don't close the weak eye, in which case your hands/body/brain will be confused about what it's seeing, because you've never shot both eyes open before.

    to me... shooting with one eye, progressing to both eyes, progressing to front-sight-only shooting, progressing to point-shooting... is the natural order of things. none of those four methods is perfect for all situations.
    shooting with an eye closed is fine on the range, and in some lighting conditions or extreme range I will close an eye looking thru a scope, sometimes. both eyes open w/full sight picture occurs w/handguns and longguns at close range, when I have the time or the need for an accurate shot w/full sight picture.
    front-sight-only shooting is for handguns at close to medium ranges, in medium to high speed shooting. point-shooting is high speed/close range/high stress shooting.
    each has a place and a necessity.
    some guys like mike1956 say they have been shooting one eye closed their whole life, and I have no doubt they can perform just fine that way, even in stress, because their body has mastered it.
    but just because a lefty can force himself to learn to write right handed doesn't mean he should, it doesn't make it easier, and learing the correct skills for the correct task...always makes sense.

    here's the advantages I can say I've actually noticed within myself to both eyes open shooting:
    1-target acquisition - much faster- especially thru magnified scopes, and follow up shots on subsequent targets with non-magnified sights or irons.
    2-speed of checking shot placement- after I trigger a round; if boths eyes are open, I can generally see where that round hit much faster if both eyes are open.
    3-it just feels more natural once your accustomed(do you drive or wash dishes or read or watch tv or throw a ball or catch or do...anything... else with an eye closed?)
    4- increases adaptability- learning to shoot with your weak hand or eye or an odd position is easier if you have one less variable to overcome.
    5- it's a crossover skill - as a welder and mechanic I often find myself encouraging others to develop image/splitting/sharing abilities to help them in welding or whatnot...maybe looking down a cars body panels and ensuring they're straight for example

    if you already had 10 years practice shooting one eye closed, I'd say focus on what you know and master it, I'd never suggest mike1956 should change his ways now.... but you're new to this(relatively) so why not try to learn as many methods as possible? the more tools in your toolbox....
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