Huh? (aka: How to Train?)

Huh? (aka: How to Train?)

This is a discussion on Huh? (aka: How to Train?) within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; At the risk of sounding really ignorant: When I was in the military, we were taught to focus on the front sight of the weapon, ...

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Thread: Huh? (aka: How to Train?)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array agentmel's Avatar
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    Huh? (aka: How to Train?)

    At the risk of sounding really ignorant:
    When I was in the military, we were taught to focus on the front sight of the weapon, with the target fuzzy, and take a second or so to line up the sights. As I'm reading through various posts, I'm seeing terms like "point shooting" and "front sight only." I think I'll probably get lots of different opinions here, but what is the best (most recommended) way to train for rapid target acquisition?

    Thanks.

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    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    I hate to say this but I'll say it - the one that works for you and best addresses the threat you are most likely to encounter.

    Let me throw out some definitions to get us all on the same sheet of music:

    Aim Small, Miss Small - focusing on the clear tip of the front sight with the target out of focus.

    Threat Focused - The gun is in the line of sight with the sights generally aligned yet out of focus with the focus being on the target.

    Point Shooting - Training to a level wherin the shooter relies on eye/hand coordination to aim the gun, and focuses on the threat.

    Many folks think all of these are mutually exclusive. In my opinion they are not. If you understand the "Speed vs. Accuracy Trade-Off" and the need to make acceptable (acceptable- this is a whole other discussion) hits , then it this will help you decide when you need what skill.

    Think about this:

    1. A person that is attacked at contact distance only needs to get the pistol oriented onto the center of bad guy to make good hits - point shooting.

    2. The Police Officer that must engage the bad guy at 10-20 feet will be focusing on the threat and only needs to bring his pistol into his sight line to engage the bad guy and make solid hits- Threat Focused

    3. The private citizen who must engage a bad guy who is actively shooting innocent people, in the shopping mall, from 30 yards must use every fundamental of marksmanship to make good hits - aim small, miss small.

    Any of us can be in all of these scenarios at any given time. Doesn't it make sense to train in a manner that addresses all of them?

    I know shooters that focus on the razor's edge of the front sight and are incredibly fast, I also know guys that focus on the target and are extremely accurate. The key is that these folks found what worked for them in the environment that they live in and the situations that they are most likely to encounter.
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    Senior Member Array agentmel's Avatar
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    Troy,
    That was awesome! Thanks. Makes total sense too. Where can I find some shooting drills that take advantage of this info? Or do I just make up my own, utilizing those ranges and approaches? Thanks again.

    Mel
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Price View Post
    I hate to say this but I'll say it - the one that works for you and best addresses the threat you are most likely to encounter.

    Let me throw out some definitions to get us all on the same sheet of music:

    Aim Small, Miss Small - focusing on the clear tip of the front sight with the target out of focus.

    Threat Focused - The gun is in the line of sight with the sights generally aligned yet out of focus with the focus being on the target.

    Point Shooting - Training to a level wherin the shooter relies on eye/hand coordination to aim the gun, and focuses on the threat.

    Many folks think all of these are mutually exclusive. In my opinion they are not. If you understand the "Speed vs. Accuracy Trade-Off" and the need to make acceptable (acceptable- this is a whole other discussion) hits , then it this will help you decide when you need what skill.

    Think about this:

    1. A person that is attacked at contact distance only needs to get the pistol oriented onto the center of bad guy to make good hits - point shooting.

    2. The Police Officer that must engage the bad guy at 10-20 feet will be focusing on the threat and only needs to bring his pistol into his sight line to engage the bad guy and make solid hits- Threat Focused

    3. The private citizen who must engage a bad guy who is actively shooting innocent people, in the shopping mall, from 30 yards must use every fundamental of marksmanship to make good hits - aim small, miss small.

    Any of us can be in all of these scenarios at any given time. Doesn't it make sense to train in a manner that addresses all of them?

    I know shooters that focus on the razor's edge of the front sight and are incredibly fast, I also know guys that focus on the target and are extremely accurate. The key is that these folks found what worked for them in the environment that they live in and the situations that they are most likely to encounter.
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    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    What is the context of the fight?!

    Good post Troy!

    agentmel, "Situations dictate strategy, strategy dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.

    I have conversed with a bunch of guys back from Iraq. One thing is clear, they are taught sighted fire in training.....but many (not all) are gravitating towards threat focused shooting while kicking in doors.

    Why? Because that is what the situation dictates. Low light, the need to ID innocents, the need for a field of vision, and the need to engage as quickly as humanly possible. These factors are bringing back combat proven skill sets from WWII. The guys with the door kicking experience are passing these skills to the guys that are new in country.

    Combat has a way of separating the wheat from the chaffe.

    If you would like to find out why threat focused skills are so important do the "Tueller Drill Suarez International style." Get an Airsoft gun and partner with a rubber club. Have him attack you at a full run from seven yards, then six yards, then five yards, then four yards, then three yards. If you do not get off of the line of attack and nail him with fast and accurate shots, he gets to whack you upside the head.

    You will see very quickly the need for threat focused skill sets.

    Force on force is as closed to combat as many of us will ever get....but it does a fine job also of separating the wheat from the chaffe.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    “See What You Need To See” and Why?

    This concept originates with Brian Enos inside of the competition circles. The first time I saw it used was back in late 2002 in Gabe’s excellent article under the same name. Basically, what Gabe was saying is “do not freeze it or label it, just see what you need to see.” This was Gabe’s answer to the sighted fire-vs.-point shooting debate. This article led to my realization that I actually point shot even thought I was trained to hate point shooting and point shooters. That one article with the one title “See What You Need to See” changed my whole world.

    Along with the obvious credit to my awakening, there is much more to it than just that. As I began exploring what I was already doing and what guys like Gabe, 7677, and Matt Temkin were talking about on the forums, I began to pay attention to exactly what I was seeing. I immediately saw that when I wanted or needed speed, that I was taking in less visual input on the gun. This was already happening in my Modern Techniques course. I went from hard focus on the front sight, to a crisp sight picture, to a flash sight picture, to aligning down the slide while being target focused. These visual input changes were all done depending on the urgency of the shot to beat the timer. Aligning down the slide was something that I just naturally progressed into. I went years without admitting that I did this because I was taught that point shooting was a fallacy and extremely inaccurate. I later found that almost every single person that I trained with was keeping the exact same secret.

    As I progressed with the help of Gabe’s FOF courses and from 7677 and Matt on the forums I picked up other alternate aiming methods. I picked up “front sight only,” (with sight focus and with target focus) “metal and meat,” and Enos’s “type two focus.” I found that each one of these methods worked very well within their respective niche.

    Gabe’s FOF courses showed me something very cool. I was actually better with my gun below line of sight while dealing with dynamic movement. I found that I could lock in on my adversary and index the gun on him in a very natural manner while looking over the top of the gun. This is something that I stumbled into and the accuracy and ease to index on a moving adversary while using dynamic movement was amazing to me. This amazement solidified my need to train with 7677 and Matt. I had to know how this phenomenon was possible. To be able to do something and not be able to understand how is simply something that I can not abide by. As a critical thinker this lack of understanding was simply not acceptable. I knew that Matt and 7677 would help me understand what it was exactly that I was doing.

    Now Matt and 7677 are guys that have been doing this so long that they simply say “do this” and you will be able to do it. As I watched the learning progression that they were teaching most of my questions were automatically answered (as it should be.) But I then learned that 7677 was also a critical thinker that could answer any of my more in depth questions. He knew the “whys” and would tell me the “whys.” This last statement does not take anything away from Matt’s teaching ability. He is just not one of those “critical thinker” types….and the bottom line is that you do not have to be one. For many guys “it just works” is good enough. I am just not like that. I think that I am not like that because I always want to know how far I can take something. The more I understand something, the further I can take it. That has just always been who I am.

    Training with 7677 and Matt really brought things together for my below line of sight shooting (all the way down to the hip.) With their help, I now understood what all comes together to make hits with less and less visual input on the gun.

    My next goal was to take these understandings and push the envelope of dynamic movement as far as I could push them. It became very apparent very quickly that much of the dynamic movement shooting that I was doing was happening so fast, that there was almost no conscious thought attached to it. One day, I was running a drill that I developed, it is three multiple adversaries at five yards, engaging laterally with dynamic movement (full run) with boarding house rules, from the holster. It is a very intense drill that has so many things going on all at once and is happening so quickly that it is next to impossible to make happen on a conscious level. After a few attempts I found myself in “the zone.” The zone is a place where everything is coming together at the subconscious level. It is a place that I know very well from running the football when I was younger. It is when you are working at a level that is beyond the limitations of conscious thought. In this drill, there was a problem (threats in need of ventilation) and a solution (ventilation in progress.) Everything that happened in between was done with zero conscious thought.

    This was my ultimate epiphany…..this is what I knew I needed to teach. I needed to teach my students the ability to find “the zone.”

    It was very clear that “the zone” came from absolute confidence and that was the key to being able to get my students where I wanted to bring them. So the questioned arose “how do you teach absolute confidence in a two day 2000 round course?” My answer is to lead them down the same path that I followed.

    I have read about Zen archery. And I do not believe that it takes that long or that many arrows to find the zone while shooting. I see it being much easier than that. The answer to me is the absolute control of the student’s confidence while leading them in a building block approach. This building block approach starts with “see what you need to see” skills. If you consciously stop and notice what you are seeing, then you are programming it into you subconscious. Showing all of the alternate aiming methods (at line of sight and below line of sight,) where they shine and what their limitations are refines this programming. And when things are moving so fast that your conscious mind can not keep up, this programming will be accessed by the subconscious mind and allow you to do things that would seem impossible.

    “Don’t freeze it or label it, just see what you need to see to make the hits.”

    Sound familiar?

  7. #7
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    There is some good stuff in this thread already, I was just going to be short about it and tell you that there are several ways to skin the cat, and you need to know a couple of different ways. The best thing you can do is to visit and attend as many shooting course as you can afford. Every instructor has their thing, and you can take away a lot of new skills and ideas each and everytime.
    I get a kick out of checking out what other guys are teaching- I always come away with something new.
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    The real eye opener comes when someone is shooting at you.

    The only way to safely do that is with Simunitions. That is how you learn what works and what doesnt. At the less than 7 yard range that is typically encountered,you need to be very quick and accurate. If you are behind a car door shooting at someone 20 or 30 yards away, the technique will be much different.

    Its very educational and I think the best practice you can get that mimicks the real thing...minus the blood and guts..
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    I went to a SWAT school once when they did shoot live ammo at you... they didnt try to hit you, but one slip and they would have. It was the scariest thing I've done in training and learned a lot from it... but I will never do it again or even suggest that someone else do it. The worse I came away with is some hearing loss, and I feel lucky.
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    I can imagine the lawyers jumping on that like flys on honey if someone got capped by accident.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    great thread.

    "Situations dictate strategy, strategy dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.
    Roger, are those your words or is that a quote from someone else? either way, I love it.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

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    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agentmel View Post
    Troy,
    That was awesome! Thanks. Makes total sense too. Where can I find some shooting drills that take advantage of this info? Or do I just make up my own, utilizing those ranges and approaches? Thanks again.
    Mel
    Two of the best books out there right now are Surgical Speed Shooting by Andy Stanford and Combat Focus Shooting by Rob Pincus.

    I will say this though - go and train with them. Often times in reading books we don't quite understand the context that in which something is presented. This can lead to not really understanding a technique and can also lead to major controversy.

    One of the most important facets of training with different people is finding the skills that fit you and will work for you, then perfecting those skills. "Amateurs practice until they get it right, professionals practice until they can't get it wrong" - I forget who said that but it means a lot to me.

    I like to shoot paper plates on IDPA targets against a timer, with movement laterally and from different positions. I will shoot these drills from 0-100 yards. I know I'll never shoot someone from 100 yds with a pistol but it is a big confidence builder when you can hit the target from that far, and score good hits.

    I also really like figure-8 drills. See attached diagram.

    Other than these drills, I like good old fashioned dry-fire practice....every day or at least every other day.
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    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoTex View Post
    great thread.

    Roger, are those your words or is that a quote from someone else? either way, I love it.
    I found this through self discovery.....minus the "strategy" portion. Paul Sharp chimed in and gave me the strategy addition and told me that he had learned the concept from Paul Howe and another top special forces operator, who's name escapes me.

    I did not "invent" the saying but I feel that I brought it to the general public.

    This actually may be my proudest addition to the advancement of the art. Glad that you like it.

    I could steer you to the thread where it all came together if you would like, it is over at WT.

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    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweatnbullets View Post
    I found this through self discovery.....minus the "strategy" portion. Paul Sharp chimed in and gave me the strategy addition and told me that he had learned the concept from Paul Howe and another top special forces operator, who's name escapes me.

    I did not "invent" the saying but I feel that I brought it to the general public.

    This actually may be my proudest addition to the advancement of the art. Glad that you like it.

    I could steer you to the thread where it all came together if you would like, it is over at WT.
    sure, I'm a member at WT but I guess I missed that thread. If you have a link, that'd be great.

    As far as the quote, I totally agree with the principle there. Too many people create their own version of reality (regarding the way "their fight" is going to happen) based on their techniques instead of focusing on proper strategy and tactics to deal with a dynamic situation.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

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    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoTex View Post
    sure, I'm a member at WT but I guess I missed that thread. If you have a link, that'd be great.

    As far as the quote, I totally agree with the principle there. Too many people create their own version of reality (regarding the way "their fight" is going to happen) based on their techniques instead of focusing on proper strategy and tactics to deal with a dynamic situation.
    Classic thread!

    I almost did not even start that thread and it turned into one of the best that I have ever been involved with.

    http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?t=18695

    Sorry for the drift guys!

    Back on topic. We should all be as well rounded as possible so that we cover the "most likely" situations. Prioritize your training from the most likely, to least likely and work the full continuum of the fight.

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