TRAIN. TRAIN MORE. RE­PEAT.

WHEN THINGS QUICKLY GO SOUTH, YOU WILL RE­ACT IN THE SAME WAY YOU HAVE TRAINED. HOW ARE YOU TRAIN­ING?

Gun World - - Train -

Whether you read it in Latin (“Rep­e­ti­tio mater stu­dio­rum est”), Rus­sian (“Повторе́ ние— мать уче́нья”) or English (“Rep­e­ti­tion is the mother of all learn­ing”), to build a skill, you must re­peat some­thing over and over

again to master it. How many rep­e­ti­tions are nec­es­sary to build a skill? I guess it de­pends on how “un­nat­u­ral” it is for you and the dif­fi­culty of the skill, it­self.

AT THE RANGE

First, let’s con­sider what happens at the range. The mo­tor pro­grams you prac­tice build mus­cle mem­ory. In­stead of just go­ing through the mo­tions, make a con­scious ef­fort to do ev­ery­thing the way you would want to per­form in a fight for your life.

In real life, no one walks around with a mag­a­zine in their hand. So, at the range, when you load and make ready, load a mag­a­zine from the mag pouch, and do it with au­thor­ity—don’t load with a mag­a­zine you hand-carry down­range and just slap into the pis­tol.

An­other bad habit I see peo­ple make: On the fir­ing line, they’ll po­si­tion their feet just so, maybe even clear­ing away peb­bles and brass or re­ally dig­ging in to get the per­fect stance. Then, just be­fore hear­ing the sig­nal to draw, they place their strong hand in a con­trived po­si­tion—maybe even touch­ing the pis­tol—and stare at the tar­get the whole time. In a per­fect world, all gun­fights would start this way. How­ever, we don’t live in a per­fect world. When some­thing goes down in the real world, there’s no ad­vanced warn­ing to get your­self ready.

Re­mem­ber that every op­por­tu­nity you have to prop­erly ma­nip­u­late your weapon sys­tem or gear is a train­ing op­por­tu­nity. Not do­ing so is squan­der­ing time and money (read, “ammo”). Take some ex­tra time to build solid skills that go be­yond just shoot­ing the gun.

WHEN THERE IS NO TIME TO THINK

When you have no time to think, you’re go­ing to do what you’ve most of­ten done. If what you’ve most of­ten done is not what you would want to do in a self-de­fense sit­u­a­tion, you might want to re­think what and how you are prac­tic­ing. Here are some ideas for build­ing skills you can rely on when there sim­ply is no time to think:

Make a con­scious de­ci­sion to draw your pis­tol from the hol­ster every time you get a chance, rather than “tak­ing” it from the hol­ster in a lack­adaisi­cal fash­ion.

Load your pis­tol pos­i­tively—as if your life de­pends on it. Load from your mag­a­zine pouch or wher­ever you reg­u­larly carry your spare mag­a­zine. Don’t miss an op­por­tu­nity to prac­tice a reload by us­ing a mag­a­zine al­ready in your hand.

Breathe, scan and check your sur­round­ings. Build aware­ness skills by watch­ing those around you. Cre­ate a safer environment by see­ing what is go­ing on. Si­t­u­a­tional aware­ness breeds safety.

When your gun runs dry, reload it quickly and smoothly and get back to the tar­get. By do­ing this, you’re build­ing a mo­tor pro­gram to re­act to an empty gun.

Stop wor­ry­ing about foot place­ment. If you must have your feet in a cer­tain po­si­tion be­fore you think you can shoot cor­rectly, you are al­ready a step be­hind.

Start your drills from any po­si­tion ex­cept a ready po­si­tion. You have to learn to move to the gun and draw it. For ex­am­ple: arms crossed, hand in your pocket or even a sur­ren­der po­si­tion.

Don’t stare at the tar­get. Be in a re­laxed state of aware­ness. You’re aware the tar­get is there, but it’s not a threat to you un­til you de­cide or some­one else calls out, “Threat!”

Con­sider your every­day-carry pis­tol. Some­thing you might do on a daily ba­sis with that gun is take it out of the hol­ster when you come home, un­load it and load it. All th­ese things have train­ing value when done with a pur­pose.

For many years, my hus­band, Chris, has been us­ing and teach­ing solid mo­tor pro­grams for load­ing and un­load­ing all weapon sys­tems.

UL­TI­MATELY, YOU ARE RE­SPON­SI­BLE FOR YOUR TRAIN­ING. MAKE CON­SCIOUS DE­CI­SIONS TO DO THINGS RIGHT WHEN HAN­DLING WEAPONS AND GEAR.

Whether head­ing out to be­gin your day or just com­ing home, use this time to han­dle your firearm and gear with pur­pose. Load your firearm in your “work space.”

Make a con­scious de­ci­sion to draw your pis­tol from the hol­ster every time you get a chance.

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