Some faults in my training and how I realized them

The other day I was at a range and saw a young fellow practice his “shoot a bad guy” scenario. What I saw, was something I was guilty of myself, but just did not realize until I observed someone else do it:

– he did not draw his gun. It was already in his hand. This is very unlikely to happen when you carry a firearm on yourself (on a street, place of business, etc). So practicing a draw from your everyday holster while wearing your everyday clothing is important.

In my case likelihood of carrying a firearm is low. I am more likely to use it, in a house self-defense scenario. Still, I realized that I need to practice drawing more. Question that I need to answer is what is the percentage of training time I need to allocate to a non-likely scenario given a limited time I have for training.

– he walked toward the bad guy while shooting. In a self defense scenario (as oppose to a law enforcement or military action), the goal is self preservation (as oppose to bad guy apprehension or disabling enemy). One should walk back, while shooting and seeking cover and escape route. This could have legal ramifications as well. Who is the attacker? One that approaches his target or one that walks/runs away from it? Interestingly, the training classes I took, made the same assumption, where we would approach the target, vs retreating. Then again, the course was taught by SWAT and NARC officers, who typically attack the bad guy.

I tend to be stationary when I practice shooting (standing, kneeling, both hands, right hand, left hand) as I expect to do while in a self defense scenario in a house. However, I realized that I need to practice retreating as well. Question I need to answer is how one combines clearing the house with seeking cover and retreating? Can these be combined at all?

– another fault is shooting at a single, stationary target. This is a major flaw in training. Bad guys can attack as a group. A podcast on martial arts training discussing hand to hand combat helped me realize this very obvious point. Next time I’ll be at a range, I’ll make sure to have 2 or 3 targets I’ll be treating as hostiles. There would be very few times I shoot at a single target going forward (both handgun and long gun). I realize that setting up multiple targets might not be an option at many ranges, but it is important to at least keep it in mind. Incorporating multiple targets in dry fire training, might be the next best thing in such a case.
Having a non stationary target would be great, but very difficult at most ranges. Very few can have a mechanized or motorized moving target. One idea (borrowed from a book on special ops training in WW2) is to to attach targets to ballons or shoot at balloons directly. Wind should create some movement. This should be possible at least at some ranges.

– Another thing I thought about, is that self training is typically done in a relaxed atmosphere. Instructor is not yelling at you, there is plenty of light, and things are fairly quite. What’s missing is noise / stress / low light that will be present during a likely real self-defense action. Here are just some ideas to simulate noise/stress/ low light:
– do some jumping jacks to increase heart rate
– wear very dark sunglasses to simulate low light
– listen to some cacophony music / shouting recording through headphones under your ear muffs (make sure ear muffs are tight to protect your hearing)

Now, safety should be a primary concern under simulated stress. So dry fire only.

These things are extremely basic. However, as I observed more people at a range, I realized that a lot of them make the same mistakes. Inadequate basic training and insufficient self-analysis must be the culprits.


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