Fundamentals by Tiger
When I began training, practicing, and eventually teaching, one of the things that had been drilled into my head was that fundamentals win fights. I spent as much time as possible at Thunder Ranch, where I eventually became an instructor. “Fundamentals win fights,” was a phrase you heard from everyone at TR Texas, and that was how classes were taught.
In a way I understood this, and worked diligently on my own with marksmanship, manipulations, movement and the use of cover and other skills.
The more I teach and work on my own skills the more I understand how important this is. For example this last weekend we ran a Pocket Pistol class, followed by a course on moving targets, using pistols. These two one-day courses focused on techniques specific to each subject. The pocket pistol class examined the various ways of carry, manipulations, and the main tactic, which is using that weapon to create the time and distance needed to get out of Dodge.
The moving target class focused on the two techniques of engaging movers, the ambush and tracking methods. There were numerous lessons in each of these courses but the main theme that everyone in class kept bringing up is the importance of the fundamentals. The fundamentals are one of those things that will keep constantly keep popping up as you train/practice.
Lets look at reloading. You may be able to reload really well while standing still. But can you reload while moving, or from prone on the ground? Can you reload while moving and keeping protective cover between you and the threat? Every time you add something new to the equation it’s like stepping back to square one. It’s not enough to be able to reload; you have to learn how to reload under a variety of conditions.
Reloading now includes the ability to reload no matter what the conditions may be. Even if you only one have one hand, it’s dark, and you’re moving on a slippery surface while someone is trying to put the hurt on you.
I think most people get confused when you say fundamental, underestimating the term. Just because reloading is a fundamental skill doesn’t mean it will be easy to perform under combative conditions. Like a man once said, “It ain’t complicated, but that donna make it easy.” You have to get to the point where you are able to reload without thinking about reloading and regardless of conditions.
The same thing applies to all fighting skills. Don’t get caught in a rut. Work on making your practice challenging and beneficial. As always, the best way to practice most of your skills is dry work. It takes a long time to develop these skills and even more to master them, if that’s possible. But, don’t let this stop you from getting started.
Everything we do takes place in small steps, and there are a lot of steps to learning to fight with a firearm, so start heading that way now.
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