Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

A Few Famous Quotes

“Complexity is easy, simplicity is difficult,” stated Georgy Shpagin, the designer of the PPSh41 submachine gun, whose work influenced Kalashnikov. Normally the best way to accomplish a task is the most efficient, which is usually as simple as possible. The fewer steps involved in an action the easier it is to do, and the quicker you get it accomplished. This applies to mental and physical actions.

One of my all time favorites is from Charles Beckwith, the founder of Delta. “You can’t be unconventional until you’re conventional first.” This is something we need to remember when training and practicing. Fancy tactics, for example, won’t do you much good if your weapon malfunctions and you can’t reload properly.

I’m not sure where the old saying, “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast,” comes from, but it’s a good one, and something everyone should pay more attention to. This is especially during training and practice, and is the biggest issue I see with the majority of students. Everyone wants to go fast, being first to shoot, or complete that empty-reload. Usually when we try to go fast we work too fast, make mistakes, and it ends up taking longer than it would if we had functioned at a speed that provides predictable results.

This brings us to “fast is fine, but accuracy is final.” While this one is normally attributed to Wyatt Earp, there seems to be some question as to whether he actually said it or not. No matter who it came from it’s a good ‘un. In a fight it doesn’t matter who fires the first shot, but who gets the first good hit, and the next good hit, repeating as necessary.

“There are no advanced shooting techniques,” Michael Plaxco says in Shooting From Within, “only advanced applications of the fundamentals.” In a confrontation, if you have to shoot, you’ve got to apply the basics of marksmanship to get hits. The difficulty is doing this while moving, using cover, and maybe being shot back at.

Clint Smith, director of Thunder Ranch, has a lot of repeated quotes, but two of my favorites that apply specifically to combat are “always cheat,” and “always win.” As they say ’round here, there ain’t no such thing as a fair fight. This is especially true when fighting for your life. As for the second rule, always win, there’s really no debating that one.

“Following victory it’s best to reload.” This is mine, although I’m sure someone has said something similar to it before me. After completing a particularly difficult task, I like to “reload” by having myself a nice steak. After engaging my threats, even though they are cardboard, I reload my weapon with a full magazine, just in case.

Everyone has his or her own favorite quotes, and these are a few of mine. The cool thing about most of these is that they apply to a variety of aspects of life, as well as personal combat.


September 19, 2010 - Posted by | Defensive Mindset, General Training

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