Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Keep it Simple

Keeping things simple makes our tasks easier. Simplicity is a key element to mastering the complexities of combat. Simple physical actions, mental calculations, and equipment improve your performance. This is exponentially true as the stress factor rises, which is the case during a life and death confrontation. There are two ways to simplify – through the elimination of material, cutting out excess motion or thought, and through practice or familiarity, for example learning how to operate your weapon properly while under stress.

Simplifying our physical actions makes us efficient. Movements and actions should be kept to the minimal amount required to perform the task at hand; wasted movement is wasted time, which is a valuable commodity in a fight. For example the most efficient way to reload is to keep the muzzle on target during the manipulation. If you drop the weapon down or pull it into your body, that costs time – say one quarter of a second. Once reloaded you’re required to bring the weapon back on target, which consumes additional time – another quarter of a second or more. By keeping the sights and muzzle on target you save about a half a second or more. You’re performing quicker because you’ve eliminated motion. (The other benefit of this action is that your eyes maintain visual contact with the threat.)

We can streamline the mental process of the fight as well. Not being aware of your environment is a prime example of how things can quickly become complicated. A conflict breaks out. You haven’t been paying attention. Now you’re attempting to assess the threat, look for cover, remember where the exit is, and determine if there are additional threats. By paying attention to my surroundings I already know that behind me is a concrete wall that can be used for cover, and it’s also in the direction of the exit. I already know what I need to do and have eliminated several items on my list of things that have to be done right now.

Simplification also applies to the weapons we carry. Look at semi-auto pistols. While the same marksmanship and manipulation principles will apply to all of them, the specifics can sometimes be quite different. Some thumb safeties are depressed to deactivate, others have to be pushed up, and then there are a host of weapons that have no thumb safety. For fighting, when lives depend on optimal performance, there won’t be time to get things confused. You should train/practice and carry one type weapon, and be intimately familiar with its operation. Keeping it consistent translates into simple.

Keep it simple, not because you’re stupid, but because simple leads to efficient results under stress. The active portion of a fight is normally only a few seconds, but within that short time there will be enough problems to deal with without you adding anything to the mix. Simplify everywhere you can so you have the ability to deal with the unexpected. Now practice until you can perform properly.


September 19, 2010 - Posted by | AR-15, Auto Pistol, General Training

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