Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Making Choices

Training, the introduction of new techniques, and practice, learning through repetition, equips us to respond to a threat effectively. If we haven’t learned all the tactics and techniques needed to respond to a threat we can’t assemble an effective response, choosing the skills required according to the particulars of your situation.

The key is that I can always choose not to do something, but trying to remember to perform an action I haven’t regularly practiced is extremely difficult.

The fundamentals of combat are moving, communicating, using cover, shooting as required, and thinking. I move to create distance, obtain a clear angle of fire, to get to cover or present the threat with a moving opponent as opposed to a stationary one. I communicate with partners, armed and unarmed, that may be with me. I communicate with threat(s), issuing verbal commands; they may comply which puts me in a much better place.

I use the protection of cover provides, or maybe concealment. If the situation requires I shoot to stop the threat(s). Thinking, assessing and making decisions that lead to these actions, at a conscious and subconscious level, is absolutely necessary.

If your regular practice doesn’t include all these actions then it’s difficult to put together the proper response. Take communication as an example. Communication requires a lot of brain space; I’m not sure what the technical term is. It’s especially difficult to communicate with others when under the stress of a violent confrontation. In practice you have to communicate, to a variety of people, so you can communicate when it’s important.

You can always choose not to communicate. The fight may go a lot better if you don’t issue verbal commands. There is no such thing as a fair fight, use everything to your advantage, especially surprise. The key here is that you could issue commands, it’s part of your normal response, but you choose not to. You’re able to make choices because you have options. You may choose not to do something, but trying to remember to perform a task that’s not part of your practice is difficult.

Fighting is problem solving under stress within short amounts of time. You have to size up the situation, make decisions, and then act. In order to assess and make productive decisions we have choices. At the same time you don’t need twenty ways of skinnin’ cats, you just need a few really good ones, then you choose the best one for the occasion.

The best way to learn our skills is with dry practice. Under stress you’ll shoot, the thing is to shoot accurately not fast. So the shooting part of it’s pretty easy. It’s all the other skills we need to really practice until they become second nature. This allows us to choose the best combination of actions to solve our problem efficiently.

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June 2, 2011 - Posted by | General Training

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