Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Mentally Preparing for Victory

ImageTraining for personal combat, especially fighting with firearms is a costly, time-consuming process. Every avenue for improving your skills should be used, and one of the best methods for increasing your potential is mental imagery practice. Taking a few minutes to vividly imagine facing and defeating a threat allows you to practice almost anywhere and can dramatically increase your chances of victory.

Find a nice quiet place, sit back, relax, and close your eyes. As vividly as possible, including input from all your senses, imagine you’re walking across a parking lot. It’s dark. You see cars pulling in and out of slots and people entering and exiting the store. The smell of exhaust fumes is in your nose. You hear a radio thumping out a tune as a truck passes. Suddenly you hear rapid footsteps coming from behind. Turning your head, you discover a man coming on you fast. He’s armed. There’s no doubt you are his target, and there’s no time to wonder why. You react, moving to create distance, drawing your weapon, and yelling at the threat to stop. He keeps coming, raising the knife he’s holding. Your pistol comes up, you focus on the front sight and press off a shot. In your mind imagine the feel of the recoil, reacquiring the sight picture, resetting the trigger of the pistol and pressing off another round. The threat stumbles and drops. You continue to create distance and start scanning for any other possible threats.

What is realistically imagined gets filed away into your memory bank. The mind can’t distinguish between what has actually happened as opposed to what’s been vividly created in your imagination. This bank provides us with a framework or source of reference to base our actions off when faced with a real threat. The situation you face may not be exactly what you’ve imagined, but it will be close enough for our mind to say, “O.K., we’ve been in this type situation before, and here’s what we need to do.” Retrieving this memory is the same as recalling something that has actually happened.

This approach to training and practice can be used to improve any skills, from tactics to techniques. You can imagine reloading from on the ground on your side in the mud and dark. You can modify existing skills by imagining over and over a correction you want to make. You can even prepare yourself for something you have never before experienced.

This isn’t a new technique; it’s been used for centuries. Any action that requires the mind and body to work together can be improved using mental imagery practice. This is a proven technique that works. Fighting is ninety percent mental, and your performance is based on your mind-set. Victory can be predicted.

Being prepared is up to you. Nobody can do it for you. But it’s also something that can easily be accomplished. Take the time, use your imagination, and make sure when faced with an actual threat that you are ready.

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March 15, 2012 - Posted by | Defensive Mindset

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