Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Low Light Tips

ImageThe majority of confrontations occur in low-light environments, which exist twenty-four hours a day. In the dark you have to use a light to locate, identify, and if necessary engage threats. How much do you use the light? The light is used as little as possible or as much as necessary.

Since lights are sometimes bullet magnets you use the light as little as possible. In a lot of situations there is enough ambient light to work corners, travel down a hallway, or clear your way around various objects such as buildings or vehicles using your light as little as possible. When you locate potential trouble you light it up to assess, making quick decisions on your next actions.

Even though there may be ambient light there will also be shadows creating darker areas. Every shadow can contain a threat; you illuminate the area to insure it’s clear — again, using the light as little as possible.

In an environment where it’s so dark you can’t see you’ll have to use the light as much as necessary. In unfamiliar terrain the light may be necessary to navigate. Cavemen carried torches so they didn’t step off into an abyss. The same thing applies for us. Falling down or tripping during a search is not cool. It makes noise and puts you in a position enemies may attempt to exploit. Depending on the situation if you go down it may be better to hold on the ground in a ready position in case anyone does try to take advantage of your predicament as opposed to immediately trying to get back up on your feet, which can limit your ability to respond to a threat. Then, when you feel it’s safe to do so you work up into a standing position.

When it’s really dark you’ll have to use the light as you slice or pie corners. While it’s not ideal to turn the light on it’s much better than taking a few steps around a dark corner, then turning on your light only to discover you’ve exposed yourself to three threats standing ready. Working a corner in pitch dark is like coming to a bad intersection where you can’t see traffic. Punching the gas and hoping there’s no oncoming traffic probably ain’t a good idea.

Working in lowlight situations is a lot more complicated than just turning the light on and off. You have to know how and when to use light. The cool thing about learning to work lowlight situations is that you can practice without going to the range. Take a light and play in your house or yard, practicing on working corners, moving shadows around by repositioning the light, taking the mystery out of being in the dark.

Think about it this way, if you’re comfortable and proficient with working in lowlight and your opponent(s) aren’t this gives you an advantage. In a lighted environment everyone is on equal footing. In the dark you control the light. Make ready now, so when the time comes you have the skills you need.

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February 7, 2013 - Posted by | Defensive Mindset, General Training

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