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I doubt there is a person alive that has never heard the old saying of “practice makes perfect”. This old proverb has been uttered by coaches, teachers and people from all walks of life and it carries over to concealed carry for self defense.
The sad fact of the matter is that it is a very untrue and slanted statement. If you practice wrong, you have done anything but make perfect. You have set your body and mind up for failure. We are practicing to retain the muscle memory needed to act in an instant when we are required to do so.
I would like to go over some real world shooting practices to make you practice like you play and get that practice as perfect as possible for self-defense shooting.
- Wear your typical outfit when you go to the range. Don’t bring your load bearing vest, shooting glasses. 4 extra magazines and other Tacti-cool stuff. Put on your regular clothes you wear every day to train in. Then you will know where your weapon is and what is involved in weapon acquisition, target acquisition and shot placement. (Small insert ear plugs are ok- Not large over the head style).
- Don’t shoot from the low/high ready. If you get in the habit of already having your weapon out and at the low/high ready, you are missing one of the most critical steps in self-defense= Weapon Acquisition. You need to train your muscles to instinctively draw your weapon without looking at it while keeping your eyes down range on the threat.
- Get your heart beating. When the time comes and you need to draw your weapon to protect yourself, you can bet your heart will be racing and every beat will feel like it is in your throat. I like to do some jumping jacks, burpees or pushups to simply get my heart beat elevated to make me train more realistically. (note- don’t do the exercises w your weapon-unless it is safe to do so). When you feel your heartbeat has gotten back to normal, stop and reset the process.
- Don’t count rounds. If you get in the habit of double tapping every time you pull the trigger, you are setting yourself up for failure. It may take one round, or it may take 10 rounds to stop the threat. Get in the habit of shooting different round counts instead of constantly shooting 2 times, 4 times etc.
- Get off the X. A moving target is much harder to hit than a stationary one. Once you grip, draw and fire your weapon, start moving laterally or to the closest point of cover. If you train to stand directly in front of you target, your body will respond that way when the real time comes. Be ready to engage the target while moving from your original point of contact with the aggressor. The fact you carry is great but it does you no good if you don’t know how to respond to different kinds of situations.
- After you have fired rounds down range and threat is eliminated, start scanning side to side to make sure there aren’t any more threats you didn’t see previously. Many times the bad guy may have a friend who won’t like seeing his buddy get shot, or a fellow gang member is close by. Don’t get tunnel vision, keep a soft focus and look around for other possible threats. Remember, someone may have just showed up and think YOU are the bad guy. Train this way at the range.
Use These Tips
Well, I hope you utilize a few of these tips the next time you go to the range. If you find that your range time is less and less as we get older, it is paramount that we spend our practice time as tactically as possible to train as perfect as we can, when we can.
Fortuna Paratus Remunerat= Fortune Favors the Prepared.