The Right Stuff

When it comes to any kind of training it’s important to get the right kind of training; your life may depend on it. If you’re learning self-defense with a firearm it’s important that you receive training that is relevant to your situation. You don’t want your life and death reflexes getting mixed up with non- essential conditioning that could confuse your body’s responses just when you need it the most.

Take this example. If you are learning how to disarm a gun wielding attacker you don’t want to condition your body to stop reacting the moment something goes wrong; something always goes wrong. Once you attack it’s important that you follow through with that attack until your attacker is on the ground subdued and you have control of the weapon; that is the only time to stop.

Sadly many people are taught to stop in the middle of a self-defense technique and do it over if a mistake is made. What you really should be doing is finishing the technique, then analyzing what went wrong then doing it again. You go for the gun and stop because your attacker deflected your attempt to grab it, you will end up dead. Follow through!

Muscle Memory

I have taught martial arts for years, however, I don’t have a perfect memory. My first teaching experience ended in 1983 and since that time I have not spent more than 10 hours practicing what I used to teach. That’s because I found a new style and eventually taught it as well. It’s the new style I remember and not the old. I can still do the old techniques though as long as I disengage my brain and let my body take over. The moment I begin to think about a particular technique I falter and end up stopping because I can’t remember the moves. If I focus on breathing for example, I have no problem doing the stuff even though I have not practiced that style in almost 30 years. It’s all about muscle memory.

The Incident

I don’t remember the details of the incident any longer; I do remember the gist of the tragedy that happened near the base of the grapevine near Los Angeles. A police officer and his partner pulled over a car containing several people without knowing that those individuals had just robbed a bank and were loaded for bear. The driver of the police car approached the vehicle’s driver with his gun drawn. His partner stood behind his opened door while he held his shotgun in port position (barrel pointed upwards at a 45 degree angle). Without notice a gun battle broke out as the three people in the vehicle began firing on the officers. Other police officers responding as backup ran across some odd details that you wouldn’t expect to find in the presence of a gun battle. Both police officers who had made first contact were dead, but that’s not the strange part. The officer with the shotgun was found to have ejected all the rounds out of his shotgun without even having fired the gun. Both he and his partner were found with spent shell casings from their service revolvers in their pockets.

We can learn two things from this tragic incident. First off, you have to be properly mentally prepared for self-defense. People without the right mental training do strange stuff, like ejecting live rounds of ammunition during a gun battle. Many self-defense schools teach the physical part and neglect the mental part because that is so much harder to teach and takes a special kind of teacher to teach mental preparedness.

The second thing that was learned from the incident is that what you do in practice you will also do in the heat of battle. The officers who lost their lives at the base of those mountains in southern California, it was discovered, had been taught to police their shells. They would fire off some rounds then collect the shells so the firing range would stay tidy. It was such a habit that in the middle of fighting for their lives they policed their shells.

No Time to Think

In a self- defense situation there is no time to think; you just react. Your muscles will do what they have been conditioned to do. If you want to have the proper responses in a life and death situation you need to make sure the training you receive is relevant. When you’re practicing don’t do it with a relaxed, casual attitude; that’s not what you want when you’re trying to save your life. You wanna learn how to draw and shoot fast? Then you have to draw your gun fast, acquire a site, and fire off a quick succession of shots; just like you would in a real emergency. Being able to hit a bulls-eye does you no good if you can’t do it fast enough to keep from getting shot yourself. It’s as simple as this; you can’t learn to run fast by running slow, and you can’t expect to shoot fast by practicing to shoot slow. How you train is how you will respond when your life or that of your loved ones depends on it.

Adam works for the Gun Safe Store AND teaches firearm safety. The gun safe store has a wide variety of gun safes and pistol safes.