Thursday, February 9, 2012

Importance of Training.

 Disclaimer: I am not recommending anything here unless you have proper instruction or are willing to do so at you own risk. It is your responsibility to stay legal and safe.

I have discussed this subject with my good friend Stephen and have been mulling it over in the back of my mind then the other day  I was reading a girl and her gun where she was talking about some realism in training so I decided go ahead and do this post.
We all hear that you need to train and practice with your guns (or anything else for that matter) so you will know what to do if or when the need arises. This usually involves getting up Saturday, after a good nights sleep,having a shower, getting dressed and stopping to eat before going to the range, laying out your gear and commence to target shoot at leisure, sipping coffee in between reloads. It is a great way to relax from the week and enjoy a favorite pastime. We all have done this and it is very enjoyable and it is an excellent way to introduce shooting to a beginner..........BUT it is not realistic training.
A lot of people think military training is harsh and many times unreasonable (many people in the military think this also) they think it is nothing more than a glorified hazing to give you bragging rights, however most of their training does have some reasoning behind it.
For example a Drill Instructor may keep you awake with menial tasks then after you get a little sleep, wake your squad up at 0200 yelling at you and make you do pushups outside in your shorts, in the cold while harassing you then get you up at 5 AM to run 4 miles before breakfast. Then march you to the range and yell all instructions as loud as possible (in your ear if necessary) and expect you to perform. You will be tired, maybe hot or cold, exhausted, confused, frustrated, maybe mad or sad but to be sure it will not be your best day, and that is exactly what they planned, you learn to perform in the worst conditions and in the worst mental state. In later training you will do field exercises (we did them every year) where at some point you will  be kept up for 24 Hrs and longer, and you will be 'assaulted' ,almost always at night, maybe in the rain and cold there will be tear gas and you will be using night vision equipment and gas masks and MOPP gear, they will attempt to confuse you with flash grenades, smoke grenades, simulated artillery shells, illumination rounds which cast moving shadows as they descend. I have done weapon's qualifications in the pouring rain, laying in the mud. It is all done with a goal in mind, training you to perform under the worst conditions because in combat the enemy will attack at your weakest moment, when you are the least alert or confused.
So it is with us in the civilian world, a thug could attack you at night, you may be half asleep or tired or your mind will be on other things or you may have been running and out of breath, they will prey on your weakness.
So how can we train?  For one thing you need to find a private range to do this as most public ranges have no tolerance to this kind of training.
You can make up moving targets and shoot at them while you are moving, I should point out this is exactly why the military teaches to keep your finger straight and off the trigger till you are ready to fire, if you fall down the weapon won't go off accidentally. Keep your barrel (if un-holstered) pointed in the direction of the threat or slightly down.
You could try running 100 yards as fast as possible then drawing and firing at a target.
Try walking fast and shooting at a silhouette
Try drawing and firing at the target while someone behind you is yelling at you or makes loud noises trying to distract you.
Try shooting and reloading at night or very low light, with a flashlight, at a target.
Try shooting with a group, develop sectors of fire, have a 3rd party call out your targets.(you will have to listen for your targets and not shoot till they are called)
I will not recommend it here but I will for the sake of this discussion mention it is good training (maybe not legal, but fun) learning to shoot a target from a moving vehicle, driver and passenger or from the back of pickup truck. It can be dangerous but 'news flash' most shootings are dangerous.

Maybe this gives you some ideas. In a stressful situation you will tend NOT to react as you should  unless you have had proper training. In a fire-fight and probably to a similar extent in any threatening situation your adrenalin will be flowing, you will be breathing heavy, nerves will be on edge with your guts in a knot so you need to be a machine, you will need to react on instinct. That only comes with good training. I have seen news stories where someone was attacked and they had a gun and  froze or fumbled around had the gun taken away from them. Furthermore in a survival situation you may need some of the skills required of combat troops to survive as well.

I can assure there is no such thing as a fair fight, whoever is doing the attacking is gaining every advantage they can, "fun shooting" is fun but sometimes you need to train hard.

Importance of Training part 2

23 comments:

  1. As you well know I agree with all my heart. Most good people, packing a carry weapon, have never drawn or presented their weapon from the holster. If a person can't draw and place two shots into body mass in under two seconds, while moving, they're dead meat. Well done.

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    1. Thanks Bubba, I know we had talked about this a long while ago, finally got around to writing it.

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  2. Very good info and sound advice. I agree with you totally.

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    1. John thanks, I used to hate some of that training but it does build a second nature in you.

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  3. As you know my "real" life training was very eye opening. The sense of reality I felt was shocking. I agree with you a 110% on training this way and I learned a lot from this post, but I will politely disagree with Stephen:). I don't think one is gaurenteed to be dead meat. Attacks happen fast and really often before one realizes it, especially if they are not training for it, but I have read just as many stories about people who never touched a gun before or hardly ever being able to get a shot off and stop the attack. I am not relying on that "luck" myself. I am on the side of train and train hard, but just want to mention that even if one is ill prepared the bad guy doesn't always win and I am proof of that.

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  4. Thank you for your input, In Stephens defense, I am sure he would agree with you. I think what he meant is your odds would not be near as good. You are very wise not to rely on luck. It is true a blind hog will find some acorns and a ill-prepared person will fend off an attack sometimes but like you I want to have the best advantage possible.

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  5. Stephen is a smart man as are you. Thanks for the great post. Lots of really good information in there.

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    1. I do agree, dear lady. Duke's correct..my point is the odds are always on the side of the best prepared and well trained. I've been 'packing and whacking' for close to fifty years. Always be aware of your surroundings.

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  6. This is why force on force training comes into play. I saw this video a while back; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmNtDmzDeow

    Even if it is paint-ball, airsoft etc etc its all about building muscle memory. More tools for dealing with stressful situations.

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    1. I watched the preview, looks interesting.Thanks for the link.

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  7. As a newbie I would very much like to go through this kind of training. I just want to say thank you to Duke and Stephen for their knowledge and leadership that they provide on their blogs.

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    1. I do not claim to know it all but I can share what I have learned from experience. Thanks for checking in.

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  8. Your right about the training. Too often I wait for clear sunny and warm days at the range to go target shoot.
    The range I attend also has "limitations" on what a shooter can do.

    I know what its like going to bed at 0000, and being awoken at 0200, confused etc. The worst part of bootcamp was arriving late at night and not evan knowing which direction the sun would rise. Total and complete confusion. Now when I arrive at a strange hotel late at night or whatever, I take mental notes on where Im at etc. It gives me a feeling of being in some control of my surroundings. The confusion was the worst part.
    I got real sick in bootcamp and still would not ask to go to medical. I coughed up blood and was running fever etc. I still performed. The thought of being sent back to another company and spending another two weeks in boot camp horrified me.
    In time my sickness subsided and I made it.

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  9. what captaincrunch referred to about being sick and still pushing through is what we, in the Canadian Forces, called recoursing. nothing was worse than to be recoursed. yes, i sometimes wondered why i, as a 78lb female, who was going in to an admin trade (intelligence), who was constantly threatened with being recoursed if i didn't break 80lbs, who wasn't allowed to eat, always seemed to be on weapon duty, guard patrol, wolf patrol, wasn't allowed to sleep, etc. but then i remember an instructor who belted me in the throat with his pace stick (horrible purple bruise for three weeks) who said "lady, if you are going to make it - you are in for some hell". he was right. and i thank God for that training every day of my life.

    Dear Duke, you have an exceptional ability to write and convey incredibly, important information. i thank you, Sir, for always taking the time to do so. and i very much look forward to more of these posts.

    you are a gentleman in the true sense of the word to be telling us these things and reminding us of these things.

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, You are way too kind my friend. I feel I don't have the ability at times to express what I want in the best manner, I am in awe at some other bloggers writing ability.
      I am glad you stuck it out through basic training. I don't think I could be a DI, I know I could not treat a woman harshly. Anyway thanks for stopping by.
      Duke.

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    2. never too kind my friend. did you read my comments about kicking Stephen's a$$? oh and i'll do it buddy. i'll kick his a$$ around the block a few times over. he's got it coming!

      i love gentlemen with the background and training who can teach. you haven't ever let me down, buddy, and i know that you won't. there are so many (some of them women) that you can teach. all i ask is that you keep doing so. in such a way that would make Mr. Wayne proud. no pressure eh?

      your friend,
      kymber

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  10. captaincrunch, Thanks for the backup. I'm not saying we shouldn't enjoy range days just realize we need to mix it up with some hard drills. I do know what it's like to train with fever and aches.

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    1. Good stuff, bud. I had some friends come do some shooting with me. They had never run drills while shooting and we did stuff like use 3 mags with 5 rounds each to practice drops and changes. We also did it while walking up on the target till we were 10 feet away. Now they drive me crazy asking when we're going out and doing some more of those"military shooting drills". It's always more fun. Keep it up, friend.

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    2. Hillbilly, There are lots of drill you can try, be creative, use what you have.

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  11. I kinda know what Kymber went through. I was never 'struck" by a Company Commander (Navy Bootcamp Instructor) but I got lots of spite on my face from being yelled at.
    On the subject on range days. If I can acquire some land or find someone kind enough to allow myself (and friends) use of their land for drill training I will work on those skills in good and bad conditions.
    As it stands, if a home invasion occurred at my house at three am. I would keep the lights off and rely on night sights, familiar surroundings, and muscle memory.

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    1. You have to work with what you can, be creative. Thanks for the input.

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  12. I'm going to go shoot from a vehicle now.

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    1. It is more of a combat skill than a self defense skill but still fun to learn. Be warned, I have seen bullet holes in side mirrors during this kind of training. It is best to try it stationary before moving.

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