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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this up over on Brownies Forum and got some interesting answers and observations..Lets see what you guys think.

I guess I should preface this by explaining my question somewhat. This is a subject that has fascinated me for almost 40 years. From my first live fire combat experience to years of martial arts and being a bouncer for about 12 years also being very involved in Racing my entire life. There seems to me, that at a certain point in your experience, even though the adrenaline flow is there, that the loss of fine motor skills is no longer a concern. Now, I'm no expert in handgun fights but it would seem that someone who has learned to channel that adrenaline, neurological response to the fight or flight etc would have the advantage.

I guess my question is, can that loss of fine motor skills be trained out of someone. Everything I have read by trainers says 99% NO..it cant be done. I dont know why but it's hard for me to except that. The tunnel vision I can accept, the slow motion, I can accept that also, however it at sometime went away, the clarity and details of the fight or confrontation became much clearer. I guess the mind started thinking instead of the body just reacting or the other way around. I guess I could equate this to racing in that, if I havent been in the seat for some time it might take me 5-6 laps to calm down and pay attention to whats going on but if I'm in it every weekend I'm ready from the gitgo..

Or maybe some of us are just adrenaline junkies and get used to it.

Here's the link if you want to read some of the responses. http://www.threatfocused.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2293

The subject matter to me is a pretty serious one with all the new people who carry weapons with little to no training. I'm glad that these individuals have made a decision to carry and have assumed that responsibility and exercised their 2nd amendment rights, however without proper training it can be as deadly for the victim as it is for the aggressor.
 

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Just thinking about it a little I would say that fine motor skill is inversely proportionate to adrenaline. Meaning that the more adrenaline you have flowing through you the more you loose your fine motor skills and visa versa. That being said, the body have a way of dealing with loss of fine motor skills. It seams that training (especially lots of repetition) allows you to do things instinctively in a bad situation that you would not normally be able to do. Adrenaline is one powerful drug that we still don't understand everything that it does to the body during stress but training can help us to function with it being present in our system. I don't think that we can train away the loss of fine motor skills.
 

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SwampRat,

Your post is thought provoking. In particular your comment concerning "all the new people who carry weapons with little to no training". That would be me you are referring to.

Other than my concealed class I've had one basic firearms class in which I discovered I could not hit a picture of a duck 10' in front of me. I was just about to jump the barrier and pummel the stupid duck. I figured since I couldn't shoot it I may as well beat it to death. The instructor kept telling me it was all in the trigger finger. His words have never left me. Now every time I go to the range my hands are steadier and my aim is much, much better.

In reality I'm a stay at home mom. My world consists of homeschooling my children and driving them to and from activities. There is basically no reason for me to become an expert at firearms. The other reality is that crime is becoming more random and more violent. That makes someone like me step out of my world and into theirs. Practically speaking I do not have the luxury of having the training I desire. I will never develop skills that I should have acquired in my 20s. Time (and $$ needed to keep going to the range and taking more classes) is not on my side for me to become as proficient as I know I should be. With that in mind I can only do so much. In an effort to balance my lack of training I take it very seriously that I'm about ready to carry concealed. I know the law is basically on the criminal's side. I know I must be in an extreme fight for my life to pull the trigger. I know I must be ready to face the consequences once that trigger is pulled. That keeps me alert and as responsible as I know how to be.

I sincerely wish I had self defense skills when I was younger that I could have been developing all these years later but I can't go back and change my past. It appears that I will never be a Marine so I won't have that training either. :)

Where you are trying to keep skills you've acquired I'm trying to acquire those skills in the first place. All I can do is be as responsible as I know how with the limited training I've had. I hope this post makes sense.
 

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I guess my question is, can that loss of fine motor skills be trained out of someone. Everything I have read by trainers says 99% NO..it cant be done. I dont know why but it's hard for me to except that. The tunnel vision I can accept, the slow motion, I can accept that also, however it at sometime went away, the clarity and details of the fight or confrontation became much clearer. I guess the mind started thinking instead of the body just reacting or the other way around.

The subject matter to me is a pretty serious one with all the new people who carry weapons with little to no training. I'm glad that these individuals have made a decision to carry and have assumed that responsibility and exercised their 2nd amendment rights, however without proper training it can be as deadly for the victim as it is for the aggressor.
Can you train yourself out of the loss of fine motor skills? I don't believe so.
But I don't know if that is really the question you meant to ask.

Can you train yourself to such a level where the adrenaline dumping into your system will have no negative impact may be the question you want to ask. I believe you can indeed train yourself to that level.

I agree the that one of the worst things a new person, such as myself, can do is to go too far too fast.
 

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SwampRat,

Your post is thought provoking. In particular your comment concerning "all the new people who carry weapons with little to no training". That would be me you are referring to.
MamaBear,

Don't worry about it. Just advance at your own pace. Make a plan. Set goals and milestones. Stick to it. That's what I am doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
MamaBear, not pointing at you at all. I have several close friends here in Fl, also GA, NC that I've convinced recently to get their CCW's also. They have absolutely no training. I'm not in favor of a law the requires it as I think its up to the individual to determine what suffices for them. The topic was brought up because of my interest in the "Startle Response" and the Physiological/Psychological effects and response to immediate extreme violence. The time it takes a trained individual to react and how they react could determine life or death within those precious few seconds. For the untrained individual it would be a much longer and most likely more pronounced startled response that could actually in extreme cases cause a "Freeze" and at the very least put anyone way behind the OODA loop.

I will say that your mental training and awareness of your surroundings is a fantastic start to keep you and yours safe. Mental preparation is half the battle..good on you..:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can you train yourself to such a level where the adrenaline dumping into your system will have no negative impact may be the question you want to ask. I believe you can indeed train yourself to that level.
flccnp, good answer, your pretty close.

In an untrained person be prepared to experience a denial response to a life or death situation. One tends to seek mental and emotional shelter in normalcy. When this state of mind is horrifically shattered, the intended victim's reaction may be "this can't be happening".

One may experience "hysterical blindness" during or after an attack. Essentially, the mind refuses to visualize any longer a terrifying event perceived by the eyes. This may translate into fleeing the scene of an attack, even if one successfully, and legally, used lethal force to survive the incident. Needless to say, law enforcement officials will take a dim view of this evasion.

In a highly trained person who has practiced to a degree that the body's reaction to a stimulus is automatic, the "fight or flight" reflex may create the illusion of "watching one's self ". The body movement is so fast, without the guidance of deliberate thought, that one's conscious mind can't keep up.
 

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In a highly trained person who has practiced to a degree that the body's reaction to a stimulus is automatic, the "fight or flight" reflex may create the illusion of "watching one's self ". The body movement is so fast, without the guidance of deliberate thought, that one's conscious mind can't keep up.
The few times I've been in an oh crap position, I didn't have time to think or time to experience a "watching one's self" situation. It was all a sort of modified reflex type of thing.
 

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SwampRat, when you are saying "MamaBear, not pointing at you at all" does that mean you are not pointing at me with your finger or not pointing at me with your gun? :rolf

Honestly, we need to make it an understanding that whenever I post I basically never take offense with anyone (although sometimes I cringe when I read through potty mouth language but that is just the old-fashioned lady in me). I know I'm out gunned, out numbered and out trained on this board so I know my place. :)

Most of the time I feel like a wall flower listening in on every one's conversations. I like it that way. That's how I learn.


MamaBearto2
 

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MamaB, it's good to keep in mind that on this and most forums you will find all sorts of people, from those new to handling a firearm to those with great skills and experience. It's nice to have the input of these members as it opens our eyes and minds to the idea of continually improving our skill level, whatever that level may be.

I think that once a person understands, learns and practices basic firearm safety and handling, the next step is acquiring greater marksmanship skills to the point where you can easily place rounds consistently on target while comfortably and safely handling whatever gun you choose to use.

Once a person reaches that threshold and they decide to carry concealed, the prudent person seeks to learn about basic firearm retention, basic tactics and skills that might be encountered by a person carrying a concealed weapon.

You and i will probably never acquire advanced martial arts or knife fighting/defense skills, but keep developing your shooting skills, be mindful of your surroundings and use the common sense that God gave you that got you this far in life. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here's something else MamaBear to help you with your "mindset". I received this in an email from Tim Larkin this morning..

"The Importance Of Mind Games"

One of the most revealing training exercises I ever
conducted occurred while working with a law
enforcement unit assigned to protect a high profile
politician from another country.

In this particular country assassination was a very
real threat for this politician. The law enforcement
unit was comprised of some very sharp ex-military spec
ops members that had outstanding training and real-
world credentials as part of an aggressive counter-
terrorist unit.

The problem we had with this unit was their inability
to properly anticipate ambushes or potential
assassination attempts in the exercises we designed.
We knew it wasn't a lack of intelligence, training, or
ability.

So what was the problem???

What we finally determined was...

* * * * * * * * * *

They had adopted a defensive state of mind!

* * * * * * * * * *

Yeah I know, by this issue you probably already
guessed that was the case.

But I mention it because my staff and I had gone into
the training assuming mindset wouldn't be an issue. In
fact some of my guys had worked with members of this
group when they were in the military and were shocked
by this change.

How did we fix it?

We basically got them to do a role reversal. We
actively encouraged them to think like assassins. The
actual methods were more detailed and elaborate but
the concept was essentially just a change in how they
looked at the problem.

This resulted in an amazing increase in the unit's
ability to anticipate and counter assassination
attempts long before the politician was ever in
danger.

In debriefing this unit we learned they felt that
since they were now in a unit designed to "protect
someone" that somehow they now needed to be defensive.

In fact even the name of the unit affected this
change.

Using English language for illustration purposes,
their old military unit was a 'counter-terror' unit
whereas the law enforcement unit was an 'anti-
terrorist' unit.

In simple terms a counter-terrorist unit mission is to
'hunt' down terrorists while an anti-terrorist unit is
designed to 'defend' against a terror assault.

It was very enlightening for me to once again see the
power 'words' can have on performance. Even very
seasoned operators fall prey to that trap.

So how does this relate to your day-to-day mindset?

I talk about the Cause-State but still I find many
of my clients go through a day in Effect-State.

Why?

Because you get caught in the trap that to be a law
abiding citizen you have to wait for something to
happen before you can take action. This results in a
very poor use of your 'primary' weapon. You'll always
be one step behind the aggressor.

It's easy for me to get my clients that hunt to
understand this. That's because when they're out in
the woods hunting their prey, they have NO fear. In
fact, there is eager anticipation as they try to find
where the prey may be hiding. Using this thinking,
it's easy for me to get them to adopt the Cause State.

For those of you that don't hunt, think about when you
were a child, playing hide and seek. When you were
looking for the 'hiders', there was NO fear in you.

You were actively engaged in your environment to seek
out and capture these 'hiders'. In fact, if you were
good at the game, you found yourself role playing,
asking yourself where you'd be hiding if it were your
turn.

Well, that same 'state' you learned in Kindergarten is
now a key tactic in controlling your fear and
hesitation in life. You can actively engage your
surroundings during the day without affecting your
daily business.

Role reverse and play the criminal in your mind.
Rather than wonder, "Who's around that corner?" just
ask yourself how you'd attack. Try this and see the
difference in the way you feel.

Until next time,

Tim Larkin
 

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Thank you, SwampRat. I have to say that I'm more of the counter mindset rather than anti mindset. Part of my mindset may be a result of my previous attack but mostly I feel it is because I'm basically cautious of people when I'm out and about.

I'm not hyper paranoid just alert. My kids know I don't mess around in parking lots putting groceries in my car. They know my keys are always in my hand before I leave a store. Even though I always wear sunglasses they know I case the parking lot the entire time we are walking. It's the family joke that mommy doesn't sit with her back to the door and will always have the seat facing the door.

I'm not sure who Tim Larkin is so I guess I can google to find out.

Thanks for anything you can send my way that will educate me.

MamaBearto2
 

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It seams that training (especially lots of repetition) allows you to do things instinctively in a bad situation that you would not normally be able to do.
I agree...hell, I even find myself "pie-ing" around corners when shooting USPSA matches. :doh

Mental preparation is half the battle.
I'd say it's closer to 90%...proper preparation will often enable one to see trouble coming and avoid it altogether. ;)

I know I'm out gunned, out numbered and out trained on this board so I know my place. :)
It's OK MamaBearto2, we got your back...it's just us Good Guys in here. :thumsup
 

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Swamp Rat,

I think the following sums up fine motor skills and the use of major muscle groups (i.e. to me that means muscle memory and training) when in a "situation." I also got this from USCCA in an article titled "Eight Tactical Advantages you NEED to have."

A human body facing death or injury initiates certain protective mechanisms to help ensure survival. These protective mechanisms are often referred to as combat stress, although many who have experienced combat stress refer to it as "disturbing." If you understand what combat stress is, and what it does to your body, you will have an easier time recovering from it and hopefully this understanding will keep you from "freaking." When your gun is drawn, your sights are on center-mass of another human being, and you are taking the slack out of the trigger, your body reverts to its self-preservation mode and combat stress sets in. You will get an immediate dump of adrenalin in your body's attempt to make you stronger and faster. Also, a phenomenon called "tunnel vision" takes over and reduces your peripheral vision similar to looking through a paper towel holder--this makes you totally focus on the threat. Your hearing also becomes focused on the threat, just like your vision, and you will hear every single sound coming from the direction of the perp. Police involved in shoot-outs have reported actually hearing each and every empty brass casing hitting the pavement during the gunfight.

Herein lays the problem. The same adrenalin dump that helped make you stronger and faster is still rushing through your body after the confrontation or during a lull in the confrontation. With nowhere to go and nothing to do the adrenalin commences to make you shake violently. You may think you are having some kind of spastic heart attack. Chances are you will respond by crying. Try to remember, if possible given the conditions, that it's the adrenalin dump that is making you shake. Just hang in there since it will subside quickly.

During combat stress you will loose the ability to perform fine motor skills so it is wise to learn to shoot using major muscle groups which do not require fine motor skills. This is why you are taught the Weaver Stance and full-combat grip in tactical schools. The Weaver stance and grip uses tension in the major muscle groups of the arms, shoulder and chest to hold and fire the handgun. These major muscle groups are the only muscles most people will be able to call into action when under combat stress. If you do not know how to shoot using the Weaver Stance and full-combat grip then seek instruction immediately so you will have the tactical advantage of being prepared for combat stress.
 

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Attached below is the entire article. It is a bit lengthy:

80% Mental
80% of your solution comes from learning the lessons of tactical advantage.


By Phillip L. Smith
From USConcealedCarry.com


Tell me all you want about "dry heat," but mid-afternoon in Sedona is hot no matter how you parse it, phrase it or excuse it. While on vacation, Karen and I were walking in the north end of Sedona, she was shopping and I was looking for a place to get out of that God-forsaken hot, relentless sun. As we walked past a gift shop, Karen looked in and slowed her walk showing interest in what was inside. When it comes to shopping I do what most guys do (suffer in silence); but to Karen, shopping is an adventure.

She combed through the hand-made Indian artifacts just long enough to break her stride on a bee-line to the turquoise jewelry counter. The storekeeper, obviously as bored as I was, turned from his duties and greeted us with a friendly Arizona, "howdy." When he turned, I noticed the 1911 on his right hip, so I returned the greeting and added: "Did you make the holster for your sidearm?" He nodded a "yes," along with a smile telling me he was proud of the craftsmanship of both the holster and the other hand-crafted leather items for sale in his shop. Karen finished her adventure, paid for her selections and we headed back to our rental car. Inside the car I casually stated: "Couple of things seemed odd to me! Air conditioning was on, but the front door was wide open and did you notice the storekeeper was carrying openly?" Karen simply replied, "No tactical advantage there!" Then she began preparing an onslaught of turquoise jewelry for my viewing pleasure. We continued our vacation and I didn't think much about the little gift shop in Sedona again, till now! Now I realize there are some important lessons for those who carry concealed which are buried in this short account of our trip to Sedona, Arizona.

If you carry a concealed handgun, then you already have 20% of a solution to your continued safety. The other 80% of your solution comes from learning the lessons of tactical advantage. Tactical advantage is best learned in a formal tactical training course; a course where the concepts are practiced over-and over in order to commit the actions and reactions to memory. The problem is that many people do not have the time or money to attend a formal tactical training or combat course where the implementation of tactical training and tactical advantage are taught. But, even if you can not or will not attend formal training, this brief exposure to the concept of tactical advantage and how you can implement it in your every day life, will go a long way in helping you prevail, God-forbid, if you ever are faced with having to use your handgun to defend your life.

If Karen's response of, "No tactical advantage there!" was puzzling to you, then let me make up a scenario to illustrate the foundation of tactical advantage.

TACTICAL ADVANTAGE #1: KEEP YOUR FIREARM CONCEALED

Here's the scenario: It's 9:25 p.m. and you're last in line at the ice cream shop. Unknown to you, two perps have been watching the clerk make the evening deposit for the last 3 days. The perps think it is too risky trying to rob the clerk while he is dropping the deposit bag in the bank's well lit and patrolled night depository, so they decide a quick armed robbery at closing time is in order. You've lived in Arizona all your life and are quite aware of the law which allows open carry and you even think its macho and a good idea. Who would ever give trouble to a person who carries an open hand gun on their side? Well, you are about to find out. The robbers burst in the front door and what do they see? A scared teenager armed only with an ice cream dipper, AND you, with your 1911 strapped to your side.

Since they perceive you will draw your handgun, they fire first, and you drop to the floor without having drawn your weapon. Is it fair--no! Is it real--yes! Time for the big question: "What did you do wrong that ended up costing you your life?" You laid your Aces on the table while you were playing poker--You gave up an extremely important tactical advantage by displaying your sidearm thereby broadcasting the exact location of a hindrance to a criminal's evil intent. The greatest tactical advantage you possess is surprise! You lose that advantage when you wear your firearm openly. You can also lose the advantage by flashing (allowing it to be seen), by printing (allowing the outline of the gun to be seen), or by bragging to everyone that you carry a concealed weapon. Would the scenario be different if your handgun was concealed? Probably so, although you might be missing your wallet and a little pride, but the advantage gained is that you survived a deadly confrontation! Never give up your advantage of surprise. The only person who should ever know about your handgun is a perp trying to take you down.

People new to concealed carry often have a personal problem with the stealth required to conceal and carry a handgun. Confusing stealth with "being sneaky" can lead to feelings of dishonesty or even guilt. After all, hiding something from the people around you is being sneaky, right? Yes and no, depending on your intentions. Are you trying to actively deceive and harm those around you, or are you actively trying to protect an extremely important tactical advantage? Remember, it's nobody's business that you are carrying a concealed handgun, except yours!

TACTICAL ADVANTAGE #2: PROXIMITY NEGATES SKILL, GET AWAY

Tactical training teaches the discovery and use of options in order to ensure YOUR survival in a combat confrontation, whether the weapon used against you is a gun, knife or club. The more options you can muster and present in a combat confrontation, the better chance you have to survive. For example, one of the basic tactics (option) when confronted is to move quickly away from the attacker. Moving away from an attacker allows time and distance to become your friend, not your enemy. To say it a different way, proximity negates skill. This means the closer a perp is to you, the less weapons skill is required by the perp to injure or kill you.

An example of "proximity negates skill" would be if I placed a blindfold over your eyes, put you in front of a target that was 3 feet in front of you and placed a loaded handgun in your hand. With the blindfold on do you think you could hit the target? I am so sure you could that I will place a $20 bill on the ground and bet you could hit the target with only one shot! "So what," you say, "anyone could do that!" You are right; anyone could do that, even a perp standing 3 feet in front of you with his gun pointed at YOU. But, could that same perp hit a target that was moving rapidly away from him, or even better, moving rapidly away at a diagonal angle? The fact is perps are usually very poor shots because they don't regularly practice shooting skills like you. Here's the point of Tactical Advantage #2: The quicker you can put distance between yourself and a dangerous perp, the better your chances of survival. When I say "quick" I mean an explosion of speed not a gentle walk.

TACTICAL ADVANTAGE #3: YOU CAN'T OUT-DRAW A DRAWN GUN

No one knows if they will ever have to draw their weapon to protect themselves or their loved ones. No one can tell you when it is the right time to draw and when is the right time to shoot. You mulled this around during your CCW class and even asked your instructor: "When does a threatened person know when it's time to shoot?" Your instructor probably gave the same answer as other CCW instructors all over the country: "You will know when it's time." This answer probably didn't satisfy your quest for a "black and white, yes or no, or up or down" answer, but it was the best answer the instructor can give without knowing the exact circumstances of the combat confrontation. But here's a better answer and one you can apply to any confrontation whether combat or non-combat:

"If it's not worth dying for, then it's not worth shooting for". But what do you do when a perp has a gun drawn on you? For starters, you must realize that you can not out-draw a drawn gun. A drawn knife--maybe, but a drawn gun--no way! If the perp simply wants your wallet now is the time to swallow your pride and anger by complying. But if the perp wants more than money (wants to take you from the area or wants to violate you) then you may have to decide, and very quickly, whether or not you are willing to take a bullet. You still have options since your handgun is still concealed but please don't ever think you can out-drawn a drawn gun. What other options are available? Would the scenario change if you had a small handgun in your jacket pocket and could you shoot through the jacket? Would yelling at the perp draw attention? Similar to holding your hands up, quickly backing up and yelling, "Don't shoot me man!" Now you are using several tactical advantages (noise, distance) and you still have one option left in your jacket pocket. Just remember, it's a lot easier for me to make up scenarios than it is to experience one in real life. Also, don't forget to use time to your advantage. That is, respond immediately, don't wait, don't "dawdle," don't think, don't second-guess, just "Git-R-Done."

TACTICAL ADVANTAGE #4: LOCKED DOORS ARE UNINVITING

Locks are just to keep the honest people out! Have you ever heard this statement about locking your doors? Believe it or not, there is a tactical advantage to locking your doors. The point of all tactics is to make time and distance work for you, not against you. If you think tactically then you are always trying to gain more time to react in order to put more distance between yourself and a threat. The second someone unwelcome tries to enter our space we start to loose the tactical advantage of time. So what exactly does a locked door have to do with a tactical advantage since the perp is going to break through the door anyway?

Locked doors provide two very important functions, they SLOW the perp down AND that gives you time to REACT. With a couple of seconds to think, you can use that precious time to quickly decide on a course of action: Should I stay and confront? Should I leave? Where is my defense gun, phone, flashlight and the kids! Keep your doors locked in both your house and car and you will be participating in a very simple, but effective, tactical advantage. Perps want easy crimes. The more impediments you place in their way, the faster they will decide to move on to an easier victim. Unlocked doors are inviting to perps; locked doors are uninviting!

TACTICAL ADVANTAGE #5: LISTEN TO YOURSELF

Have you ever been to a scary movie where the hair on the back of your neck stood up? Well, that hair standing up on the back of your neck is 2000 years of human response in action. Your body was responding to a threat, or in this case, a perceived threat in that scary movie and was telling you to prepare for fight or flight. In these modern times we don't always listen to ourselves or the response of our body, and that can lead to problems. We all have built in auto-mechanisms which respond whenever we are threatened. In cave-man days, it might have been the sight or growl of a saber toothed tiger. Today, it might be people that are out-of-place, strangers that seem overly interested in you or your movements, or a couple of guys hanging around your car at the mall. In any event, if your body is talking to you, if the hair on the back of your neck is standing up, if it just doesn't look right, then don't go there! Avoidance is a tactical advantage but only if you allow that little voice inside you to be heard.

Remember, the voice will always speak; it's your job to listen and believe.
 

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Part 2

TACTICAL ADVANTAGE #6: UNDERSTAND COMBAT STRESS

A human body facing death or injury initiates certain protective mechanisms to help ensure survival. These protective mechanisms are often referred to as combat stress, although many who have experienced combat stress refer to it as "disturbing." If you understand what combat stress is, and what it does to your body, you will have an easier time recovering from it and hopefully this understanding will keep you from "freaking." When your gun is drawn, your sights are on center-mass of another human being, and you are taking the slack out of the trigger, your body reverts to its self-preservation mode and combat stress sets in. You will get an immediate dump of adrenalin in your body's attempt to make you stronger and faster. Also, a phenomenon called "tunnel vision" takes over and reduces your peripheral vision similar to looking through a paper towel holder--this makes you totally focus on the threat. Your hearing also becomes focused on the threat, just like your vision, and you will hear every single sound coming from the direction of the perp. Police involved in shoot-outs have reported actually hearing each and every empty brass casing hitting the pavement during the gunfight.

Herein lays the problem. The same adrenalin dump that helped make you stronger and faster is still rushing through your body after the confrontation or during a lull in the confrontation. With nowhere to go and nothing to do the adrenalin commences to make you shake violently. You may think you are having some kind of spastic heart attack. Chances are you will respond by crying. Try to remember, if possible given the conditions, that it's the adrenalin dump that is making you shake. Just hang in there since it will subside quickly.

During combat stress you will loose the ability to perform fine motor skills so it is wise to learn to shoot using major muscle groups which do not require fine motor skills. This is why you are taught the Weaver Stance and full-combat grip in tactical schools. The Weaver stance and grip uses tension in the major muscle groups of the arms, shoulder and chest to hold and fire the handgun. These major muscle groups are the only muscles most people will be able to call into action when under combat stress. If you do not know how to shoot using the Weaver Stance and full-combat grip then seek instruction immediately so you will have the tactical advantage of being prepared for combat stress.

TACTICAL ADVANTAGE #7: CLEAR YOUR SPACE

Some tactical advantages are less subtle and involve the use of psychology. Perps have a jaded view of the success of their evil endeavors. They think a crime is successful when they end up with your money in their pockets. They also think a crime is successful if they get away scott-free, even if they don't get any of your money. Many crimes in the U.S. are halted just by the presentation of a handgun by the victim.

If you de-escalate the confrontation by presenting your firearm, and do not have to fire, the next step is to let the criminal leave if that is possible. Your world can turn 180 degrees if you try to be macho or play policeman and try to apprehend the perp. Remember, all the while you are holding the perp they are think of ways to get away, and now that you've shown you are a true adversary they are also thinking of ways to hurt you. Since you haven't shot him up to this point the perp may even be thinking that you don't have the guts to shoot him. The real consideration should be: "Are you safer with no perp in the picture?" At what point can you say: "I survived!" I would say when the perp drops their weapon and is out of your sight. Get the perp out of your space as quickly as possible and let the police find him later. Clear your space and leave.

TACTICAL ADVANTAGE #8: YOU WILL FIGHT LIKE YOU PRACTICE

This unfortunate story illustrates the importance of practicing like you will fight. A detective, in the course of an arrest, was attacked, fatally shot and died at the scene. Other detectives investigating the shoot-out found the fallen detective's gun, full of ammo in his right hand, but in the left hand they found spent ammo casings. The question the detectives posed to each other was: "Why in the hell was he picking up his spent ammo cases during a gunfight?" The answer to the question was traced all the way back to the police academy where recruits were taught to pick up their empty brass after firing a string of shots. In other words, the detective was fighting just like he practiced!

Same goes for you and everyone who carries a concealed weapon. Now is the time to add some reality and self-induced stress in your range time. Drop your mags to the ground when they are empty; you are not going to hurt them and even if they do get dirty you can clean them when you clean your gun. This is also a good test of your equipment since it's better to find out that a dirty mag won't work while you are on the range than in a full-blown confrontation. If a dirty mag won't work in your gun or the gun starts jamming when it gets dirty then you know what you have to do, right? Hint: Carry gun must work 100% of the time whether clean or dirty.

By the way, how much should you practice? Again, this question demands an answer from you, not me. Can you draw and fire two shots to center mass in less than 2 seconds? Even if you can there is another reality to consider; one that will take the wind out of your sails and help you to develop a practice routine for the rest of your life. In a combat confrontation, you will only be half as good as your best day on the range. What this means is the stress of a combat confrontation will cause that "2 second center mass practice shot" to be 4 seconds; or that perfect double-tap to center mass at the range to be only one hit. Practice doesn't make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect. Be your biggest critic and change any bad habits by practicing good ones. Always remember: You will fight like you practice!

FINALE

Tactics and tactical advantage is best learned by attending a tactical handgun class. The purpose of tactical training is to ensure that YOU survive a combat confrontation by helping you to prepare options. Tactics are not tricks, they are strategies learned from numerous gunfights and numerous deaths of both good people and criminals. Tactics predict response of the perpetrator to basic maneuvers and include strategies for attack, defense, and retreat. Tactics allow you to fight with your brain, not just your handgun because a gunfight is 80% mental and 20% handgun. Tactics are about surviving, not being fair; about hitting hard and hitting fast; about fighting with extreme prejudice just to survive, and about being able to stand up after it's all over. After tactical training you will change the way you think and act about your safety. For example: Ask a person who has never attended a tactical training class the question: "What is the purpose of carrying a firearm?" The answer will most likely be: "to protect myself." Then, ask a person who has attended a tactical training class the same question and the answer will most likely be: "The purpose of carrying a firearm is to provide you with the means to control your immediate surroundings." Both answers are correct, but the second answer includes tactical information: A plan, a purpose, and a resolve. Your handgun is simply a tool that you may or may not call into action to accomplish the end result of assuring your safety. This year, you will spend many hours on the range developing shooting skills and those skills will comprise only 20% of a real gunfight. Why not attend a good training school and develop the other 80%; the mental conditioning, tactical advantage, and the preparation and discovery of options necessary for you to become a weapon?

Phillip L. Smith is the owner of CCW Supply, LLC in Lansing, MI. Everything for Concealed Carry, except the firearm.
 

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Red Dawg,

I'll address some of what the author wrote if you will indulge me for few minutes:

I'll preface my responses with the fact that I carry open at the gun shop I work at three days a week. There are reasons I do so, and they do not apply to everyone, but they apply to me based on my training.

"What did you do wrong that ended up costing you your life?" You laid your Aces on the table while you were playing poker--You gave up an extremely important tactical advantage by displaying your sidearm thereby broadcasting the exact location of a hindrance to a criminal's evil intent.

You may give up some tactical advantage, but not always based on several factors.

1. Your draw speed from open carry, the techniques/skills you have in your bag of tricks and the distance to the threat are all determining factors.

a. Draw speed. I can draw one handed and fire from a closed front garment on demand, cold with no practice in an average of .9-1.2 seconds [ and that's very fast by anyone's standards ]. I can also draw and fire from the same holster open carried in no more than .55 seconds while taking one step off line in either direction, and on a good day in the mid 4/10's of a second with the same movement.

That means I can draw by a margin of .50 to .65 seconds faster from open carry on any given day. While working the shop, no one gets in the door without the buzzer telling me the door has been opened. People walk in with firearms all day long either trading, selling or wanting a gun looked at that needs to be fixed in some manner. People expect you to be armed, even if you aren't while working the shop. Consequently, concealing gun doesn't give me any advantage of surprise but open carry gives me that reduced time to get rds on threat.

Lets also consider in your store scenario, that an open carried firearm seen by the perps while casing the place could just deter them until you left, not wanting to deal with an armed person. Most criminals just don't walk in and shoot the teller/clerk, they don't want people hearing the shot causing others to investigate, having everyone in the general area looking to where the noise came from. No, most will intimidate with the firearm to get what they want, they don't want problems, and shooting the clerk creates more risk for them.

For example, one of the basic tactics (option) when confronted is to move quickly away from the attacker. Moving away from an attacker allows time and distance to become your friend, not your enemy.

In the underlined, movement may not be an option at all times. Movement as an advantage can't really be relied upon in the real world. It also will depend on how close the action starts. If they are 3 feet from you across a counter and they've draw a gun on you, you will not move far enough or fast enough to get much if any advantage. It is well documented that a fast reaction time to stimulus is about .25 seconds. He sees you explode out of the present kill zone, choose any direction you want in that move and he can pull the trigger on you before you can move 3-5 feet, if that. Even if you move perfectly laterally to the threat, he only has to move the gun inches at the most to keep the muzzle on you in that time. If you move directly away from the threat, that distance is negated as he doesn't have to move the muzzle at all to stay on you while you get what?, 3 feet if you are lucky in that .25 reaction time for him to sense he needs to put on in you?

So, in this part of the discussion, we see movement as an advantage is reliant on being able to move to begin with, and then the distance has to be further than 3-5 feet to start to realize any time/distance advantage at all. Movement for the sake of movement alone is not a tactical advantage.

As proof of this, we need only look to a man named Bill Jordan, a border patrol agent who was as fast from a holster with his gun as there ever has been in recorded history. His first shot was around .4 seconds after he initiated his draw. He beat at least two desperado's on the border who had guns already drawn on him and did not get shot. His action was faster than their reaction from an open carried firearm.

FoF also shows us that movement isn't always going to be "safer" automatically. Both get shot in the majority of the scenarios unless they start at over 10-12 feet apart.

But, could that same perp hit a target that was moving rapidly away from him, or even better, moving rapidly away at a diagonal angle?

In the underlined, FoF shows us that yes they can hit you quite easily, so thinking if you explode out of the kill zone you'll not be hit is a fallacy and again is distance dependant as well as each players skills levels and commitment to want to play.

The quicker you can put distance between yourself and a dangerous perp, the better your chances of survival. When I say "quick" I mean an explosion of speed not a gentle walk.

In general theory, this would seem to be valid. But again, it is very dependent on the distance the action starts.

For starters, you must realize that you can not out-draw a drawn gun.

In general, it's a bad idea to draw against the drop. If you were close enough for me to touch the gun/gun hand as a perp, you'd lose to my draw, and it's been proven with airsofts often enough. One Sheriffs deputy in S. Cal drew against a shotgun in his face with this same move [ and that's where I learned it while training with him ] and killed the perp, and wasn't shot in the process. So in this subject, hand to hand skills coupled with draw speed can deliver and should not be discounted out of hand as an absolute either.

During combat stress you will loose the ability to perform fine motor skills so it is wise to learn to shoot using major muscle groups which do not require fine motor skills. This is why you are taught the Weaver Stance and full-combat grip in tactical schools. The Weaver stance and grip uses tension in the major muscle groups of the arms, shoulder and chest to hold and fire the handgun. These major muscle groups are the only muscles most people will be able to call into action when under combat stress.

In the bolded text, Weaver goes out the window and is an outdated skill set for street use after decades of officers dying trying to get to that stance and two handed firing position. If you try to go to Weaver and a two handed hold, you'll likely die trying to get to your sights as so many have in the past on the streets. It's not even taught at the more enlightened academies anymore for the most part.

In the underlined above, finger manipulation on the trigger is a fine motor skill and as such, military history and dash cams regularly demonstrate soldiers and officers have no problem pulling the trigger while under attack and under the stress of battle. In this subject, there again are no absolutes as to what one will and will not be able to accomplish under stress.

What this means is the stress of a combat confrontation will cause that "2 second center mass practice shot" to be 4 seconds; or that perfect double-tap to center mass at the range to be only one hit

If you train improperly, that's certainly a real possibility. In 1933, two men named Fairbairn and Sykes were charged with developing a firearms training program for the Shanghai police who were losing officers every week in shoot outs [ Shanghai at the time was considered the most dangerous city in the world ]. After the training which consisted of one long day only, they documented over 600 gun fight wins in just over two years with those skills.

That training included skills known as half hip, 3/4 hip, and point shoulder. Totally threat focused skills shot one handed, one from just above the hip where the gun can't be seen even in peripheral vision [ I train others through my Integrated Threat Focused Training Systems these three one handed shooting skills and much more across the country ]. Each of the three skills are dependant on the time/distance equation of the fight. Used properly in the right context, they are gunfight winners and have been used by men like Jelly Bryce, Bill Jordan, and a man named Col. Askins [ more information on these men can be found by googling their names if people are unfamiliar with their documented gunfighting skills ].

I open carry at the shop, situational awareness is paramount to surviving and though I may not profess to be fully aware of who and where people are in the shop, they assume I'm armed to begin with, so I don't/won't have any element of surprise in that setting.

Brownie
 
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