Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Speed And Acuracy

The FBI says that it takes an average of 3 hits with defensive handgun ammo to stop an attacker, regardless of whether you’re shooting 9, .40, .357, or .45. But averages are deceiving. The majority of shooting encounters are stopped after 1 round is fired…regardless of whether that round hits or misses. (Thank goodness) What that means is that determined attackers regularly soak up 3, 6, or more solid hits before they stop being a threat. Like the Somali refugee who went on a stabbing spree at the St. Cloud mall last month. He was repeatedly shot and got up from the ground 3 times and eventually kept crawling towards his next intended victim like a zombie on crack…even though he’d been shot at least 6 times already. In a situation like that, you want to be able to repeatedly shoot and assess as quickly and accurately as possible so that you can stop the threat ASAP. Most people try to do this by simply moving faster. By forcing speed on random technique. They force a faster drawstroke...even if the drawstroke isn't consistent. And they slap the trigger faster...even if the sights aren't aligned. The result is BIG, fast, random groups in practice and a lot of misses when you add a little stress. Go to any range in the country and you'll see this play out on target after target. But there’s a better way. If you simply take a few hours over the next 3 weeks and slow down and focus on the fundamentals, the majority of shooters can cut their time between shots by 50% or more while shooting tighter groups at the same time. The secret to shooting fast without compromising accuracy is being able to execute consistent form, with no wasted movement…shot after shot after shot. And the best way to do that is with “slow training.” Let’s take a drawstroke as an example. If you start adding speed to your drawstroke too quickly, you’re going to end up with every drawstroke being different than every other drawstroke. That means your performance will be random. It might be fast, but it won’t be precise. And stress only makes it worse. When you slow down your drawstroke, it allows your brain to pay attention to every part of the drawstroke and remove wasted movement. Slowing down makes it possible for each drawstroke to be identical to the one before. And, when all of your practice reps are the same, you QUICKLY build muscle memory (neural pathways). Once you’ve got these neural pathways built, then speed will come naturally without compromising precision. How long does this process take? Like any habit, within 21 days. But you should see a difference within 10 days. How can it possibly work so quickly? Slow training is the answer. When you go slow enough that you can execute perfect, consistent, efficient form and stop practicing the second you can no longer do so, it slashes the time that it takes to master a skill. “If you polled a hundred experienced firearms instructors, the great majority would tell you that starting with speed and then trying to tighten up the hits will be like pushing a rope. History shows that the person who starts with accuracy and then accelerates the pace will reach the grail of fast accuracy the soonest. Accuracy is the foundation, and speed is easier to build on top of accuracy. Once the fundamentals necessary for accuracy are established, all that remains is to gradually accelerate until those accurate hits are coming sooner and, consecutively, faster.” Massad Ayoob The answer is always practice slow so you can hit fast. Mas also gave us this drill: “One drill I like to do with advanced students is what I call the “edge of the envelope.” How do you find out how fast you can do something right? Well, you keep doing it faster and faster until you do something wrong, and then you slow down. Obviously, you have to do this in the safety of a training environment. It works like this: Pick a given distance and a given target. Shoot a tight group in the maximum scoring zone, and then keep shooting faster and faster until your shots start straying out into the next lower scoring area. Then, slow down just enough to keep them in the spot you’ve pre-determined you want them to go.” Massad Ayoob Master fundamentals. Then master speed. Semper Paratus Check 6 Burn