You’ve probably heard the saying before, “Train the way you want to fight because you’ll fight the way you trained.”
This is wisdom that you can take to the bank. When your stress level gets so high that your mid-brain takes over control from your frontal lobe, you lose most of your critical thinking ability.
Thinking on your feet goes out the window and you end up fleeing, freezing, or repeating whatever “fighting” actions you’ve practiced the most.
You might be familiar with some of the more popular “training scar” stories, like the California Highway Patrolman who was in a gunfight with his revolver and was taking the time to “save” his empty brass and put them in his pocket during his reloads. He died. I’m not sure if the empty brass played a role, but I KNOW he could have spent his time doing something better than cleaning up his brass.
Or the story about the officer who confronted an armed robber in a convenience store, did a perfect disarm, and then handed the gun back to the robber, like he did in practice, to get another turn.
It even happened to a friend of mine during a home invasion. The robber had a Beretta 92FS and my friend did a 1 handed disarm and even released the slide and removed it in the process. The only problem was that, as soon as the disarm was done, both he and the robber went back and forth between looking at the gun parts and each other in complete confusion about what to do next.
Which gets me to “linear range training scars”
Essentially, they are the scars that you get when you spend the majority, or all of your training and practice time on a linear range…a range where you can only shoot “downrange”, can’t shoot the walls, and can’t even point your muzzle towards the ceiling or over the berm.
Here are some force on force training examples from the SEALed Mindset instructors:
In one example, Larry (one of the instructors) had come out of a doorway, demanding the wallet of a newer student. The student drew his sim gun and engaged Larry, but he never conducted a 360 check.
Had he done so, he would have seen another instructor, Beau, coming up behind him with a knife.
Beau went around the neck of the student with the knife and just pulled the blade across. The student simply froze, slowly turned to face Beau and uttered the simple phrase: “S&(#.”
In another example, an experienced shooter, but new SEALed Mindset student in scenario was supposed to get out of the training car (they have a training car inside of their studio at SEALed Mindset), and pretend to fill it with gas.
While he was waiting for the car to fuel up, the instructor came up from the shadows with a firearm already exposed saying: “Hey, I just need your car. This is my last day. I need your car. I just killed my wife. This is my last day.”
The student, who had done seminar style training from a fairly well known training company stood completely shocked for a moment.
Then he pulled his gun, half dropped to a knee and fired in the old 1960′s James Bond intro style. I don’t know why, but people who have been trained just a little bit, always do that when they draw. It’s hilarious.
He shot one time, the instructor fell down and then the student simply stood there, looking at the downed instructor and looking at his gun for more than two minutes until Beau stopped the scenario to direct him. Total brain freeze, no 360 check, no calling 911, nothing.
There are literally dozens of examples of these training scars that shooters develop when they only train on linear ranges.
Some other quick examples:
- Not knowing how to safely transition between targets that are more than 45 degrees apart—Your transition between targets needs to be different, including your footwork and how you physically move your gun, depending on whether your attackers are close to each other, 90 degrees apart, or 180 degrees apart.
- The “silly scan”. The silly scan is when people engage a target in front of them and simply pay lip service to looking over their shoulders for other threats. Their feet remain firmly planted, and if they never actually find additional threats, they’re training themselves to go through the motions and not “see” additional threats when they’re actually there.
- Always keeping your firearm pointed towards the backstop, regardless of what you’re doing or what direction you’re moving. In the real world, you might actually have to turn your body in a fight. And while it looks kind of funny to see competitive shooters turned to the side and running with their pistol still pointed downrange, it’s an incredibly ineffective habit to develop for a real life encounter.What else?
- Shot pacing that prevents you from finding out the harmonics of your gun and how fast you can run it. (If you don’t know this, you can easily dry fire practice so fast that it’s counterproductive.)
- Footwork and technique to draw and engage targets that don’t happen to be directly in front of you.
And many, many, more.
Don’t get me wrong, range training is valuable, but if you think you might ever need to use a pistol in self defense, you also need to practice techniques that will work in the real-360 degree-world.
Get a blue (or red) inert training gun or even a SIRT laser training gun and practice real life scenarios in your home that include sitting, laying, light, dark, turning, and moving. It doesn’t have to be fast…just focus on good, solid technique.
For the “silly scan,” work with a training partner and a red, blue, or SIRT inert training platform (or even a stick or finger gun, if you have to) and have them stand behind you while you’re training and have them alternate holding a weapon and showing malicious intent and acting like someone who’s in shock at just seeing a shooting.
As you do your scan, don’t be afraid to rotate your body in addition to your head (still maintain muzzle discipline…even with an inert training platform, but practice the muzzle discipline that you’d practice on a 360 degree range instead of a linear range).
This is the kind of stuff that you don’t want to be doing for the first time when you find yourself in the middle of an attack.
Practice it now, and when/if an attack happens, your brain will recognize the practice that’s closest to the situation that you’re in and fire off the same technique that you practiced.
Many people will want to figure out the best techniques and drills to do on their own, but if you’re interested in plugging into ultra high-speed, low-drag, accelerated firearms learning techniques developed by a retired Navy SEAL from Team 3, I want to strongly suggest that you check out www.ConcealedCarryMastersCourse.com. It’s firearms training, and results, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
When you go there, make sure you read about the 4 officers who are alive, in part, due to the training as well as the 3 big reasons why their training methods are so much more effective than traditional firearms training.
If you’ve got any “linear range training scars”, other “training scars” or training techniques that you’ve used to overcome them, please share them by commenting below…