Rob Leatham is one of the top competitive handgun shooters. In his blog he has an article about shooting fast, and he’s certainly one that knows that area well. While Rob’s article tilts towards the gaming/competition aspect of shooting, the fundamentals apply to any sort of activity, not just shooting.
Shooting fast is about shooting at the highest level of your ability, and that isn’t to say that you can’t raise your highest level even higher through practice and work. But speed that’s sloppy? That’s not speed. You have to be correct. You have to be accurate.
A few weeks ago when I was down in Houston for a black belt test, one of the things Master Alex spoke to us about was being fast, but sloppy fast isn’t fast, it’s just sloppy. One of the 5 principles of forms is “hands fast” but you must be correct, you must be accurate, you must be crisp and clean, then also be fast… never so fast as to lose those other aspects.
Remember years ago when the Pentium processor had floating point calculation errors? Back then it was a wicked fast chip, but I started saying “No one cares about the first person to get the wrong answer.” Fast may be important, but correct is more important.
Ever have a group of kids, you ask them a question and there’s always those that shoot their hands up first, maybe before you even finished asking the question? Then you call on those kids and many times they don’t have the answer… they just wanted to be fast and first.
So you see, it doesn’t matter what the realm is: shooting, martial arts, computers, or just life. Yes, being fast and first is important, but I would say being correct/accurate is more important. Slow down, work to be correct, work to be smooth. Speed will come.