What a great way to close out the 2014 year at KR Training. Well, it’s not truly a close-out – there are still some things going on before the end of the year – but every November and December we go quiet for deer hunting season (how it goes when your range is in rural Texas), and that time is upon us.
But what a great way to end the year. We run this block of classes: Defensive Pistol Skills 2, AT-2 Force-on-Force Scenarios, and AT-1A Low Light Shooting only a couple times a year due to the needs of the Low Light class – need low light! and only certain times of the year work due to when sunset and Daylight Saving Time happens relative to a reasonable class time. It makes for a long day, but always a good one.
This one was especially fun because everyone that came for the morning class stayed for the entire day. Usually there’s people coming and going throughout the day, and we did have some people join us as the day went on, but the general timbre was people coming and staying. And it seems like everyone had a great experience, including Niki Jones of the Austin Sure Shots Women’s Pistol League.
I think the only down side of the day was the unusually hot weather – it got up into the 90’s! Come on… this is supposed to be the end of October! Weather was good, but this was just unusual.
Here’s my notes for the students:
Remember that distance is your friend. Use it to your advantage.
You have this wonderful tool that easily overcomes distance. Remember that we have to fight our monkey-brain tendencies to close in on the threat; yes that’s appropriate in some circumstances, but for most private citizens your key mission is to avoid, survive, and go home to your loved ones. Using distance to your advantage aids in that mission.
You can think of distance in the form of the Tueller Drill. You can think of using distance in terms of keeping away from corners, cover/concealment, and how it not only keeps you safe but lets you see more of what’s going on. You can also realize that most people can’t hit anything past 10 yards – but you can – so again, your advantage.
We all fall victim to it. This is why we train for things like scanning to help break our tunnel vision. Don’t just focus on where you’re going, also be sure to see what else is around you (like that one reactive target beyond the back wall of the shoothouse that most everyone missed seeing until it was too late).
I’ll just link to a good article on the OODA Loop from The Art of Manliness website.
Equipment matters. It only matters so much, and it doesn’t matter as much as Internet forum chatter makes it out to be. But it does matter and makes a difference.
I wrote an article “Pick your accessories, and move on” that covers this topic. Read it.
To expand upon that, hopefully you got a good idea of what matters in terms of flashlights. Strobes are great on the dancefloor, otherwise not so much. Switches and other controls matter too. Quality flashlights are expensive, but pay for themselves quickly.
Beer & TV
Remember: maximize your enjoyment of beer and TV.
Or put it another way: is it worth dying for? Make sure you figure out beforehand what is and what is not worth dying for. Your standards are your own, they may not be the same as someone else’s. You don’t need to compare yourself or measure up to someone else’s yardstick here.
Ask anyone that performs at a high level and they’ll tell you it’s always about mastery of the fundamentals. This series of classes worked higher-level skills, especially the force-on-force requiring you to have to think and process so much information on the spot. This is not a time to have to think about trigger press and sight alignment, this is a time when those fundamentals need to be automatic.
While it’s good to practice the higher-level skills, don’t neglect the fundamentals. Drill them. Make them something you don’t have to think about, so it frees your brain to work on the things you have no choice but to think about.
So with the year basically winding down, thank you to all the students that came out. Many of the faces we saw this past Saturday were repeat students, and it’s so great to not only see the same people but to see how everyone progresses and improves.
Despite the weirdness of the political scene and the changes that came to the training industry this past year, it was still a good year. Karl’s been planning a lot for 2015, and next year should be really awesome too. Lots of cool guest instructors are already on deck, there’s good range improvements slated too.
We thank you for all your support and hard work, and look forward to seeing you again at the range. 🙂