It felt good to be back out at KR Training this past Saturday. The weather was awesome – warm, humid, but really not so bad (trust me, it’s going to get worse in a couple months, but it’s better than past summers). And there was only like a 5 minute cloudburst, else nice partly cloudy skies and just a good day to be outside.
Held Basic Pistol 2 (Defensive Pistol Essentials) and Defensive Pistol Skills 1, which are a very popular pairing of classes. Classes were sold out, and filled with a diverse group of folks of ages, genders, classes, you name it. Sorry, but your stereotyping of gun owners holds no water.
Here’s a few things I’d like to reinforce to the students.
Take what you learned in class and practice it at home. You can do this for free – no cost of the range, of driving to the range, ammo, whatever. Only thing it costs you is about 10 minutes of your time, and after all your hard investment in class, 10 minutes a day every day (or at least every 2-3 days) is well worth it as you WILL see improvement in your skills.
Just work on the things from class. If you were in BP2, you can work on the TX CHL test. If you were in DPS1, work on the “3 Seconds or Less” drill. But you don’t even have to work on something like that. Pick a particular skill and work on it. For example, if trigger control needs work, try the Wall Drill. You could even try something as simple as this:
- two hands, gun on target, press the trigger (don’t disturb the sights) — basically the Wall Drill. Repeat 10 times.
- Do the Wall Drill again, but this time press out (positions 3 to 4). Repeat 10 times.
- If you were in DPS1, do the Wall Drill again, but now from the holster. Repeat 10 times.
- Basic Wall Drill. Repeat 10 times.
That’s it. Shouldn’t take you more than 5-10 minutes, and if you do that every day I guarantee you’ll improve.
Don’t worry about speed, worry about technique. Getting that sight picture. Pressing the trigger smoothly so the front sight remains steady. Working on the simultaneous pressing of the gun out and pressing of the trigger in. Speed will come.
This is new and awkward for folks, but this is where speed comes from. That from that high, compressed ready position, that when you press the gun out, you also press the trigger in – simultaneous action.
Most people are used to pressing the gun out, letting it settle, finding the front sight, then pressing the trigger. That’s a lot of serialized action and it all takes time. Simplifying, let’s say it takes 1 second to press the gun out and 1 second to press the trigger in. That means it takes 2 seconds to complete the task. But the mechanics of the actions don’t depend upon each other: they are independent motions. Thus you can do them at the same time. So if as you press the gun out you also press the trigger in, now you’ve accomplished the task in less time, and you never had to actually go faster. In fact, you could actually move slower and still accomplish it in less time! This is how you go faster without going faster. It’s about efficiency and economy of movement.
This is something you can – and should – practice dry. Again, don’t worry about speed, work on getting the mechanics down.
It’s great that the word is slowly getting out that equipment matters. You can buy skill in this realm.
For example, we had one lady in class shooting a Ruger LC9. We could tell she could shoot, she understood what to do, had all the mechanics down, but she just had a rough time getting things done. In between classes Karl switched her over to a S&W M&P9 and she instantly shot so much better. It’s amazing what a better gun, with better sights, and a better trigger can do, eh?
A gentleman in the DPS1 class was shooting a Kahr PM9 from a pocket holster. This is a very tiny gun, and shooting from a very difficult starting position. Was it a struggle for him? In parts, yes because big hands making a fist in a small pocket is difficult to draw from. He had the marksmanship skills no problem, but the equipment was a challenge. Still, I applaud him doing this because that’s how he has to carry due to environmental constraints, so that he was willing to train precisely in the manner he chose to carry, that’s good. Even if the end result was he learned how much it sucked, at least he knows and now can seek improved solutions.
In the afternoon I worked the shoothouse. We weren’t out to teach anything here about movement in structures and such. The key was to sow the seed that the world is 360º, that people are 3-D — breaking though the notion of range artifacts (straight lanes, flat cardboard targets, etc.). It was certainly eye-opening for a number of folks, and if it gave you something to think about that you didn’t think about before, then great.
Speaking of which, I just learned that in December, KR Training is going to be hosting a new guest instructor, James S. Willams, M.D. and his Shooting with Xray Vision class. Seems quite relevant here.
As well, that weekend is going to be a great double-bill with Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics offering his Dynamic First Aid class. Folks, if you don’t have some medical knowledge I highly recommend you get some. You are more likely to save lives through use of medical skills, so consider coming out for a good weekend in December to pick up on these unique and important offerings.
In the end, just a great day out there. Great group of students (including Oldest… always enjoy spending time with him). Got to get back to teaching. Man… just a good day.
Thank you all.