AAR: Shooting with Xray Vision

Continuing education is vital – always be learning, always be improving.

So with that, on Sunday December 6, 2015 I attended a unique class: Shooting with Xray Vision (SXRV), presented by Dr. James S. Williams, M.D. of Tactical Anatomy Systems. About the class, from their website:

This class was developed to train law enforcement personnel in anatomically effective targeting in an Officer Involved Shooting. In other words, we teach cops where to place their bullets for optimum results.

This class gives cops the tools they need to visualize vital human anatomy in 3 dimensions from any presentation or angle. In the past ten years thousands of officers have been trained in SXRV, and reports from these officers and departments tell us that SXRV-trained officers are stopping their opponents more quickly, fewer officers are taking return fire, and round accountability is drastically increased.

SXRV is designed to give any officer or firearms trainer the tools he or she needs to not only shoot more effectively, but to train others in the system with a minimum of expense to the department.

Topics covered in this class include:

  • Ethics and U.S. case law of use of deadly force
  • Terminal ballistics
  • Gunshot wounds and incapacitation
  • Vital human anatomy and physiology
  • Practical classroom training in 3D visualization
  • Simulated and/or live fire 3D targeting

This is an 8-hour class and is POST-certified in several states.

My particular class was hosted at my home-base: KR Training. Class was sold out, and all those attending were KRT veterans (so a good, solid, and “tuned in” group). Weather was awesome; couldn’t ask for a better day.

I’m at a point in my study where most classes don’t present me with much brand-new stuff. Most classes tend to be things I already know, but there’s always something I learn. This class was no different, and I think that’s what made this class especially valuable to me.

See, sometimes you learn new things, but sometimes you learn what you know is wrong. There’s much value in simply gaining new knowledge, but even more value in ensuring the knowledge you have is correct AND correcting/improving existing knowledge.

Case in point. Much of the 3D targeting, especially in terms of how to improve training to avoid training scars, are things we already do. When we teach people how to shoot, yes you have to keep it simple and gradually introduce concepts to students. So you might start with a basic bullseye target, but later you progress to a more “realistic” target that has a humanoid-like shape, such as an IDPA target. But it’s then important to progress to photorealistic targets, when teaching self-defense, because there’s a psychological hurdle people must overcome in order to enable successful self-defense. One aspect not often discussed is how every target is a flat, head-on, squared-up, perfectly presented target in 2D. When does anyone in life ever face you like this? There’s always an angle, always something odd to content with. That’s core focus of what SXRV is all about: to understand that people are 3D and 2D training artifacts can cost you.

So that in more advanced Defensive Pistol Skills classes @ KR Training we’ll use photorealistic targets, and more “realistic” ones, such as with people at odd angles and placements, the information in SXRV validates what we’ve been teaching and how we approach the topics. Validation is good. We know our students are getting good training, good information.

But what’s great is when things you thought you knew, you find out you didn’t. Case in point here: ocular window. No, that’s not really the best way to do things. First, when you break away from someone being perfectly squared up to you, the index of “ocular window” just doesn’t work. Second, and more important, it’s a poor way to index and target the brain stem, which is the supposed target of the ocular index. It comes back to a key focus of SXRV: learning true anatomy.

It was also great to learn about the pelvis as a target. I mean, we already knew about it, but it’s interesting to see how even today the pelvis as a target isn’t being properly taught. When Dr. Williams explained more of the structure of the body and how it worked, you can easily see how traditional pelvis targets are not the best and can be improved upon.

This is good stuff!

And this is why it’s so important to continue education: not just because there’s so much  to learn, but you might find out what you know isn’t right and/or could be improved upon.

I can only speak for myself, but I know I’m going to teach a little different, a little better. I often run students through the shoot house, where we use a lot of good photorealistic targets. In the past I’ve already worked to explain visualizing 3D targets, but I’ve got more knowledge, more vocabulary, more ways to explain the concepts. This only means good things for students, and for myself.

Dr. Williams doesn’t teach this course very often: it’s a heavy course. There’s a lot of talk of ethics, use of force, and legal issues (that’s the bulk of the class: there’s very little live fire). Even the medical portions of the class get a little of the heavy side to talk about. The subject matter is what it is. It’s not meant to be heavy, or unfun, or morbid: it’s about trying to save lives.

I wouldn’t say this class is for everyone. True beginners, those just dipping their feet in, it’s a bit much. But for anyone serious about saving lives, if you carry a gun on a regular basis – be you private citizen, or be it your job (police, military, etc.) – this information is important to have.

Thank you, Dr. Williams. It was a pleasure to meet you, and I look forward to future work together.

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