“Be a Bridge”

This. This right here. Thank you, Dr. Yamane for posting that.

Gun Curious

Graduation ceremonies always lift my spirits, so after a tough weekend confronting the reality of white supremacist hate in America, I was glad to be able to set that aside and recognize the achievements of over 1,000 Wake Forest University undergraduates (including my youngest son) who completed their final two years of college under extraordinary circumstances.

As I told my own students on the final day of class this semester, I hope that the challenges they face make them stronger, more resilient, more creative, and more compassionate people.

Wake Forest 2022 Commencement. Photo by David Yamane

The commencement speaker this year was Van Jones, who is best known as a CNN political commentator. His address hit all the right notes for me. Here I want to highlight just a couple, but you can watch the entire address on YouTube or read it at the Wake Forest University commencement site.

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Discussing Outcome vs Process Goals with Kari Grayson

I joined the License2Kari podcast to discuss “Outcome vs. Process Goals” (listen here). While I may be an outcome and goal-oriented person, I’ve really learned to embrace process-focus as the way to achieve my goals. I’m far from a master at it, but I’ve failed a lot and so I’ve learned a lot. I hope you find something useful in the episode.

Fall 2019 was a pivotal educational moment for me regarding goals, outcomes, and focus.

October 2019 I earned a Light Pin from Gabe White. That was peak shooting – lifetime PR. I got there because I stopped worrying about the outcome and focused on the process. There were some “zen” moments in there. Sunday afternoon, resting at the kitchen table, speaking with another student – he was close to a Light Pin too. I spoke about “being in the moment of this shot now”. The shot you just made? It doesn’t matter if it was a bad shot or a good shot – it’s a past shot, so let it go. Yes, let it wash through you as a shot moves from future to present and into the past as you perform the motions necessary to make it happen. But still, you must let it pass through you and let it go, for a new moment is about to flow in and you must give it your full attention. Both he and I earned Light Pins.

November 2019 I was in the inaugural Rangemaster Master Instructor class. I didn’t want to fuck this up. And there was my focus: Daub, don’t fuck this up. Well… what does your brain hear? “Don’t fuck this up.” So what do you think you’re at risk of doing? Fucking this up. So… I almost did. On revolver day, Michael Labonte, Lee Weems, and myself all scored 100% on the qual; Michael won the shootoff. What happened? How did I perform so well despite the fact I don’t shoot revolvers much? I was very focused on the process of shooting the revolver well, and so I did. When we went back to our normal carry equipment, I also went (fell) back to being outcome focused. Every drill, every qual, every time Tom stood behind me with his clipboard, timer, and whistle… I shot terribly. I mean, I passed, met the standard, but I’m disappointed in my performance. However, it’s not really about the shooting – it’s about the focus. I was SO outcome focused, and it nearly cost me.

These two events really drove home to me the power of where you focus (especially my “failure”). There is power in focusing on the outcome, but I’ve found it difficult to succeed there. Yes, our ultimate goal is to achieve a particular outcome, but it’s how you go about the achieving and upon what you focus that makes the difference. Focus on the process has brought me more success; I still fail, but eventually I do succeed and am better off in the end. And that has made all the difference.

Tour the Federal Factory

Take a tour of the Federal ammunition factory. Yeah the gun part is cool. But I’m also a nerd for shows like “How It’s Made”, so the factory engineering aspects are interesting to me as well.

I love their underground facility.

h/t Hogel

Why I Like to Measure Things

“How would we know whether we’re “good shooters” unless we measure our own level of competency?”

tacticalprofessor

#measurementmonday

Why do I like to measure things? Because until I do, I don’t really know what’s inside.

I dislike soupy oatmeal. Although I followed the package instructions, it still turned out like soup. When I used the package measurement, it didn’t. Measuring the actual amount of water from the package’s marker doesn’t hold as much water as it says and which the directions specify. One half a cup is quite a bit less than two-thirds of a cup.

What does soupy oatmeal have to do with personal protection? How would we know whether we’re “good shooters” https://youtu.be/qB7NKXEKewM?t=599unless we measure our own level of competency?

There has been debate within the training community for a long time about standards of competency. Those arguments will probably never be settled. One possible starting point could be the level of marksmanship necessary to pass the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Course. To…

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Live a life worth remembering

The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.

Bruce Lee (not really)

Apparently Bruce Lee didn’t actually say that; regardless of who said it, the statement rings true.

If you should die today, how would you be remembered?

Are you OK with that?

If so, carry on.

If not, what can you do to change? Start now.

It’s not about building your immortality or cementing your legacy – this isn’t about after you die. It’s about guiding your life now, while you are living; to help you live a meaningful life now.

Live a life worthy of remembrance.

More than two

When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup.

Sam Lefkowitz

It seems everything is framed dualistically:

“If you’re not for me, you’re against me.”

“You don’t support Biden/Trump, therefore you must support Trump/Biden.”

“Vax. Anti-vax.”

“Left. Right.”

“Black. White.”

“Good. Evil.”

The perspective is understandable. As humans, our monkey brains do tend to group things rather simplistically into “us vs them”, “like vs. dislike”, “friend vs. foe”. If it’s not palatable to me, it must taste bad.

Perhaps.

What Sam Lefkowitz’s statement reveals is there exists another perspective, one that doesn’t fit neatly into a dualistic container. Yes technically if you’re a “cup half full”, then the perspective of “just have a cup” does fit into the “other viewpoint” container along with “cup half empty”. But despite being crammed into the same cup, it’s not the same viewpoint.

With nearly 8 billion people on this Earth, I’m certain there are those diametrically opposed to me, my thoughts, my beliefs, my existence. But statistics being what they are, most of those 8 billion are going to lie somewhere in between – somewhere in the gray.

If someone holds a belief different from mine, we are better served taking a nondualistic approach seeking to understand their perspective.

The Importance of the First Shot

It is funny how this turned out to be an unintended theme of TacCon21. But the importance of the first shot cannot be understated. As Claude stated:

“In a gunfight, the shooter who first scores a hit above the diaphragm of his opponent is the one who seizes the initiative in the incident. Making a good hit with the FIRST SHOT fired is key to seizing the initiative and then retaining it until the incident is over. No one’s performance improves after he gets shot in a vital area.”

Hrm. This gives me something to add to my exploration of “minimum competency”.

tacticalprofessor

#fridayfundamentals

Some principles are just as fundamental as is technique. One of the unintentional themes of the 2021 Tactical Conference was the importance of the first shot. One class even had that as its title. Several other instructors touched on it as part of their classes and presentations.

Rolf Penzel and Mike Treat titled their class Making the First Shot Count.

John Murphy made the comment “It’s not a ‘one shot drill,’ it’s a ‘first shot drill’” in his class.

During his presentation Secrets of Highly Successful Gunfighters, Darryl Bolke stated “training efficiency means using the sights.”

Chuck Haggard used the term “Target Picture” to illustrate the concept of placing the sight picture on the part of the target we want to hit initially.

In his AIWB Skills class, John Daub instructed his clients to “think about where you want the muzzle to end up” at the conclusion…

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Even more about Skill Development

Claude’s an influence in my study of minimum competency for defensive handgun use. Here are some additional details on his offering of a good and simple way to start establishing competency.

tacticalprofessor

‘three shots, three yards, three seconds,’ https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/02/19/skills-conversation-about-lapd-shootouts/ has generated some good discussion and questions, which makes me happy. Someone posted a question on the Facebook page for Growing Up Guns.

Nothing was said about whether this done from a low or compressed ready, or from concealment, as far as the par time. Being LE based info, I’m assuming this was done from a duty holster. Thoughts?

It’s a progression, just like the size of the target. When someone is first learning to shoot, do it from Low Ready, muzzle below the feet of the target, finger off the trigger. Once a shooter achieves some degree of proficiency, which I would personally define as being able to consistently hit the quarter sheet, then branching can begin. Others might be satisfied with hitting the full sheet consistently as a standard.

There are numerous possible branching variations.

  • From the midpoint of the…

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Skills conversation about LAPD Shootouts

Claude’s an influence in my study of minimum competency for defensive handgun use. This is a good and simple way to start establishing competency.

tacticalprofessor

#fridayfundamentals

I was talking with a friend of mine, who has Been There and Done That (BTDT), about Real Shootouts of the LAPD. He asked:

What was your biggest conclusion after writing the book?

DIA Guy

“When Frank McGee (head of NYPD firearms training in the 70s) said ‘three shots, three yards, three seconds,’ he wasn’t far off the mark” was my response. I still think that on-duty POlice shootouts may be a different story but the off-duty shooting situations are much like those of an Armed Citizen.

We then started talking about the difference between ‘when to shoot’ vis-à-vis ‘how to shoot’ training / practice. He had an interesting take on targets in terms of ‘how to shoot.’

What he tells his students is,

Use a sheet of paper. When you can consistently hit that, fold it in half. When you can consistently hit that, fold it…

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Sunday Metal – Five Finger Death Punch

This is cool.

Five Finger Death Punch in Clarkston, MI, 2018. Full show.

Very cool mid-part during “Remember Everything”… Ivan brings a bunch of kids on stage to sing with him. It’s very heartfelt and cool – you could see in Ivan’s eyes that he sincerely wanted to make it a lifetime memory for those kids. I’m pretty sure he succeeded. 🙂

I don’t really get all the hate people give 5FDP.