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Thread: Train without going to the range
03-15-2012, 04:56 PM #1
Train without going to the range
Skill Set: Mentally Preparing For Victory
by Tiger McKee
Training for personal combat, especially fighting with firearms is a costly, time-consuming process. Every avenue for improving your skills should be used, and one of the best methods for increasing your potential is mental imagery practice. Taking a few minutes to vividly imagine facing and defeating a threat allows you to practice almost anywhere and can dramatically increase your chances of victory.
Find a nice quiet place, sit back, relax, and close your eyes. As vividly as possible, including input from all your senses, imagine you're walking across a parking lot. It's dark. You see cars pulling in and out of slots and people entering and exiting the store. The smell of exhaust fumes is in your nose. You hear a radio thumping out a tune as a truck passes. Suddenly you hear rapid footsteps coming from behind. Turning your head, you discover a man coming on you fast. He's armed. There's no doubt you are his target, and there's no time to wonder why. You react, moving to create distance, drawing your weapon, and yelling at the threat to stop. He keeps coming, raising the knife he's holding. Your pistol comes up, you focus on the front sight and press off a shot. In your mind imagine the feel of the recoil, reacquiring the sight picture, resetting the trigger of the pistol and pressing off another round. The threat stumbles and drops. You continue to create distance and start scanning for any other possible threats.
What is realistically imagined gets filed away into your memory bank. The mind can't distinguish between what has actually happened as opposed to what's been vividly created in your imagination. This bank provides us with a framework or source of reference to base our actions off when faced with a real threat. The situation you face may not be exactly what you've imagined, but it will be close enough for our mind to say, "O.K., we've been in this type situation before, and here's what we need to do." Retrieving this memory is the same as recalling something that has actually happened.
This approach to training and practice can be used to improve any skills, from tactics to techniques. You can imagine reloading from on the ground on your side in the mud and dark. You can modify existing skills by imagining over and over a correction you want to make. You can even prepare yourself for something you have never before experienced.
This isn't a new technique; it's been used for centuries. Any action that requires the mind and body to work together can be improved using mental imagery practice. This is a proven technique that works. Fighting is ninety percent mental, and your performance is based on your mind-set. Victory can be predicted.
Being prepared is up to you. Nobody can do it for you. But it's also something that can easily be accomplished. Take the time, use your imagination, and make sure when faced with an actual threat that you are ready.
Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama. He is the author of "The Book of Two Guns," a staff member of several firearms/tactical publications, an adjunct instructor for the F.B.I. and designer of the Shootrite Katana. (256) 582-4777 www.shootrite.org
03-20-2012, 06:23 PM #2
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03-20-2012, 10:09 PM #3
Visualization is a technique that does work. I have used it for myself in firearms training as well as helicopter pilot training. I saw marked improvement in piloting skills between practice sessions when I used visualization between sessions and have been using it ever since.
03-20-2012, 11:40 PM #4
We used to call it "war-gaming" When your in a real world enviorment think"ok if this guy draws a knife I'lldo this" and so on. Think of every situation as tactical and your body will respond because you already "thought" it through. May not be the best explaination but it has worked for me.
03-21-2012, 06:24 PM #5
Rather than strategy planning which I think you are describing, I use it for particular techniques. Slowing and smoothing trigger control under stress, adjusting pitch, roll, foot pedals etc. Visualization of flying is much more interesting than shooting :)
03-21-2012, 06:33 PM #6
I like to practice situational awareness every day. Kinda of like what SHOOTERMIKE508 was talking about I always make a point to keep my mind sharp to my environment and role play (day dream) what if scenarios.NRA Member
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03-21-2012, 06:45 PM #7
I have used these techniques as well, not only in shooting but in martial arts. I have had all my students lay down, close their eyes, and do their forms. It works wonders.Stop complaining about MA and Join GOAL and comm2a if you want to make a difference.
03-21-2012, 07:53 PM #8
I found out by accident that visualization works when I was learning to hover a helicopter. Being so expensive, I ended up with a lot of time between lessons. One time in particular, I went over in my mind over and over again, the drift corrections for hovering between lessons and found tremendous improvements at my next lesson. I applied the same technique to other things and found that it does indeed work. I was quite surprised.