Tactical instructors are fond of claiming that certain actions or activities are to be avoided as you’ll develop a “bad habit” that can’t be corrected and could possibly prove fatal. Of course, this fits nicely with their business model. A new or prospective gun owner is wise enough to realize some form of formal learning will be useful and this popular and selfish advice scares them into avoiding doing something on their own as only the “proper” instruction will avoid a bad habit.

This is more than selfish self promotion. It is wrong.

The Backwards Brain Bicycle was purposely built because the only way to ride is to do everything exactly the opposite. Because of this, it is exceedingly difficult to ride as a completely new way of riding has to be established. However, it can be done. Not in a weekend seminar or one week class, but with about five minutes a day every day until it works.

Any technique or habit can be programmed given sufficient attention and effort to establish it. Any new technique or habit, including something completely contradictory, can be set given sufficient attention and effort to establish it. Returning to a previously-established technique or habit will be easier the second time. Learning new things is also easier because you’ve developed a means to train and teach yourself. You have learned how to learn.

Of course, many unguided gun owners do create bad habits on their own. Left unchecked, plinkers learn little more than a highly-refined flinch. Law enforcement, military, and CCW/tactical shooters keep this at bay just enough to stumble through their elementary shooting tests known as qualification.

Even with instruction, shooters unwilling to do a little work on their own can still develop a bad habit. Skill level tests, if there even are any, are purposely kept very low as the novice-level personnel posing as instructors aren’t aware of how to train or coach beyond this. The shooting is mostly a herky-jerk stumble as the students are never asked to accomplish a smooth ride as the instructors don’t even know what a smooth ride looks like.

Even if a bad habit (such as a flinch/pre-ignition push) is established, it can be overcome if the shooter realizes and acknowledges the mistake, has a plan to fix it, and then actually executes the plan.

Switching and experimenting in shooting will not require a complete opposite approach as the Backwards Brain Bicycle (which was deliberately non-congrent with intuitive actions to prove a point) and techniques that are naturally congruent with intuitive actions are always best, but you do need a definition of what a smooth ride looks like.