New Shooting Organizations

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So you don’t like any current organized shooting format? Stop complaining and take this excellent advice:

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Self Practice Is Best

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Practice and training done on your own for yourself is the most important and the best way (arguably the only way) to develop beyond introductory novice levels. Good instruction, in written, audio, video, or live classes, is useful for steering one down the path toward progress but real benefits are gained only when the student personalizes the lessons and turns them into consistent, on-going action.

Nobody can sell you skill. People hosting and selling training classes have done a decent job convincing others that attendance at such classes is necessary. The truth is, a good, motivated student learning from a book or video will become more skillful than a mediocre student regularly attending classes because the good student actually puts the lessons to use and isn’t dependent on an instructor running the group line dance (er, I mean “defensive shooting and tactical training course”) to spoon-feed every tidbit of information.

People selling instruction, especially classes which are the most expensive (and profitable), don’t profit from students learning on their own. However, the simple fact is that everyone wanting to go beyond novice levels must do so on their own.

The following is based on material from James Clear.

We all have goals that we want to achieve in our lives… but there’s a point when you need to stop planning these goals and start working towards them. In fact, learning something new can actually be a waste of time if your goal is to make progress and not simply gain additional knowledge. It all comes down to the difference between learning and practicing.

The Difference Between Learning and Practicing

Thomas Sterner’s The Practicing Mind explains the key difference between practicing and learning.

“When we practice something, we are involved in the deliberate repetition of a process with the intention of reaching a specific goal. The words deliberate and intention are key here because they define the difference between actively practicing something and passively learning it.”

Learning something new and practicing something new may seem very similar, but these two methods can have profoundly different results.

1. Learning Can Be a Crutch That Supports Inaction

In many cases, learning is actually a way to avoid taking action on the goals and interests that we say are important to us. For example, let’s say you want to learn a foreign language. Reading a book on how to learn a foreign language quickly allows you to feel like you are making progress (“Hey, I’m figuring out the best way to do this!”). Of course, you’re not actually practicing the action that would deliver your desired outcome (speaking the foreign language). We make the mistake of being in motion rather than taking action. Learning is valuable until it becomes a form of procrastination.

2. Practice Is Learning, But Learning Is Not Practice

Passive learning is not a form of practice because although you gain new knowledge, you are not discovering how to apply that knowledge. Active practice, meanwhile, is one of the greatest forms of learning because the mistakes you make while practicing reveal important insights. Even more important, practice is the only way to make a meaningful contribution and have the ability to express your knowledge in a meaningful way.

3. Practice Focuses Your Energy on the Process

“Progress is a natural result of staying focused on the process of doing anything.”

—Thomas Sterner, The Practicing Mind

It is not the things we learn nor the dreams we envision that determines our results, but rather that habits that we practice each day. Fall in love with boredom and focus your energy on the process.

Read more:
http://lifehacker.com/stop-thinking-and-start-doing-the-power-of-practicing-1694073303
http://jamesclear.com/learning-vs-practicing

Jeff Cooper on the Weaver Stance

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“There is a great deal of foolish discussion bouncing around concerning the proper arm position for serious pistol work. Jack Weaver’s classic contribution consists in power control. If you crank the left elbow down and pull positive count-pressure, you dampen recoil very considerably. If you use mechanical means of reducing recoil, and if you lay great importance upon very rapid bursts of succeeding shots, this may matter, but in the overall picture, I do not believe it does.

It hardly matters whether you use the Weaver Stance or the Isosceles with both arms straight as long as you get hits and those hits should be delivered with a major-powered sidearm under controlled conditions. The argument is silly, and I wish it would go away.”

– Jeff Cooper
“Cooper’s Corner”, Guns & Ammo November 2005

Aristotle on Courage

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“Courage is observance of the mean with regard to things that excite confidence or fear, choosing a course and sticking to the post because it is noble to do so or because it is disgraceful not to.”

– Aristotle

I’m a Responsible Gun Owner? Seriously?

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The description given in the article below is not uncommon and it often applies to military, law enforcement, and hunters as well.

While living in San Antonio, I was a TCOLE (formerly TCLEOSE) certified instructor and worked part-time at the Alamo Area Regional Law Enforcement Academy. As a Texas resident, I took the TxDPS – License to Carry course described below. While living in Wisconsin, I was certified by the state Department of Natural Resources as a Wisconsin Hunter Education instructor and taught classes. I’ve been in the U.S. Army in various capacities for a quarter century and with the US Army Reserve Marksmanship Training and Competitive Program since 2004.

I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with many skilled people in all of these experiences but that was largely due to my seeking them out and knowing what to look for. I already had higher-level shooting experience via organized competition and held Classifications from national-level organizations before doing any of this. The then-director of the DNR Hunter’s Ed program attended HunterShooter events I held. I applied for that Academy after having a fellow Shooting Team member speak well of the training director and his program. My Texas LTC course was taught by a fellow instructor and USAR Shooting Team member. I specifically took the class from him to avoid the clown show described below.

Gun owners are often their own worst enemy. The level of incompetence described here is not uncommon. Military, law enforcement, hunters, and concealed carry people are often at novice levels. Mandatory qualification levels are only useful if they’re difficult enough to assess useful skill. That means people incapable of displaying minimal useful skill must be failed. The other approach is for the program to intend to pass everyone. This means standards are adjusted down until everyone can. This article describes the results of that.
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Tactical Theater

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However, the worst training scar, bad habit, and “please don’t do this in a fight for a life” is the “unload” – “show clear” – “hammer down” – “holster”…Ugh! I have seen it countless times in shoot houses, SWAT ranges, military training, federal law enforcement and training classes. For example, they will engage a target or two and mid run will drop the magazine, lock the slide to the rear, then realize what they have done and reload the firearm and continue.

This “training scar” only occurs during poorly-designed exercises or with novice shooters. I believe the author has seen it because what he describes is known to combine poorly-designed exercises with novice shooters, though by “countless times” he really means “more than once.” It is popularly and falsely attributed to competitive shooting even though there is no evidence competitors are prone to doing it.
https://firearmusernetwork.com/myth-of-competition-training-scars/

This claimed “Unload/Show Clear scar” is an artifact of tactical theater, where trainees are told to act in a prescribed manner contradictory to what’s actually happening.

The theater script says for everyone on the line to engage a paper target in a fixed exercise on line with others doing the same, then conduct a “threat scan” (menacing scowl optional) to look for something we already know isn’t really there while pretending we might still have to engage something else, even though we really know the exercise is complete.

So, somebody failed their acting script and dropped their mag after the obvious exercise was obviously complete and didn’t perform a head wag in the school-prescribed manner… A ha! Training scar! Bad habit! Gunna gethca killt in da streetz!

I’m certain this bit of logic won’t change the minds of people that insist on imagining this imaginary problem exists. Test it for yourself.

Set up a course that doesn’t have a definite end point, where participants genuinely don’t know if, when, where, what, or how much they’re supposed to shoot. This can be arranged as force-on-force (if you have the logistics to do it right), a shoot house, surprise course, etc. The important point is to not have a predetermined end.

If there is no training scar, participants won’t run a scripted After Shooting Scan (or whatever you call it) because they’re actually looking for things that might really be there instead of acting out a scripted head wag. There won’t be a UL/SC if the situation isn’t obviously in hand. On the other hand, if someone robotically goes into UL/SC without being prompted and before the scenario is complete, you can claim a problem. But only if that happens during a properly set-up scenario.

Running surprise courses where shooters genuinely don’t know how many or where targets are in advance, where the actor isn’t required to act out a tactical theater script, will reveal if there’s a real UL/SC problem. With the exception of lower-skilled people, I doubt it will.

How To Practice

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https://www.facebook.com/TEDEducation/videos/1489398127740055/

 

  • Repetition of an activity creates myelination by adding and changing the myelin “sheath” covering axions in the brain. Like insulation on electric wires, myelin prevents energy loss of electrical signals from the brain through neural pathways, making the action easier and more efficient to perform.
  • The specific number of repetitions or amount of time needed is unknown, largely because skill is more dependent on the quality and effectiveness of the repeated action through practice. Myelination will occur over time with any repeated action, including those you didn’t intend.
  • Effective practice is mostly about performing a given action/task correctly and often enough through numerous sessions for myelination to occur and then be sustained. Good practice needs to be consistent and intensely focused.
  • Effective practice is focused and targets specific content and weaknesses that work up to and are at the edge of one’s current ability.
  • Regularly conduct short, focused sessions with minimal distractions.
  • Start slowly or in slow motion and build quality, correct repetitions. Remember, myelination occurs with any repeated action, including those you didn’t intend.
  • Gradually build speed of quality repetitions, building up to and/or just beyond the edge of your current ability.
  • Multiple short sessions held regularly are best.
  • Visualize performing skills correctly between sessions. Mentally performing the task correctly is another form of practice.

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