Competition for Tactical Training

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I would never have been introduced to [defensive shooting instruction] if I hadn’t gone to a match and met some guys who told me about it. Shooters usually flock to where other shooters are, and USPSA and IDPA competitions are a big deal these days. Matches have largely replaced gun-shop counters as the place where serious shooters hang out. I expect to continue to use matches as an opportunity to meet new people and even grow my training business organically through conversations between stages.

– Aaron Israel

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Army Trainfire: 1963

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The Army adopted the Trainfire model around 1955. The most recent version revamped the program in the late 1970s and served as the primary approach until the new Training Circulars re-wrote doctrine starting in 2016.

Until the new TCs and qualifications for them, all changes to Army small arms standards have reduced the challenge and needed skill. Consider this video where Soldiers conducting routine qualification during Basic are advancing downrange with loaded rifles and expected to take up positions on timed pop-up targets. FM 23-8, which was doctrine when this film was made, included a four table qualification that included shooting while advancing, offhand, and other unsupported shooting. Also note the regular use of peer coaching.

Linda Harris Memorial and Scholarship

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George Harris, International Firearms Consultants founder, SIGARMS Academy co-founder, and former Army Reserve Marksmanship Team member, announced the official launch of the Linda Harris Memorial Scholarship administered by the United States Concealed Carry Association.

“This fund will provide a means to create and further perpetuate the concept of female firearms instructors who in turn will bring more women into the shooting sports and personal defense arenas in the United States and around the world,” George Harris said. “The program will start by selecting a well deserving applicant to an all expenses paid class appropriate for their level of expertise. Initially this will be self-funded by USCCA but will expand with industry support in the interest of bringing more women into the world of safe and successful use of firearms.”

Linda Harris, who passed away at age 68 on September 1, 2018, was well known in the firearms community as an outstanding instructor who dedicated herself and her career to training people to defend themselves and to encouraging women to get involved in the shooting sports. After George Harris co-founded the SIGARMS Academy, Linda joined on as the first female firearms instructor in the history of the company, teaching a variety of firearms-related subjects to men and women alike. After officially retiring in 2011, she continued teaching women in the proper use and safe handling of firearms for sporting and defensive use.

Applicants can begin by visiting the USCCA website (try.usconcealedcarry.net/linda-harris-scholarship) for additional information.

“No greater tribute could Linda have but to be able to have the work she was so passionate about carried on in her name with the same passion and effort that she exhibited,” George Harris said. “Pass this along and become a part of this movement to bring more women into our efforts to keep firearms as part of our heritage.”

“Through the Linda Harris Memorial Scholarship, the USCCA will be able to encourage many new generations of female instructors inspired by Linda’s work,” said Destry Jeter, USCCA’s director of training. “We are truly looking forward to seeing the efforts and determination of these women recognized and rewarded.”

Bullshit is Thicker in Real Life

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“Bullshit has tremendous advantages over knowledge. Bullshit can be created as needed, on demand, without limit. Anything that happens, you can make up an explanation for why it happened.

There was a Kansas football game a year ago; some Texas-based football team, much better than Kansas, came to Lawrence and struggled through the first quarter — KU with, like, a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. The rest of the game, KU lost, like, 37-0, or something. The announcer had an immediate explanation for it: The Texas team flew in the day before, they spent the night sleeping in a strange hotel; it takes them a while to get their feet on the ground.

It’s pure bullshit, of course, but he was paid to say that … if it had happened the other way, and KU had lost the first quarter, 24-0, and then ‘won’ the rest of the game 17-14 (thus losing 38-17) … if that had happened, we both know that the announcer would have had an immediate explanation for why THAT had happened. … Bullshit is without limit.

As I saw it, baseball had two distinct mountains of material. One the one hand, there was a mountain of traditional wisdom, things that people said over and over again. On the other hand, there was a mountain of statistics. My work was to build a bridge between those two mountains. A statistician is concerned what baseball statistics ARE. I had no concern with what they are. I didn’t care, and I don’t care, whether Mike Schmidt hit .306 or .296 against left-handed pitching. I was concerned with what the statistics MEAN.

“Sportswriters, in my opinion, almost never use baseball statistics to try to understand baseball. They use statistics to decorate their articles. They use statistics as a club in the battle for what they believe intuitively to be correct.

– Bill James

When James began writing his annual Baseball Abstracts, people all across the game crowed that pitching was 75 percent of baseball. They usually said this after a dominant pitching performance, like the one Madison Bumgarner had against Kansas City in Game 5 of the World Series. In those days, saying “pitching is 75 percent of baseball” served as philosophy, and as good old-fashioned common sense.

To Bill James, it sounded like garbage trucks colliding. Seventy-five percent? What? Who did that math? He wrote a 2,000-word essay tearing apart the nonsense, not because he wanted to but because he HAD to, because that was such unadulterated bullshit that it had to be stamped out for the good of mankind.

“It’s just a number,” he wrote, “picked out of mid-air and plunked down in the middle of a bunch of words in a way that seemed to make sense, provided you don’t think too hard about it – quite a bit like saying that ‘Philosophy is 75% God,” or ‘Movies are 75% acting’ or ‘Sex is 75% mental, 25% physical.’”

There are many parallels here and in the shooting world. Consider the many “truths” espoused by gun owners and how many of them are based on nothing more than people continuing to repeat the same nonsense endlessly.

https://firearmusernetwork.com/tag/qualified-to-teach/
https://firearmusernetwork.com/tag/training-scar/

Baseball and other popular ball sports are carefully controlled and overflowing with carefully-gathered statistics and people still succumb to tribal “wisdom” and superstition.

Vanguard after the Revolution

View at Medium.com

Solving Dunning-Kruger Effect

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Dunning–Kruger Effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability or skill maintain illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their ability, skill, and/or experience as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition (an awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes), low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.

Dunning–Kruger Effect impacts all humans and everyone (including you and me) is potentially susceptible. It has been recognized by many people over the course of human history. Dr. David Dunning and his graduate student Justin Kruger established a variety of test methodologies to measure this phenomenon and published a formal research paper about their found results.

David McRaney is the host of the excellent You Are Not So Smart podcast. He recounts when he first realized the Dunning-Kruger Effect impacted him.

I remember the first time in my life that I really recognized that [Dunning-Kruger Effect] was true.

In college, I staged a fighting game tournament where I set up all these video game systems and I invited people from around the country to the university to play. We had a group of friends – it was like, 8 to 10 people in our hometown who played this game – and we thought that we were amazing at it. We thought that we were the best in the world and I had no problem inviting the champions at this game from around the country to come to play against us.

Every single one of us lost our matches immediately. Like, we didn’t even place. We didn’t even come close. We were absolutely destroyed. And I remember all of us sort of shaking our heads and rubbing our temples and thinking, “How could we not just be not okay but actually suck? I mean, how is that possible?”

I bet that sort of thing happens a lot amongst people who are sort of at the amateur level and feel that they have achieved something.

Every human is susceptible to Dunning-Kruger Effect. The challenge is to be willing to find the means to overcome it. Because this is a cognitive bias – a mistake in reasoning, evaluating, and/or remembering – nobody can reliably do it on their own. As McRaney’s example illustrates, it was only after he and his friends organized a tournament, invited everyone that was interested and thought they were good, and measured the results did he finally snap out of his delusion of competence.

Dr. David Dunning confirms this is the path to solving Dunning-Kruger Effect.

“Why don’t people know themselves?”

You begin to realize that there are just some really big barriers to knowing yourself. That’s if you make it a private task that only you are engaged in. If you don’t talk to [and engage with] other people.

If you talk to other people, they can be sources of invaluable insight into yourself. Some of these insights may be unpleasant. Also, just watching what other people do and benchmarking what you do versus what they do can be a source of insight. It takes a village, if you will, for a person to know themselves.

We engaged in a number of studies where we exposed people to others who are performing very poorly to performing extremely well and what we find is that the collective is pretty good at knowing who’s bad.

A last hint is to ask, “Are you vaguely embarrassed by things you did 5 or 10 years ago?” And if you are, that means you’re improving. I mean, if you think about the self you were 10 years ago and you’re not embarrassed by something that you did, you might be off the task.

TL;DR
Go shoot a match or compete in something outside your unit or immediate group of friends once in a while. If you don’t, you’re almost certainly a victim of Dunning-Kruger Effect and are not able to even realize it.

Full interview with Dr. David Dunning:
YANSS Podcast 036 – Why We Are Unaware that We Lack the Skill to Tell How Unskilled and Unaware We Are


As measured ability/knowledge improves, so does the awareness and self estimate of that ability/knowledge. The top 20% will tend to underestimate their measured ability/knowledge.

It’s worth pointing out that it is wrong to believe the D-K effect applies only to people who are “incompetent.” This is wrong on two levels. The first is that the DK effect does not apply only to “incompetent people” but to everyone, with respect to any area of knowledge.

It is important to how the D-K effect is interpreted. The vast majority of people who bring it up seem to think that it applies only to dumb people and that it says dumb people think they are smarter than smart people. Neither of these things are true. Further – if you think it only applies to other people (which itself, ironically, is part of the DK effect) then you miss the core lesson and opportunity for self-improvement and critical thinking.

More:
https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/misunderstanding-dunning-kruger/

 

Thomas Jefferson quotes

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“Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state”.
~Thomas Jefferson

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education”.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Block, Random, Specialized, and Integrated Training

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http://madsciencedefense.com/what-is-muscle-memory/

Block and Random, Specialized and Integrated training.

Block: Practice the same thing for five minutes or more at a time.
Random: Mixing up the particulars regularly in a drill so as not to do the exact same thing more than a few times before changing it up.

Specialized: Practice each skill/task separately and improve them so they’ll be better when you later use them together.
Integrated: Every drill includes several skills/tasks (e.g., draw, reload, and movement.)

All of these are useful for different reasons. Block training is great for learning and honing a specific skill or practicing for something specific. Specialized approach drills down to particulars. Studies concerning field sport players have shown value in a Random approach after base skills have been developed as this emulates game situations and every individual skill needs to be Integrated with others.

You can have random, integrated practice (build a stage, run it three times, build another) or random, specialized practice (5 runs on bill drill, 5 runs on accelerator, 5 runs on criss cross, repeat SHO, repeat WHO). You can have block, integrated practice (run the same stage 20 times until you beat your par time down as far as possible) and block, specialized practice (spend 300 rounds on beating down your Bill Drill PR).

What’s annyoying is that the “it has to be ‘real’ or you can’t learn” mindset only really applies to a very narrow group of individuals.

Of all the sports and all the physical skills in the world, very few find the need to practice in a singularly “real” environment where small drills are eschewed. In fact, actual athletes and operators recognize the need and benefit of tightly-controlled block and specialized drills.

There seems to be a contingent of “wannabes” and those who bank on them (i.e., offering tactical courses) for whom the “realism” element is an end unto itself. It would seem that “pretending to” is an acceptable enough replacement for “never did”.

This does not just go for the shooting community, but for martial arts douches, peaked in high school footballers, and pretty much anywhere where some sort of glorification is involved.

Consider this:
http://lifehacker.com/what-mozart-and-kobe-bryant-can-teach-us-about-delibera-1442488267

Take note that Kobe Bryant practiced 800 jump shots in 4 hours like it was nothing. Not exactly playing a “real” game.

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