Too Successful Training

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The rookie is “obeying” the commands he so often got at basic; also the TEAM training: when one goes down, all go down.

I remember one recruit in the rifle shoot house that did a nice job of clearing all the rooms and hitting the targets high center mass…one of which was UC with a clean 223 hole through the badge round his neck.

I suspect “training scar” issues like this occur more from novice skill levels rather than learning a “bad” habit. When academy/basic training remains the totality of formal learning a person has, they’re more likely to repeat such things because it’s the only response available in a rather limited playbook, especially when there is little to no history of performing under pressure where the results truly matter to them.

Example. We shot a series of surprise courses at CAFSAC in the shoot houses at Connaught, Ottawa. Despite shooting these after the fixed, square range courses (the sort that allegedly cause “training scars”) not a single competitor displayed any such mistake. None of the range officers reported anyone inadvertently remaining flat footed when they should have been moving, failing to use cover, unloading before finding and engaging targets, etc. It’s almost as if being more skillful and being used to performing at a higher level while under pressure where the results matter helps people perform better while under pressure. And they could perform appropriately according to the given context/situation at hand. Amazing!

From John Tate:
You speak of a “limited playbook.” My phrase is tool box/tool bag. And I fully agree.

Once upon a time, LONG, LONG ago, I played guitar and 5-string banjo. The fingering is vastly different. But one learns to change “playbooks.”

Your square range vs. shoot house example illustrates identical adaptation to the environment.

The one quasi-counterexample I would give is a person reacting to an instantaneous and severe stimulus where either instinct or habit takes over before conscious thought. I liken these to “brake pedal moments.” BUT – as you said, “[B]eing more skillful and being used to performing at a higher level while under pressure where the results matter helps people perform better while under pressure. And they could perform appropriately according to the given context/situation at hand.”

All of which goes back to the “train to die” model of only shooting the standard, flat-foot, stationary target qual course.

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Competition shooting and its role in the gunfight: A practical fact based approach to armed professional training

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Competition shooting and its role in the gunfight: A practical fact based approach to armed professional training
by Shaun Arntsen

As promised, Shaun Arntsen released his follow-up article and I’m posting it here. The original, full article was posted on his site:
Competition shooting and its role in the gunfight: A practical fact based approach to armed professional training 

TL;DR

In case anyone misses it, this follow-up article and the quoted SF folks interviewed completely contradict what the author claimed in his first article.

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Competition Shooting vs. the Two Way Range

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A synopsis and response to a recent article citing “problems” with competitive shooting. The synopsis is needed because most of the article devolves into typical “competition ain’t two way” pontification that doesn’t address the point the author claims to be making. As usual, no examples of any actual problems caused by competition are offered. The relevant points are below.

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Combat and Competition

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An overview of the similarities and differences of training for combat compared to competition as experienced by a combat veteran, sniper, drill sergeant, and competitive shooter with the U.S. Army Reserve Marksmanship Program.

An overview of the similarities and differences of training for combat compared to competition. Are there any actual bad habits or training scars caused by fixed, square range competition courses?

Here’s my take. I suspect “training scar” claims occur more from novice skill levels rather than learning a “bad” habit. When academy/basic training remains the totality of formal learning a person has, they’re more likely to repeat such things because it’s the only response available in a rather limited base of experience, especially when there is little to no history of performing at a higher level while under pressure where the results are measured and truly matter to them.

As the two military combat veterans in these videos explain, we shot a series of surprise courses at CAFSAC in the shoot houses at Connaught, Ottawa. Despite shooting these multiple courses after the fixed, square range courses (the sort that allegedly cause “training scars”) not a single competitor displayed any such mistake. None of the range officers reported anyone inadvertently remaining flat footed when they should have been moving, failing to use cover, unloading before finding and engaging targets, etc. It’s almost as if being more skillful and being used to performing at a higher level while under pressure where the results matter helps people perform better while under pressure. And they could perform appropriately according to the given context/situation at hand. Amazing!

Others have experienced the exact same thing:

Yep, despite not doing a “scan and assess” after shooting a stage, when it came time to replicate things in as real of environment as possible, I kept my guard up and kept treating it as “real”, even though it wasn’t.

It’s almost as if my mind and body know when I’m gaming, and when I’m not.

http://www.exurbanleague.com/misfires/2015/09/30/so-just-what-is-a-training-scar

 

Team Matches

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What is the point of team matches at shooting competitions?
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Papers, Please

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I participated at the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration at the Connaught Ranges in Ottawa. Obviously, an event like this requires military-issue hardware so I had to fly in USAR Shooting Team-issued M4 with ACOG and M9 with magazines for both.

Here’s the stack of paperwork needed to travel in and out legally:

Canada-papers

Traveling inside the U.S. requires signing a TSA “Really, it’s not loaded” card.

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