Things to think about
in CC Training


There are literally thousands of "week-end warriors" that spend significant money and hours in training for such disciplines as IPSC, IDPA, etc. and thus think they are well qualified to meet a Bad Guy (BG) on the street and prevail if shooting is necessary. Some of them probably are, but not necessarily from their current practice.
Don't get me wrong! Their training makes them a significantly better prepared individual than those that do not shoot often, but it does not fully prepare them for a shoot out. Let's look at a few other things they likely do not think about, nor encounter, in their shooting practice.


Gee, really?! It will NOT be a fair fight, so take every . . legal . . advantage you can, and even a few illegal actions if you must. It is far better to spend time in court justifying your actions, than an eternity counting roots in the grass (DEAD). The better you prepare yourself, the less likely that you will finish in second place. Remember, the cemetery is full of second place winners from gunfights, and it was not fair to them. Do your best to not join them.


I have yet to find a definition of the quantitative units involved
that produce a "win" in a gun-fight.
The three components are:
1) Knowledge . . 2) Skill . . 3) LUCK

Think about this, if you survived a gun fight you had the correct total. The real question is total of what? If either your knowledge or skill are lacking, how much LUCK does it take to survive? Do you want to rely on a pile of luck the size of the Titanic, or would you rather spend time developing your knowledge and skills to survive on? I chose the latter, but I'll still take as much luck as I can get!


More than 98% of the time, it's NOT the equipment that provides the win. Can you do better with good equipment? Sure can, but it WILL NOT overcome a deficiency in your shooting skills or mental preparation. Good equipment can easily help your scores while punching holes in paper, but is a very small part of winning a gun fight.

Shoot like you train?

There have been tons of paper wasted just to remind you that the more realistic your training, the better you will do, if you are unfortunate enough to be in a gun fight. Just standing square to a paper target and making holes in it shows or "proves" you are capable of operating the gun. That is pure mechanics and general marksmanship.

If you read such things as the "Armed Citizen" in the NRA publications you will find that a VERY large percentage of the shootings involved MOVEMENT. Either the BG was moving or the GG (Good Guy) was moving, OR BOTH! Your practice at stationary targets, while you stand still, does improve your marksmanship, but doesn't do BEANS for preparing you to win a gunfight.

While there are few ranges that allow you to set up for shooting while moving, they are available, be sure you use them. Shooting while you are moving will be difficult, to start with. As you progress with your training it will become less difficult.

It is an unusual range that has moving targets available. If your range does not, either convince them that moving targets are good for competition (that brings in more shooters, thus money), or find one that does. It is when you can combine your moving with target movement that the closest to realistic scenarios can be developed at the range.

Less than full target

While virtually all of us have practiced with a target that is square to us and fully visible, how many have used a portion of the target because it was angled away from you? That is a more likely scenario than having the BG stand dead still and face you. Why? Because he intuitively understands that standing still and facing you as he pulls his gun puts HIM in the situation of quite possibly having unwanted ventilation added to his torso. If you angle the target it forces you to "find" center of mass (COM) on the portion of the target you can see. That is much closer to a realistic situation.

Too much target

What do you do if the BG has a long coat on, he is moving, and his arms are flailing? The coat will make him look much wider than he is and will likely distort where actual COM is. This is much harder to simulate, but something you need to think about none the less. You will learn, through practice, that the head and neck will provide a good indication of where the body is at that instant.

While many believe that a head shot is a good option, going for a head shot is MUCH more difficult than the stationary drills lead us to believe. Use a head shot if that is all that is available, and you must shoot.     Otherwise take the shot that is easiest to hit, that is most likely to stop the fight. After all, isn't stopping the fight what you are trying to do?

No Target

While we are thinking about the size of your target, how about NO target? I'm sure you are thinking "SAY WHAT?" What I mean is for you to develop physical and, above all, mental skills that allow you to "win" the fight with NO shots being fired. It is hard to be put in the morgue or hospital of gun-shot wounds if no shots are fired. Testosterone is NOT your friend when guns may be used. Let the BG "win" the verbal exercises, if it will keep you from being involved in a shooting. Holes in your body, introduced by bullets, are not healthy, and no matter what teenagers think, NONE of us are impervious to harm.

Your Movement

Self defense shootings are short, violent, and most often very close encounters than can leave you dead, if you were ineffective with your techniques. Least that leave you afraid of even trying, let me assure you that to submit without trying assures you will NOT be happy with the results. However in the vast majority of confrontations, it is the person that acts rather than the one that reacts that has a perceptible advantage. How then can you gain the advantage over your attacker? By causing him to go from act mode into react mode.

When you look at reaction times, you find that virtually everyone has what is described as an OODA loop. That is 1) Observe 2) Orient 3) Decide 4) Act (repeat as necessary). Each step in the loop takes time. How then can you reduce the time it takes you to complete your loop and/or increase the amount of time your adversary must expend to complete his? Quite often it is by your movement. Let's face it, your attacker has already gone through HIS OODA loop before beginning the attack, when you move he must restart his OODA loop to be successful.

What options are available? I'll side-step that question for a moment while you reflect on the fact that I could produce thousands of scenarios and in all likelihood NOT have the one you need in your confrontation. As such think instead about the concepts rather than the "A then B then C etc."

Movement options:

In summary, think about each of these, practice as many as you can, and hope/pray you never need any of them.

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