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Old October 7, 2000, 10:12 PM   #1
dragontooth73
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Just thought I'd share this.

There's an article in "Men's Fitness" magazine, August 2000 issue, by writer Michael Bane on - you guessed it - Olympic Target Shooting. Read it while I was waiting for a haircut and tore the page out of the magazine (yeah I know I know I'll say my Hail Marys ... I really am Catholic by the way.) I looked for the article in the online version of the magazine but it wasn't there so I'm going to plagarize the article as briefly as I can ...

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Strangely enough the most cerebral of the Olympic sports is target shooting, in which your biggest opponent is the hugely powerful chemical factory of your own body.
"Shooting is 99 percent mental" says national running-target coach Sergey Luzov, a former world-record holder and world champion while competing for Russia. "Because at the time the shot happens, everything must be perfect."
For the running targets, shooters in a stationary position have to hit a moving 5.5-millimeter bull's eye that is exposed for a total of five seconds on the slow run and 2.5 seconds on the fast run. This is done 30 times for the slow and fast targets.
The secret says Luzov is relaxation. He teaches a basic exercise that, when coupled with visualization exercises, brings the shooter to a totally calm place. "It's pretty simple to describe but hard, hard, hard to do" says Luzov.

(speed edit mode)

(1) Best time to learn the exercise is just before bedtime. Lie down on your bed and mentally take yourself to a quiet place of your choosing. "Everybody has a place that, to them, is peaceful," Luzov says. "You need to go there in your mind to achieve mental relaxation."
Start relaxing yourself physically. Do this by concentration on a specific muscle, then relaxing it til it becomes a liquid - not even there. Normally, this is done from the feet up, with each of the muscles in turn, all the way to the individual muscles of the face. "The toughest part is the face," Luzov says. It is important to achieve a feeling throughout your face that it is liquid; all you should feel just a warm spot where the muscles used to exist.

For an advanced athlete the key is to bring about this relaxation in one exhalation. An Olympic-level shooter must achieve total-body relaxation in the time between shots - less than 22 seconds.

(2) The other mental component is visualization. Teach the mind to focus on a single object for a long time. Imagine an object, concentrate on that image in your mind for as long as you can. Eventually the shooter learns to precisely imagine a perfect shot, to see it and feel it in his mind's eye. "When you can see it and feel it perfectly you will have a perfect shot," says Luzov. "You start shooting, and your mind takes over for you."

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For the complete article see the magazine above in your local library. Opinions?

[This message has been edited by dragontooth73 (edited October 07, 2000).]
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Old October 8, 2000, 04:24 PM   #2
LASur5r
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Dragontooth73,
Good article.
I brought up a related thread, but as of yet no one has found the real story about some folks trying to get out of a town or village from an invading force...seems the only way they could all get out was they had to leave some volunteers behind to fight a delaying action. The only problem was the delaying folks could get caught and they might not be able to get out...alive.
The story went that the two that volunteered were Olympic people, one a pistol shooter and the other a rifle person.
End result? Everyone that had to get out, got out safely. The invading force? They took heavy casualties.

When everything comes together...

Dragontooth, do you think the feeling of shooting a gun and hitting the target exactly where you aimed is much like the Zen archery? Combining breathing with thoughtless thought?
Oh well, still trying to put that together. : :
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Old October 8, 2000, 05:09 PM   #3
Christopher II
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I'm hardly an Olympic-level target shooter, but I do okay. My take -

The technique that Mr. Luzov describes has probably been taught by every target-shooting coach in the known universe. I use them myself. They, along with sight picture and trigger control, form the foundation of precision shooting.

Shooting has to be subconscious, if the conscious mind intervenes it will only screw things up. You cannot say "Okay, breathe, front sight, focus, hold steady, c'mon, c'mon, NOW!!" and shoot. By the time "NOW!!" makes it's way down the nerve net to the trigger finger, you've already moved off target.

So, you relax, breathe deeply, and, while visualizing the perfect shot in your mind's eye, let the trigger finger do it's own work.

Like the man says, it's simple to describe, but hard to do.

They're a bunch more articles on this subject at www.bullseyepistol.com if you're interested.

Now, open question. Would similar techniques of visualization and such, be useful in combat shooting? Anyone?

Later,
Chris

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"TV what do I see, tell me who to believe, what's the use of autonomy when a button does it all??" - Incubus, Idiot Box
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Old October 8, 2000, 06:48 PM   #4
dragontooth73
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LASur5er, I never took Kyudo. The thought of losing an ear to a bad nock and release scared the hell out of me as a kid. Childhood phobias aside, it sounds like Zen consciousness can be quantified scientifically.

Christopher II, thank you for your post and the link. I knew that eventually someone more informed that I would put up more information and perhaps links. Still waiting for Skorzeny and LawDog et al, now that LASur5er has replied.

As for visualization's use in combat shooting, my $.02 on it is that anticipation is absolutely necessary for any measure of success in combat. Being able to read moves a la JKD or the "flow" in Aikido I believe can be directly translated to LOS shooting in combat situations. After all, isn't it used in skeet and trap shooting?

Would like to hear more on it ... oya and if someone could really hammer down a set of techniques in a doctrinal format I'd love to immediately print it out.
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Old October 10, 2000, 09:53 AM   #5
LASur5r
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Dragontooth73,
Ey, braddah...gotta keep it simple for us pineapples,'kay? What dis dotrinal format?

What aspect do you want to learn about?

In other words, in Chinese martial arts, we had chi goong (Cantonese) qigong (Mandarin)breathing and exercises which enhanced the flow of chi through individually isolated exercises and noee goong (internal power)practices and wai goong,translating the static isolated exercises into physical feats, some were like breaking bricks, taking hits,etc...
Other aspects of utilization of these skills would be like healing hands, unbendable arms, etc...

Is that the idea or are you looking more for specific exercises which enhance the individual uses of chi? Ki in Japanese.
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Old October 10, 2000, 12:48 PM   #6
LawDog
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Two points jump out at me:

During a self defense shooting situation, relaxation is next to impossible, and

In all of the self defense shootings that I know of, the subconscious appeared to be in control of the actual act of pulling the trigger. That is, some people remembered seeing the front sight, others only remember seeing the threat, some remember the recoil of their pistol, others don't...but none of them remembered pulling the trigger.

Would techniques of visualization be useful in combat shooting? Of course. Any training that results in rounds going where you wanted them to is fed into that wonderful combat computer God stuck between your ears.

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Old October 10, 2000, 06:31 PM   #7
dragontooth73
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With chigong you'd have specific breathing exercises tailored to form part of the whole ... for example what I learned is that when you unravel the energy from the "tanden" (belly chakra?) you should focus it into the striking part of your body only partially ... on a scale of 10 only a 3 would be needed to crack most onjects, 5 to 6 would rupture the blood vessels and render the limb useless for days. i think you answered the question though ... the breathing exercise for target shooting is in of itself a minimal proceedure. i was wondering about transitioning on that state of focus onto something else (physical combat, for instance) and how to handle it.

wen i say doctrinel i mean sumtin lyk a cookbook ... u kno lyk how to manage da process and not hab it interfere wid anytin else u doin ... wel u kno lyk da kine ... i'm jes talkin story braddah imma go now ...

*collapses from tiredness ... sleeps*
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Old October 10, 2000, 06:43 PM   #8
dragontooth73
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sorry double tap

[This message has been edited by dragontooth73 (edited October 11, 2000).]
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Old October 10, 2000, 07:41 PM   #9
LASur5r
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Dragontooth73,
just to reiterate what you already posted, I have learned for myself that your focus is high at the onset as you are identifying your target and you are trying to determine how great a threat your primary BG is. (i.e. does he have gun in hand, is somebody in immediate danger from BG, etc..)
At that point your respiration could be going through the roof or you could be not breathing...if you keep training then you could be at the stage that the minute you are conscious that you are doing either of the two extremes, you then consciously hit the "switch" to do minimal breathing to the tan tien (middle focus point), maybe take a deep breath to calm yourself down, then your body relaxes...at that point you are focussing on your front sight to target and back, if you have identified your BG as not immediate threat, then you can relax trigger finger?

Please keep in mind, in civilian self defense, I have not shot anyone...so a little Hawaiian salt is in order, okay?

My experiences have, until recently been mostly unarmed self-defense against weapons, even gun...usually more than one attacker. Some contact type weapons against armed and unarmed BG's, some bladed weapons against weapons, and some handgun(not fired) against multiple and single BG's with weapons and unarmed. (Not counting military experience)
So whatever I say from experience only has been up to pointing a handgun at the BG and getting said BG to surrender and in some cases...they choose not to surrender.

To confirm what you say, though, Dragontooth '73, breathing is minimal, in comparison to everything else that goes on in your mind and body, but controlling the breathing brings mind and body into control.
Just flow the chi through hand and gun as an extension of the hand, much like when you did the unbendable arm in aikido...chi rooted into the ground, flow through the tan tien and into arm and beyond hand. Focus is light and awareness should be around you once you have determined BG is not immediate threat.
Simple, n'est pas? : :
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Old September 19, 2008, 05:30 PM   #10
Painless1
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Olympic target shooting

I was a Marine Corps sniper. the methods posted breathing control, relaxation, visualization, are all taught by the Marine corps in the scout sniper program. Yes, they work in combat, very well i might add. if instructed properly and practiced they also work in defensive shooting, much like a martial artist in combat your brain will seem to slow time and give you the chance to relax take a breath slowly let it out, maintain sight alignment and sight picture, and squeeze the shoot off
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Old September 19, 2008, 07:00 PM   #11
pax
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Wow!

I think 8 years is a new record for zombie threads.

Closing this -- if anyone wants to reopen a less antique version, have at it.

pax
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