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Old January 20, 2008, 09:47 PM   #1
MyGunsJammed
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Simulating "stressful" conditions where you will need to use your pistol for defense?

Forgive the newbie question here, but are there any realistic self defense classes that are availible that I can take that teach self-defense techniques that simiulate stressful conditions?
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Old January 21, 2008, 12:51 AM   #2
Flying Groundhog
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Tactics Training Under Stress

Excellent question! I am sure that stress training better duplicates conditions comparable to real shooting scenarios. First, I understand that the stress you are seeking to simulate is that "flight or fight" reaction, when you develop mental focus and the blood pumps fast and hard. It is tough to make this happen in training (unless you are in the USMC), so consider alternatives, as well as invoking the "flight or fight" feeling.

The key to inducing stress? Practice outside your comfort zone, when you’re tired, confused and the stakes are high. The stress-substitution techniques I include are distractions (which teach better focus), fatigue (which teaches how to draw from your hidden reserves), and practice in generally lousy conditions (outside your comfort zone). I have read about the following methods, and hope more qualified shooters can make corrections/additions:

My best suggestion:
Take tactics classes where the instructor provides and critiques stress scenarios -- our best instructors offer them.

Cheaper suggestions:
Run a mile during practice (get your blood pumping fast);
Shoot for wagers (it isn't much stress, but it’s better than nothing);
Practice (safely) when you are feeling poorly, skip a meal beforehand, practice in bad weather or when you're having difficulties at work/home (to draw from your hidden reserves and help you focus); and
Practice shooting with a rock in your shoe or other distracting irritants (to improve focus).

Other techniques that may help:
Visualize stressful scenarios with successful outcomes (to develop a positive winner's attitude).
Practice single-handed shooting with either hand (get outside of your comfort zone, and anyway it's good for shooting around corners);
Practice in low-light conditions when you cannot really see well (confusing, and it’s when the urban gun fight is likely to happen anyway);
Practice HD scenarios at home alone at dark O'thirty with (unloaded) firearms;
There is something to be said for paintball (the stress is there but the tactics differ);
Do not focus on slow accurate hole-punching target practice if your intent is having fast HD reactions. Is your HD gun a revolver? Then never practice single-action shooting.

My list of techniques are all implementable by anyone; beware of any suggestion that is impractical, dangerous or inapproprate for us Joes. As with all training, just doing it and doing it often is far better than some difficult to implemlement but more esoteric idea.

Good luck – may you shoot well when your heart is pounding in a confusing and fast evolving gunfight.

Last edited by Flying Groundhog; January 24, 2008 at 12:20 AM. Reason: clarifications
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Old January 21, 2008, 02:06 AM   #3
MyGunsJammed
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^^Great response, your points are noted...

any others guys???
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Old January 21, 2008, 11:12 AM   #4
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I do not think that it is possible to actually duplicate the stress of a real world kill or be killed combat However ptacticing under stress and disadvantaged conditions coould be helpful.
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Old January 21, 2008, 11:21 AM   #5
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I asked the same question, maybe worded a bit differently and here is what I got.http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=267423
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Old January 21, 2008, 11:30 AM   #6
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I was reading one of the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan series books and the gunnery Sgt. that was training Jack would light strings of firecrackers behind his back while shooting to simulate unexpected gunfire.

Pretty corny but if you're not expecting it (don't know when they'll pop) there is a slight pucker factor even if you know it's going to happen.
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Old January 21, 2008, 12:33 PM   #7
MyGunsJammed
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How about playing paint ball out in the woods? Would that simulate a stressful environment? I mean at least you wont get killed getting shot with paintballs, burt sure lol


As for the firecracker example..... so if I light up some firecrackers, how am I supposed to respond to it?
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Old January 21, 2008, 12:57 PM   #8
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The paintball idea helps for the elevated blood pressure and so on, but if you're going to do it, then do it with the thoughts in mind that you want to work on. Don't go out with 10 people all packing the latest Tipmann A5 or whatever that allows for a whole lot of pray-n-spray. Get a small pistol that uses a 12-gram CO2 cartrage and realistic ammo capacity (my RP Sharidan PMI is what comes to mind---15 shot capacity, make 'em all count). Then run everything in tight quarters. Getting smacked with a 68cal ball at close range moving 300fps. does about as good as anything can to simulate judgement under stressful conditions.
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Old January 21, 2008, 01:15 PM   #9
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Sure, all these things will work a little to help, but it will not completely stimulate your fight or flight response, because in the bask of your mind, no matter how stressful, you still know its not real, and there is no serious danger to trigger the real response you seek.

The closest I ever saw to "real" scenario, was a group of ex-military friends of mine got together, and with non lethal rounds, would set up scenarios. For instance, a four man team would decide to "breach" the fifth guys house at some point in the future. The fifth man would not know how or when the invasion was coming, so it would put him under severe anxiety. Sometimes they would wait 2-3 days, sometimes a month, and there would be no contat or discussion with the fifth man.

When they decided, they would simulate a silent home invasion. Sometimes as a 4 man team, sometimes as a two man, ect. There was alot more involved but I am sure you get the picture. Sometimes the "homeowner" won, sometimes not, and they would video tape the whole thing to study how it went down afterwards.

I'm not sure if they do it anymore, as I have lost contact with them for a few years. I do know they were planning on trying to start some type of business using this type of training.
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Old January 21, 2008, 01:23 PM   #10
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^^ That kinda training would be hilarious....

I can imagine their website home page reading:

"Tactical training for home defense, we break into your house and try to kill you.... first lesson free if you kill us first...."

*disclaimer* We are not responsible for damages to your locks, windows or doors
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Old January 21, 2008, 01:26 PM   #11
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Derius>> As much as one side of me says that would be interesting, the sensible part of me says there are WAY too many places in that scenerio for something to go wrong really fast. Anyone who's been involved with non-lethal simulations can testify to how dangerous it can be under completely controlled conditions. this type of scenerio is way beyond the realm of dangerous.
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Old January 21, 2008, 01:42 PM   #12
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Right. The scenario is dangerous. That is what really, truly gives that gut tightening feeling and that pucker factor.

But you have to understand, they did soft or silent entries, so they did no damage to property. They were all highly trained professionals, well versed in their tactics. And they used non lethal rounds. The invaders always wore protection, but for the "homeowner" it was optional.

I admit this type of training may not be for everyone, but I watched a few of the tapes, and it was as serious as you could get without being real. Just watching the tapes gave you chills. Of course none of these guys were married at the time, no kids, so zero chance of "innocents" hit with anything. As I said there was alot more to all of it, and no doubt I have still left out safety stuff they did that I was not privy to.

I really wanted to try this stuff, but always had the wife and kiddies, and would never intentionally put them in harms way.

And yeah, it was dangerous as hell, but safe as could be under the circumstances, and though there were some bumps and bruises occasionally, no one ever seriously got hurt. As I said, it was always non lethal stuff.

I do know that on occasion, there were some 12g bean bag rounds thrown in the mix just for "fun".

I do think with the proper safety measures, and insurance, and liability waivers, some type of 3 day "camp" using these tactics would be VERY educational, not to mention fun as hell.

If I can dig up one of the old tapes, I will try to post some clips. It is really interesting to watch.

Last edited by Derius_T; January 21, 2008 at 01:45 PM. Reason: more to add.
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Old January 21, 2008, 01:54 PM   #13
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tigervalley.com has some training classes, they also have a one day "refresher". I called and asked them about it, they basically set up some defensive courses and they have something that'll auto-fire paintball rounds at you if you get too far from cover or that will shoot and hit you if you are too far from cover.

I didn't ask about how that works in detail but some sort of motion detector (or manually controlled) paintball cannon shooting at you would be pretty stressful. Definitely reinforce the concept of using cover.

I forgot about that the first time I posted...
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Old January 21, 2008, 03:22 PM   #14
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FUll Disclosure - I AM GUILTY OF GURU WORSHIP - there I said it.

One of my favorite guru types, Mas Ayoob says that competition is a good way to practice under stress and the competitive experience, unlike qual scores, does seem to have a direct bearing on survival in a confrontation.
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Old January 23, 2008, 12:25 PM   #15
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I brought the subject up here and discussed some of the training methods I use, there are some good ideas there intermixed with the insults and ridicule of people who think realistic training is stupid unless you pay an instructor to teach you.

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=273154
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Old January 23, 2008, 12:43 PM   #16
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SIG Academy has some excellent classes for this sort of thing, but you'll need to be in New Hampshire to take them.
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Old February 12, 2008, 02:03 PM   #17
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Seek out some formal Force of Force (FoF) training opportunities using Airsoft; lots of folks are jumping on this bandwagon.

And for good reason: aside from Simunitions classes (which you can't practice elsewhere if you can find the ammo), nothing else can simulate how good, bad or ugly your techniquies are until you have to draw from concealment, move and fire against someone doing to same thing to you. Or charging you with a (training) blade, or multiple bad guy scenerios. Or....

The days of square range training where at most we stand at the same place, draw and fire at a static target as the measure of how well we are trained for a gunfight are over.

C-
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Old February 12, 2008, 04:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
SIG Academy has some excellent classes for this sort of thing, but you'll need to be in New Hampshire to take them.
No problem there
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Old February 13, 2008, 10:21 AM   #19
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^^ That kinda training would be hilarious....

I can imagine their website home page reading:

"Tactical training for home defense, we break into your house and try to kill you.... first lesson free if you kill us first...."

*disclaimer* We are not responsible for damages to your locks, windows or doors
Anyone remember Inspector Cloussou and his manservant Cato ambushing him at home for the same reason? One of those scenes but with guns, now that'd be something! This sounds like the ultimate in training but with a wife and animals in the house, too much good stuff for me to handle.
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Old February 13, 2008, 11:34 AM   #20
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The days of square range training where at most we stand at the same place, draw and fire at a static target as the measure of how well we are trained for a gunfight are over.
Yeah, because it didn't work for Jordan or some of the other legendary gunfighters, right?
I have to shake my head when I see comments like that. The single most important skill you can develop as a civilian is the ability to hit your target quickly.

Competition is a good way to help train. Jordan and others have attributed it as a major reason they survived. It induces stress in a way that exercise cannot - it's not an elevated pulse rate that you want, you want to induce as much of the entire spectrum of stress as possible. FOF, paintball, sims all have shortcomings which most of their proponents refuse to acknowledge. As mentioned earlier, knowing that you won't get killed or seriosly injured plays a factor. Also, the effects of being hit cannot be simulated, most of the scenarios are not realistic (depending on who's running them) and can instill or reinforce bad habits. I'm not saying they are totally useless, but they should augment your training, not be your training. If you cannot hit your target quickly, FOF, cover, moverment, all of that means nothing. Your training should consist of a mix of them.
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Old February 13, 2008, 01:26 PM   #21
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Perhaps try the interview test from Swordfish with the blonde?
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Old February 13, 2008, 01:54 PM   #22
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The square range is where you learn shooting. Shooting is important.

The square range isn't where you learn fighting. Fighting is important.

The two shouldn't be confused, though there should be overlap.

As to how to incorporate the two, if you find yourself suited up in gear allowing for the safe delivery of blows, throws, and marking rounds to invovled participants then you are on the right path, assuming a decent trainer and training group.

If you're not... Well, some training is better than none.
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Old February 14, 2008, 11:11 AM   #23
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...The closest I ever saw to "real" scenario, was a group of ex-military friends of mine got together, and with non lethal rounds, would set up scenarios. For instance, a four man team would decide to "breach" the fifth guys house at some point in the future. The fifth man would not know how or when the invasion was coming, so it would put him under severe anxiety. Sometimes they would wait 2-3 days, sometimes a month, and there would be no contat or discussion with the fifth man.

When they decided, they would simulate a silent home invasion. Sometimes as a 4 man team, sometimes as a two man, ect.
Maybe I´m missing something, but... if they doesn´t know when or where are going to be attacked, how do they know wich gun/ammo are they gonna use to defend themselves? The possibility of a REAL home invasion it´s always there (that´s the reason of the all thing, right?)

Just in case I would use a real gun, with real bullets. Aby BG would be happy to hear me say: "I thought you were Larry" seconds before dying because of the blanks on my revolver.

It´s the craziest thing ever.
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Old February 15, 2008, 10:20 PM   #24
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You have to train in steps.

Square range first. Learn the basics. Learn them well. If you mess up here it will take alot longer to get it right later. Learn to shoot with either hand. Shoot in low light. Build your skills at weapon manipulation and use of sights (and lack of them at times.)

Dynamic range. Lean to move and shoot. Learn to shoot moving targets. Here things start getting fluid and you start putting the basics together.

Competiton. This allows you to do all the above while others watch. And presuming you want to win then you will TRY HARD and thus stress. This includes not only firearms competition but also martial arts. It's bad point is you can also try to win by gaming. But even then, you learn alot about putting it all together at speed. You also learn to inprovise and adapt, which is hugely important.

FOF. If it's well done and realistic with actors to say the right things then you will learn alot. Here you won't game and there are no trophies. But FOF courses are few and far between (as well as expensive) while competition is usually monthly.

Even after all that, it still is not a perfect match to the real thing. But then, the only training for combat is combat. If you really want that, join the army!
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Old February 15, 2008, 11:16 PM   #25
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While it has already been said, . . . the concept of "You will do in the real world, what you learned in the training world" cannot be overstated.

As an example, . . . aboard my first ship, in my first attempt, I timed out at something like 7 or 8 minutes stripping down an electrical transmission board so it was ready to be fed by an emergency generator that was 20% the size of the regular generator.

After some practice, I got it down to less than 15 seconds. A shipmate of mine never did get it right, . . . he of course was the one on watch when it was needed, . . . and our 393 foot long, US Navy ship went literally dead stick in the middle of the South China Sea, . . . with the commodore aboard, with a brand new skipper, as we led the squadron out of Subic Bay.

Moral? Understanding? You need to train as realistically as possible for that which may come upon you. As a 63 year old who recently had open heart surgery, . . . I do not train in close quarter fisticuff training. I do practice visualization techniques of scenarios where I could very well become involved.

Visualization and justification (justify each step by questioning it to see if it was the best step, . . . a step done correctly, . . . were there other options?) and work slowly through it.

As an example, . . . holster up your carry weapon after you have determined three separate time it is UNLOADED. Go out in your garage, . . . and walk through a scenario where you start the car, open the garage door, and you see a bg come running in and try to get into the kitchen while carrying a large butcher knife.

Is your kitchen door locked? It should be!

Are your car doors locked? They should be!

Can you get on your cell and call 911? Your cell should be in an outside pocket and quickly accessible without taking your eyes off the perp!

He picks a 4 pound hammer off your work bench and seeing movement in the car, . . . comes to the driver's door and starts on the window. Is your seat belt off by now? It should have been when you first saw him!

Can you access your weapon from the driver's seat? You should be able to!

This goes on until you have exhausted all possible ways this could go. By very closely questioning each move, . . . you will develop a different and much better plan than just trying to wing it every time. The plan can also be used for different scenarios.

Visualization and justification are training techniques the military has used since George Himself held the pre-raid briefing before crossing the Delaware over 200 years ago, . . . and they still work. There is better training, . . . but if it is all you got, . . . make the most of it.

May God bless,
Dwight
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