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Old August 29, 2012, 04:19 PM   #84
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,702
Originally Posted by dstryr
... That 'drill' gave me a chill. I was slow and clumsy with my draw because I have never practiced and have only recently begun to CCW. I feel like I'm a lifetime behind in training and I will look at taking some classes. Much seems like common sense but a skilled instructor putting logic and reasoning behind it sure beats trying to figure it out in real life.
You might be interested in understanding how we learn a physical skill.

In learning a physical skill, we all go through a four step process:
  1. Unconscious Incompetence: We can't do something and we don't even know how to do it;

  2. Conscious Incompetence: We can't physically do something, at least consistently, even though we know in our mind how to do it;

  3. Conscious Competence: We know how to do something and can do it properly consistently, but only if we think about what we're doing and concentrate on doing it properly; and

  4. Unconscious Competence: At this final stage we know how to do something and can do it reflexively, on demand and without having to think about it.

A class helps you know how to do something, and you can properly begin working on going from doing it right every time by thinking about it to doing it right reflexively.

At the third stage, you need to think through the physical task consciously in order to do it perfectly. To move on to Unconscious Competence, start slowly, concentrating on doing each step of the task perfectly. Strive for smoothness. As you get smoother, you will also get quicker. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

Going from Conscious Competence to Unconscious Competence is usually thought to take around 5,000 good repetitions. The good news is that, in the case of shooting, dry practice will count. The bad news is that poor repetitions don't count and can set you back.

If one has reached the stage of Unconscious Competence he will still need to practice regularly and properly to maintain proficiency, but it's easier to maintain it once achieved than it was to first achieve it.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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