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Old August 10, 2018, 08:00 AM   #127
Ruark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2010
Posts: 215
The most important thing is practice. In a close range, face to face, life and death situation involving firearms, your stress level will be paralyzing. In varying degrees, depending on the individual, you will stop thinking, your ears will not process speech, your body will stiffen, you will have tunnel vision, and you will stop breathing. Again, as I said, it will vary.

Remember the last time you suddenly tripped or slipped and fell to the ground? Remember the mental and physical state you were in on your way down? Ever been in a car wreck? Remember the mental and physical state you were in when the other car traveled that last few feet, just before it hit you? That's approximately the state you'll be in when a gun comes out and you realize that in the next half-second, you will live or die.

What you actually end up doing is following your training: doing what you do automatically, without thinking, from muscle memory, essentially as a reflex action. That action comes from practice and repetition, drawing and firing (you can dry-fire in practice) over and over again, until you can do it without thinking about it. It's much like learning a martial arts technique. When an assailant's fist is coming towards your face in a blur, you don't act; you react.

I had a teacher once who had spent 25 years as a federal drug agent. He drew from concealment and dry-fired 50 times EVERY morning. He could draw and fire so smoothly and naturally, it looked like he didn't even know he was doing it. This kind of training is enormously important and useful in establishing that instant, unthinking, "reaction" response to a self defense situation.

Taking it a step further, one should develop reactive techniques to apply to different situations. For example, close range and further out. With and without sights. I would particularly emphasize that latter, as in a sudden, unexpected, split-second, in-your-face self defense situation, you will have neither the time nor the ability to get in a proper stance, acquire a sight picture, etc. By the time you did, you'd be dead.

This is where the facts vary from people with wartime combat experience. With all due respect to their service, those experiences might not apply to many domestic self-defense situations. You're not going to be walking around in full battle rattle with an AR in an area populated by known enemy attackers. You'll be peacefully walking out of a restaurant with your girlfriend or wife, in street clothes, and violence will be the farthest thing from your mind. She'll look at you and you'll look back at her: "honey, can we stop by Bill and Mary's house and...." LOOK OUT!!! BANG!!! BANG!!! BANG!!! And that's how it will go down. Like that, it's already over. Hopefully, at that point, you'll still be alive.

Last edited by Ruark; August 10, 2018 at 08:17 AM.
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