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Old February 6, 2015, 02:32 PM   #26
zombietactics
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... I avoid timed regulated competition for this reason. ...
I've done a lot of study regarding "what makes the difference" in armed defensive encounters. Keep in mind that I did testing/metrology for a living (until very recently), so I am not without experience in validating use-cases, time-vs.motions studies, etc.

The only truly damaging mythology which comes out of competition is (IMHO) the "cowboy quick draw" myth ... the notion that a super-speedy, draw-to-first-shot is what will make the difference between life and death.

That notion is complete and utter hogwash, unfortunately repeated so often that it is accepted uncritically.

Aside from that (again, IMHO) the point is that competition does not really create so many "training scars" as some assume. Another way to put it is that competition does not necessarily create such problems. If someone is so bereft of sense that they think competition comprises the whole of defensive technique and tactics, that's an issue of mindset, not a fault of the game or its rules.
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Old February 6, 2015, 04:13 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by fireforged
I avoid timed regulated competition for this reason.
How do you know if you're getting better or worse if you don't consider time?

Do you believe that ignoring time and leisurely shooting your target at a comfortable pace is the best answer?
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Old February 6, 2015, 05:58 PM   #28
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I know that neither of these questions were directed at me specifically, but I'll humbly offer my perspective nonetheless, in the interest of spurring interesting conversation. Consider my responses to include a carefully-considered "IMHO" based upon significant study:

Quote:
How do you know if you're getting better or worse if you don't consider time?
Better or worse at what? The nature of the question assumes that "getting better" means that the only things of significance are those things which can be measured with a timer. This is called "falling in love with your yardstick". It's a pretty common flaw to think that something is meaningful just because it is easily measured.

Quote:
Do you believe that ignoring time and leisurely shooting your target at a comfortable pace is the best answer?
For my part, that question is something of a straw man. It does not necessarily follow that because one does not uses a timer religiously, it therefore means "... leisurely shooting your target at a comfortable pace ..."

Consider things that a timer cannot measure ... like WHEN you should be drawing/shooting. Training to shoot "at the beep" is training to shoot at a clearly-defined signal. Does this necessarily confer upon someone "getting better" at recognizing a threat and knowing when to shoot? Should we assume that a fast draw (with all its attendant physicality) is always the best solution ... or even close to always? Would not a covert draw be better in any case where it's practicable?

A timer can measure how quickly one completes a stage, but it can't tell you anything at all about when (or if) you should be moving from one point of cover/concealment to another. The assumption of competition that you should (always?) just go as fast as possible completely misses any such considerations. Other examples abound.

My point is not to avoid timers altogether (I use one regularly for draw practice) but rather to understand where they are useful and where they are not. The suggestion that the timer is the only tool useful for measuring "better", is fundamentally flawed when applied to defensive contexts.
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Old February 6, 2015, 11:54 PM   #29
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NEWHALL

In re Newhall, it was taught to us as gospel (Brass in pocket or hand, bullet to back or back of head, cant remember), Police Academy, 1978. Made an impression on me!

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Old February 7, 2015, 07:12 AM   #30
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Newhall was the bad example.
Bill Jordan cited a case where a Border Patrolman had a pocket full of brass after a shootout. He had managed to save his empties while exchanging fire with a smuggler armed with a rifle. I don't recall if he hit the smuggler or just suppressed his fire, but he was effective in action in spite of his "bad habit."
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Old February 7, 2015, 08:27 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by zombietactics
Better or worse at what?
Pretty much any self defense parameter. Hits on target, time to get to cover, reloads, etc, etc, etc.

The nature of your question assumes that "getting better" cannot be measured, that your performance can be evaluated based on how that you "feel" that you're performing with no actual data.

This is called "fear of failure". It's a pretty common flaw in today's US society, as evidenced by sports like football, soccer, tennis, etc, where no one keeps score and everyone gets a trophy, no matter how badly they perform. It has cultivated a fear of inadequacy when compared to others, and sets unrealistic expectations about what is necessary to be successful in activities where performance can be easily measured.

Unfortunately, not everyone gets a trophy in a self-defense situation. There is a very high probability that there will be a "winner" and "loser", and the stakes are not a trophy but your life.

By your standards (no time parameter), my 12 year old granddaughter and her friends are equally as skilled as someone like Rob Leatham or Jerry Miculek in a self-defense situation. Any of them can empty a Glock magazine into a 6" group in the center mass of a target at 3 yards.

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Old February 7, 2015, 09:40 AM   #32
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Bad Habits

Here are some:

Not watching the hands;
Taking a bad position;
Not maintaining your weapon in a serviceable condition;
Not maintaining proficiency with your weapon;
Not maintaining situational awareness, ignoring danger signs;
Not maintaining proper physical condition;
Tombstone courage;
Not understanding your own limitations;
Bad Attitude/No combat mindset;
Relaxing too soon;

These will get you killed much faster than any considerations of timers, reloading magazines, putting brass in your pocket, etc.
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Old February 7, 2015, 12:18 PM   #33
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So very true...

Like I saw on another forum:

MINDset, SKILLset, TOOLset. In THAT ORDER.

Slow/timed fire events tend to build marksmanship skills which, with practice, builds marksmanship under extreme time constraints. No SINGLE method of practice answers ALL demands on skill-building, which is why a balanced mixture of them seems to work best (assuming one doesn't go broke from ammo costs).
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Old February 7, 2015, 12:31 PM   #34
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Quote:
Bad habits can get you killed
Any habit can get you killed if done at the wrong time, good or bad.

Yes some habits are generally awful and some habits are generally good.

Learn the good ones and learn when to use them.

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Old February 7, 2015, 01:59 PM   #35
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There it IS! Well said, Deaf!
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Old February 8, 2015, 01:48 PM   #36
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... Pretty much any self defense parameter. Hits on target, time to get to cover, reloads, etc, etc, etc. ...
I have already acknowledged that some important things can be measured with a timer. I also noted several parameters which in no way can be measured by a timer. There are many more. However, you've avoided any discussion (or even acknowledgement) of them. This appears to validate my assertions regarding those valuing only what can be easily measured.

Quote:
... The nature of your question assumes that "getting better" cannot be measured, that your performance can be evaluated based on how that you "feel" that you're performing with no actual data. ...
Except that I said nothing which can be rationally construed as such, by anyone with a basic grasp of the English language. Copying the form of my post in your response is a clever rhetorical trick, but it only really works if you respond to something I actually wrote.

That pretty much sums up the rest of text regarding sports and "everyone gets a trophy", etc. I said no such thing, so responding to something I never wrote in the first place isn't my responsibility. Please go have that conversation with someone who thinks that way.

Quote:
... By your standards (no time parameter) ...
Case in point ... you can stop right there. Not only did I never suggest that nothing should timed, I specifically noted that I use a timer myself for draw practice. I don't why you would so boldly assert something so obviously untrue.

For absolute clarity: Timers can measure some very meaningful things, and they cannot measure some other very meaningful things, regarding defensive contexts. A problem arises when someone cannot acknowledge this simple fact.
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Old February 8, 2015, 02:12 PM   #37
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You know guys, arguing about the usefulness of timers can be distracting from putting some priorities into perspective.

Timers can help determine winners of sporting competitions. (As can accuracy. )

I look at it this way ...

Timers on drill/qual ranges can be used to help set performance standards. Teaching and assessment tools.

Now, let's think about it another way.

If I "time" an expected and desirable response by someone being trained in the martial arts ... let's say, performing a basic block and punch, or a counter punch ... how does that in any way tell me how well the person is going to "perform" under actual fighting conditions? How fast is the "attacker" going to be? Is the student's response even going to be appropriate within the given situation? Will the student accurately & effectively place their defensive blow? Does the student have the will to try and use their skills when it's for real?

Timers are fine, as teaching & assessment tools ... and for competition ... but it might not be prudent to limit our understanding of what their use means when it comes to all aspects of training for defensive application of martial skills and tactics.

Put simply, beating the clock isn't the same thing as beating an opponent.

Habits? Pretty much just a pattern of behavior that's become practiced and followed until it's done more or less as an involuntary action.

Whether or not it's appropriate is another issue.

Whether or not it's effectively employed ... and yes, meaning in time ... is something else.

Context and Relevance.

Subsets of mindset & skillset, don't you think?
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Old February 8, 2015, 02:22 PM   #38
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Careful, fastbolt ... you're making too much sense there.
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Old February 8, 2015, 06:28 PM   #39
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Quote:
How do you know if you're getting better or worse if you don't consider time?

Do you believe that ignoring time and leisurely shooting your target at a comfortable pace is the best answer?
I usually avoid answering questions that elude to something I never said or do not believe but since Zombietactics has made an effort continue the conversation, I guess I should as well.

In my laymans opinion there are many elements to armed self defense and "time" is only part of the skill based element. I will concede that although slow and deliberate has merit in some circumstance... most people are not trying to get slower. All that being said, I am not really inclined to believe that absolute speed is the singular deciding factor in many self defense related conflicts. In comp its a huge factor and many competitors fall victim to seeing every judgment through that filter. Lighting fast split times does not necessarily mean a person is a competent defender. In the most general sense, armed defending is a partnership between Mindset, Tactics, Strategics, Skill and Gear.

How do I know if I am better? I consider myself better when my training, knowledge and experience is substantially increased. I dont base it on any one thing.

Do I believe that leisurely shooting targets at a comfortable pace is best? As an introduction to firearms.. sure. As training.. No
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Old February 8, 2015, 06:33 PM   #40
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Quote:
Unfortunately, very few ranges allow setting up anything like meaningful drills.
The action matches can be a very good way to do so.
If you don't want to play the game, there's no reason you can't run the courses of fire in a more useful fashion to your needs.
Betcha' there's others who attend these matches who would join you, too.
All that is probably required is to let the RO know what you have in mind.
And politely ignoring all the advice as to how to get a better score.
By avoiding matches, you might be missing opportunities to enjoy very elaborate stages that would be nearly impossible to create on your own.
I agree that if the game context is eliminated and a person can run the course with a different mindset.. I think it could certainly be a benefit toward good practice.
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Old February 8, 2015, 06:37 PM   #41
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Careful, fastbolt ... you're making too much sense there
yeah, he does that and makes it look easy. I usually read his stuff and say "yeah yeah thats what I really meant"
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Old February 8, 2015, 09:24 PM   #42
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I have had what I thought was some decent training and have learned or tried to learn a bit since, but sometimes I get confused.

One expert says to train until you do things automatically; the next warns against doing things automatically because you might be doing them wrong.

One says you should carry only one gun (or similar guns) because "muscle memory" (aka automatic action) has you used to that gun; another says it is OK to carry a different gun every day of the month because your "muscle memory" will automatically recognize the gun in your hand and adapt to it.

One says to keep the holster in the same place; another says to use a variety of positions (and holsters) to keep flexible.

One says that when taking fire, take cover; another insists you should stand up, face the enemy and adapt the recommended stance for returning fire.

One says that only x training can help anyone win a gunfight; another insists that only y training can do that.

One claims that his "sport" is the perfect training for the real world; another insists that only his sport is worthwhile, anything else is a game and a waste of time.

One says only a .45 1911 is any good at all and claims any other gun/cartridge is for wimps; another insists that .45 auto is worthless, and only .44 Magnum (or something else) can be depended on.

One says any gun, even a .22, can be effective if the shots are placed right; another says the only way an opponent will be defeated with less than a (name it) is if he laughs himself to death.

Did I cover all the disputes? If not, I am sure anyone here can come up with others. Meanwhile, I am still confused.

Jim
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Old February 8, 2015, 11:42 PM   #43
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One person says the earth is flat, another says it's round.

If a marble and a bowling ball are dropped at the same time from a tall building, one man says the bowling ball will fall faster. Another man says they will hit the ground at the same time.

Sigh ... If only there were a way we could know for sure.

Some things are not matters of opinion.
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Old February 9, 2015, 11:34 AM   #44
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sorry, posted the original comment in a wrong thread. (Palm to the face smiley)
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Old February 9, 2015, 02:03 PM   #45
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I fart around with the safety too much with my EDC - Ruger LC9. Sometimes on; sometimes off - I know, this is a very bad habit with my EDC.
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Old February 9, 2015, 05:37 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombietactics
Some things are not matters of opinion.
Everything is a matter of opinion.

It could be your opinion that a feather will fall faster than a bowling ball if dropped from a tall building on earth.

It's wrong, but still a valid opinion.

Everyone has an opinion, some people's opinions are just more valid than others due to education, experience, etc.

The trick is in knowing who's opinion is correct.
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Old February 9, 2015, 05:59 PM   #47
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I think you are confused about the notion of having a right to an opinion, vs. whether or not an opinion is valid.

Your assertion that an "opinion" can be wrong yet still "valid" defies the definitions of the words themselves.

People are welcome to their own personal opinions, but not their own personal facts.

When I say that not everything is a matter of opinion, I'm not saying anything at all about anyone's right (or right to opine) absolute nonsense. They retain that right regardless of whether they are spitting gibberish or imparting wisdom.

It simply means that there is a distinction between facts and opinions. That's a prime distinction necessary to even discuss the two concepts coherently.

Facts are not subject to who holds to them, they remain regardless of anyone's opinion or the logical fallacy of appeal to authority. Facts are what remain regardless of one's belief, or lack thereof.

If you "know" something because of "who is correct", you really don't know much. C.S. Lewis (and many others) demonstrated quite clearly how an "appeal to who" is really just a statement about who you like, and not much more.

If you "know" something, and can demonstrate it experimentally or logically, absent appeal to someone else's rank, social status, credentials or personality ... you know something indeed.
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Old February 9, 2015, 07:16 PM   #48
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I can't get past the 'quick draw is a fallacy' part...

If I'm in a gunfight (god forbid) I will hope to be the first to clear leather and put a meaningful round on target; what ELSE would I hope for?

And if that's the case, the 'quick draw' is completely relevant. Always will be, unless we start walking around with slung weapons...


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Old February 9, 2015, 09:11 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by DT Guy
I can't get past the 'quick draw is a fallacy' part...
What it comes down to is really not a question of quick draw for its own sake. It's a question of how long it can take us to perceive the threat, determine the need to fire, deploy our gun and engage the threat with accurate fire, having made the decision that shooting is warranted.

How much time will we have in which to do all of that? I have no idea and neither do you. It's going to all depend on what happens and how it happens. We might have lots of time, or we might have very little. We simply can't know in advance.

If we can't get done what we need to do in the time circumstances allow us, we will not be happy with the outcome. Good training and diligent practice can help reduce the time we need to be able to effectively do what we need to be able to do. And since I can't know how much time I'll have, I'd rather not give up time if I can avoid it.
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Old February 9, 2015, 10:37 PM   #50
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Quote:
I can't get past the 'quick draw is a fallacy' part...
So armed conflict always starts with both the attacker and defender having holstered pistols?

Perhaps the badguy already has his weapon exposed
Perhaps the badguy has already begun an attack
Perhaps the badguy has already fired shots

Draw speed is a very limited element in a very dynamic encounter. Can it be the deciding factor?..sure. Is it likely to be? Probably not.
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