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Old April 12, 2018, 01:09 AM   #51
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I never pigeon-holed the example to mean only self defense/LE engagements.
Yes, I realize that--part of the point I was making was that you should have because "military tactics and rules of engagement are quite different" than those for self-defense/LE shootings.
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There is such a thing as a "bad shoot" in combat.
Of course there is. But that doesn't change the fact that the military plays by a very different set of rules than a self-defense shooter, or even LE must abide by. And that they can operate with a different set of tactics given that they almost invariably operate with a significantly different level of support.
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It's also clear that my point - that an instructor can only suppose what a self defense situation may be like if they haven't been in one - was lost.
Personal experience is not a pre-requisite for being able to provide information/training that "transfers to the real world". As mentioned, it's not supposition when someone suggests that ingesting significant levels of strychnine is a very bad idea--even if the person offering the advice has never personally experienced the effects of strychnine poisoning.

It's one thing to say that one can't know exactly what a self-defense situation feels like until one has been in that situation. It's another to say that without that experience, one can't provide useful training that transfers to the real world.
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If they don't know...
It is a mistake to equate personal experience and knowledge, or conversely, lack of personal experience with lack of knowledge. Education and training would all be useless if only personal experience counted. It's precisely because education and training have been shown to be valuable that we know people can aquire knowledge without having to live through something personally.
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I would be interested to find out what the other 10 questions were. I would be surprised if there wasn't at least one question about experience in use of deadly force.
Here are all 12 questions the way Cirillo lays them out in the book. Although he lists them out as 8, he explicitly discusses them as being 12 because some of the items on the numbered list contain multiple questions.

1. Are you a competitive shooter?
2. Have you competed in major matches and placed and won awards?
3. Can you perform well under pressure or fear?
4. Are you a hunter? Have you shot big game?
5. Do you like outdoor physical sports?
6. Do you collect firearms? Do you reload ammo?
7. If you are over 28, are you married? Do you have children?
8. Do you like people? Do you attend civic affairs?

The rationale behind each question is discussed and explained. It's a good book, and not just for that single chapter that discusses the qualities they found made a good gunfighter.
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these are the questions asked of those wishing to be on a surveillance team? are you kidding me?
They put the list of questions together based on correlations of observed qualities of officers who performed well in the initial selection.

It's important to keep in mind that it's hard to find people with real gunfighting experience, even on large police forces. Even many justified self-defense/LE shootings don't really qualify as true gunfights.
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You know for a fact that if a candidate hadn't had an encounter with use of deadly force that they simply wouldn't be considered?
Who said anything remotely like that? It wasn't that they wouldn't pick people with deadly force encounter experience, it was that they would have had an unworkably small pool to work from if they made that a criterion. Also, it's a mistake to think that just because someone gets shot at and survives that they must be a good gunfighter. There's a video online showing two women defending their store against an armed robber. They survived and prevailed, but the video show it clearly wasn't due to their gunfighting prowess or coolness under pressure.
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I think I personally am trying to illustrate that there is a difference in approach and mindset when you are transitioning from competition style shooting to defensive style shooting. I am not saying that some of the skills do not translate. They do.
Yes, there are things that translate well, some that aren't especially useful, and some that can actually be harmful.
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Old April 12, 2018, 09:26 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by JohnKSa View Post
Yes, I realize that--part of the point I was making was that you should have because "military tactics and rules of engagement are quite different" than those for self-defense/LE shootings.Of course there is. But that doesn't change the fact that the military plays by a very different set of rules than a self-defense shooter, or even LE must abide by. And that they can operate with a different set of tactics given that they almost invariably operate with a significantly different level of support.
Very good point. I only partially disagree and only to the extent that it would become nit-picky.


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Personal experience is not a pre-requisite for being able to provide information/training that "transfers to the real world".
and

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Originally Posted by JohnKSa View Post
It is a mistake to equate personal experience and knowledge, or conversely, lack of personal experience with lack of knowledge. Education and training would all be useless if only personal experience counted.
I agree. My point is that it (experience) can validate and qualify what is being taught. Not that it's a requirement. I am very fortunate to have some training from an ex-police officer who is a world class shooter. He'd never been in a deadly force encounter - and I wouldn't trade his shooting tips for anything.

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Who said anything remotely like that? It wasn't that they wouldn't pick people with deadly force encounter experience, it was that they would have had an unworkably small pool to work from if they made that a criterion.
From post #32:

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That would have eliminated most of the potential candidates on the force.
I am under the impression that there were no right answers to the selection for those officers. It was a 'whole-man' assessment. I think you misread my post. (It's getting to the dizzying point of who said what)

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Originally Posted by JohnKSa View Post
There's a video online showing two women defending their store against an armed robber. They survived and prevailed, but the video show it clearly wasn't due to their gunfighting prowess or coolness under pressure.
And thank goodness they're not offering instruction on how to survive a deadly force encounter.
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Old April 13, 2018, 01:02 AM   #53
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From post #32:
Ah, I see. I took that to mean that restricting the entrants to only those who had survived a gunfight would result in eliminating virtually everyone from eligibility.
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I am under the impression that there were no right answers to the selection for those officers.
Cirillo makes it sound like he believes the higher the number of yes answers, the more likely a person is to survive a gunfight. In fact, he winds up the chapter by providing a hard threshold (7 yes answers) above which he believes a person "can make it" and says that if a person answers yes to all 12 they are "likely to walk away from almost any armed encounter".

It's not the list I would have made, but it's hard to argue with a solid record of success.
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And thank goodness they're not offering instruction on how to survive a deadly force encounter.
Indeed. Because we have video, it's unlikely that such a thing would happen. But I have no doubt that there are trainers out there touting personal experience from similar encounters where success is due to a combination of luck and even more incompetence on the part of the attacker. It's tempting for people to assume that experience always equates to valuable knowledge or a knack for training. In fact, it's often the case that neither assumption is true.
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Old April 13, 2018, 01:22 AM   #54
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Apropos of nothing, I gave birth to five children but I sure as heck hope nobody would take professional-level advice from me about prenatal care, labor, or childbirth. The only things I know about those things are the things I learned from personal experience -- and even though I had five and not just one, and even though everything I learned was well-earned, there's just not enough personal experience there to turn me into a medical professional.

On the other hand, the specialist who delivered my youngest child had never been pregnant or given birth. (He lacked some basic qualifications for that.) But he had studied many different aspects of pregnancy, labor, and delivery -- including all the various ways everything could go catastrophically wrong and what to do about it.

A person who has deeply studied these issues would be a better person to turn to for help with medical issues related to delivering a baby than to someone who had 'only' given birth.

But a medical professional who doesn't study and listen to the experience of the people who have actually been there & done that, isn't studying at all. And isn't going to do a good job in teaching others, either.

Same thing with gunfights.

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Old April 13, 2018, 10:00 AM   #55
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I had talked myself out of offering this analogy, but changed my mind after Pax's post:

No two medical cases are ever the same, nor are any two surgeries identical. Doctors, veterinarians, and other medical professionals are trained in basic principles that are then applied in different combinations to deal with the unique circumstances of each case, with, hopefully, increasing proficiency as they gain experience. It seems to me that firearms training is similar in the fact that basic skills need to be acquired and practices so that they are available to meet the needs of individual situations as they occur. Even a firearm trainer who has been in a gunfight will not have been in the same gunfight that you might experience, but the skills they teach will, if they are good at their job, be useful and applicable to you in your time of need.
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Old June 21, 2018, 04:30 AM   #56
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I shoot both USPSA and IDPA fairly regularly and shoot PPC about once a year. USPSA and IDPA can be considered as shooting skill building exercises that have some training value and can be very entertaining. Any competitive event, of necessity, will not be able to duplicate the dynamics of a real gunfight.

But, depending upon the course of fire, there CAN be training value in the process, if you are shooting the IDPA classifier(s) or a USPSA classifier that measures basic marksmanship and gun-handling skills. USPSA and IDPA classifiers and most IDPA courses of fire are at least semi-realistic in the marksmanship challenges presented.

In such competitions I've always used whatever my duty gun was at the time. Currently I most often use a Glock 19 in CCP in IDPA matches and a Glock 22 in production class in USPSA matches.

I've been shooting USPSA since 1978 and IDPA since 2001. At the local level.

I particularly like the USPSA Classifiers and the IDPA Classifier match(s) as methods to test basic skills. Also, several of the local USPSA clubs have LOTS more steel and movers and bobbers and so forth than what we have available at the police range, so the courses of fire they use on match days are much more innovative that what we can do during in-service training at the PD.

You'll get out of it what you put into it. Be safe and have fun with it. At the very least, shooting in matches can show you which skills to need to practice more . . .

Many clubs are now on the web and some post the course descriptions for upcoming stages on their web site. If clubs near you do this, you'll find this to be very useful. I don't look at the courses of fire in advance to figure out a "game plan" on how to shoot the course, but rather to get an idea of what skills I might need to practice before the match. (practice strong hand only and weak hand only shooting to start with, and engaging multiple targets from behind high & low cover)

Also, some clubs are more practically oriented, and some have more members who shoot purely as a competitive activity (usually the USPSA shooters, BUT NOT ALWAYS) and by looking at posted courses of fire you can determine which orientation the club has and if the matches they run have any value for what you're trying to accomplish. (Sometimes I'll look at the posted courses for one of the local clubs and if three out of five stages are "run & gun" 32 round field courses [which don't fit in with my training goals very well] I'll just go do something else that day . . . )
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Old June 21, 2018, 06:30 PM   #57
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i help design some of our IDPA stages, and review others that have been designed by others, offering input and making sure they are legal and doable stages for our range.

when i design a stage, i try to think about what skills i want to test with that stage.

we have one coming up that forces you to shoot one handed (you have to carry something with your other hand that is large and weighty). so have you practiced one handed shooting? hope so.

also around cover, both sides, and moving targets, and moving yourself. all good skills to know and work on and be ready for exam/match day.
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Old July 5, 2018, 09:45 PM   #58
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In other words, the winner of an actual gunfight isn't always going to be the one who can draw and shoot the fastest or even the most accurately. It will most likely be the one who thinks and reacts the best.
Without accuracy, you do not have hits. Competition shooters do better in real life shootings than those with little training or experience with their guns. It is about consistency, If you are counting on rising to the occasion, you won't.
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Old July 6, 2018, 11:19 AM   #59
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Without accuracy, you do not have hits.
That statement was "most accurately." You even quoted it. And without the most accuracy, you can still land hits and they may very well be very effective, though potentially less lethal. Instead of COM shots, you may have shoulder, gut, arm, hip, leg shots.

Given that with handguns, the most common ballistic impact 'stop' accompished is non-lethal and non-incapacitating, even less accurate shots are often quite effective in fights.
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Old August 30, 2018, 07:33 PM   #60
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Good point......but, where are you going to get volunteers for your training sessions?
It plays out every day on the streets of America. They had a saying in the old west "the Dead mans 5 seconds" Split seconds are almost meaningless when a BG can receive a fatal wound and stay in the fight for minutes. Tactics are as important as anything, get to cover, get a solid hit or 10 and stay behind good cover.

Force on force done correctly is a good training tool.
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Old August 30, 2018, 07:35 PM   #61
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That statement was "most accurately." You even quoted it. And without the most accuracy, you can still land hits and they may very well be very effective, though potentially less lethal. Instead of COM shots, you may have shoulder, gut, arm, hip, leg shots.
I have been in FoF training with highly trained SWAT cops that missed ALOT at 1-3 yards, I don't mean what would have been a flesh would I mean MISSED.
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Old August 30, 2018, 07:42 PM   #62
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The win does not most often go to the speediest shot.

The win most often goes to the person who is situationally aware, well prepared and ready to react with a more precise shot from better cover and vantage than not.
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Old August 31, 2018, 11:35 AM   #63
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I have been in FoF training with highly trained SWAT cops that missed ALOT at 1-3 yards, I don't mean what would have been a flesh would I mean MISSED.
Yep, and you can read countless news articles about where the defender stopped the threat by firing one or more shots that never hit the threat. When it comes to handguns, the most common threat "stops" involve non-lethal psychological stops whereby the perp is unharmed. Some involve the discharge of a gun by the defender. Apparently hundreds of thousands of stops each year don't even involve discharging the gun, LOL. In fact, I believe the NRA says it happens 2 million times a year.

However, we (should) be skilled enough to stop the most committed of attackers and not rely on psychological stops, but psychological stops are the reality of the most common forms of stop that we get.
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Old August 31, 2018, 10:16 PM   #64
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Apples to oranges, you can’t have a “standard” and be a “surprise” or different. Also, none of the targets were “threats”. Doesn’t really mean much to me...

Does make sense to me to always be thinking though. Where I sit at a restaurant, where the exits are.

I remember a match in 2003 where there was a bucket that had 4 different colored items in it. It was shook and at the buzzer you grabbed one item out of it and it’s color was the “friendly” and the shooter shot the other three colored targets.

I went over each one in my mind, mag changes in the different order and “programmed” them in. That was the first stage I ever won overall.

What does any of that have to do with anything? Not everything has to be a complete surprise and you are a lot better off if you already have solutions in your mind.

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Old September 2, 2018, 02:11 PM   #65
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Some interesting and seemingly valid thoughts have been popping up in this thread.

My random thoughts?

Knowledge, both "classroom/book" AND experiential (OJT, etc), can help a lot of folks prepare for anticipated situations.

Training for specific sets of possible circumstances and likely situations may help, too.

Practicing properly to further ingrain and maintain the desired level of proficiency in skillsets and implementation of tactics is probably better than not doing it.

"Mindset". By which I mean a variable combination of being practiced and willing to do what it takes to survive and prevail in unexpected situations, regardless of what happens to you, physically ... the things I've already listed above ... and probably an investment in a deep willingness to either save your loved ones, or come back to them afterward ... being unwilling to yield to bad people and bad circumstances happening ... knowing your efforts are necessary, justified and critical to someone, if only yourself ...

These are just some of the general intangibles that come to mind, having worked where bad things happen, having attended various training over the years, and listening to people who have been to see the elephant, albeit unwillingly and without having taken any "pride" in having been forced into those situations.

Different folks seem to benefit from different combinations of interests, training and experience.

Some folks who like competition don't seem to do well in high stress life-threatening situations, while others seem to revert to their basic gun handling and shooting skills, even when subjected to life-threatening conditions. (They may not all experience the same mental and emotional "aftermath", though, which isn't surprising, since people are still people.)

People who seem to "look for" opportunities to use their skills outside the range aren't often the sort of folks with whom I usually like to share a range. In that respect, it's not unlike the same things I used to think and feel during the early "earnest and exciting" years of my martial arts involvement.

Plan, train and prepare for what you anticipate may come your way (even if you do so with great reluctance and dread). The way you envision needing to act, and how you think is helpful to walk, or sit and move through groups of people, may be nothing at all like what's happening when something bad comes your way ... or you just find yourself caught up in the general periphery of something bad that happens and is directed at someone else (the non-personal "to whom it may concern" bad things).

The more you learn, know, train, practice and mentally rehearse ... the more you might be prepared not to freeze if something happens around you. Maybe you might even be able to unconsciously access and apply the things you've learned, and maybe even in an appropriate and sufficiently timely fashion.

No guarantees. TANSTAAFL.
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Old September 2, 2018, 04:10 PM   #66
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A shot timer is a gaming tool and its also a way to construct or introduce a "sporting" element to an activity that is generally anything but sporting.

People are always trying to draw some sort of equivalence between gun fight/ combat training and gaming. Certainly you can parcel out certainly nuances of a game and call it beneficial but at what cost? What I have seen in the gaming arena is impressive skill but [ you simply do not fight that way]. Games are played in a bubble which is absent any other consideration other than the game and its rules. No concept of danger, threat or dire conseqences. In order for me to accept anything as "training", there is going to have to be an emphasis on the fact that you MUST perform in a manner which is conducive to life safety, not just willy nilly running around trying to beat a time or adhering to critical regulations for the purpose of making the activity more "sporting". When you add a timer, you naturally sacrifice tactics and stragetics in leiu of a better time. Unless you have synchronized watches at the onset of a rescue, I think the idea of a timer is generally counter productive
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Old September 2, 2018, 07:49 PM   #67
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A shot timer is a gaming tool...
A shot timer is a timing tool. It is true that shot timers are used in some kinds of firearm competitions but that is not their only use. They can also be used as a personal or professional training aid.
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People are always trying to draw some sort of equivalence between gun fight/ combat training and gaming.
Perhaps, but more often they agree that there is no "equivalence" while pointing out that there are some aspects of some competitions that can measure a shooter's practical performance as it applies to combat training.
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Old September 3, 2018, 08:21 AM   #68
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A timer is simply a tool to show the time taken to do something. Knowing that time can be useful whether it is for a quarter mile at the track or the time needed to put multiple rounds on multiple targets or a single round from ones concealed carry holster. That gives us a measure of where we are at any given time and how we compare to others. There is value in that.
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Old September 3, 2018, 10:10 AM   #69
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A timer is simply a tool to show the time taken to do something. Knowing that time can be useful whether it is for a quarter mile at the track or the time needed to put multiple rounds on multiple targets or a single round from ones concealed carry holster. That gives us a measure of where we are at any given time and how we compare to others. There is value in that.
generally, nobody wants to be slower..but a focus on speed can be a detriment in my options. Speed ( as in being perceived as very expeditious) can be a result of fluidity, practice and economy of a particular motion. I don't care how FAST I am, I only care that I am not wasting effort and that my action is fluid and deliberate. If I am faster now than I was 10 years ago or if I am slower now than 10 years ago, means nothing to me. I have a natural speed that is unique to me and if I need to fight, I certainly wont dawdle. The focus on SPEED seems to be a trend born from comp.

Me personally, I would much rather be mediocre in regards to speed but squared away on fighting tactics than to be the opposite. I will accept natural speed as a byproduct to doing things correctly but I wont focus on speed or measure it. That's just me
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Old September 3, 2018, 11:23 AM   #70
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FireForged I understand what you're saying, and agree that speed is only a part of the bigger picture. Measuring speed of different techniques gives us useful information though. I don't know how you can separate speed from "fighting tactics." I understand that speed is limited by natural ability, but being able to execute quickly and monitor times to determine efficacy is an essential part of training in my opinion.

For what it's worth, I dont use a timer often. I am more comfortable just working on my skills, but using a timer occasionally insures that I am working on the proper things.
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Old September 3, 2018, 01:29 PM   #71
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A timer isn't exclusively about measuring speed. It can also measure efficiency--that is, how effectively the shooter is making use of time.

One good use of a timer is to show the shooter if and where they are wasting time. That is, where they are taking more time than is actually required to accomplish the goal. For example, it's common, for various reasons, for people to spend excessive time transitioning between targets.

It's also fairly common for people to spend more time than is really needed to get a proper grip before drawing a pistol.

It's not difficult to understand why wasted time in a real-world combat scenario could be an issue.
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Old September 3, 2018, 02:53 PM   #72
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I don't know how you can separate speed from "fighting tactics
because being fast is not the foundation of knowledge.
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Old September 3, 2018, 03:11 PM   #73
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Very interesting video and I love that target system!! I can imagine it is big $$
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Old September 3, 2018, 03:13 PM   #74
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because being fast is not the foundation of knowledge.
Having "the foundation of knowledge" isn't sufficient to win gunfights.

You can know everything in the world and it won't help you a bit if the other guy kills you before you can shoot him.

Speed is not the only thing that matters in a gunfight, but it is certainly one thing that matters.

As Cooper put it: "DVC" or Diligencia, Vis, Celeritas , by which he meant, accuracy, power and speed. In his opinion, it takes all three to win a gunfight.

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Old September 3, 2018, 03:27 PM   #75
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Having "the foundation of knowledge" isn't sufficient to win gunfights.
so you think that the fastest person wins a gunfight? How about the biggest, or the strongest … do they always win a fight? The best equipped?... do they always win?

I didn't suggest that an absence of practical skill was the way to go.. I said focusing on fractions of a second here and fractions of a second there.. could be counter production in my opinion.

My point is that absolute speed is not likely to be the deciding factor in many current day gunfights. Position, Initiative, tactics and strategics are more important factors in my mind. A person can strive to carry out tasks in a less than bumbling manner without ever looking at a shot timer. If you are weighing .7 this way or .7 that way.. I think you are focusing on the wrong things if Self Defense is the goal. Again, I am do not proclaim to be any sort of expert but that's just my personal feelings on it. If it makes someone feel better about what they are doing to use a timer,.. have at it.

I have no earthly idea how long it takes me to go from zero to ringing steel, no idea at all. I know that I don't dawdle and I sure don't lose any sleep over the not knowing.
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