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Old January 11, 2014, 03:52 PM   #26
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Concerns about how stress may result in not performing properly when you're alone ... then not performing properly when others are watching .... then not performing properly when competing against others ... are all well and good. Happens to all of us.

However ...

You might do some reading about the hormonal fear response and the physiological changes that occur in the human body. It can differ somewhat from the simple physical stress response to doing some jumping jacks, pushups and running 50 yds before shooting at some well-controlled range, in an environment where someone isn't shooting at you.

Consider reading some of the work by Lt Col Dave Grossman.

Working to systematically and repetitively ingrain proper skills and skillset reactions is usually a good idea, as then you have a better chance of them being accessible under duress. This is one of those difficult processes, though, since failing to do correct training & repetitions can potentially be one of those "2 steps forward and 3 steps backward" kind of things.

I can't remember where I read it, but some years ago I came across some study involving college athletes (as if that narrows down the literature ).

One of the surprising things observed was that even after proper repetition & training to perform some newly learned physical actions had occurred, it was observed that it was still possible that doing an incorrect repetition once might require a subsequent 10 additional correct repetitions to restore proper performance potential that had been acquired up to that point.

Maybe so. I've certainly had days like that, myself.

Part of the potential answer might be to seek out some reputable trainer & training, done in a supervised, controlled and safe manner.

Normal human reactions when confronted by an unexpected set of circumstances which may present a danger seem to run along the lines of Freeze, Flight or Fight. It's been hard-wired into us for some time (although I look at it as more of a software thing).

Proper training ... AND Mindset ... can help to mitigate the effects of such startle and stress responses in folks. What's also been called trying to inoculate ourselves against the unwanted, but predictable, effects of how we react to things.

In other words, being able to subconsciously access an ingrained response, or set of responses, when our conscious thinking is compromised by bad things happening.

Science has been studying this sort of thing for many years, and some interesting answers have been developed.

Good initial training, followed up by some recurrent training, maintained by proper practice (which often seems to work best when an impartial set of eyes are watching) doesn't seem unreasonable to help many folks achieve their goals of becoming better able to react, act and respond under severe stress.

How many people do you know who have developed good defensive tactics or martial arts skills by being self-taught, though?

Even once properly learned, or even mastered, physical skills can be perishable, you know.

Just some thoughts.

I've been a LE firearms instructor since '90, and I've been involved in the pursuit of various martial arts since '71 ... and I still don't claim to have any particularly definitive answers to these sorts of questions.

Usually, whenever someone has cause to see me perform something difficult or advanced, in either the arts or with firearms, and they express some admiration or desire to reach that level themselves, I inwardly shake my head and accept that they don't have the ability or experience to actually recognize how poor I consider my "performance" to really be, or to recognize my shortcomings.
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Old January 11, 2014, 07:12 PM   #27
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Shot timers that go off at random intervals also help. You anticipate that they are going to go off, and when it does you want your shots to be quick and accurate. This all adds to the stress.
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Old January 12, 2014, 05:52 PM   #28
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in addition to the above...flashbangs or fireworks dropped on your six or a wafting of pepper spray will also work.

the needle in a hay stack described above is great, especially if you can get your wife to scream at you the whole time.

obviously you need a range where you can do this....

nothing like a two mile jog with all your gear in the woods, set up and shoot while your assistant abuses you.

PM me for some other ideas.
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Old January 13, 2014, 12:21 AM   #29
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We once recruited some spouses and SOs as screamers. It helps, for some values of "help."

One I found stressful was two shooters on a park bench in the dark, each with pistol and flashlight, and some targets out there somewhere. Go.
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Old January 13, 2014, 12:26 AM   #30
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This will do it.
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Old January 13, 2014, 10:04 AM   #31
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Whew, I'm all tuckered out just watching that one.
Hope he knows a good chiropractor.
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Old January 14, 2014, 10:14 PM   #32
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After extensive military training I've found the best alternative to simulators is to exhert physical activity in between shooting sessions. We had a ex drill instructor in charge of our PT and he would call your ass out in a minute if you were slowing down. After about 5 minutes of pushups, planks, sprinting in place, jumping jacks, bearcralws, and yelling you were begging to shot your rifle just to catch a break.

This was of course in the deserts of kuwait where noone was around to catch a stray when we were shooting while fatigued. I never really lost shot placement but a few individuals couldn't maintain a safe grip/pattern in shooting so we quit before someone was hurt. We went back to simulation ammo to keep us frosty. We weren't as tired as doing the physical activity but getting shot at with simulation rounds is damn stressful as we had no way to wash our uniforms for a few days
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Old January 15, 2014, 05:04 PM   #33
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Listen to a recording of a toddler screaming, "Daddy, Daddy, they're hurting mommy!"

It worked in SERE school.
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Old January 15, 2014, 05:31 PM   #34
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Don't drink any water for a half day, pound a big redbull, run a mile. There's your shaky hyper out of breath and weird vision situation.
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Old January 16, 2014, 04:54 PM   #35
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Old January 16, 2014, 05:02 PM   #36
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Stand your wife next to you.
Tell her how much you spent on your toys including ammo in the last year.
Begin firing or alternatively, begin running...
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Old January 16, 2014, 05:08 PM   #37
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I have often though of using one on my young grandsons with a large mousetrap latched to his big toe and give him a plastic ball bat to hit me with while practicing.
I figure between the screaming and getting hit it would be pretty stressful after about 5 minutes.
Also you could incorporate a little bob and weave technique into you routine.
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Old January 19, 2014, 11:59 AM   #38
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Here's an interesting product - shocks you to simulate a hit:
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc. - Aux Armes, Citoyens
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Old January 20, 2014, 05:19 PM   #39
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Stand my wife next to you for about 10 minutes, works for me every time.
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Old January 20, 2014, 05:41 PM   #40
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I once shot a course where bottle rockets were fired across (perpendicular to our line of sight to the targets) the course.

There were some well-thought controls to keep errant rockets from hitting us, and the stage had been kept 'secret' throughout the match, and it was quite a shock when the first one ripped across between you and the target...IIRC, we had folks dropping and going prone.

He who fights and runs away had better run pretty damn fast.

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Old January 21, 2014, 09:53 PM   #41
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a lot of training outfits simply use force on force with simunitions. I don't think it can get more real than that.
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Old January 24, 2014, 06:58 PM   #42
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Stand your wife next to you.
Tell her how much you spent on your toys including ammo in the last year.
Begin firing or alternatively, begin running...
That is exactly what I was thinking.
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Old January 24, 2014, 07:32 PM   #43
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I could do that, . . . no problem.

Maybe some guys might want to shoot a couple stages, . . . read the wife's credit card report for January, . . . shoot another stage, . . . read about February, . . . shoot another stage.

By the time they are up to September, . . . stress level should be hitting 100%

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Old February 5, 2014, 11:33 AM   #44
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As has been mentioned repeatedly here, one of the biggest challenges is to simulate "fear for your life" or "body-threat-response" in range practice... Well, I think I've just figured out a very neat way to simulate body response to threat during practice. Practice in the cold!

Some of you might be thinking - "Huh!?"

Let me explain what I mean. Under threat-body-response several things happen, including: (1) Vasoconstriction (blood vessels narrow, with more blood accumulating in one's core, and less in one's extremities, to avoid blood loss resulting from injury to one's extremities); and (2) loss of fine motor reflexes. Well, guess what happens in the cold? Blood vessels in one's extremities constrict, allowing more blood to gather in one's core (to save body heat), and one loses fine motor reflexes in one's extremities.

Sounds to me like an excellent simulation of realistic shooting at the range... What do y'all think?
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Last edited by ezmiraldo; February 5, 2014 at 12:17 PM.
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Old February 5, 2014, 12:22 PM   #45
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Here's my 2 cents. You need to tax the upper, lower body and cardio.

Exercise 1- Bear crawl 25- 50 yards. (50 yards is the goal).
install the mag and put 3 shots center body mass.

Exercise 2- Same as above but within a time constraint.

Good luck

I forgot one.

Exercise 3- Do 55 burpees

Last edited by ideaman; February 5, 2014 at 12:28 PM.
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Old February 5, 2014, 07:44 PM   #46
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FoF with simmunitions or in a VirTra 300 with a shock belt... Institute a pain penalty for misses or bad hits.
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Old February 7, 2014, 11:51 PM   #47
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Conduct a training exercise with a buddy and an airsoft pistol. He has a stun gun instead of a knife, and you have to defend before you draw. Work your way up to a certain comfort level then make it an all out deal. At a comfortable level you understand where it comes from and how to react, it's the learning side. Then jump into full speed. This is for close ranges.

At longer ranges, within self defense standards, have the buddy behind you with the stun gun and when you miss get a slight... Well, prod. Let's face it, the real threat in self defense is harm, make that why you train. We are animals, we learn from painful experiences. Start the drill slow, draw and fire. When you miss, get a spark. Next, draw, shoot, move, shoot. Miss, get a spark. Make the drill change every time. It helps if you hear the sound of the threat...
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