Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > General Firearms Forums > Training & Safety > Combative Applications of Competitve Techniques, Part I

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Old 07-03-2008, 05:13 PM   #11
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rhodieusmc,

There's no accounting for Francophiles! Are you willing to try for one out of two? How about starting another thread on the same original subject, and making a clean breast of it!
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:32 PM   #12
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I've been asked many times, "Does 'practical shooting' under the stress of competition offer training benefit to those who want to use these skills for 'combative' purposes?"
I believe the only training that isn't benificial is wrong training. The more appropriate question isn't "if", but rather, "how much?"

There are many techniques to create stress for the shooter/trainee. The importance of creating such stressors is often overlooked. Most often, the mechanics of shooting under stress improve, and most people are happy with leaving it at that. I wanted to know why.

The fact is, individuals respond to various stressors uniquely. A shooter starts off by learning the mechanics of shooting: proper sight picture, breathing control, grip, trigger squeeze, etc. The shooter who wishes to become profficient in combat shooting must undergo stressors to help the shooter evaluate his/her performance under stress.

Timed events, shooting on the move, competing, and shooting under adverse conditions all help the shooter refine the mechanical aspects of shooting while simultaneously dealing with the inherent physiological changes the body goes through during stressful periods.

So why the question, "how much?" The most often overlooked factor in measuring the benefits of any added stressor is the psychological capacity for the individual to handle each specific stressor. It's different for everybody. Consider the following example:

I, personally, do not care if someone is yelling at me. It does not bother me when people call me names or even insult my mother. It also does not bother me if I lose a competition. However, I don't handle being "timed" very well. It's not a matter of timing how long I take to do something, but giving me a time limit stresses me out greatly. To further clarify, If you want to time how long it takes me to fire three rounds, I'm quite sure I could make three well-placed shots in under three seconds. On the other hand, if you give me three seconds to make three well-placed shots, my performance decreases slightly due to the added stress.

As you can see, specific stressors that don't bother me too terribly much may drastically affect the next guy. The physiological response directly correlates to the psychological response.

It's quite easy to recognize the training value in shooting in competitions. To evaluate "how much" training value competitions hold is to evaluate how competing affects the shooter/trainee. How important is winning to the shooter?

The ideology behind adding stressors to shooting is to prepare the shooter for combat. Unfortunately, there's no realistic way to replicate the stress of real live combat nor the psychological effects of killing a real live person. Therefore, causing stress during combat training aids the shooter in the mechanical response when it really counts.

When it comes down to it, combat is a competition. The winner doesn't get a cool trophy to put on a shelf, the winner gets to go home.

...in my opinion
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:17 PM   #13
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Hydrashok, very nicely stated. Thank you!

(We may save this thread, yet.)

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Old 07-04-2008, 03:36 PM   #14
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not for nothing, i havn't been a fan of french foreign policy but let's not forget that france has had a contingent of special operations forces operating in afghanistan along side our other NATO allies since sep 2001.
as whole french culture also embraces the right of the citizenry to revolt against a gov't that has become tyranical. also, many french citizens keep and bear arms and do not suffer under the same repressive gun laws as their european neighbors. i think the problem is the french gov't foreign policy (and those damn parisians). recently however the new french administration has expressed a desire to realign it's military command with NATO. let's hope this is a step in the right direction.

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Old 07-04-2008, 03:52 PM   #15
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rhodieusmc,
sorry we got off topic. i agree with you that competitive shooting does have significant training value in regard to combative shooting. there is a slippery slope however. i've noticed that many competitive shooters become overly concerned with accuracy. when i say that i don't mean accuracy is unimportant, in fact it's critical. but if i don't hit center mass on my first shot it's not the end of world. i'm simply going to line up my sites again and shoot again. then i will repeat the process if i have too. the FBI did a study where they interviewed gang members in prison who were involved in police shootings. when asked how they trained one stated that he would drive to competing gangmember territory to "practice". some stated that they didn't care where their initial shots landed as long as it hit the victim. once the victim was injured they would close the distance and "finish the job". not exactly what we're taught but it's effective. my point is that competitive shooting is a great training tool, but the bad guys get to practice on real people. also many criminals practically live in warzones. that's a lot of experience to glean from as a person grows up in the projects. pretty scary huh?

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Old 07-04-2008, 05:53 PM   #16
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rhodieusmc,
sorry we got off topic. i agree with you that competitive shooting does have significant training value in regard to combative shooting. there is a slippery slope however. i've noticed that many competitive shooters become overly concerned with accuracy. when i say that i don't mean accuracy is unimportant, in fact it's critical. but if i don't hit center mass on my first shot it's not the end of world. i'm simply going to line up my sites again and shoot again. then i will repeat the process if i have too. the FBI did a study where they interviewed gang members in prison who were involved in police shootings. when asked how they trained one stated that he would drive to competing gangmember territory to "practice". some stated that they didn't care where their initial shots landed as long as it hit the victim. once the victim was injured they would close the distance and "finish the job". not exactly what we're taught but it's effective. my point is that competitive shooting is a great training tool, but the bad guys get to practice on real people. also many criminals practically live in warzones. that's a lot of experience to glean from as a person grows up in the projects. pretty scary huh?
That's quite a can you opened up here.

I just finished reading the article First Shot Out by Scott Reitz in the Aug '08 issue of S.W.A.T. Magazine, and my opinions pretty much align with the ones stated in his article. The difference between law-abiding citizens and law enforcement is the fact that we're accountable for ALL of our rounds, and criminals simply don't care where their stray rounds land. When I went to SWAT school, my instructor said "every round that misses is another day in court."

Last week, I was doing our FTX for the Army Combat Medic Course in Millington, TN. Some of the instructors were OPFOR and had picked off a few of my fellow students. I assumed the prone position, low-crawled to a nice vantage point, and the OC had no choice but to declare our aggressor dead as I took a controlled, aimed shot (with blanks, of course). Everybody else was just running around doing the "spray and pray". Of course, the accountability issues don't so much as apply to the military as it does to citizens and cops in this country, but because of my (perceived) care and accuracy in my one single shot, I had achieved the desired effect of eliminating the threat to myself and my squad.

Even when my situation involved a lot of chaos (ie. we were having to treat our wounded while being "shot at"), I didn't allow myself to revert to flipping my selector switch to Burst and just "throwing a lot of lead down range"... I made each and every shot count. I've done the same thing in FoF exercises when the added stress of a pain penalty came into play.

In short, I don't believe anybody could EVER be "overconcerned" with accuracy... in spite of (and I hope I don't go to hell for saying this) what John Wayne said in his last movie The Shootist. While one does have to be willing to kill, he has to be able to...
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:34 PM   #17
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well, i never said anything about flipping to burst and spraying. i'm a qualified Expert Marksman (m-4/m-16), and Distinguished Marksman (Glock-19). what i mean is that if my first round impacts the suspects abdomen as opposed to center mass I need to recover, aim and fire again. it's not the end of the world. the guy shooting at me doesn't care where his round impacts as long as it hits me (anywhere). i was never in a fire fight where all i had to do was fire one round to end the fight. auditory exclusion, tunnel vision and reduced fine motor skills work against you. i understand about accountability of all the rounds you fire (i went to a poilce academy too). i'm merely pointing out the criminal mindset that we have to compete with. that the merits of competitive shooting are many, but you also need to reference actual combat experience. somewhere the truth lies in the middle.
Do you have any more hardcore stories from your FTX? i'm a former paratrooper from the 82nd airborne. i spent 11 years in the infantry. served in Haiti and Iraq, recently graduated the academy, and am completing my BA in international relations.

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Old 07-04-2008, 10:59 PM   #18
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Here's an interesting link on this subject for you guys to consider:

How Modern Criminals Use Guns
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:19 PM   #19
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Do you have any more hardcore stories from your FTX? i'm a former paratrooper from the 82nd airborne. i spent 11 years in the infantry. served in Haiti and Iraq, recently graduated the academy, and am completing my BA in international relations.
Ok, cool... just a little clarification, and you're golden. Hardcore stories from my FTX?? No. I served in Iraq in 2005, and I leave on the 19th to start my train-up at Ft. Stewart to go BACK to Iraq (sigh). I was also in a self-defense shooting several years ago where I wasn't affected by tunnel vision or reduced fine motor skills, only the auditory exclusion. I know I'm the exception instead of the rule, but that's because I train on a constant basis.

I only used my experience at my FTX because it's recent (as in LAST WEEK) and it's freshest on my mind. I have a nicely padded SOQ, but I prefer people to take what I saw for the common sense value as opposed to the "I've been all these places and done all these things" to validate what I say... although I know it's sometimes necessary. I'm transitioning to medic because I spent 12 years in the infantry, and I'm just getting too old to be runnin' and gunnin' like I was. I see the old farts getting out with knee replacements and such... I don't want to be one of those guys.

I'm also not so closed-minded as to discount any training value from prison inmates. As you know, one of the reasons we're doing as well in Iraq as we are is because of the CALL... and part of the material that goes into the CALL is based on interviews/captured videos/intelligence from the insurgents we're battling.
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:26 PM   #20
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Here's an interesting link on this subject for you guys to consider:

How Modern Criminals Use Guns
Excellent read! I'll bet you $100 some excerpts from that article go into some of my powerpoints
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