Why I train for Defensive Shooting

While it is often said that practice makes perfect, we know that only “perfect practice” makes perfect.  The primary reason to train for anything is to train the mind and hands to automatically do things efficiently and effectively.  The Bible says in Proverbs 27:17: "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another"

Simply put, I train to sharpen my mind and body so that I understand how to identify a threat, escape that threat when possible, respond if needed, survive through the incident, and navigate through the trauma after the incident; so that I can protect those lives the Lord has entrusted to me.  

I train with many instructors to gain insight and knowledge, as no one has all the answers.  Different instructors have different perspectives and experiences that they teach.  After learning a few, it becomes easier to determine what works best for me.  As an instructor, I also learn these various techniques so that I can assist my students in improving their skills and techniques.

Some of the critical perspectives I have learned through this training include:

  • Self-defense shooting studies reveals that:
    • 75% occur at distances less than 10 feet
    • 95% occur at distances less than 21 feet (roughly the length of a car)
    • the majority of shootings are over in 3 to 5 seconds
    • the majority have less than 5 shots fired
    • occur in low light situations
    • the average man can over 21 feet in less than 1.5 seconds
    • the average person cannot draw from concealment in less than 2 seconds.
    • most attacks are not stopped with a single bullet
    • most  people shot with pistol rounds do not die.
    • stress reduces fine motor skills and thus decreases accuracy
  • As law-abiding citizens, we are responsible for every bullet that leaves our gun.  
  • Given these facts in defensive shooting situations, the person being attacked (victim) must:
    • Train the mind to automatically identify threats, avoid them, respond to them, and work through them if needed.
    • Know how to safely and efficiently operate the firearm
    • Select a firearm and ammunition that works best for them.
    • Know how to navigate through the legal system.
    • Know what to expect from a post-trauma perspective.

There are many courses available that cover various aspects of the above.  Additionally, different instructors provide different insights, techniques, and scenarios to cover the aspects above.  By taking a number of courses from a variety of instructors, I have found that the student gains knowledge and perspective that they can apply should a bad situation ever occur.

In CPR, the American Red Cross recommends recurrent training every 2 years.  State agencies recommend family fire drills at least semi-annually.  Golfers and musicians practice regularly so they can perform at their peak.  

So it is with defensive firearms training and self-defense skills.  They deteriorate over time.  Taking self-defense firearms courses and regularly practicing ensures that the person is best equipped to appropriately respond to a threat should one occur.


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