Posts Tagged ‘study’

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Your eyes feed a constant stream of data to your brain allowing you to perceive events that occurred micro seconds in the past. Yes, you are all living in the past and there is scientific proof! Your eyes gather the light reflecting off of objects in your gaze pathway and your brain interprets that into shapes, faces, objects and colors that we call sight. The data that is interpreted by your brain is linked even deeper to the various stimulus responses and recognition patterns you have developed over your lifetime. These patterns have been filed away and are interpreted by your amygdala in two ways: Threat or Non-Threat

Without realizing it, every time you look at someone or something your brain has automatically classified it as dangerous to you… or not dangerous to you. If a person, animal or object is determined harmless you proceed throughout the course of your day and lack recall of these people or items. Just try to remember the faces of the strangers you passed in the grocery store. Chance are you can’t because as they crossed your gaze pathway they were deemed non-threatening and you moved on without conscious thought devoted to them. Think about your drive home from work, how many cars passed you that you barely noticed… until one of them swerved a bit too close and then:

Items you deem threatening based on patterns or behavior cause a different reaction. When you see a threat your amygdala prepares your body physiologically by releasing chemicals like adrenaline and your heart rate soars to 160+ beats per minute. If you have schema (See my recent article Schema for Success) your training kicks in and you respond. Drawing from the previous article, (If you have not read it, you should stop, go back and read Schema for Success) having a series of “files,” or “scenarios,” makes you react faster to a perceived threat. Using your visual cortex and the schema you have already developed, this article is going to talk about recognizing the behaviors and patterns prior to the schema or scenario you have in place… If you can anticipate threatening behavior you will react sooner helping you gain the initiative in the fight.

Every behavior we recognize as threatening has a series of movements that lead up to it. Those pre-cursor movements that lead up to the attack are what we need to start analyzing and adding to our files. Every human body is jointed and only articulates in certain ways so unless your assailant is a cast member of the Cirque de Soleil, chances are you can pick out elbow movements, hand positions and shifts of balance.

For example, a suspect who wants to access a handgun in their waistband will have to bend their elbows, and bring both hands to the center of their waistline or appendix area. You will see one or both hands and elbows move upwards to clear the garment covering the gun and then one will descend to grasp the firearm. The downward motion will be followed by an upward draw followed by a twisting of the elbow and forearm extension that will orient the handgun towards their victim. You may also see their head rotate and orient towards the intended target, (you).

Most traditional training teaches students to recognize the actual weapon as the threat. By the time you see the weapon however, the fight is almost over and you have lost. What we need to practice in training is recognizing the series of movement patterns that initiate the accessing of the weapon. This is one main reason we teach police officers to be wary of and watch the hands of a suspect. We teach this because hands have movement patterns that can allow less experienced officers to observe and build schemas in their brain. Eventually officers learn to watch the hands, feet, torso and head position of suspicious people and assemble an orchestra of body movements they may not be able to articulate but their subconscious recognizes as pre-attack cursors.

Every day you watch people and your eyes bounce to different parts of other people and areas looking for specific information so your brain can subconsciously monitor potential danger and to provide you with the information you need to comprehend the activities and tasks around you. As your eyes bounce around, start training yourself to recognize the series of movements that combine into an attack. The faster you can piece these images together, the faster you start your decision making process and begin to respond.

A quick and easy way to train this, is to go to your favorite web site that shows videos of people being attacked, robbed, shot or stabbed. Watch the assailant carefully just prior to the attack and watch how their hands move, how their torso twists, how they balance their stance, etc. You will start to notice a lot of similarities in their behavior. To access their firearm, they will have tell-tale movements you can pick up on. When an assailant goes to throw a punch they set their feet, draw back and clench their fists… again a recognizable series of movements you will see, which will trigger a schema and initiate your subconscious response.

Recognizing these pre-attack behaviors will teach your amygdala that what your eyes are seeing is a threat and your physiological responses onset rapidly instead of waiting until you see the actual weapon or are actually struck by a punch or kick.

There is a wealth of information and books on body language but the best teacher is actual people. Watch them in the world around you and start really looking at how humans articulate and move and you will be on the path to being safer, faster and better prepared to win.

Until next week, train hard a stay safe. Go watch a few videos and see how many common movements and patterns you are able to recognize.

Scott S

One Weapon Any Tool – Visit us on Facebook or at www.oneweaponanytool.com

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In the majority of my articles I discuss the importance of training, reasons why you need to train regularly, and how to find quality trainers. While taking a course from a local certified instructor is very important, as is practicing what you learn on the range, this week I’m going to give you a couple of tried and true methods for improving your firearms skills on your own through the Stare, Study & Steal methodology.

While this method focuses on your visual side of learning, it will help all types of learners since your brain will capture and store the images and what you see you can practice for the tactile learners and usually when watching there is an explanation which will help my auditory learners as well.

The first step is to select a highly skilled source to stare at. I like to watch professional shooters on TV, Youtube and even some of their instructional DVDs because these guys and gals are at the top of their game and have solid foundations that make them successful shooters. Some of my favorites you can watch and glean knowledge from are Max Michel, Jerry Miculek, Pat Rogers, Travis Haley, Jessie Abbate Keith Garcia and Chris Costa.

When I say stare that is exactly what I mean… Watch them closely with a critical eye so you can pick out small details and movements that make them successful in their craft. Hit the pause button and look at how they grip the gun. Observe the direction their feet are pointed, how they bend their knees and how they walk. Watch in slow motion how they manage the recoil of the gun, and look into their eyes as they fixate on the front site. Watch how they lean and how much of a bend is in their elbows. Stare and take mental photos of what you are seeing.

Study each individual movement and if you have to, make notes in a notebook so when it is time for you to practice later when you do not have a video player. Deep, focused and intense staring and studying is a great way for you to lay the basic mental foundations of good habits.

Like boxers and football players watching films of how other perform and how you perform gives you a valuable insight into strengths and weaknesses. Teams watch hours of footage of how other teams play looking for gaps in their defensive line, looking for weaker players they can exploit and stronger players to cover or avoid.

Boxers and UFC fighters study themselves looking for ways to deliver more effective strikes, how to spot weaknesses in their own defenses.
Once you have watched, analyzed and made notes it is time to steal! Take the stance, grip, lean, run, focus and whatever else you see that can make you a better shooter and make it your own. There is no shame in stealing a technique or style that works for you. Find the critical pieces that you are missing or are not performing and add them to your training. Compare what you are doing to what the professionals are doing and see if their methods or techniques can improve yours.

If you have the opportunity film yourself when you go to the range and then use the same critical eye. Look for how you grip and stand versus the professionals. Find the subtle differences between how you do things and make notes. Then do some dry practice and then some live practice on your next trip to the range and correct those errors you are making and build good strong neural pathways.

There are a plethora of techniques and instructors so make sure you also apply a critical eye to the methods and techniques you choose to practice. Some techniques will work better for you than others due to your hand size, height, weight, etc.

This is one reason I also study female shooters because they typically have small frames and hands yet outshoot most men. Their methods of movement, how they set up their equipment and how they fight with a gun can give you a fresh perspective or technique guys wouldn’t normally consider. To be a great shooter you have to be willing stow your pride. You have to be willing to consider new ideas and be able to change your mind.

During the course of my career in being a shooter, and training shooters I’ve had to discard and pick up a lot of what was taught as “doctrine.” Having an open mind and being willing to stare, study and steal will give you marked improvement in a short amount of time.

Till next time, be safe and train hard!
Scott S

One Weapon Any Tool Firearms Training – Your mind is the weapon, everything else is a tool.
http://www.oneweaponanytool.com You can also find us on Facebook.

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