The Safariland Group Blog

How To Win A Gunfight Part II

August 2, 2012 at 19:30

We all know how important training can be, but not just any training it has to be the right training – performed with purpose, meaning, and on a repetitive basis.  The first thing to get cut from Law Enforcement (LE) budgets in TOUGH economic times like these is training, yet the threats aren’t cut – they remain clear and The first thing to get cut from Law Enforcement (LE) budgets in TOUGH economic times like these is training, yet the threats aren’t cut – they remain clear and present  and do notcare about the economy.  

All too often LE will go out and perform the same drills/courses with no purpose or passion.  It comes down to just trigger time on the range, which is often just a waste of time and money.  To go out and sling lead downrange with no training objective, skill set, or meaningful purpose in mind, is not efficient or effective firearms training.  Every round should have a purpose.  It’s not just repetition, but rather MEANINGFUL repetition.  The basics are a great place to start.  No matter what the skill is, break it down to the mechanics and improve those fundamentals.  Once you have the mechanics mastered, start adding stress to the point of failure.  As the failure threshold is reached, then back it off a bit and train at that level until the failure threshold can be advanced.

One of the best shooters I have ever trained with told me that to shoot fast and accurate requires the same things you learned in the Academy.  Grip, sight alignment, trigger control.  Learn to do those three things very fast and under pressure and you will be a very good shooter.  WOW!  No magic or trick involved, just a lot of practice with a purpose.  DRY FIRE until you master the skill and then test yourself with bullets.  It’s a lot less expensive, you can do it almost anywhere, and you don’t have to deal with all that anticipation of muzzle blast and recoil.  You can focus on the skill set and master it before you test yourself with ammunition.

The same process can be applied to any skill set.  I don’t care if it’s Dynamic Entry, Rappelling, or Covert Entry.  Break the steps down to their basic mechanics, learn to do them smoothly under pressure and add stress until you start making mistakes.  Back off that threshold a bit and work the basics until the bar can be moved.  Time limits, scenarios, difficulties, all are a great way to add stress.

All of the great athletes of the world don’t just play the game to get better.  They break it down to fundamental skill sets and spend their time improving those.  The scrimmages and games are a way of finding out how well they have been practicing.

The last thing I will say about training is please don’t become stagnate.  There are always new ways of doing things; you can never know it all and you can always improve.  Go out and seek new training from creditable sources.  TTPOA (Texas Tactical Police Officer Association) is a great source of training as well as several training companies and subject matter experts that instruct for a living.

This is part two of a four-part series; please click here for Part I and check back for the next installment.

Sandy Wall retired from Houston Police Department after 28 years, 22 of which were served as a SWAT officer. He is a three-term president of the Texas Tactical Police Officer Association (TTPOA) and the founder of the Less Lethal Solutions, Inc. and the inventor of “The WallBanger.” Sandy is currently the Training Director for Safariland’s Training Group.


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