“Do as I say, not as I do!” Training is good. Unless it’s bad training. Pushing for speed is bad training, but sometimes you want to see what you can do. Sometimes it’s more fun. But it’s still not good training.
Edit: This what happens when I finish a blog post very late at night. I meant to mention a lot of stuff that got left out. First an foremost my way of training is not the only way, or even necessarily the right way; I’m no expert, and this is not received gospel. View it critically and compare with other sources and ideas and decide on your own what you need and what’s important.
Today was my bad training day. I was doing 5-yard Draw-and-Fires with my Colt Detective Special. Draw, get a sight picture, fire a shot, re-holster. Do so no faster than you can get good hits. Necessary? Yes. Boring? Definitely. I realized I was letting my speed creep up, so I decided to push it and see what happened.
OK, this is not awful, and it was fun. But it’s a great way to develop bad habits if you overdo it. While I was visiting the darkside I decided to do a few cylinders of rapid-fire at seven yards.
Also not bad… and you know it’s genuine because it’s me and there are flyers.
Look, it’s not always about deadly-serious training. Sometimes it’s OK just to have fun, push it and see what you can do. In that spirit I also played with the Astra 600. This is not a gun I ever intend to carry or employ for self-defense, so it’s OK to goof around with it *nods head earnestly.*
I dumped a couple of mags at seven yards, and was pleased enough with the results.
Next I decided to run a target out to 25 yards. I set my shot timer for 1 shot per second and had a go. Sloppy, but not tragically bad.
Shooting a serious business, and training needs to be taken seriously. But shooting is also a hobby, and all work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. We can’t all be deadly serious all the time. It’s fun to play around and see what you can do, and it also allows you to gauge your progress and isolate areas you need to improve. For example I tend to pull my shots to the left when I push it, so I know I need to work on that.
Edit: I meant to elaborate that pushing yourself is necessary to discover your limits, so you have a better concept of what you can and can’t do, and can incorporate that knowledge into your thinking when contemplating self-defense. Competition (USPSA, IDPA, ASI etc.) is a good way of doing so in a controlled environment; it’s safe, there are set standards for performance and a variety of ways to test yourself. It also isolates ‘test’ from ‘training’ in a way that shows areas where you need to improve without teaching bad habits if approached thoughtfully and in context.
Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself, but keep a firewall between that and your dedicated training time.
Michael Tinker Pearce, 17 April 2021
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