Monday, March 22, 2010

'Training scars'

That SWAT sergeant who worked with me on the firing range yesterday brought up the subject of "training scars" after our group finished a shoot-on-the-move exercise. He commented that several of us had carried direction from an earlier drill into that one -- returning to chest-high ready or low ready after each double-tap.

In a controlled live-fire environment, there was nothing necessarily wrong with that tactic. Our instructor cautioned us, however, against developing habitual range sequences that we'd transfer to a dynamic, life-and-death encounter. More than one cop, he noted by way of example, has paid a high price for the "scar" of re-holstering reflexively after firing -- before neutralizing a real-world threat.

They fought like they'd trained -- and, it could be argued, their training habits cost them their lives.

An awareness of "training scars" isn't unique to my instructor, of course. Here's a brief, invaluable
video in which Larry Vickers talks about reloading.

We'll fight like we've trained, scars and all -- truly we have no choice in the matter -- so we'd better train like we'll fight.