A friend recently sent me this video of the very talented Pat MacNamara and mentioned how the “proprioceptive” drills Pat Mac is doing here looked familiar. I don’t take credit for his excellent drills, and I have done similar exercises when I was a firearms instructor back in the days of Barney and Fred in THE FLINTSTONES.
I remember the pushback from some students (and most instructors) back in the day who wanted to know “What’s the benefit to my shooting to balance on one foot? How does that pertain to a gunfight?”
Okay, legit questions then, legit question now.
As PM says here in a much more entertaining fashion, the purpose of his drill, and similar drills, is to develop and to exercise the ability to shoot decisively, i.e. quickly and accurately, while moving. His point is that flat range training, especially amongst those who don’t have access to private ranges where you can easily run drills like this, doesn’t promote the use of the pistol while moving — and that every fight, gunfight or fist fight, involves movement.
In the older video below, Super Dave Harrington demonstrates a moving while shooting exercise that many Error-Net types ridiculed — because they didn’t understand what they were seeing, and not just because they couldn’t spell proprioceptive to save their lives, guns or not. SD is also demonstrating utilizing the pistol shooting skillset while moving. SD, I believe, first came up with the analogy that a pistol gunfighter has to be like a football quarterback: you have to access your weapon, get out, align it with a target that is also moving, and snap the shot at the exact second necessary for it to hit what you aim with. All the time while ducking and bobbing and weaving to avoid getting clobbered by big sweaty dudes who crush humans for a living.
I like that analogy.
It’s like the difference between punching air, to punching a heavy bag, to punching a human who’s moving and punching you back.
So what these drills do is isolate the elements of knowing where you are in three-dimensional space (like a street) and how you are moving (direction, speed, stability), as well as training your TRANSITIONAL movements neurologically and physiologically (in your muscles, etc).
You may not be able to bust moves like PM on your indoor range, but I’m going to give you some exercises below that you CAN do on an indoor regulated range as a Joe Citizen.
But first watch two Grand Masters of the Fighting Pistol below.
Okay. Now that you’ve seen that, here’s some ideas for drills you can do to exercise your proprioception and general kinesthetics to enhance your ability to move and fight with a pistol. The intention here is to give you simple exercises you can do on an indoor regulated range where you may not be able to draw from the holster, and are limited to movement within the box defined by your indoor range shooting stall. Ideally you’d train this, and then go somewhere you could move and shoot to graph your improvement from baseline — if you can’t live fire, Blue Gun or Air Soft it and see how it works.
Start with your weapon loaded and laid on the shooting booth shelf.
From your hands in a ready position, or by your side, and standing center in the square defined by the walls of your booth
- Step to your far right, shoulder to the booth wall, pick up your pistol, and fire one shot at a 3×5 card at 5 or 7 yds.
- After that shot, take a long step to your left, shoulder to the booth wall, and fire one shot at the card.
- Scan over your shoulders behind you and step back one step (remaining within the defined box of the shooter’s booth) on the left, fire one shot
- Scan around you and step to your right to the far right of the booth and fire one shot.
- Four shots, simple movement right, left, back and sideways, incorporating a real awareness scan,
- Same sequence but start with your weight on your right foot when you step right, stay on one foot if you can, or use your tiptoe like PM does on your left to balance you — take your time and place your shot
- Step to the left, weight on the left, tiptoe right to balance — place your shot
- Scan behind and around you, step back with your left, weight on your left, place your shot
- Scan behind and around you, step to the right, weight on your right, use your tiptoe left to balance, place your shot.
- Four shots, exercising proprioception, balance, and maintaining your “wobble zone” in your sight picture, movement, scanning.
- Same sequence as above, but with strong hand only.
- Same sequence as above, with other strong hand only
RINSE AND REPEAT.
It’s harder — and more useful — than it seems, Pilgrims.
Take care, enjoy.
The One Eyed Fat Man
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