Sitting by the fire ring the other night, several Gunsite Academy graduates and a few professional hunters were discussing personal protection training with handguns and shooting in general. Training courses and instructors were being compared and I offered a point that is not so commonly considered.
When it coms to the shooting of any firearm, in any discipline, the core of success is the basics. Understanding the basics and applying the basics, regardless of the stress tied to the situation, is key. You do not learn the basics at an adventure camp, and you’ll likely not learn the basics from an instructor who makes a habit of bashing other instructors and their doctrine on social media and to their students.
I wish I could say this wisdom come to me from multiple gunfights I’ve survived , wars I’ve won, and castles I’ve conquered. It didn’t. The revelation is related to sports and the lesson was taught to me by my son. You see, whether you’re playing basketball, soccer, or any other sport, if you fail to master the basics of that sport, you will have to find comfort in how cool you can look as opposed to how good you can play.
My son told me not to long ago that he has tried to win by looking cool and it did not work. You see, if you are going to play basketball you must be able to dribble, pass, and shoot. If you cannot perform these basics tasks, you will lose. That’s why he is up after midnight with a basketball in his hands or a soccer ball on his feet.
By the same token, if you’re going to hit what you shoot at you must be able to bring the firearm to bear, align the sights, and squeeze the trigger, with enough finesse to allow the bullet to go where the sights are pointing.
Its simple, learn the basics, practice the basics, and master the basics. If you can do that you will sometimes still miss but the odds of it happening are dramatically reduced. The secret is, it’s about the basics. If you’re looking for a shooting school to attend or an instructor to listen to, find one that focuses on the basics.