Actual VODA Client working on Body Mechanics, Kinetics and building muscle memory
(I'm so proud of him)
Fluidity is something that I see that is missing in the training of many people who undergo training in regards to the application of firearms for SD (Self-Defense). And I say this because many people that I've seen that utilize firearms are full whatever reason are either stiff, rigid or at least appear to be very mechanical in their movement.
This is something to think about because we have to remember we don't want to be stiff to the point where we sacrifice speed. But we don't want to be so rigid that we sacrifice flexibility and mobility. And we don't want to be a mechanical especially when it comes to join the weapon system for if we remain that way we would become even more predictable than we already are.
So with that being said, I would recommend as professional Firearm Education and Training Consultant that we focus on increasing the Fluidity of Shooters and Gun-Fighters alike so that we may positively impact their rate of survivability in a Gun-Fight in doing so we play our part in the increasing their Fight-Efficiency™. To make Fluidity a reality for most Shooters we need to focus on at least the following three things:
When we talk about Body Mechanics we need to focus on couple of things: Efficiency, Posture, Hand-Eye-Foot Coordination, Stamina, and Balance. When it comes to Efficiency, we must understand it affects everything we do from living a general day-to-day lives to actually Gun-Fighting we must be efficient in accomplishing that goal.
Meaning: that we do not want to waste precious energy on trivial things when we could be conserving it [energy] for some kind of greater “work” or task later. For the Gun-Fighter this translates into such things as extraction and drawing the firearm. Supine and Prone positioning, Kneeling and generally shooting around objects phone cover and concealment for example.
Posture is important. Why? Because where ever the head goes the body will follow. All great fighters understand this, whether they are Professional/Amateur Boxers or Martial Artist or MMA Fighters they have always known this. Hand-Eye-Foot Coordination is yet another crucial element to Body Mechanics. This is because you must be able to Observe, Decide and Act on almost an instinctive level in the realm of Gun-Fighting. This is essential if you're looking to gain the ability to “Point Shoot” or instinctively shoot.
RULE OF THUMB: In a Gun-Fight if you are aiming you are too slow.
Let that sink in.
When we speak of Stamina the Shooter or the Gun-Fighter must be able to "last" for the duration of the Gun-Fight. And increasing one's Stamina is something that aids us in achieving this task. Building Stamina is something that ease easily built. simply jogging, doing 60/120's or any kind of prolonged repetitive physical activity (jumping jacks lol) that gets your heart up is enough to get your foot in the door.
Balance is also important because you must be able to maintain a rough Balance in the mist of fighting. Now this is not to say that you will be perfectly Balanced, because no one will ever be perfectly Balanced when you're being assaulted and you're justified in the use of lethal/deadly force. However, we must be cognitive in the fact that we can’t just be simply sliding all over the place in the mist of a Gun-Fight either for to do so will be tantamount to failure.
But there is something else to consider. And that is, the fact that you will not always be 100% balanced per se. And that is generally because Self-Defense Shooting or SD Shooting is a very dynamic event. There are just simply too many variables running simultaneously to even guarantee that you will be 100% balanced.
Something else to consider are the obstacles that may or may not hinder your field of vision. Another thing to consider is the fierceness of your attacker and the sheer determination of your attacker to try to impose his will on you. Other things to consider are the Biological Deviations such as having an accelerated heartbeat, adrenaline, and plain old fashion fear. And THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH FEAR – it will keep you alive.
Norbert Wiener one of the Founding Father's of Modern Cybernetics
Again when we speak about Cybernetics; we are speaking in terms of how everything is connected or how everything within the environment plays a role in and on everything that is operating within that environment. The old saying "everything has its place" is true. However, there is a deeper understanding that should be acquired in regards to understanding how the things within our environment or A.O. (Area of Operation) play a vital role in terms of Gun-Fighting. What I'm referring to is the Input/Output measures of objects and PERSONS within our environment that we should be observing.
Simply put, we are talking about how people outside of the Gun-Fight in the immediate area are going to act/react. People will panic and you will have to use Cybernetics consciously and unconsciously to "steer" the situation, event or shooting engagement in the direction or the course of the Gun-Fight into the direction that it needs to go, primarily in your favor.
Outside of the Biological Deviations or the internal stimulus’s (adrenaline, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine etc); these are to be considered "stimulus’s" because they affect the decision making process of the Shooter/Gun-Fighter. We have the external stimuli which are the Environmental Deviations that are infinitely at play.
With all of these deviations, Input/Output information signals and feedback loops occurring and being exchanged the Gun-Fighter will have to not only make sense of it but will have to Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA – see Colonel Boyd). But even more than that the Gun-Fighter will have to Adjust, Adapt, Modify and continue and impose his or her own feedback loop internally and externally to the Gun-Fight.
Outside of the above, the Gun-Fighter would have to also again, be cognitive of the Negative and Positive Feedback Loops that are also infinitely at play. Remember, Negative Feedback let's you know what is NOT working and Positive Feedback serves as a “Force” of encouragement.
RULE OF THUMB: do not be quick to solely embrace Positive Feedback Loops and likewise do be so adamant about only seeking out Negative Feedback Loops to the point hat you get caught up in only seeking corrections. There must be a balance. For more information on Cybernetics and how it pertains to Gun-Fighting click the link below.
There is simply no getting around it – you have to build Muscle Memory. And the number one reason for this is because you must be able to "Shoot On Demand™" – being able to shoot on demand without having to cycle through Colonel Jeff Coopers Color Codes. Meaning that outside of Precision Shooting you must be able to instinctively shoot or “Point Shoot”. This is an invaluable skill. Again, the RULE OF THUMB for Gun-Fighting is:
If you are aiming you are too slow.
Again there is no other way to get around it. The main part of the brain that retains Muscle Memory is the Cerebellum. What we are looking to achieve is the opportunity to either increase neural networks, connect existing neural networks or rewrite the current neural networks within the brain – more specifically the Cerebellum. This is why we as Gun-Fighter repeat the same kinetics (motions) over and over again until “Fluidity” is achieved. Another Rule of Thumb that is based off of Hebbian Theory is as follows:
"Synaptic connectivity changes as a function of repetitive firing."
Or in other words we can turn to the famous quote made by Siegrid Löwel's who is a German Neuroscientist and Professor for Systems Neuroscience and Neurostimulation and School of Biology at the Universität Göttingen. She stated:
“Cells that fire together, wire together."
It is not an all conclusive statement, but the idea of how cells work within the neurological network to build Muscle Memory are fundamentally there. So what that means for you is that you must practice extracting and drawing from the holster as much as possible. You practice firing with both hands. You must practice pressing (not squeezing or pull) the trigger as rearward as possible in the most efficient manner as possible.
You must also train for stress. We must practice sight alignment and sight picture to the point where “it just feels wrong” when you are incorrectly “punching out” or extending the firearm out. The same goes for weapon transitions, loading magazines and loading guns, and clearing malfunctions. Remember M.A.R.S. which stands for:
The Gun-Fighter will cycle through this form of OODA Loop as he or she is fighting. Successful application of this VODAfied OODA Loop can only be achieved through focused shooting technique(s).