Monday, August 31, 2009

Ardi made the news!

This past weekend, Ardi was shooting at the Illinois Sectional competition (USPSA) in Milan, IL, and managed to get herself interviewed on camera by a local news station.

Go to their website: then click on the "Shootout Just For Fun" link to see the story.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Defensive Tactics 101 - Firearms Short Course

On August 8th, 2009, the NHA held an "Introduction to Defensive Tactics - Firearms" class for students who were already safe, experienced shooters. It was very short, only about 3.5 hours, but gave the students the beginning basics regarding defensive tactics in general, plus specific uses of the handgun as a defensive tool. This wasn't the official full "DT 101 - Firearms" course that will be offered by the NHA, but it did contain some of the basics from it.

The course started with the standard introduction of the safety rules and range procedures, and went directly into the DT draw-and-fire sequence, including practice gauging the trigger reset requirements for quick followup shots.

Students then began working on quick transitions between targets, and later graduated to movement-while-shooting.

Throughout the initial "skill builder" drills, the students were continually told that speed was not the goal in this case---proper technique was the goal. Learning proper technique enables them to later (on their own) work the drills for greater speed.

After the basics of movement were practiced, moving off-line and to cover were discussed. Lastly, the students were given several defensive problems to solve, after which a discussion was held on effective use of cover, movement, and tactics.

Something that should be reiterated here:

This is a study of Defensive Tactics---not shooting tactics. We study Defensive Tactics to keep ourselves safe, and we learn the use of tools (such as firearms) for that purpose. Unsurprisingly, many common themes are found with various tools using this method. This wasn't a shooting class for self-defense, this was a self-defense class focused on using firearms as tools.

First: Awareness
If the student is aware of possible situations about to occur, then the likelihood of not being in it climbs sharply. In addition, awareness allows the student to be prepared for danger, and deploy tools as necessary for self-defense. One of our drills included finding out how far an criminal can move and attack in the time it takes the student to draw and fire two shots. If the student is aware and prepared (has the tool available and in-hand), the chance of surviving lethal-force situations climbs sharply.

Second: Movement
Once a self-defense situation has begun, the goal is to get to safety unharmed. As such, use of a firearm is merely use of a tool to enable the student to get to safety.

As such, immediately once the lethal-force situation has begun, the student needs to start moving to safety. If safety is not immediately available, the student needs to move to cover (localized safety). If cover is not available, the student needs to move away from the threat and create distance.

No matter what, in a self-defense situation (if the choice is possible) the student should be moving while drawing/shooting/defending.

Plenty of other concepts were discussed, and proper use of cover was mentioned (and the difference between cover and concealment), but the students weren't able to practice this much in the time allotted.

Overall, though, the students at the end (during the DT situation tests) gave a good accounting of themselves, shooting from retention, at distance, taking cover, moving, and keeping themselves safe.

At a future, time, we will hold another course that will include the second half of the DT 101 - Firearms course soon to be available from the NHA.