Combat shooting is a fun, exhilarating, and rewarding experience that allows a shooter to better hone their skills in defensive shooting. Focusing more on delivering calm and accurate fire on a target during high-stress situations, combat shooting builds into allowing the shooter the ability to put rounds on target quickly and effectively.
So what exactly is combat shooting? There are a million definitions, examples, techniques, and philosophies, and I will spare you all of that and give you a no BS assessment. Combat shooting is practical shooting designed to keep you alive where the metal meets the meat. It is repetitive muscle memory drilled into your brain so that when “it” pops off you respond correctly. You are training your mind and body to harness your inner survival instincts, and this is paramount to winning a gunfight.
Why? In a high-stress situation, like a gunfight, the body will produce various chemicals like adrenaline, into your system, your heart-rate goes up and a number of things begin to happen. You start to lose fine motor skills, your mouth gets dry and tastes like you are sucking on a penny…you start to focus more and time seems to slow down. Your vision starts to become more tunneled as the surge of “fight or flight” takes over. So with all of that going down, rounds snapping by or some drunk with a knife is charging you down for no reason, the last thing you need to do is try and figure out where the thumb break on your holster is…you will be dead so don’t worry about it.
So with combat shooting, you are simulating the mind and body in a high-stress situation. You start off doing drills normally and under the most optimal conditions. You start with the fundamentals and then you get to move on to the fun stuff. Once you have a firm grasp, up the ante. This can be achieved by doing vigorous exercise prior to running the various drills you have been practicing. Do 25 pushups as fast as you can, stand and put rounds on target. Not only are you making yourself stronger you are training your body and mind to adapt to a combat situation. The more you push, the better you will become so when everything in the world is going crazy, you are able to keep focused on the task at hand, and survive.
From there you can build and simulate more combat situations. Invest in some dummy rounds and feed them into your magazines to simulate failures to fire. Set up multiple targets with numbers or other ways to ID them present, have friends call out targets. “1, 4, 5; Red shirt, white hat, zombie face”. Crank out a quick 25 push-ups and go to work on those targets as they are called. It will teach you to think, to be able to assess situations under stress and soon it will become second nature to you…and that is the idea.
The idea of all of this is to teach you muscle memory. So, when the time for thinking is over, and its time for action you simply get the job done. I have been in situations requiring a weapon, and in virtually every situation in which I had to draw, there was no thought beyond “I need my weapon.” As soon as the thought left my mind, my weapon was in my hand. My brain knew what my body needed to get done, without me having to process anything once I realized it was time to go to work.
These skills take time to develop. Hit the range. Shoot often, focus on the fundamentals and build. Stay alert, stay alive.