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AAR: Non-Operator Gunfighter – Pistol 1 Seminar Review by Gary G.

August 19, 2015
After Action Report (review) Enter Gary… From a psychology class many years ago, I learned there are four stages of competence: unconscious incompetence – you are not even aware of a certain process/skill conscious incompetence – you know of the process/skill but you do not know how to perform it conscious competence – you know how to do the process/skill but you have to think through the steps, movements are hitchy, etc. unconscious competence – you are so comfortable with the process/skill that you can do it with little thought (second nature) As with the AK/pistol class last fall, I was mostly in the (#1) unconscious incompetence area with respect to the concepts you taught this time. All I pretty much knew going into this class was that you would want us to always be moving and not to expect that we’d always be able to make the perfect shot from the perfect stance. This I learned from your AK/pistol class and from your Beyond the Firearm 2 video I purchased before the AK/pistol class. Try to talk to the person you are having the issue with. Don’t cower down to him and don’t be overly aggressive with him. Just be a man and attempt to solve the issue verbally. While doing this, develop a plan to disable him if things don’t go well. Be aware of your surroundings and use them to your advantage. If you have to shoot, be effective. After the shooting, check 360 for more threats, top off, check for wounds, take photos, call 911, call a lawyer. Point shooting is an acquired skill. Even more difficult when the gun is lower/near your mid-section and you are moving, at an odd angle, etc. Practice this. Be aware of (physical) distractions while shooting. Someone from your family may be trying to use you as cover; there may be screaming, etc. Many things will probably be different than shooting at the static steel target you are shooting at when you are at the range. Practice this. Train with others as they try to take your weapon. Be fluid, move your feet, remember you have another hand. Train with others to disarm them from their weapon. This is not so much of a disarm as the goal but if you inflict enough pain and distractions to them, holding their weapon will not become their primary focus as you have pushed their reset button (messed up their OODA loop so they have to start over). Again, be fluid. Remember to use gravity to help you get out of the way of their weapon. Don’t be tense and do make use of their reactionary gap. Stay close to your attacker and try to stay out of his cone of influence. Fight through the person and don’t make getting your weapon and gaining space the priority. Disabling them is the priority and if you can with your fists, hands, arms, knees, feet then so much the better. Then when they are not so well off

On Systema – Part 2

August 19, 2015
Systema in the context of MMA As I will try to expose to the best of my abilities in the upcoming book and new DVD series, the problem of understanding the difference between training for victory in the cage versus training for performance in a potentially deadly encounter is a multi-dimensional issue: Systema is not a martial arts style. It is a concept based methodology to develop attributes that could be applicable to various areas of everyday life – to include all things in the realm of violence. Frequently, the uninitiated have a tendency to look at training and its expression/application(s) – in this case: fighting – as “twins”… Similar in everything including appearance and aesthetics. Simplifying the concept of training to being just a slightly less intense endeavor with consequences falling short of those possible in the “fighting” realm. While, to a certain limited degree, training must be just such a “replica” of fighting at times, this approach fails to take into consideration the following: While attempting to replicate fighting in training there is a considerable chance of falling victim to assumptions regarding the way that things will progress “in the fight”. Those assumptions could be the result of numerous dogmatic teachings and “truths”- often propagated and fiercely defended by individuals of “authority” status; whether they be true authorities, wanna-bes, or merely snake-oil salesmen with good marketing skills. An approach such as this tends to squeeze the realm of unmitigated and truly chaotic violence into a box of some “truths”, “certainties”, and “rules”. Hence we have “always”, “never”, “the best”, etc. Training is preparation for violence. Scenario-based, high-pressure/full-speed, and intensity segments are not so much preparation, but more of an application diagnostics part of the training regimen. These must be included in training, but also must be paired with training sessions that focus on exploration; delving deeply into an understanding of bio-mechanics in motion, blind spots, and open targets – on both parties, not just your opponent(s). This is mostly slow-speed work – anywhere from 5-40% of your full speed – that revolves around the goal of replacing rote memorization with a recognition of the principles involved in a fight and adaptation to constant changes of anything and everything within the “battlefield”. Here is a quote from an article describing and explaining fairly well what training slow does: …describes a tennis academy in Russia where they enact rallies without a ball. The aim is to focus meticulously on technique. (Try to slow down your golf swing so it takes 90 seconds to finish. See how many errors you detect.) By practicing in this way, performers delay the automatizing process. The mind wants to turn deliberate, newly learned skills into unconscious, automatically performed skills. But the mind is sloppy and will settle for good enough. By practicing slowly, by breaking skills down into tiny parts and repeating, the strenuous student forces the brain to internalize a better pattern of performance…” While it mentions the technique, it is easy to adapt such work to a movement– the more

On Systema

July 28, 2015
This rant was written a few moons ago in response to some heated discussions on the validity of Systema and its training approach. This is circa 2010 or so…. While some of my views and opinions have evolved, the point remains the same. So it goes… If only I had the time and desire. If only I cared to get involved in pointless and endless “discussions” with countless “experts” (often with credentials and often more than willing to throw around their background as proof that they know what they are talking about) about S….. S….Systema. There – I said the “S” word. As a student of violence one should be able to examine new concepts, ideas, and approaches from a neutral position; without being affected by preconceived notions. As a serious student of violence (an “expert”), one should not rush to pass judgment about something one has no substantial experience with – no experience with another serious student (an “expert”) of the method in question. Questioning the method is acceptable. Taking a close and lengthy look is better, preferably a hands-on look… The countless doctrines that are called “truths” by the zealous adherents of these dogmatic methodologies (xyz systems) have brought the state of combatives training to the point where any deviation from the widely accepted “truth” (for example, flinch response being presented as a constant or clinch engagement as unavoidable certainty) is regarded as an unrealistic approach, a stupid fantasy, a marketing ploy, or an outright dangerous lie. This stance is accepted without due process of investigation, research, or training. An inability to question the most fundamental beliefs about all things related to violence leads to dogmatic stagnation. MMA has exposed this troublesome trend in the world of self defense and combatives training to the general public in the West. Many adherents of MMA today are just as much, if not more stagnant and unable (or unwilling) to question their own fundamental beliefs. Many seem to think that their truth, which replaced the previous “fact”, is the ultimate and final truth. Is it really? Aside from people driven by agendas and chronic trend followers (“What’s the next Big Thing?”), most students of violence are fairly set in their ways regarding the preparation for violence. Often this fixed mindset involves much more than finding the method “that makes sense and works”. Sometimes it is a component of an almost religious fervor of the idolization of a specific individual expert and everything that the expert does. Sometimes it is the quest for a niche that gives an individual just enough challenge to feel good about working on improvement, but does not break the bubble of relative safety for ones fragile EGO. Often it is due to the allure of the cosmetic make up of the training methodology; the appearance of training “hard” is enough to convince many that their chosen path leads to an almost foolproof ability to control the chaos of true violence. Contorted facial expressions… posturing (both physical and psychological)… sick amounts
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