July 24, 2011, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - In this Canada self defense blog, I am thrilled to offer a blog by the SAFE International Director of US Operations, Ryan Fellows. In this blog Ryan talks about Firearm Instructor Responsibilities and the importance of keeping up with the science. Ryan Fellows qualifications has earned credentials as an NRA Firearm Instructor, NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor, Range Safety Officer, Israeli Combat Shooting Instructor, Glock Certified Armorer, and Close Quarters Combatives Instructor.
If we consider all of the latest information available regarding the physiology of stress and how it relates to our bodies during a dynamic critical incident, it seems that we must also evaluate how we teach today's warriors as it relates to stress under fire.
Many studies have shown that when placed under an extreme amount of stress, our bodies will react in a somewhat predictable way to protect itself. Some examples of these reactions are; the startle flinch, tunnel vision (the rise of visual acuity), auditory exclusion, lowering of center of gravity, facing the stimulus (indexing the threat), eyes opening wide (both eyes) to focus on the threat.
It has been since the mid seventies and the beginnings of the dash cam videos that we have been able to see actual shootings and the chaotic way that they play out. It is unrealistic that we see anyone involved actually stand in a perfect weaver stance, focus on the front sights, squinting one eye, and squeeze off a controlled pair. It is shown repeatedly, assailants and officers, shooting seemingly uncontrollably with poor grip on their guns while running backwards towards some sort of cover or at least away from their opponent.
We know that when confronted with a threat, our body is naturally going to lower its center of gravity, orient towards the threat, hands will move up to protect our head, and eyes will both open wide and focus on the threat (the startle flinch). Why then would we train students to blade off thirty degrees from the target and close one eye to focus on the sights. We as Professional Firearm Instructors have a duty to be the most informed people on the training range. We carry such an important load of responsibility when it comes to training people to win an encounter involving firearms.S
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