Firearm Self Defense Tips

by Chris Browning
(Gun News Daily)

Training for self-defense resembles playing a sport or driving. You need to practice long enough in different conditions, until the movement becomes a habit and the muscle memory reacts instinctively, even under stress.

In fact, shaking or even an increased heart rate are your biggest enemies in a limit situation. As you build up skills and confidence with the weapon, in different scenarios, you will become calmer.

If you attend a self-defense class, your instructor should gradually take you through increasingly difficult situations, without making you feel nervous in the beginning.

Know your Body

Most of us have a dominant hand and a dominant eye, just 1% of the population is naturally ambidextrous. To be a great shooter, you need to train your weak hand too.

In a real fight situation, you can become injured and no longer able to protect yourself if you only rely on the natural abilities.

Take this test to determine your dominant eye. In the best-case scenario, your dominant eye and hand are on the same side. Otherwise, you are cross-dominant and need to get specialized training for distance appreciation or just learn to shoot with your non-dominant hand.

Create Healthy Reflexes

In a situation where your life or that of the ones around you is in danger, the most important piece of advice is: “Keep your eyes on the target.” Eye contact is your first line of defense, even without a gun. Therefore, you should never look down or to the side.

Practice loading and reloading your gun with one hand, while looking at the target constantly. As you advance, do this with moving targets, moving towards you at different speeds.

Know your Gun

As you practice, your weapon will become a natural extension of your body. You will learn the small particularities and learn to react to malfunctions.

A reliable and well-maintained gun should be accurate all the time, but you can simulate failures by using dummy rounds, mixed with standard rounds. Reload as fast as possible until you can do it under pressure.

To save some money on ammo and build up muscle memory you should do as many dry-fire drills as possible.

Muscle memory is short term. Studies show that as soon as a week passes without practice, you lose 20% of accuracy, therefore don’t let any day go by without sparing some minutes for gun practicing. Take it seriously and do it safely. Remove ammo, and then focus on pointing, holding your breath and shooting.

Become Comfortable with Accessories

If you have a holster or just prefer to keep your gun in your glove-box compartment, you should practice retrieving your weapon, arming it and using it as fast as possible. Most holsters require some degree of training to allow you to draw and point the gun fast enough.

The more concealed your weapon is, the more difficult it can be to use. Keep in mind that ankle holsters are the most uncomfortable, while shoulder holsters are among the most accessible, even when driving.

Perform Scenario Training

Imagine all the situations where you would need to use a gun to protect yourself. Think of different angles from which the attacker comes. If you have different weapons, be sure to take enough time to practice with each of them.

One example of scenario training is getting your gun from the safe, in your home, at night, in total darkness. It sounds like a bad thriller scene but is as accurate as possible. Try an additional blindfold to increase difficulty.

The value of scenario training is not discussed enough. It is the link between theory and practice, between a range shooter and a real-life hero. It makes your brain take the skill and place it in the context.

Improve your skills continuously

To make sure you are doing things right and to upgrade your skills once in awhile it is a very good idea to take some dedicated self-defense classes. Just be sure to select a course that offers good value for money. Such a course provides a broad approach, has clear objectives and is recommended by people with your skill level.

Do your best to meet the trainer before starting the course and decide if you feel you can have a good working relationship. A great coach exudes confidence and makes you feel excited, not stressed.

No matter how prepared you are, the best self-defense tip remains: “Don’t seek out danger, just fight it when it threatens you.”

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