When seconds count, muscle memory can end up saving your life. It’s sometimes confused with sports or workout techniques. It’s actually more related to our thoughts and memories, and the power we build lies within the mind, not the muscles.
When you execute a task repeatedly, you’re reinforcing the memory of how to complete that task. When the time comes to complete the task you’re able to do it quickly and efficiently, eliminating the need for conscious thought.
You’ve built up considerable muscle memory already, easily driving through intersections, typing in passwords, and getting dressed. Carrying concealed is no different. These actions require constant practice so that the movements are fast and familiar.
Most critical self-defense incidents will probably take place in very close proximity and will happen quickly. In times of high stress, we act almost without thinking. The brain tells the body to survive and doesn’t spend extra time weighing the higher philosophy of the incident.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Practice Makes Perfect”, but what if that’s actually the cause of firing mistakes and unsafe practices? What if what you’ve learned all along is actually false?
The truth is, practice doesn’t always mean perfection. If your practice involves poor technique, you’re just teaching your mind bad habits. The sad part? The more you repeat bad firearm handling habits, the more difficult it will be to correct them.
Your muscles and mind do not know proper technique. It’s your job to teach them the correct movements from the start.
The best time to learn the proper techniques for drawing, firing, and securing your weapon is right now. Don’t be afraid to talk with a certified instructor and review the American Concealed Handgun Safety Training Video for ways you can improve.
The best way to build or correct your firearm handling is to break each process down into small segments. Learn the correct technique for each segment of the process and master it.
Finally, combine the segments together and repeat the procedure over and over again until you’re confident that you can execute it with very little effort and thought.
So, after you’ve practiced and mastered the fundamentals of defensive firing you can move on to more sophisticated tactical techniques, right? Not so fast. Even as you add to your bank of defensive techniques you must always spend time on the basics that make up the foundation of more advanced skills.