Upon entering the police academy, I realized my lack of hand/eye coordination would once again be a factor in hand-to-hand combat and shooting. I could hit my target reasonably well, but all of the other necessary motor skills were a challenge.
I first used a semi auto in 1981 when my agency s SWAT team was formed, and I quickly realized a rapid magazine exchange, better known as the speed load, would be a huge challenge for me. Thinking back to my track and field days, I pulled out some of my old training books to review the sections on physiological efficiency. I applied the lessons to pistol shooting.
I knew there were only so many ways to run a pistol and they all had been invented. Nonetheless, by applying the physiological efficiency I learned while running track, I was able to put together a method that worked well for me. Why is this important? Admittedly, it s because I m not a gifted shooter. But in three decades of law enforcement, I ve won a few matches and faced my share of armed suspects. In addition, I ve trained hundreds, if not thousands, of new cops. A number of these officers have contacted me later in their careers and said, What you taught me saved my life! There are few things better in this world than hearing those words.
I put my method into my book Handgun Combatives, which contains what I feel are the simplest and most efficient ways to work the semi auto pistol in defensive situations. While calling it something like Combative Handgun Shooting made Simple or Combative Handgun for Dummies is enticing, my publisher felt it might send the wrong message. I ve updated the book (it will be available later in 2008), and the new edition contains a few ways to do things better than what I originally wrote.
Physiological efficiency is a theme I state repeatedly in the book as well as my classes. If it feels like you re hardly moving, you re probably doing it right. My search for simpler and easier ways will probably last until the day I die.
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