ISOLATED AT HOME: TIPS ON STAYING SHARP Part 2
ISOLATED AT HOME: TIPS ON STAYING SHARP: Part 2
Part One of this article discussed COVID-19 and the effect it had on concealed carriers. Our world has been strongly impacted by the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The article was expressly directed to concealed carriers who understand the importance of staying sharp during a time of national unrest when the odds that the unexpected will happen have increased. Part Two continues along this same vein and addresses additional actions that concealed carriers might undertake in order to maintain an acceptable level of constant preparedness without being paranoid.
- I will visit the CCW Safe website looking for past articles and podcasts directed to concealed carriers who realize that surviving both a lethal-force encounter and journey through the legal system requires more than a firearm and the necessary skill to timely get it into action and do what needs to be done with it in order to cause others to cease their violent actions. There is a wealth of information available there for concealed carriers addressing the importance of mindset, mental preparedness, tactics, and knowledge of the laws of self-defense. As a matter of fact, a person who has a strong foundation these areas may very well never need to use their handgun and call upon their skills to protect themselves or others.
- I think it’s important to work out whether the fitness gyms are open or not. This is a great time for concealed carriers to start an exercise program, and definitely no time for those who already exercise to quit. Concealed carriers with exercise equipment at home are ahead of the game, but there is hope for the rest of us. I can get a lot done with a single dumbbell weighing somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds. Granted, it takes many more reps to burn out my biceps, deltoids, and triceps, but many of us have the extra time required. Combine this with pushups, abdominal crunches, and bridges and I have targeted most of the upper body large muscle groups. Sit ups and planks are good exercises also, although I am having to forego those exercises right now due to some recent minor hip surgery. It is also a good time to get some outside cardio in the form of bicycling, jogging, or simply fast walking. Not only does exercise benefit our health but it tends to improve our mood and mental attitude. It often escapes us how important our brain is to virtually everything we do.
- This is also a great time to practice dry-fire skills two to three times a day and get in the quality repetitions needed to improve or maintain gunhandling skills. Many concealed carriers do not understand the importance of being able to quickly and consistently get the muzzle of a concealed handgun between themselves and a dangerous threat as fast as possible. I am an advocate of not performing more than 20-25 repetitions per session for most persons in order to ensure every repetition is performed properly with much focus on technical excellence. It is relatively easy to start mentally slacking off during long sessions, with the result that attention to form suffers. I find myself looking forward to dry-fire sessions and I have been doing them for over twenty-five years. Concealed carriers should remember that their dry-fire practice target should be backed up by a brick, concrete, or rock wall and to remove all ammunition on and around the concealed carrier prior to dry-fire practice. It is best to have no ammunition in the same room or general area during dry-fire practice.
- Since I am isolated at home, it makes sense that if I am forced to defend myself then this is where it is going to occur. This is an excellent time to practice structure clearing drills in my house using two separate techniques. The first technique is called slow clearing, which is what I would use if I heard a strange noise that causes me to suspect that someone HAS NOT entered my house but prudence dictates that I confirm this to be true. If someone has entered my house I will not knowingly seek them out for the purpose of engaging them unless I had to leave where I was in order to protect someone else. It is most likely far safer to take up a position in a room that requires the intruder to penetrate the room in order to see me. If this is not the case, I will slow clear my house from one end to the other using angles, distance, and conformation of my body to the extent possible behind cover (which there is typically very little of in most houses, as most walls won’t stop incoming rounds) or concealment like sheetrock walls and wooden doors (typically won’t stop incoming rounds, but obscures the vision of other on the other side). I bring a handheld light regardless of the time of day in order to see inside dark areas such as closets. I use speed to cross exposed threat areas in order to limit the time I am situated in a significantly indefensible areas. The second technique is called dynamic clearing, which I will use to quickly move to another part of the house if I believe that there is an intruder in the house and I need to protect another family member. I am an advocate even in those circumstance of not moving faster than I can see, process, and, if necessary, act upon new information. My goal will always be to see, identify, and if necessary quickly engage an intruder before that person (or persons) can see me and respond.
As always, when it comes to teaching physical skills, techniques, and even tactics a brief article such as this one is no substitute for taking instruction under a qualified instructor who can demonstrate the action to be taken, accompany it with detailed explanation, answer questions, and make corrections as necessary. Training under such an instructor would most likely be difficult to accomplish right now. However, a person who understands the problem and has at least a general of understanding of what constitutes a viable response is probably light years ahead of a person who has given no thought whatsoever of what he or she should do under intense pressure. There is simply no time like the present to keep the mind and body sharp, and no reason to not dedicate a small portion of that time to preparing for the day we all hope never comes.
Steve is a long-time defensive weapons instructor based out of Texas who has trained hundreds of men and women of all ages for more than two decades on how to better prepare to defend themselves and their loved ones. Steve has completed over 80 private-sector and law enforcement-only defensive weapons and tactics classes, and has trained civilian and law-enforcement officers in six states. Moses is a reserve deputy, former member of a multi-precinct Special Response Team, competitive shooter, and martial artist. Steve has written numerous articles for SWAT Magazine and other publications. Steve is a licensed Texas Level 4 Personal Security Officer and Instructor who was Shift Lead on a mega-church security detail for seven years, and has provided close protection for several former foreign Heads of State. He is currently an instructor at Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu/Krav Maga in Tyler, Texas and Director of Training for Palisade Training Group (www.ptgtrainingllc.com).