In the teachings of the Martial Arts, there must be a close synchronization between closing and opening distance and the various actions of the hands and feet. The ability for a shooter to be effective at understanding speed depends on their ability to understand the threat and the environment surrounding it.
Each shooter must understand how to process three things when engaging a target (threat). Shooters must deeply understand their relationship to these three things “Size of the target, Distance to the target and their own shooters ability. These three factors must be deeply understood and should be applied and reinforced in every drill.
Shooters must adjust their speeds in relations to distance, size and ability. When it comes to speed, I like to develop three different types of speeds; by understanding this, the shooter can quickly process the threat and execute the proper movement to neutralize the threat.
Types of Speeds:
Processing Speed. Train to quickly process movement through the eyes. This should be done by training on the conscious and sub-conscious mind; in this process I would train with a training partner. Put the training partner to the side of the shooter within a safe range from the shooter. Have your partner move an arm and through your sub-conscious mind pickup the movement.
Mental Speed. Quickness of mind to develop a Course of Action (COA) base on the threat, situation, environment… etc. Mental speed can be developed by training on different combat base scenarios. Understand experience has a lot to do with the proper development of this speed.
Performance Speed. Quickness in movement to execute proper body to weapons mechanics. Performance speed is to deeply understand proper fundamentals needed to employ a weapon with speed. In the teachings of the martial arts, this is called “Mushin” (Japanese meaning, No-Mind) When training on performance speed, one must train to a state of “No Mind” –when all thoughts and emotions are eliminated and truly your training kicks in.
“The Weaver Drill” – Ronin
This drill is a great drill to reinforce the shooters ability of understanding speed in relations to the size of target, distance to target and their shooters ability while conducting movement.
Set Up the Drill
This drill is setup using 6 cones and 3 silhouette targets. I like to use AR500 12×20-inch silhouette steel targets. These targets will reinforce the teachings of size, distance and shooter’s ability.
The shooter will start at Cone 1 and engage the far right target from a stagnant standing position. The shooter must hit Target 1 from 30 meters away before moving through the weaver. The shooter will then move and weave through the weaver while engaging the far right target as the shooter weaves in between the cones.
This first portion of the drill reinforces the notion of slowing down on the long shots (reinforcing the teachings of size of target). As the shooter moves through the weaver he must engage Target 1 from each side of the cone while moving forward. (NOTE: Only one shot on target is required throughout this while course of fire.)
Once the shooter moves to Cone 4, he then cuts left (like cutting through a door in CQB). The shooter must engage the center steel target right side on a lateral move and shoot. Shooter must understand leading a target on the move. This stage will also reinforce the size of target, as the target is bigger at 15 meters.
Once shooter arrives at Cone 5, he must shoot Target 3 while reversing around Cone 5. Shooter will then move to Cone 1, while conducting this angular movement shooter must turn and engage Target 2 while continuing to move. Once shooter arrives at Cone 1, he must engage Target 1 from standing.
Shooter will then move to Cone 6, while laterally moving, he must shoot Target 2. This portion will reinforce leading a target in relations to size and distance. Once Shooter hits Cone 6, he will then engage Target 3 from a stagnant standing position.
To make this drill more difficult, I tighten up the box, this will force the shooter to preform movements faster. You can also conduct “The Weaver” Drill with a pistol, just shorten up the box to the target.
They say the weapon is just an extension of your body. If this is the case, then one must train in the synchronization between closing and opening distance and the various actions of the hands and feet in relations to his weapon.
Text by Tu Lam and illustrations by Charles Lasky
About Tu Lam
Lam is a Retired-Green Beret that spent 23 years serving in the U.S. Special Forces. Now founder and CEO of his own training and tactical gear company, Ronin Tactics, Lam shares his experience with students of all walks of life. You may also recognize the edged weapons master as co-host of History Channel’s television show, “Forged in Fire: Knife or Death.” You can learn more about Lam and Ronin Tactics by visiting ronintactics.com.