Zen And The Art Of Combat Pistol Shooting
to Greg C. for the following information:
"The author's name is Massod Ayoob. You can find
a lot of his articles in "Combat Handguns" magazine. He is a also
the founder of "Lethal Force Institute" located somewhere in the North
Zen has always been
associated with various marital arts, including archery and
swordsmanship. But more and more, we are beginning to apply much of the
same Zen principles to enhance our shooting skills. Zen is difficult to
define. Yet ask any player of sporting games to explain their peak
performance and they'll tell you that in a special moment, the mind, the
body, the goal, the tool and the result are simply one.
To accomplish something
without thinking - it merely occurs - this is Zen,
Like the Zen archers of
and the sword masters, we train to excel at all times with any firearm
at the limits of human speed, distance, and against all adversaries
under any circumstances. To achieve this level of proficiency, we must
learn to become one with the pistol, we must learn to shoot without
thought. The physical act of firing the pistol must blend with the
mental aspect of control, planning, and discipline to achieve the
The shooter must be in
control of himself, not just the pistol. He must have a clear mind that
is perfectly still. Most shooters' minds are like a stream of rapids
filled" with self-doubt, fear, and irrelevant thoughts.
The relationship between
the shooter and the pistol.
The shooter in control of
himself does not display overt reactions to progress or lack of
He is not worried about
what others think of his ability. He is not elated at success and
disappointed at failure. To do so is to be a child of circumstances.
To master the art of
combat pistol craft, the shooter needs to become one with the pistol.
Think about a musician for
a moment, When he performs there is no player and instrument. The player
and the instrument are in harmony and music is created..
If makes no difference
whether it's a musical instrument, a basketball or firearm, the true
master spends time to the point where the instrument becomes an
extension of the hand.
If you spend as little as
15 minutes a day handling your pistol, dry firing, practicing your draw,
working on your indexing ability, sight alignment and trigger pull,
you'll be amazed at the results.
When practicing your
gun-handling skills it's important that you visualize yourself
executing proper tactics as well as your shooting skills.
When learning to type, a
typist reads the letter, mentally selects the corresponding key. and
consciously directs a finger to strike the key. After training, the
typist automatically sees and types a letter without thought. The mental
thought process has become a conditioned reflex.
This reflex action is the
subconscious mind evaluating the situation, making the decision of
whether or not to release that shot, and without conscious thought on
your part, starting the trigger finger to move and continuing pressure
until the hammer falls.
Your goal should be to
fire a shot when the sights are properly aligned and on the target
without making a conscious decision to pull the trigger. If you have to
stop and think about aligning sights and squeezing the trigger, you're
going to lose the fight.
You must learn to shoot in
the present tense. This means that you are aware only of your shooting
as it is taking place, one shot at a time. If your mind is on the last
shot, next target, or anything else, you are not going to shoot well.
Can you ever practice too
The answer is no. However,
a practice session can be too long. This can be a danger. If you get
overly tired and start missing your shots, then you risk training
yourself to miss the shot. So train daily, if possible, but keep the
sessions just long
enough to cover the
Many people find it
difficult to maintain a regime of daily practice. The list of reasons
(excuses) can be endless. To handle this problem, make a list of excuses
as to why a goal cannot be accomplished.
Here's a few examples:
1.1 don't have time to
2.1 have no one to
3.1 lack the knowledge of
what to do.
4. I don't know how my
5.1 can't shoot well under
6. And the list goes on.
The objective now is to
take each excuse one-by-one and work to eliminate it.
For example: "I don't have
enough lime to practice" is an excuse that can be eradicated with a
1. Substitute air pistol
practice at home during free moments.
2. Practice dry firing
every day, even if you have to do it in front of the television.
(Warning: When dry firing always make sure the pistol is unloaded and
the ammunition stored safely in another room.)
3. Organize your leisure
time to create time for live fire practice.
4. Rearrange your
priorities. If you are going to carry a pistol, perfecting your
shooting skill should be high up on your list.
5. Use visualization to
improve your shooting skills and augment your live fire practice.
The systematic elimination
of excuses allows you to focus on building your skill and achieving peak
When you shoot, avoid
being judgmental, just shoot.
In training for combat
shooting, the shooter must not think beyond the shot. If you are
expecting a hit, or already making excuses for a miss, or if your mind
is involved in self-criticism, you will not be able to focus on
mind cluttered with thoughts prevents you from achieving your goal.
When shooting you must learn to be in the moment only.