Don’t let your skills Fall off!

Autumn scene along the Bitterroot River, Hamilton, Montana 2022.

Summer had record high temperatures for quite a spell! And it was a BUSY season! Thank you to everyone who came out for in-person training! By the way, if you haven’t gotten in for training, my calendar has slots and I continually work to meet you in your place of need.

The need for training is a year-round endeavor.

As a police officer I noted: crime trends increased, and tactics typically evolved during the holiday seasons.

That fact brings me to the need to address another matter…

There is a difference between defensive shooting as your primary focus and competition shooting as your primary focus. Yes, there is wonderful overlap between these two disciplines but there are distinct differences worth pointing out.

The most obvious differences fall under the categories: mindset, objectives and training.

Referencing my work as a police officer again: I had to be well versed in the legal aspects of The Legal Use of Force and more importantly, I had to conduct myself and know when to act in the moment to moment. My job was to be sure that at the end of my shift, I was going home. Mindset.

When is it appropriate to employ a use of force?

or de-escalation?

a less than lethal option?

or… do nothing, besides walk away?

I had to know and make the correct choice EVERY SINGLE DAY, moment by moment, call to call as I served in one of America’s most violent cities. Reading those cues, also known as pre-threat and pre-assault indicators is something I had to be excellent to perform. My very life, the life of my partners and those present on scenes depended on my success at doing these skills.

As a woman, discernment is an excellent skillset to develop, even outside of law enforcement. I still rely on those skills.

I am passionate to share what I have learned along the way.

With competition shooters there is a lot of gamesmanship and variables at play in the pursuit of speed to target: modified triggers, recoil springs, targets placed in defined parameters, ammunition loads made light to limit the experience of recoil and get back on target faster. In fact, this list of variables and mods could be very long… But let’s just keep it simple. It often lacks the mental discipline that defensive pistol requires.

I will say it again for that person in the back, or for that person that was talking and no one else could hear…

Competition shooting often lacks the mental discipline that defensive pistol requires.

For example, I would never suggest or utilize a lighter ammunition load to be more successful at striking a competition target. I would instead tell you what was said to me during training: “Train how you’ll fight. Fight how you’ve trained.”

With defensive pistol the mindset work is first. Threats exist in any environment, limited only by the creative conjuring of criminals. The same criminals, who by the way hone their proficiencies while making an art out of their “sports”. Criminals improve their “skills” one victim at a time. That’s work NOT done on the range. The time, place, distance and method are variables determined by criminals.

For the law abiding, our remaining options are to see the threat fast and to react accordingly. It is my business to assist you in this journey, no matter the season. Preparadeness is not defined by the seasons.

Competition shooting is a sport, and its season is ending. It sure can be a lot of fun and it does have value. We were blessed to be part of it for several years as youth coaches and we personally entered a few competitions along the way. It very truly isn’t the end all be all, however. It takes experience to see those distinctions.

Don’t let your skills fall off! (It’s not punny to find yourself ill-prepared or ill-equipped.)

Text with request for dates to put your training plan on the calendar. Review the class offerings and let me know how we can help, because threats don’t disappear during the competition off-season. Your skills ought not suffer either. Shooting and mindset work are depreciating skills.

Has it been a while since you reviewed The Legal Use of Force? We have several new scenario-based training modules to run you through so your Mind can be well prepared in the event that you must act.

How close is too close (when you find yourself uncertain about an individual’s intentions)? We love to open your eyes through hands on experience labs which best illustrate key concepts.

How do you articulate what requires a legal use of force? Again, we have experience and are passionate to educate.

Our mission is to Save Lives and we are pleased to be Official Partner’s with USCCA (United States Concealed Carry Association) to carry this mission forward in collaboration.

Learn more about USCCA here!

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