Saturday, October 07, 2006

Basic Training

Here is an article by an instructor friend, that is always a timely reminder.

Basic Training

Everything in life starts with the basics. Just like you have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. You need to start with the basics, and perfect them if you will; in order tobuild a strong foundation before you move to more advanced techniques. When I started to study martial arts, the very first thing I needed before I could even start training was some sort martial arts gear (i.e. Uniform or proper clothing, mouth guard, protective gear, etc.) well, before you even think about carrying a concealed weapon you need to get the right gear that will fit your needs (i.e. Belt, holster, spare magazine pouch or speed loader.) Once you have that you can start practicing the basics with the gear you will wear and the way you would carry in the streets. Continuing with the martial arts school analogy, you start to learn how to deflect punches and kicks (high, medium and low blocks), how to punch correctly, how to kick correctly, etc. In the weapons craft art, you start by learning about safety, how to load and unload a weapon safely, how to grip a handgun, and you learn about posture rather than stance and the fundamentals of marksmanship. After you have a good grasp of these important fundamentals and after a lot of dry fire, you put them in practice by doing live fire. Then you learn how present your weapon from your holster towards your adversary, you also learn how to perform a proactive and reactive reload, how to clear unexpected malfunctions and so on and so forth. You practice all of these techniques dry and then with live fire. But the idea here is not to just learn a technique half way and move on, the key is to master the technique first and then move on to the next one. And in order to do that, we need to learn the correct way of doing certain technique and practice them repeatedly so we create what we call muscle memory, just like in martial arts you practice a specific technique hundreds of time, same here. Muscle memory is nothing more than a term used by athletes and muscle physiologist to describe a skeletal-muscle activity that you learn and becomes automatic with practice. By practicing a certain technique over and over, your neurological system and motor neuron/muscle group pathways get faster and it takes them less effort to perform a skeletal-muscle activity (technique or drill) to the point that it doesn't require you conscious thinking to achieve smoothness in the execution in other words, you become faster at that activity. That is why when you practice a technique or drill you should do it slow because the speed will come on its own. We have a saying in the Marine Corps that goes “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” So don't focus so much on speed but rather on perfection of the execution, nice and slow. What will make you fast is not doing it fast but continuous correct practice. Now, something else as important as to continuously practice is to keep practicing. One of my martial arts master once told me “Llegar a la cima de la montana no es dificil, lo dificil es mantenerse en la cima” “Is not difficult to get to the top of a mountain, to stay on it is more difficult.” In this case what I mean by this, is that just like if you stop practicing any discipline for a long period of time you will loose some of your skills, if you don't practice your basic fundamentals every so often, you will loose some of those fine motor skills and therefore speed. If you have had any accident in your low extremities that put you out of commission for a while (broken leg, surgery, etc.) you know what I am talking about, you had to re-learn how to walk and it took a lot of effort, concentration and dedication. So, even if you are at the beginners level, intermediate level or advance level, don't forget to revisit the fundamentals in every practice session that you have, like Gabe says “Revert back to the basics” on anything that you do. So, when practicing the basics of marksmanship do it correctly, slowly, repeatedly and don't focus on speed but on perfect execution. Well that is it for now, I will talk more about other factors related to muscle memory, perfection in execution, precession and more in the upcoming newsletter.

“Semper Fi, Do or Die”
Kelvin Rincon-Galue
S.I. Staff Instructor

3 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Completely said...

Great post by a guy who knows what he's talking about! I'll put a link up to it.

Mr. C.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

urge que te comuniques connosotros

1 956 621 1438
1956 572 5265

Fam. Ortega de Mexico

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelvin Rincon Galue: Urge que te cominiques con nosotros
1956 621 1438
1956 572 5265
Fam. Ortega de Mexico

2:11 PM  

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