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Thread: What was your "aha" or breakthrough moment?

  1. #11
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    I can't come close to those things and probably never will, but then again I'm not trying to because I haven't chosen those things as personal benchmarks. In fact I probably started getting more serious about shooting too late in life to really ever get to a very high level of skill -- especially compared to the people you mentioned.

    But I did have a bit of an "ah-ha" moment at a Givens class when I shot a clean casino drill in 19 seconds with a totally flubbed second reload. The magazine slipped out of my hand and I caught it just above the ground and kept going. The "ah-ha" part was realizing that the focused practice I had been doing with that pistol/ammo/holster had paid off and I was starting to improve. Things like that keep me trying to get better and keep me interested, even knowing the limitations of my abilities.

  2. #12
    Site Supporter miller_man's Avatar
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    Great thread. Really enjoying reading the responses.


    I am reminded of a quote, I think I heard on Steve Andersonís podcast
    ďThere are no secrets. Everything is a secretĒ
    The stupidity of some people never ceases to amaze me.

    Humbly improving with CZ's.

  3. #13
    New Member ASH556's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miller_man View Post
    Great thread. Really enjoying reading the responses.


    I am reminded of a quote, I think I heard on Steve Andersonís podcast
    ďThere are no secrets. Everything is a secretĒ
    Based on you and some others recommendations I began listening to these Thursday.
    Food Court Apprentice
    Semper Paratus certified AR15 armorer

  4. #14
    The magic is that there is no magic Ė Pannone

    @GJM hit some very important points and legit truths with this already but Iíll throw in my 2 cents worth just because @ASH556 is my friend and he mentioned me in this.

    So legit on demand performance is a thing, the whole point is for it to be at a high level but there is more to it than that. There is a range of on demand performance from the I slept great, itís clear and sunny out, I feel great etc. level to the itís raining, I got two hours of sleep, I feel like shit, Iím scared etc. level. What anyoneís goal should be is to have the gap in levels be a small as possible, it takes work and depending on resources such as time, ammo, facilities etc. it can be micro improvements on both ends. Just like Gabe talks about in his class and Steven Anderson and others there is training to push performance which then requires a cleanup session but it involves pushing till the wheels fall off and then there is training the on demand level which for people with limited resources is the smarter option even though the gains are incremental they are lasting.

    With anything such as shooting performance and or working out you have to define your goals, and they must be realistic and balanced. You donít see many high level marathon runners that are also competitive body builders for a reason. They each have different task and goals therefore they require different training. There are of course balanced athletes depending on the sport or what you might refer to as tactical athletes (Mountain Tactical Institute) where they balance the levels or strength, endurance, etc. Ultimately whatever you goal is if you donít structure your training/practice and have a reasonable test to measure yourself itís kind of pointless. You might still get better but itís going to take longer and it will be frustrating etc. Kevin B has a much better way to convey this and is someone who has spent a lot of time to create a system for himself and others. Iím super indebted to him as he has helped guide me and refine me as a shooter and in many other arenas as well. Gabe (@Mr_White) has also been instrumental for me in the shooting arena and Iím very lucky to have his as a friend.

    Josh the same is for you, we helped push each other and hold one another accountable for a long time when it comes to shooting when we had no real guides early one. We had some legit frame of references but we didnít have the metrics and or other things available to us early on that we have now.

    So taking all that if you look at the four things you listed you have to break each down individually and ask what they mean to you and realize that they donít all cross each other in the skills required. Also you have to ask whatís the cost on solely focusing on anyone of them individually as your main goal, will that make you a balanced shooter if you donít maintain other stuff? Iíd argue no and I think most would agree because at the end of the day the fundamentals are the fundamentals, there are high levels of application based off the situation etc. but thatís it. No there are things that come into play such as tactics, stage planning, mindset, physical conditioning etc. but for most real world shooting problems the reality is if you can shoot Dark pin levels with some light mixed in and letís say 90ís on a B8 regularly at 25 yards you are more than good to go when it comes to the shooting skill part and this will free you up to start analyzing and dealing with the other problems. For example honestly a 2 second draw will get a lot done in a shooting problem but if you are tapping the high end of your on demand performance to just hit that goal you will probably be worried about that in a real world situation vs if you have more speed on tap and arenít worried as you are confident in your draw you can begin dealing with other problems such as foreground/background etc.

    So all this to basically say the list all donít cross communicate skill wise with one another and again you are talking about the highest level of performance being required by the shooter and equipment as well (small portion but it matters especially when talking about 100 on a B8 at 25 yards, i.e. the 10 ring is 3.36 inches and if you ammo is 3í capable at best and you add your movement etc.) Where and who these are shot in front of too will effect performance and as Gabe says there isnít anyone who can just phone in a Turbo pin.

    In closing define your personal goal, come up with realistic and legit metrics, structure practice, and do work! Also enjoy the process because there is no magic just hard work!
    Last edited by karmapolice; 05-25-2019 at 09:47 AM.

  5. #15
    By the time I got done with making my coffee, several people posted what I wanted to. My a-ha moment was a realization that there isn't one. The closest thing to it is when you're doing something wrong systematically and someone tells you that. We call it error correction. You (the OP) seemingly hint at slower than expected skill progression in your opening paragraph. That is a function of talent (yes, that matters), resources, and quantity and quality of practice, in bold because I've done a shit ton of bad practice sessions, both dry and live. If you've not hitting your marks, it is either any of these or your goals are unrealistic, at least at the moment.
    The above listed set of skills, and on demand requirement, puts this in a realm of a strong, non-grandbagging M class shooter. Can you do it? See the underlined above.
    ďWell," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.

  6. #16
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    I"m not special. I remember in about 2011 the first time I even shot a bill drill and couldn't split below .25 and wondered how in the world does Dave Sevigney do that? Dave Sevigny, Todd Jarrett, Rob Leatham, Brian Enos. I knew who those guys were, I had seen video's. I thought it was unattainable.

    I read a post from Ben Stoeger where he said everyone that is good just put in the work. So on my Christmas List was a Ben Stoeger Dry Fire book and dry fire targets. And I committed to going page by page doing the drills for 15 minutes a day 3-5 days a week. In about 3 matches I was A Class. 3-4 more I made Master.

    I challenge anyone to commit to the time. 3-5 x a week 15 minutes a day. Follow the prescription in Ben Stoeger's dry fire book. Live fire for match mode, speed mode, accuracy mode. Do, evaluate, adjust or repeat.

    As for going to classes... I've paid to go to three:

    Aim Fast Hit Fast. I was B class, not very good, didn't really know my technique, didn't know what see what you need to see mean or how to call shots. Had never dry fired.
    Steve Anderson. A Class, almost Master, heard of all that stuff, thought I knew what it was. Didn't understand mindset or competing.
    Mike Seeklander. Master Class, instructor development course. Mostly there for the resume and learn how to teach, not really a how to shoot class. 2015.

    Haven't been to a class since, would probably only take a class from Ben Stoeger because he's the best. Or from @Mr_White because he's my friend and it would be fun.
    Last edited by nwhpfan; 05-25-2019 at 11:30 AM.
    A71593

  7. #17
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
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    I'll be rambling here.

    I probably started shooting around the 1970's. My first competitions match was 1980. So I have been a competition shooter for around 40 years. I am first a competition shooter with a side of Tactical Timmy.

    I can't meet any of your goals. But, I still consider myself a winner. I have other goals. I like to win local matches and place well at regional or national matches.

    One of my big aha moments was when I learned to shoot pistol with both eyes open.

    Another biggie was in 1999 when I placed 8th overall at the IDPA Nationals. I realized I could shoot well if I just shot and kept my mind out of it. Background: I had been having some sort of heart palpitations. I was imagining open heart surgery and thinking about who I was going to give my slot to the Nationals to. Turns out I just had a potassium deficiency and I needed to drink orange juice every day. I went to the Nationals and had fun just being alive. I was shooting (pay attention here) "with no expectations". I ended up 4th SSP, won Expert and high Senior. I went back the next year expecting (see what happened here) to clean up. Didn't happen. Expectations.

    Now I shoot matches with no expectations to win. But I sometimes do win. I don't think about results until afterwards. People will make comments as I walk up to a stage like; well here's the winner, or after I shoot they will say that's the fastest time all day. Or they will tell me how fast so and so shot the stage. I have to put that stuff in the back of my mind and just shoot with no expectations.

    I told you I was going to ramble. I'm old enough to be a curmudgeon so I'm allowed.

    Every time I try, I don't succeed. I have learned to just do and accept the consequences.

    1. I had a chance to shoot the FAST in front of Todd one time. It happened that I was shooting my revolver that day. Can you imagine how much of a hero I would be if I shot a good fast with a revolver. Yeah, I was thinking of that.

    2. mid 90's no 100's.

    3. I'll have to "try" this. I've only shot it a couple of times.

    4. I might be able to luck into this but my draw is slow.

    One last point. I've found that I do better when I shoot Glocks and quit switching around. LOL

  8. #18
    Member JHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clusterfrack View Post
    My aha moment was when i stopped expecting a breakthrough. Being competitive in the USPSA Master class has taken a shit ton of hard work. There arenít any shortcuts that I am aware of.

    Your list of goals is also part of the problem. Those are benchmarks, and at least for me, arenít a goal in and of themselves.

    Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get to work. I am writing this from the range, after an excellent and fun practice session. I worked hard and maybe got 0.0001% better today.

    Also a good coach can be a big help. Sometimes you need someone to tell you what to do to improve efficiently.
    So many A Ha moments I forget them. Seems the next week there was some other hurdle.

    This is probably the truest one. The Way of no Way.

    Practice til you own it. But you never really own own it. Rent maybe.
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by ASH556 View Post
    1. Coin-level FAST runs on-demand from concealment
    2. 100 on a 25yd B8
    3. Turbo-pin level on Gabe's stuff (with our without concealment).
    4. A sub-2.5 Bill Drill clean
    Coin and pins are meant to commemorate noteworthy performance on one occasion. Shooting is a perishable skill, so coins and pins are about the past, not the future.

    Iíve shot 100 on a 25-yard B8 a handful of times, including once or twice with a Glock. Itís a lot easier with a match-grade 1911 or my Clark Ruger 22. Itís one of the few places where you really can buy skill.

    The Bill Drill is meant to develop skills, not to measure meaningful application of deadly force.

    We all want what we want but we need to keep it in perspective.


    Okie John
    ďThe reliability of the 30-06 on most of the worldís non-dangerous game is so well established as to be beyond intelligent dispute.Ē Finn Aagaard
    "Don't fuck with it" seems to prevent the vast majority of reported issues." BehindBlueI's

  10. #20
    Some good posts in response to the original on here already so I'll try to be brief.

    I think you are asking the wrong questions and have become fixated on certain "achievements" (wants) that do not necessarily translate to reality (needs).
    To be clear, not criticizing or faulting you for anything because I do appreciate your intentions and honesty not to mention your post is sort of the purpose behind PF.com, or at least I think so.

    If you want something that translates to the real world I would say - without hesitation - the answer is "The Standards."

    "The Standards" have changed slightly since the original post, but they're just as valid no matter which version you use... and they're the best thing I've seen to date that pretty much answer the question "what is good enough?".

    About a year (+) ago I was a weak Dark Pin shooter (at best) at a Gabe White Pistol Shooting Solutions ( @Mr_White ) class. In about a year I achieved a solid Light Pin. Conditions were pretty similar for both performances with a near stock Glock 19.4 (aftermarket iron sights) and similar holster set up. For my Dark Pin I shot from an OWB strong-side kydex (concealed open front shirt) and for my Light Pin I shot from an OWB Level 3 holster. How did I do it? Well, as @karmapolice quoted Mike Panonne... "There is no magic...".

    I didn't go from Dark to Light by shooting Gabe's drills repeatedly day in and day out, which I'm fairly sure Gabe would not encourage people to do unless their goal is to specifically earn a Turbo Pin. If your goal is to become a better shooter (overall) you should work things other than the technical shooting standards in your original post.

    I did not shoot/practice three (3) of the four (4) technical shooting drills in Gabe's class until the next time I attended his class. I did shoot one (1) of his drills "regularly" - the split bill drill. I shot the SBD eight (8) times (exactly) on one (1) day every three (3) months for a year. I shot it on much more generous scoring zones than what you get in Gabe's class. Do I think shooting the SBD thirty-two (32) times (exactly) over the course of a year resulted in the Light Pin? No. Did it hurt? No. The times I shot the SBD were a small part of my overall training regimen and were never the focal point.

    The point is this: "The Standards" and subsequent training to exceed those standards are the answer. The listed drills and goals in your original post are not bad, but they are not the best or most efficient places to put your time and money - IMHO.

    -"The Standards"-
    Shoot them, record your results, read/interpret those results, train accordingly, re-test.

    My personal goal with the "Standards" is to achieve zero double no-go scores in any one (1) category and obtain at least 16/20 "go" rating for an overall 80% score. Anyone accomplishing this on the regular is doing something right. More importantly, those people have (IMO) an above average chance of winning any reasonable pistol shooting solution scenario.

    Get hot.
    Last edited by Clark Jackson; 05-26-2019 at 10:25 PM.
    "The first quality that is needed is audacity." -Winston Churchill

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