The Need For Force On Force
Imagine a class of students studying the art of swimming. The instructor, ostensibly an expert swimmer with credentials and such, calmly walks up to the class and begins lecturing. The environment is totally comfortable and dry, the students are clothed in typical business clothing and notes are being taken as they sip water or coffee.
The lecturer goes on to describe the need to float, and to move the arms and legs in unison, this way and that. He discusses passingly how to breathe and what water temperature may do to the technique. He shows films of swimmers, and analyzes the techniques.
Finally, the class understands the concept of swimming.
Then they retire to their respective swim couches and practice their strokes incessantly. After a while they very good at this and can whip out a back stroke or breast stroke or even a dog paddle like the expert in class. They are given Swimmer Diplomas and sent out ready to swim....should the need arise.
Eventually these would-be swimmers begin discussing the merits of pumping the arms more than the feet, or of holding the breath or the theoretical need to get the head up out of the place the water would be, if in fact they were swimming in water, in order to breathe. Minutia upon minutia are analyzed and discussed to perfect "the couch swim".
But nobody ever gets into the water. The water is a fearfull place. One actually gets wet. "There be dragons" seems to be the attitude. "The water is not safe", some say. Others say that the mere suggestion that one would have to test the Master Swimmer's Theory Of Swimming to be a disloyal and unfaithful act. Analytical swimmers do not need to get into the water, others murmur as they grind through their swim katas every day.
The discussions on minutia and the unaswered questions persist. Yet if one of them dared to wander into the murky wetness, all the questions that they have spent hours and hours bemusing would be answered in one instant flash of sudden understanding.
I'll let you in on a secret. It is a dark and ugly secret that has been kept hidden like a national security issue for decades.The master swimmer does not, in fact, know how to swim.
He can teach you the technique for making swimming motions on a safe couch, but he knows nothing of the water. The couch swim doesn't work in a pool, much less in the ocean. His students would drown.
That is a fact he would kill to keep hidden, because he has invested so much in his teaching methods and technical presentation.
Quite an illustration isn't it? Much the same can be said for many other things in life. One of them is Gun Fighting.
I get students from range-based schools, and their satellites all the time. These guys and gals have been drilled into the indoctrination of how to stand, how to draw, and of course, how to use the sights to carefully fire a nice pair into a piece of paper. They have previously spend their training time perfecting their stance, or focusing more on their front sight, or reacting to the first tone of the whistle or tone. Slight changes in holsters, or triggers, or other incomprehensible irrelevancies filled their study time.
These things do not last more than the first few minutes of our class.
Yet, some of our herasy and blasphemies have spread through the cracks into other schools curricula. Formerly square-range based, they want to put a toe into the water without getting their carefully pressed Royal Robbins tuxedo wet. It is impossible to hide the truth in the age of the internet.
I have seen them come and draw and fire, then and only then taking a quick single side step so as to give passing lip service to getting off the X without altering their precise sight picture and stable platform.
The open mouth and furrowed brow that results from their failure is almost uniform.
If only people would simply get into the water...into the Force on Force crucible, all things would be known immediately like the dripping swimmer who has just completed his first pool workout. In a handful of chaotic and often intense seconds, the force on force student knows more about gunfighting than the untested range instructor who has been shooting groups all his life.
Stop being the theoretical dry couch swimmer and jump into the freaking pool. Heck, just think of all the time and money that will be saved once you have the "secret" knowledge that so many are trying to keep from you. Put down your range bag, grab an airsoft pistol and a training partner and step into the light.