Quality Defensive Training Can Be a Toss Up


When you head to the range, whether or not you experience quality practice might just be a coin toss. For most folks the coin toss is all about whether they have a practice session that is beneficial to their personal safety. You see, many folks leave their defensive practice to chance and actually spend very little time doing anything other than target shooting. Those folks show up a the range and send some rounds down range and hope that there will be some benefit.

There is a better way and, oddly enough, it can also be practiced by the toss of a coin.

When folks that understand how important decision making is in shooting and how a random surprise threat call can improve their defensive skill development, they intentionally choose to incorporate tools like a simple coin to help and improve the quality of their practice.

img_3519Why Use A Coin Toss In Defensive Shooting Practice?

When it comes to defensive training most people think about and work to develop the hard skills. They want to be able to get shots on the target quickly with a level of precision that delivers the hits that they need. Usually that is done by selecting a target at a distance and then working through the mechanics that are needed to get the quick hits.

This method certainly helps to build your shooting skills, but those that are interested in self-defense should consider that their quest is about more than just the hard skills in isolation. The type of shooting that is needed to be successful in self-defense requires the hard shooting skills to be coupled with the decision making skills needed to put the shooting skills into play.

Specifically integrating a coin toss into your shooting will require you to gather information on and decide what target you need to shoot and then determine how much skill you need to apply to get the hits you need to get. It sounds complicated, but it’s actually pretty straight forward.

Many shooters love gear, but the reality is that your defensive skills practice can be significantly enhanced with the incorporation of simple tools like a quarter. Lets look at some simple drills that can help develop your skills.

This first coin toss drill helps you to develop your shooting skills while making decisions. It’s simple and can be used in virtually any range setting.

Start out with two targets set up down range. These targets can be set up on two different stands or they could be simply two hit zones on the same sheet. Mark the targets clearly, one with a “T” and the other with an “H”. img_3517Once everything is in place, take your trusty quarter out of your pocket and give it a toss. If you see a heads, drop the coin and place multiple hits into the “H”. If you see a tails, well, shot the “T”.

If your range allows and you are comfortable with the skills required, work from the holster. If drawing from the holster isn’t an option, place the gun on the shooting bench or inside your quick access safe on the bench and work from there.

If you have a training partner you can have them flip the coin and tell you the result and you can work from the high compressed ready position.

img_3518Once you have spent some forcing decisions on what threats you need to shoot, take the drill to the next level. Set up your two targets at two different distances or set up targets of two different sizes. This forces you to make more difficult decisions. In addition to deciding what threat you need to shoot, you now need to vary the level of skill that you apply to get the hits as quickly as you can. A very practical defensive shooting skill set to develop.<

It doesn’t take complicated drills and fancy equipment to enhance your defensive training, yet the rewards can be significant. These are just two variations of drills that can help you to develop decision making skills that are practical in defensive shooting namely, what target needs shooting and what do I have to do to get those hits as fast as possible.

The next time you are at the range for some practice, consider introducing some random target calls into your session. Simply use a coin toss to determine which of two targets you need to treat as your threat.

Paul Carlson

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