Praxis “360 Scan” Drill + CoolFire

One of the big problems that has crept into training over the last few years is the idea of doing a 360 scan.

Being aware of your environment is not a bad thing.

Scanning your environment isn’t a bad thing.

But practicing to quickly turn your head back and forth without purpose creates training scars…and it gives people a false sense of awareness of their environment.

I call it a “silly scan” (You may have heard Tatiana Whitlock call it a “tactical head bob”)

Today’s drill gives you an easy way to practice scanning your environment, identifying threat or no-threat, and engaging the threats.

Here’s how the drill works…

Print 3 columns of letters on an 8.5×11 piece of paper and cut them out so you’ve got 3 columns.

Put one on a wall in front of you…distance doesn’t really matter for this drill, as long as you can extend your pistol and read the letters.

Stand in the middle of the room with your inert training pistol or pistol you’ve temporarily rendered inert, face the column of letters, and see how far you can turn and aim to your right and left without pain and without lifting your feet.  Place the other 2 targets just inside of your range of motion.  (If you want to maximize learning speed, it’s critical that you don’t move into pain while doing this drill.)  If you can excuse my complete lack of drawing ability, this is what it may look like:

If you’ve got less mobility, the “rear” columns of letters may be on the side walls instead of the rear wall.

And here’s the video demonstrating the drill (I skipped most of the setup in the video and went straight to the meat):


Why’s it valuable?

  1. It helps your brain scan deliberately instead of simply glancing…helping you go beyond just shooting to thinking and shooting.
  2. It hard-wires in the limits of your range of motion so that you know how much of your environment you can see before you need to lift your feet, based on YOUR flexibility and mobility.
  3. When you turn your head, resources in the brain shift from vision to balance and there’s a lag in how quickly you can see to shoot.  This drill will make you aware of that lag and help reduce it.
  4. When you move your eyes, there’s a lag in how quickly your vision stabilizes.  This drill will help make you aware of that lag and help reduce it.
  5. Real-world threats often approach at odd angles.  This drill will help take you from always using a perfect stance and shooting straight ahead to engaging targets at angles that may be awkward.
  6. Discernment/thinking while shooting.  There’s a serious gap in current training because of the fact that fundamental shooting skills aren’t combined with basic thinking.  This drill adds a cognitive load to get you used to making shoot/don’t shoot decisions on the fly as well as making the drill more novel to increase learning speed.

Now, of course, once you’ve got this down, you’d want to start lifting your feet, getting off the x, scanning the full 360, and being more dynamic…but it’s good to start flat footed and get the basics nailed down.

This drill is one of the drills from the Praxis Dynamic Gunfighting course, and it’s a quantum leap beyond 99.9% of firearms training being done today.

How’s that possible?

Because the traditional approach to learning how to shoot on the move and at odd angles is to grind out LOTS of reps.  < But that’s just not practical for most shooters…either because of past injuries/physical limitations, time limitations, or money limitations.

The reality is, once you know how to incorporate balance and dynamic vision into your gun training, you’ll make quicker gains in performance with less effort than you thought possible.

Now, this is obviously important for young whippersnappers in the prime of their life, but it’s even more important for people with compromised mobility due to movement related pain.

I’d like to tell you more about it on one of the encore presentations of the Gunfight Training Workshop that I’m holding today.

We’re going to look at some examples of good guys winning gunfights from behind the 8-ball and how to tip the odds in your favor to do the same in an ambush/assault situation.

We’re going to talk about why performance after military, law enforcement, and civilian training drops off INCREDIBLY fast and how to prevent it.

And, for people who attend, we’re going to give you free access to the “Tactical Funhouse” training that will make your dry fire training more fun than you thought possible as well as the “Fixing Low-Left Groups” master mindmap.

Spots are limited, and if you’re serious about having the skills you need to survive a self-defense shooting, you really need to attend.

Learn more and watch now by clicking >HERE< now.

Questions?  Comments?  Fire away below 🙂

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  • Alexander Livinsky

    Reply Reply July 15, 2021

    I have a question:
    When I use my striker fired or hammer fired pistols or revolver for the dry fire training is it bad for the firing mechanism?
    Thank you

  • Michael

    Reply Reply June 5, 2020

    As a physical therapist with 20+ years of experience and specialized training and certification in neuro-development training and neurological re-training, I must say any drill/activity one does whether within one’s current capabilities or exceeding one’s current capabilities has an emotional impact or response on a person.
    Also, in my experience in training and retraining the neurological system, if one only performs activities within one’s current capabilities then one never improves one neurological response/retraining/abilities. So, how does your system actually improve one’s “neurologic” learning and thus physical response and/or abilities?

    • Ox

      Reply Reply June 6, 2020

      Great question. I cover that in the Praxis presentation ( )…I believe you watched…Were you able to watch all of it?

      I’ll take a shot at a couple of things…

      All learning is neurological, regardless of whether it is strictly mental or a combination of mental and physical.

      Learning a complex motor skill is a memorization process where neural connections are made, “strengthened”, or myelinated for future recall.

      We have several systems, but in this case I’m assuming you’re referring to Praxis. I go into detail in the presentation, but here are a few quickies…

      1. Most training either UNDER stimulates the brain (grinding out mindless reps) or OVER stimulates the brain and takes it out of the ideal “stretch” range for optimal learning speed. Praxis is scalable and designed to constantly provide challenge for shooters to keep them at that ideal challenge level for them on that particular day.

      2. The correct application and use of novelty in training is one of the most underused tools that instructors and shooters have today. Without novelty, learning basically stops.

      3. Error correction is necessary to activate the cerebellum, and that means pushing beyond what is too easy and comfortable. Praxis teaches a self-analysis system to keep the challenge level at a point where the cerebellum is optimally activated (in conjunction with #1) but not overwhelmed.

      4. Sterile training, training skills in isolation, or training PARTS of skills in isolation is incredibly valuable for laying down new neural pathways and insuring that those neural pathways haven’t been pruned in a non-ideal way as time goes on. BUT…once a core skill is learned, it will be very fragile until it is practiced in non-ideal situations. As an example, I regularly see shooters who can do fast reloads, and who can walk, but who can’t do reloads at any speed while walking. Once core skills are learned, we want to stack other challenges with them…speed (faster/slower), making decisions based on visual input, balance challenges, stance challenges, angle challenges, and various other cognitive loads to name a few.

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you’ve got any other questions.

  • Ox

    Reply Reply June 4, 2020

    The training pistol that I’m using in the video is from CoolFire Trainer.  It’s a replacement barrel for my Glock 26.  The barrel is actually a mini CO2 tank, a laser, and a piston that cycles the slide, so you get to use your own pistol with your actual trigger & sights.  With the CoolFire Trainer, there’s no way to fire a live round, so you can do full 360 training.  CoolFire makes trainers for several models at .  (Quick note…they’re not cheap and not for everyone, but for instructing and high volume training, they’re incredibly effective)

  • Brian Sandman

    Reply Reply September 8, 2019

    Interesting use of the Triade method of training.
    But I don’t understand how you decide when to shoot while repeating the alphabet?
    Of course the targeting turns are set up for comfort.
    Yet how does this extend or translate to the Combat situation with opponents in your Blind Spots?
    Many Criminals quickly learn to attack from your Blind Side….and sensing that a person(s) is trying to maneuver there is a warning that something may occur.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply September 8, 2019

      Hey Brian,

      In this example, I shot the vowels. You can also shoot the letters of your first, middle, or last name or any other word.

      As to blind spots…one of the biggest problems in training today is that people do drills that are so far beyond their current ability that they retain emotional episodic memories of the training, but don’t develop any skill. This drill is a single drill in a series of drills that ends with lifting your feet, turning, getting off the x, and engaging any targets you see. The drills are designed to stretch shooters each session, but to maximize learning speed by only adding a little bit of new material each day.

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