“You won’t have time for “X” In A Gunfight!” (What’s the “X?”)

I got a comment on Facebook today saying that you shouldn’t practice a proper stance because you won’t have time to get one in a gunfight.

I get different flavors of the same question all of the time…

“It’s silly to practice with your sights because you won’t have time to use them in a gunfight.”


“It’s silly to pay attention to breathing because you won’t have time to in a real gunfight.”


“It’s silly to practice a slow, gentle trigger press because you won’t have time in a real gunfight.”


Let’s just take an extreme position and agree for a moment that you won’t have time for stance, sight picture, sight alignment, breathing, or a slow trigger press in a real gunfight.  It might look more like this:

Then why do instructors who have been in real gunfights and lived to tell about it teach all of those things?

And how do you make the jump from doing all of those things that take too much time to shooting quickly and accurately under stress?

Imagine with me, for a second, that you’ve got a baby who you REALLY want to grow up to be a pro goalie…maybe hockey, lacrosse, or soccer…you pick.

Do you start out by sitting them on the floor and taking full speed shots at them?


Of course not.

You maximize the fun and odds for success by eliminating variables and simplifying things as much as possible, focus on one or two fundamentals at a time, and gradually add speed and complexity over time.

But, even as a pro, they’ll probably come back to the basics of standing still and having someone take slow, easy shots right at them.

It’s the same with shooting.

It’s a progression from ridiculously simple to complex…and the best FREQUENTLY come back to refining the fundamentals that the rest of their performance is built on.

And what’s “right” for training to be able to train for self-defense situations is totally dependent on where a shooter is at on their journey.

EVERY shooter, even world champion competitive shooters and Tier I bad asses, benefit from slowing down and focusing on the fundamentals.

Every shooter should start with the fundamentals and use a proper stance or sit down, take the time to get a perfect sight picture, maybe even pay attention to their breathing, and press the trigger however slowly they need to so that they don’t disturb sight alignment…not because that’s tactically sound, but because it will stack the odds in their favor for making good hits and nailing sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger press.

In addition, it’s easier to be consistent from shot-to-shot when you slow things down.

And the more consistent your technique is from shot-to-shot, the quicker you’ll create the precise neural pathways (commonly referred to as “muscle memory” even though muscles don’t have memory) that you need to be able to perform the fundamentals in less-than-ideal conditions.

Once you’ve got the fundamentals down, then you start mixing things up and stance becomes less and less important…until you’re able to move hard off of the x and still make quick, accurate hits…even though you have no stance and no awareness of breathing.  I demonstrate this a bit at https://DrawStrokeMastery.com

But all of that high speed real world performance comes back down to how well you’ve mastered the fundamentals.

And then it’s just a matter of figuring out how to master the fundamentals as quickly and affordably as possible.

I already gave you one big, BIG tip to shortcut the process to faster improvement and that’s making your reps as consistent as possible.

#2 is to s l o w down when you’re practicing.  When you go full speed, all you are really aware of is the very beginning and very end of your technique and everything in the middle is a blur and on auto-pilot…and most people’s autopilot has a lot of wasted movement and inefficiency in it.

Why do I repeat this so much?

Because it’s something that I struggle with and most shooters struggle with.

I can’t say that I’ve ever really wanted to practice slowly.

But I do it because practicing slowly makes me WAY more consistent and predictable at full speed and under stress…and I do want that.

You shouldn’t do all of your practice at slow speed.  Ideally, you’d start slow, add speed until you find your performance envelope, and then back off to where you are ending your practice time with solid hits.

#3 is to quit practicing when your performance drops off instead of grinding out more reps or “putting in your time.”  When you keep practicing beyond the point where you can maintain precise technique you’re just reinforcing mediocrity and almost guaranteeing worse real-world performance.

What you want to do when performance is dropping off is slow down, simplify the drills that you’re doing, and end on a win.

These are just 3 examples of the accelerated learning concepts that are incorporated into the 21 Day Alpha Shooter system and why it will help you become a better shooter quicker and easier than what’s possible with other training systems…even if you don’t change your technique at all.  There’s actually a 4th accelerated learning technique embedded in the 3 I just shared with you…and the first person to guess it correctly by commenting below gets a free multi-caliber set of Dry Fire Cords 🙂

***UPDATE***  Matt was the first person to get the right answer!  You want to start slow, increase speed or complexity until you find your performance envelope (fail) and then slow back down or simplify so that you end on a win.  Another way to think of it is to sandwich challenging training between easy training.  When you do this, you’ll learn skills quicker and more efficiently.

If there are inefficiencies in your technique, we want to take care of them, but even more importantly, I want you to practice in such a way that you’re making the most of every second and every dime.

It’s not hard…in fact, most of what you’ll learn will probably make practicing and training easier than what you’re doing now.

And, if you’re only shooting a few times a year, you’ll learn how to make dramatic improvements in the least possible amount of time.

So, I want to encourage you to get started today…right now…by going to DryFireTrainingCards.com check and see which options are best for you, and get started now.

And, if you’ve already completed the 21 Day Alpha Shooter program and are looking for the next big step in performance, you’re going to want to check out >THIS TRAINING<

Oh…and about the pic with no hearing protection and a rock backstop…I demo’d this drill with UTM marker rounds.  It’s a replacement barrel and the rounds are hearing safe.  If I was using “real” defensive or practice ammo, I’d have a different backstop and be wearing hearing protection.

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