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The Muscle Memory Training Conundrum

aim 1If you have sat through one of our in person classes you know that the primary objective of ongoing firearm training is to build muscle memory. Your intent is to teach the body how to react automatically and without thought or fine motor skill when under pressure. This requires a lot of repetition. The problem with that repetition is that one ends up getting really good at doing everything one way and really poor at doing anything differently.

If you always train shooting in an open standing position for example, you won’t have the muscle memory to shoot over or around the cover that you are likely to put between you and oncoming fire. If you always train with a hip holster and one day you have to draw from an IWB holster you are unlikely to be able to make the draw fluid and will never get the opportunity to defend yourself.

The solution is best summarized with the phrase, “Get good at one discipline, and then work on another.” In this context we use the word discipline to refer to one set of circumstances. A certain holster, draw, weapon, position, stance, and target distance and parameters. Your best training plan is to repeat one discipline over and over again until it becomes reflex and muscle memory. Then add a new discipline. Train it over and over again and then go back and forth between the two. Then add a third and so on.

If you constantly train different disciplines each time you shoot you end up not being good at anything. If you only train one discipline over and over again, you will only be competent in defending yourself in one unique set of circumstances.

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