Skill Set: Let it Rain
It's raining. I'm sitting in the car, waiting on Gretchen to come out of the market, watching people come and go. Apparently rain is a big problem, and it is obvious that people are upset. They're running, heads down, oblivious to what's going on around them, not even checking to see if a car might be coming as they run across lanes. If something like the rain - a minor thing – affects you in this way consider how you'll respond to something like real danger - a sudden, violent attack.
"No," you say, "I would react differently to an attack." We are creatures of habit. If it's habit to allow little things or minor problems control your thoughts chances are your immediate response to real danger or trouble is going to be the same. Except magnified, much worse. "What, oh my gosh! This is actually happening, what do I do I'm screwed! Frozen, have to move. Can't get to my pistol, scared -- How is he moving so fast …?"
The only thing you can control in a fight is you. If you're not in control all you're doing is reacting to what's being done to you. It's not a good place to be. Just like all your other skills, such as marksmanship, manipulations or movement you have to train the mind. You must train the mind so the "external" doesn't control the "internal."
Once you understand this concept you have to wire it in place through practice. This attitude must become habit. This means discipline, and applying it to everything. It's raining. "Yes, it is." You come out of the store and realize the car has a flat tire. "No big deal." In fact, it's a good thing it's in the parking lot instead of on the interstate. A threat suddenly appears, armed with a knife and a heart full of malice. "I know how to solve this."
While developing the mental side don't forget to practice the physical skills in the rain and other inclement weather. "But it's bad weather," you say. There's no such thing as "good" or "bad" weather. During the rain you're wearing a jacket; you have to know how to draw from concealment. Your hands are cold and wet. Things get slippery when wet, especially magazines. Maybe you're wearing gloves. All these factors will be problems, unless you're prepared in advance. If you only go to the range when it's "a beautiful day" you're going to be in for a surprise when the fight takes place under different conditions. Real practice occurs under realistic conditions.
On the range, remember to instill as much realism in your mind as possible. "See" the threat and problem in your mind. Even if you're just working on marksmanship, firing one shot at the time think of it as someone's life depends on you making an accurate hit. This requires using your imagination – which we all have – and again discipline. You do this for every drill, mentally plugging into the reasons for what you're doing. When you make a mistake, and you will, don't think of it as "good" or "bad," and you do not let it take control of you. No matter what happens, stay focused and on task.
The proper mindset must be cultivated. Don't let anything distract you. You have to understand the reasons for this attitude, and practice it all the time. As Steinbeck said, "The final weapon is the brain, all else is supplemental." Let it rain.
Tiger McKee i