To the Victor go the Spoils

There’s an old saying in my community. What do you get when you put two frogmen in a room together? The answer is…a race.

I love it…

Recently I saw some message traffic about competition and general opinions. What is my opinion of competition….I love it! I know that may sound weird coming from someone who has not discussed it before in the past, but I’m a firm believer in competition. I value the effort, discipline and commitment folks put into competing. Listen I have raced against a fellow frogman to see who could empty a box of packed ammunition the fastest with the loser having to get wet. No shit… You put a group of us in a room and I guarantee they are all jockeying to see who is the fastest at this, strongest at that, most repetitions for this or most accurate at that. It is a forgone conclusion.

If you are not getting stronger

It transcends everything, there is competition between myself and my swim buddy, my squad versus another squad, my platoon versus another platoon, my team versus another team, my coast versus another coast. Are you starting to get the picture. I love it because it pushes me, it drives me to be the very best I can be. More importantly and this is the critical point, I do not want to let my teammates down. Knowing I’m a link in the mission success chain I need to do my part to the very best of my ability when called upon. There is no excuses, you take full ownership of your skills and mindset to ensure you are ready and hold nothing back.

Support

How does that relate to todays shooting competition. First off, I love it. It is great to see so many people coming together. I cannot help but assume these people don’t just enjoy the sport, but they support their constitutional rights and are exercising in a manner than ensures their survival. It is great to introduce people to a wide array of activities and further develop our community. We do not want to alienate anyone who may be interested in shooting, instead we want to encourage them to participate. To find something they enjoy, there is value in pursuing something you enjoy and encouraging it is a win for our team.

The face for the win

How do I feel about it’s relationship to combat. I will answer it in a manner most will be in conflict with. If it does not have a face I don’t eat it or in this case, if it does not have a face I won’t shoot it. If your performance goals entail moving fast, lifting heavy and otherwise improving you need animal protein. The kind that had a face, without it you will fall short time and time again as far as reaching your potential and goals. In the competitive world, you will get out of it what you put into it, but without a face, without some sort of connotation to a human you are killing it has less value than most want to acknowledge.

Taking life

Let’s face it, shooting is a physical act, but combat is a mental game. The most overlooked aspect to competition is the requirement to perform split second decisions around shoot versus no shoot targets. No, a different color piece of paper has little to no value regarding target discrimination. Target discrimination is so much more and I see the failure as an industry in our CQB classes where students must make split second “life or death” decisions. Decisions where you will be taking another human’s life or a human’s life may be loss because you failed to do right. Without the target discrimination and I’m talking something better than different colors, I’m talking something with legal connotations you may be surprised by the results when you are placed in a chaotic situation where how fast you shoot has less to do with how quickly you can process the information.

The biggest mistake we make in this industry is teaching people to shoot faster than they can process the available information. In a competition it is no big deal, you will go home.

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