Stress responses are interesting things. It’s amazing how people respond when they panic. The physiological response has, basically, the effect of them going unconscious while their eyes are open and their body is moving. This is why people are sometimes unable to remember what happened during an emotionally intense or life-threatening situation.
So, what do people do in those kinds of situations? They do what they are trained to do. This is why athletes train the basics over and over and over ad nauseum because, in the heat of the stress of competition, especially while being watched by a crowd, the conscious mind can literally shut down. Your body and your subconscious mind (which some scientists argue are the same thing) need to know what to do so your body just acts.
This is why militaries and police forces send their people to self-defense training classes and shooting classes regularly. The skills need to be ingrained on a neurological level, not consciously thought about while being performed.
So what kinds of drills should you be practicing?
If you are a firearm owner, you will want to practice “dry fire” drills in which you (ideally) use a fake gun that simulates the weight and feel of your regular pistol so that you can practice over and over the drawing, aiming, and shooting of your gun without the concern of actually shooting a hole in your wall at your house while you practice at home. Some people do this with an unloaded pistol, but, if you do so, you need to be extra careful to make sure that you do not have a round chambered. That kind of mistake could be fatal.
You will also want to drill with your family a home evacuation plan, a fire escape plan, a bug out plan, a communications plan, a natural disaster plan, a home invasion plan, and self-defense skills.
With each of these, you will want to take the time to think through which incidents are most likely to occur, map out the best solutions using tactics that don’t require and lot of thinking or precise movements (fine muscle skills are inhibited in a high-stress situation), and then practice these drills over and over and over, starting with the plan that is most likely, and, then, once mastered, moving to the next most likely plan until you’ve covered all of the ones that have a likelihood of occurring (not all possible situation are likely to occur and you don’t have time in this lifetime to train every single possibility). Periodically go back and revisit all of these plans to keep yourself sharp (there is a reason Vince Lombardi started every season with, “Men, this is a football.”).
The more automatic these skills are in your neurology, the more likely that you will survive when it counts.
How do you train to get your skills down pat? Tell us below.