FIREWORKS, RANGEGEAR & FAMILY

Independence Day! One of my favorite holidays. Last year we drove out to the lake on the golf cart, where thousands of people gather every year with, blanket, food and kids in hand. Last year though, Maiya was getting ready to turn 3. So I dug in the range bag and took along a few pairs of ear muffs. Well, everyone of course thought it was hilarious, until Maiya was really enjoying the action, and their kids, well… Not so much. I went to research the noise level a few days ago to write something about it. When I did, I ran across one of my favorite writers, Tactical Dad. He pretty much summed it up. So I thought I share his story with you, as well.

Originally posted by Guns And Tactics
JULY 1, 2014 Posted by DOUG MARCOUX in BLOG, TACTICAL PARENT

WITH INDEPENDENCE DAY APPROACHING IT’S TIME TO STOCK UP ON BURGERS, HOT DOGS AND FIREWORKS. IN THIS ARTICLE, DOUG SHARES HIS RECOMMENDATION TO KEEP KIDS SAFE WHILE DETONATING YOUR CELEBRATORY MUNITIONS.

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I love the sense of patriotism and community it brings as friends, family and neighbors come together to observe the day. Like any red-blooded American, I also love to celebrate by blowing things up once the sun sets.

A few years ago, as we were beginning our annual fireworks display, my young son started fussing and made it clear that he was not interested in sticking around for the show. I realized that it was the noise from the explosions that was making him uncomfortable. I went inside to grab my range bag and pulled out a set of range muffs to put over his ears. Almost immediately he stopped being upset and everyone was able to enjoy the fireworks.

The next day I did some research and learned that the explosions from the fireworks are just as loud or even louder than the rounds we fire at the range, often exceeding 150 decibels (db) and even reaching up as far as around 200 db. The limit for sound exposure where immediate nerve damage can occur is only 140 db for adults and 120 db for children, so there is a pretty good case for everyone to consider wearing ear protection during your 4th of July fireworks display… including you! There are several youth-sized ear muffs available. My kids like the pink and blue Peltor Junior muffs made by 3M.

This year, thinking about it from the perspective of range safety, I considered the need for eye protection as well. Simply put, a firearm is far less likely to send something flying into your eye than fireworks – which explode in all directions and have questionable quality-control at best. Thus, since we wear eye protection at the range, it only makes sense to do the same while setting off fireworks as well. As I wrote in another Tactical Parent article, Tiny Ears & Eyes, I have found the SoundVision eye protection to work particularly well for children in terms of both coverage and comfort.

So this year dig out your extra range gear and make sure everyone has appropriate eye and ear protection. Even if your kids aren’t yet old enough to join you at the gun range they will still benefit from having their own gear and, I have to admit, it’s cute to see them wearing it. Adding these key pieces of safety equipment not only allows you to model good habits for your kids but it also dramatically reduces the likelihood of an injury. It will also, hopefully, ensure that even the littlest ones enjoy the show along with everyone else.

Doug Marcoux

Doug has a diverse background, both professionally and privately, in firearms, self-defense, and tactics… but most importantly, he’s a parent. He writes from the unique perspective of someone whose life involves combining concealment clothing, tactics training, and “everyday carry gear,” with car seats, exploding diapers, and questions like “why did you paint the dog with yogurt?” In our Tactical Parent series, Doug shares his perspective on gear, tricks and tips, defensive tactics, and best practices for parents who take an active role in protecting their family.

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FIREARM TRAINING IN THE NOW

 

 

SHOOTING IN THE NOW

Lets talk about training in more of a meditative state. Is there such a thing, as firearm drills in the now. Well, we try to live our lives in the now, why not train in the now. And don’t get me wrong, realistic training is my favorite. But, there is always room for improvement and change.

 
My drills this month have been very different and I have to say, quite effective. The progress is really showing, in more ways than one.

 
As most of you that shoot, know and will practice the Par Drill and basic speed draw and of course different reload drills. At the range, you have a lot of loud noisy around you and this helps you not to think about what you are doing and eliminating the stress and tension in the body as you practice. Same as with any practice sport, you will crank up the music and it takes away for thinking about the task at hand.

 
What we don’t realize is that just like golf or anything else, repetition is extremely important, but at the same time, practicing incorrectly can cause really bad habits that are hard to break. A good friend of mine and expert firearms instructor, Ken Nelson, as well as, owner of one of the top firearm schools in the nation, Tactical Performance Center
has preached this many times. As a new shooter even up to advanced levels, we know the importance of the fundamentals. If we are just constantly moving through the motions, are we really achieving excellence? Even breaking down the basic draw into 4 to 6 reference points you don’t fully achieve the awareness of the movements.

 
We need to understand how an exercise or drill like this helps us become more aware. Becoming aware we start to uncover the layers of mis information. We uncover these layers by paying attention to subtleties. So, not only breaking this drill into 4 steps, but holding each step for a few minutes will make us aware of what our bodies are actually doing at that moment in time. At that moment, is the now.

 
I want to really emphasized the importance of how we process stress and, how it effects our body. Understanding stress is the universal law of energy: energy flows along the path of least resistance, as we all know, yet tend to forget, all to often. We know that energy moves toward what is easiest. So why not align ourselves in what we do.

 
Most of us tend to motivate toward what is easiest for achieving the end result. It focuses on the comfort that we will experience when we achieve that end result. It’s focused on fast, to get to the end fast; and loud, to create distractions for the mind so we don’t experience as much stress doing it. But when doing this, you don’t find the minute things that can take you from good to perfection.

 
If you ever watch a video of yourself at a match or any stressful situation. You will notice how our body will tense up and contract. I know I’ve looked back, and can see my shoulders rise and elbows lock.

 
What we need to do Is notice the subtlety of our breath. Is it deep, continuous, and regular? Under stress it will become shallow and irregular. Then we notice subtle tension in our muscles. Are we holding any unneeded tension? We notice our posture. Is it contracting, arms getting stiff, shoulders rising or dropping, elbows locking? Our legs, knees, etc., so we make subtle adjustments to hold the pose correctly.

 
The muscles will contract again when we’re stressed or from just the stress of tension holding the pose. The breath will become more shallow, muscles will tense, and our posture will slowly change. These are layers covering up our awareness. All of our attention is needed to notice subtle contractions so we can redirect our attention to proper breathing, relaxing, and body posture. Once we can achieve this, everything else comes natural and the flow returns.

 
A few of the things I have been doing is first, speed drills broken down into 4 points. Take each four steps and hold that pose for 2 minutes, taking breaks of course between each one. Make sure you set up a video camera. I use Coaches Eye. It allows me to store each video, edit and re-play in slow motion to see every body movement. I want to see what happens to my body as I hold each of these poses. What tenses up first, is my body in the correct position, legs, feet, knees, shoulders, grip, arms, etc. feel your body, in the now. Breath, and really feel the now of each muscle. What do you feel?

 
I have been doing this everyday now for about the last 30 days, filming every session and I am amazed at the improvement not only physically, but mentally.

 
I hope you will give this a try over the next month. I would love to hear your feedback and as always stay safe and carry on. I’ve been doing meditation and yoga for over 20 years, but doing it with SIRT, brought it to a whole new level.

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