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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Beyond The Wall



    Monday, December 05, 2016

    Recently at my forum, we had a discussion regarding an interview that had been done with none other than Wyatt Earp, back in the 1930s in the Saturday Evening Post. Earp said to his biographer -

    "The most important lesson I learned from those proficient gunfighters was the winner of a gunplay usually was the man who took his time."

    Apparently realizing that a statement like that would be taken out of context, he continued -

    "Perhaps I can best describe such time taking as going into action with the greatest speed of which a manís muscles are capable, but mentally unflustered by an urge to hurry or the need for complicated nervous and muscular actions which trick-shooting involves. Mentally deliberate, but muscularly faster than thought, is what I mean."

    That last explanation is it right there...and still misunderstood to this day.

    The dichotomy of speed - or taking one's time quickly - is simply boiled down to "Being Deliberate".

    I recall my early days learning from some of the best police shooters of the day (in the sense of killing bad guys). Being "deliberate" was their mantra. Cold, calculated, albeit not slow in the sense of what we know as "s-l-o-w". But deliberate.

    Being quick, but not rushing.
    Not being amped up...not being "spastic".

    Setting the tempo, not reacting to the tempo.

    I recall years later when teaching with Chuck Taylor, and his insistence on the stop watch, and how that produced spastic, time-focused shooters, seeking to beat the clock, rather than deliberate shooters.
    Everyone is fast enough...even the slowest guys, but not everyone has been taught to be deliberate in the act of killing.

    It seems the English language is one of can be slow or one can be fast. And the illiterate would say, "slow is fast". Actually it isn't. They are trying to use words in a way they do not understand, to convey a feeling...a physical sense of calmness under fire...of grace under pressure.

    The killer gunman is not agitated, and certainly not slow. He is deliberate in the act of killing his adversary...and if there is any outward expression of his sentiments...he smiles.

    Some will say the "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" is a commentary on practice method. Yes it is..."as a commentary on practice method". The problem is most instructors could not explain, in an eloquent manner, the step by step process of wiping the drippings off their nasal orifice, much less explain the intricacies of what "smooth is fast" really means.So you end up with the opposite of the Taylor-Time-Freaks...shooters forcing themselves to be excessively slow.

    "Deliberate" is too complicated a word to define, but we certainly know a deliberate action when we see it. The opposite of deliberate is a flinching, fear-driven, rushed action. A sentiment of "getting it over with". An attack dog bites deliberately, whereas a frightened dog bites out of fear aggression.

    Reflecting on the old life...far too many guys fired out of fear. And while they may have been marvelous competitors, they missed on the street. They were not deliberate...quite to the contrary. They fired out of fear.

    They were afraid for their lives, afraid they were not up to the task, afraid of getting in trouble, afraid of missing, afraid of the short...AFRAID.

    Being deliberate has a basis in not being afraid, and contrary to the motivations of those other people.

    The men that killed bad guys with more regularity than the others...they were different. They may not have said anything as the notion of keeping one's opinions and feelings to themselves was very well entrenched by then, but "afraid" was hardly what would describe them. They were predators in their hearts and in their minds. And their deliberate actions reflected it.

    The best mental picture is this - if animals could wield weapons - how would a Gazelle handle a weapon when a Tiger was coming after them? And then - visualize how would a Tiger handle a weapon when going after a Gazelle. One is a prey animal and afraid of the predator. The other is in fact a predator.

    It is a vastly different attitude. Some men have this attitude naturally, yet others cultivate it through training. But if one is to be deliberate...the sort of "deliberate" Earp spoke about...action borne of fear will never develop it.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Sounds like the opening chapter of a new book...

    CRG-Suarez International Combat Pistol Instructor

    SIG SAUER CERTIFIED ARMORER M400, 516, 716, M4, AR15, M16

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Lubbock, TX
    The concept of being deliberate resonates with me. It makes sense without having to define it in words. The idea that one has to be "amped up" and spastic because "thats how it is really going to be in a gunfight" seems............well, stupid to me. There is excitement, there may be stress but like I said in an earlier post, I think it is more of an "intense focus". At least for me it has been. Great article, boss.
    "Sometimes A Teacher; Always A Student"

    Retired from teaching for the time being.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    New Braunfels, TX
    There is so much misinformation about firearms on the interwebs it isn't funny. When a good article comes along, it's obvious.
    "Most people find change in their dryer, I find bullets"- My wife

    I will remember that if the monsterous creature is within clubbing range, it is a tight situation, and start clubbing. This is true even if my firearm still works. No reason not to club and shoot at the same time.

    Whacking: The redistribution or impairment of biological functions intended to eliminate intercellular cooperation within a sentient organism.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Here is a little more on the history of this sort of thinking and training:
    Some have attributed “Take your time, fast” to Jordan, but Bill himself scrupulously attributed it to Hughes. “Speed’s fine, but accuracy’s final” does seem to be Jordan’s own take on the advice of the legendary Ranger Captain, though on Page 57 he describes it as “an old adage.” The old adage is a paraphrase of a line attributed to Wyatt Earp.

    The idea of being deliberate is one way of removing the reflexes of the panic type that are so detrimental to preforming well.
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    "An attack dog bites deliberately, whereas a frightened dog bites out of fear aggression." This is the concept boiled down to the nitty gritty. Having worked with the slow is smooth, smooth is fast mantra and done so with some success while teaching others, I think this explanation when added to said mantra will make many a light bulb go off in trainees heads. Many get it already but this little kernel of truth is the essence behind it. Thanks Gabe.
    Greg Nichols- Who you are 5 years from now is directly related to the books you read, who you associate with, and how you spend your free time. - How to get started with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Under the Black Flag
    In my professional life I have had the opportunity to teach people how to handle weapons in the face of unknown situations, both for .gov and behind the badge. I have also been assigned the task to teach the green troops with no life experience and no real past confrontations to draw upon. I have been tasked with teaching them how to handle themselves as well as their tools. The best lesson, boiled down to it most basic essence, is this:

    "A predator knows a predator."

    When you step out of your vehicle or into a situation it is the nuance and the very essence of the predator that they sense. They know that you have come for them and you are waiting only for them you give you an opportunity. Watch how the hyenas act around a lion or how the animals react to the tiger when he walks up and takes. Teaching people to tap into their deeper selves you first have to remind them that there is something there. One of the comments made by one of these green troops to me was that I was very primal when things began to happen. The predators know as soon as you arrive who and what you are. This has nothing to do with the posturing that is common with the youth(some older than others) of today. It is that something else that most of us saw in the salty vets we knew when we were children, but did not understand what that something else was.

    "a predator knows a predator"

    It can be taught to those who do not know, but to do so requires the proper mind set and effort by both the student and the teacher. I was lucky enough to watch, learn and train with many of these men and continue to pas this deeper knowledge on.

    Listen to your lizard brain, fight with you ape brain and destroy those who would stand before you. Be the predator.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Beyond The Wall
    I recall when I approached a potentially violent and armed suspect. In my mind, the answer to the question - "Why are you here"? was very simple. I am here to take your life. Only your compliance with my demands will prevent that from happening. Life was that simple. And of course...there was always the smile.

    "Why you smilin pig?", I was asked once...yes...before the days of everything including your flatulence recorded.
    "Why? Because I am here to kill you...and I like killing bad guys".

    The hands went up immediately and a long "Samuel-L-Jackson-in-fright tirade" about me being crazy and a racist and all of that...but he lived...

    I don't know...maybe I was a little crazy back then...maybe not. I don't think I was...I think I had my mind right about my place in the world.

    Others I worked with...many were terrified every time they left the station. And the manifestation of fear aggression rather than predatory aggression was always alot of yelling and swearing. When I saw a cop yelling and swearing and pissed off I knew he was terrified inside.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    The New World
    Coach John Wooden of the UCLA Bruins was famous for reminding his players to "be quick but don't hurry".

    Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who do not.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Arizona's Desert
    Masters yesterday and today...

    "It does not mean randomly hitting an opponent with the idea of settling the contest all at once. It means instantaneous and unyielding follow-up."
    Miyamoto Musashi

    "Being quick, but not rushing. Not being amped up...not being "spastic". Setting the tempo, not reacting to the tempo.
    Gabe Suarez

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