What is performance based shooting? Quite simply, it’s the idea that the act of shooting a gun doesn’t change, regardless of your circumstances. To be specific, the mechanical act of shooting is the same regardless of why you’re shooting, and because of that our approach to the act of shooting should be based on performance and metrics, not feelings.
To explore this concept, I interviewed Matthew Little, aka Greybeard Actual. Matt is a former Green Beret, recently retired from Chicago PD at a SWAT officer, and is also a high level competition shooter and brand ambassador for STI. He is one of few people in the industry who can address the idea of performance based shooting from all the relevant angles that matter. Obviously, I want you to listen to the whole interview, but I’ll pull out some of the good bits for this post.
If you remember one thing about performance based shooting and this post in particular, it’s that the body’s mechanics don’t change because we’re holding a gun. This is something I preach, and that plenty of other reputable instructors like Scott Jedlinski also are big on. The body’s mechanics don’t change because we’re shooting a gun. Your eyes work the same, your muscles work the same, and your joints all work the same. Since shooting a gun is fundamentally an athletic pursuit, involving complex motor skills and hand eye coordination, why would we act like the body somehow changes when we do it?
The second takeaway I’d want you to leave with is this: performance based shooting is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re training to win a match, or because you’re a CQB master, or to defend your life from violent criminals. Data-driven training using scored targets, timers, repeatable metrics and video analysis will make you a better shooter, and being a better shooter means you have a better chance of winning all of those scenarios above. A friend of mine in special operations was fond of saying that “good shooting can sometimes overcome bad tactics, but good tactics can’t compensate for shitty shooting.”