Stress Inoculation Training -Stress Reduction and Management

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Self-defense situations, natural disasters, survival needs and such do not occur very often on sunny, cool, wonderful days. They occur on ugly, terrible weather, stressed out and other adverse conditions. This is why anyone who is worth their salt in these activities practices under stress. A technical term would be stress inoculation.

Stress inoculation training occurs when during a training event you add in factors to make a training event harder on the cognitive abilities of the participants. When the cognitive abilities of those in training are hampered, the physical reaction is sometimes small, sometimes large. What it does is give some one the opportunity to train and deal with stressors that they might not already put themselves under.

Recently a team of shooters that call Nature Reliance School home were invited to “compete” (for bragging rights) alongside and against some law enforcement officers. These teams were groups of individuals from the local, state and federal level of law enforcement. We were invited by Rodney Van Zant of Iron Sight Defense to hang out and work on needed skills. Rodney had put together a series of drills that were purposed to put us under stress. We were then required to run the drills and complete the tasks assigned to us.

First off, I highly recommend Rodney and Iron Sight Defense these guys have been very welcoming to our NRS crew and have helped us tremendously. As I have said many times, if you are going to own a gun I believe it is imperative that you know how to properly store it, maintain it, and utilize it. Having a weapon in the hands of an untrained individual is not a good situation. Even if those hands are your own….get training!!

With that said here is a short list of some of the things that we did on this particular day of training. These are not detailed as I want you to seek out Iron Sight for quality training.

We had to run from about 30 yards out up to about 5-7 yards to a target. Stopping every so often to make two shots at different distances. We were only allowedDT-4A
minimum ammunition in our magazine so we were forced to shoot and change mags sometimes on the move.
We had one similar drill where we had someone yelling at us in close proximity, very close..all the while those from the other teams threw tennis balls at us. Purposely hitting us in the head, weapon, and wherever else they thought appropriate.
We had another drill where we had to do similar shooting all the while singing our ABCs and making magazine changes if we stopped singing we had to do pushups.

There were several drills in which we had specific targets various colors, shapes and numbers on them. The range officer would call out “Red, Suare, 1″ as an example and we then had to shoot the target or he would say something such as “Yellow, Circle, 6 minus 1″ and we had to do the math then shoot. This was maddening to several of us.

On another longer distance (150 yards) we placed several rounds of ammo at the bottom of a berm. Starting at the top of the berm, we had to run down, pick up a round, take it back to the top, place it in the magazine, which was then placed in our rifle and then shoot.

So those are some of the examples of what we did, here are some reasons why we did them:

To see if we could manipulate our weapon, and the rest of our gear under stress.
To see if we could think and shoot at the same time.
To get our heart and breathing rate up and see if we could shoot accurately.
Much, much more.

In this short video I interviewed Rodney while one of the drills was going on. I was not real pleased that we took up the whole screen and you could not see more action. What you can hear and see a small amount of, is a shooter running from the starting point, to 7 yards out from the target. He then fires two rounds, backs up some, and fires two more. Then he takes two shots form a kneeling position shoots twice, and at last he runs next to use doing the interview, lies prone and is required to hit a steel target twice which you can hear behind us. As soon as he is completed you can see another shooter (my son Zane) running up to run the same drill.

This is not the first time many of us had done training of this nature and certainly will not be the last either. This type of training, like most training, allows you to see where you have holes in your skill set, or weak areas at least. The thought is that we should now improve upon them. All in all, it makes for more responsible and capable officers and law abiding gun owners.

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