Aiming With Your Eyes Shut.

You should do this drill using one or two hands.

This drill helps strengthen the mind-muscle connection to lock in your natural point of aim so that it’s the same as the point where you’re focusing your eyes.

With your firearm at your side, look at the target that you were using on the last drill. Now, shut your eyes, bring up your firearm until you think it is aiming at your target and open your eyes to confirm. Adjust your firearm as necessary so that it’s aimed correctly and take note of how everything feels and repeat the drill.

You’ll find that this is much easier if you keep your firearm close to your body as you raise it up and “punch” it straight out rather than swinging it up in an arc. Coincidentally, this is also the most “efficient” way to raise a firearm and the method used by people who regularly use firearms in lethal force encounters.

This drill may take a few sessions to master, but once you do, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in your ability to engage targets quickly. This particular drill is very valuable for several reasons. The first of which is that you may find your sights broken or obscured at some point when you NEED to fire. If you know that your natural point of aim will put rounds on target, you will be less likely to hesitate.

Second, despite repeatedly training to aim with their sights, there are numerous stories of law enforcement who shot attackers and don’t remember seeing their sights…they only remember seeing the barrel of the gun pointed at them by an attacker and the biggest fire they’ve ever seen coming out of the end, and firing back. By training so that when you raise your weapon, your sights naturally come into alignment with your eyes and your target, you’re more likely to be able to put rounds on target under extreme stress.

From a self defense standpoint, there’s an even more important reason for training bringing your firearm up to your line of sight rather than moving your eyes so they line up with your firearm.

In “Sharpening the Warrior’s Edge” Bruce Siddle goes into detail about how your ability to focus on close up objects diminishes with high pulse rates induced by stress. Focusing the eye is a function of the parasympathetic nervous system and it works very well normally. Once stress levels and pulse rates go up, your body switches over to the sympathetic nervous system. This happens somewhere between 145 and 175 beats per second. Unfortunately, the sympathetic nervous system isn’t very good at details like focusing on objects close to you…like your sights.

So, if you practice bringing your firearm up into your line of sight and train to find your natural point of aim, you’ll be much more likely to be able to get off accurate shots under extreme stress when you may or may not be able to focus. This is important, both because you want to be able to stop violent threats as efficiently as possible and because you are responsible for every round that you fire.

There are 4 variations to this drill:

Primary hand, single handed
Primary hand, with support
Support hand, single handed
Support hand, with support

Repeat this drill at least 20 times with your primary hand both single handed and with support before moving on.