Until Then - Train Hard!

Mike’s Blog

“The Way Is Training” An American Warrior Show Special Interview

Interview: Show Host, Mike SeeklanderAWS top

Welcome to The American Warrior Show, the podcast of the American Warrior Society.  This show is designed for one thing: To help keep you safer through information, motivational concepts, and action steps!  We appreciate your listenership and value your opinion.  Please send comments, questions, or requests on the show to: support@shooting-performance.com

Thank you so much for listening to my show.  Please share it on social media and other methods with freinds who want to be safer!

If you are interested in sponsoring the American Warrior Show, please contact us!

Show #40  –  This is show number 40, and a special one for us.  First, it is amazing that we have come this far, and look forward to many more.  It occurred to us that many of you know your host, but may not know him like you should, so in this one we dig into the head of Mike Seeklander.   His background is diverse and experiences are interesting and we know you will enjoy this.  This interview is part 1 of a two part series we plan to do with the next one covering Mike’s  systematic approach to technique and training.  We hope you enjoy!

To see Mike’s full bio, click here BIO or visit http://www.americanwarriorsociety.com/meet-the-founders/

In this interview, we discuss: 

  • Mike’s unique background growing up in the mountains of Idaho and Wyoming.
  • His love of hunting, fishing, and trapping as a child.
  • His love of shooting, and how he got started.
  • Joining the U.S. Marine Corps, and what he learned while there.
  • Mike’s jump into Law Enforcement and where that career lead.
  • His unique learning experience with the Federal Air Marshal service.
  • His greatest influencers.
  • And much more about Mike that you may not know!

Resources

For more information on this podcast and the AWS please visit:

Thank you to the show Sponsors: 

  1. Next Level Training (coupon code:  “seeklander” for 15% off!)
  2. Umarex USA (coupon code: “seeklandercoupon” for 10% off!)
  3. JP Tactical Rifles
  4. Wilson Combat
  5. Mid America Armament

If you are interested in sponsoring the American Warrior Show, please contact us!

How to Fire a Handgun Safely and Correctly

Originally Posted by BRETT MCKAY on artofmanliness.com on AUGUST 31, 2010.  Great material for the new shooter so please share and give Bret a follow on Facebook as well! 

in GUN SKILLS & SAFETYMANLY SKILLSTACTICAL SKILLS

I grew up around guns my entire childhood. My dad was a federal game warden, so seeing him holster up or clean his gun are some of my boyhood memories. Despite being around guns, I never really took an interest in them. I’m not sure why. I guess I just saw them as my dad’s work stuff. Nothing to get really excited about.

A few months ago, I had a sudden urge to shoot a gun. I called my dad on the phone. “Hey Dad. I want to learn to shoot a handgun. Can you teach me how?”

He was sort of surprised.

“Why do you want to learn to shoot a gun all of a sudden?” he asked.

“Oh, I don’t know. It’s just something I think I should know how to do.”

So my dad took me, my brother, and my wife, to the gun range and showed us how to fire a gun.

It got me thinking. I know I’m not the only man out there who has gone their entire life without shooting a gun. For some of these men it’s a deliberate choice. They don’t want anything to do with guns and that’s cool.

But I’m sure there are a lot of men out there who have never fired a gun, but like me have the desire to do so. Or maybe you never shot a gun, but got invited to the gun range by some buddies. You want to go, but you don’t want to look like an idiot when you handle the gun. You’d like to have an idea of how to fire a gun safely and correctly before you go.

To get the lowdown on how to shoot a handgun safely and correctly, I headed over to the United States Shooting Academy in Tulsa, OK and talked to Mike Seeklander, the Direct of Training at the Academy. He explained the basics of firing a handgun so a first-time shooter could do so safely and semi-accurately (the accuracy part will take some practice!).

Editor Note:  Mike Seeklander currently owns shooting-performance.com and no longer works as the Director of Training at the USSA.   

The Four Cardinal Safety Rules of Firing a Handgun

The very first thing Mike brought up were four rules, that if followed strictly, will keep you and others safe so you can have a good time unloading a few rounds.

1. Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded. No ifs, ands, or buts. Even if you know the gun is unloaded, still handle it as if it were loaded.

2. Always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction, a direction where a negligent discharge would cause minimum property damage and zero physical injury. According to Mike, even the most experienced gun handlers break this rule all the time. They’ll take a gun and start pointing it all over the place while exclaiming, “Ah, sweet bro, this gun is kickass.”

“They don’t even know they’re doing it,” says Mike, “which makes it even more dangerous.”

The safest direction to point a gun is always downrange (as long as there aren’t any people downrange!).

3. Always keep your trigger finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you have made a conscious decision to shoot.

4. Always be sure of your target, backstop, and beyond. You want to be aware of what’s in your line of fire. This isn’t usually a concern if you go to a professional gun range. They make sure that people and property stay out of the path of the guns firing downrange. Where this becomes a concern is when you go shoot with your buddy out on his property.

“Ask your friend what exactly is beyond the target and backstop you’re shooting at, especially when you’re shooting into a wooded area. Don’t just settle for, ‘Oh, don’t worry. There’s nothing back there.’ Ask specifically if there are any houses, property, etc beyond your backstop. Err on the side of being overly cautious,” says Mike.

How to Grip a Handgun

Alright, let’s get down to business. How do you hold a handgun?

For beginners, Mike says a two-handed grip is a must.

1. The gun hand (your dominant hand) should grip the gun high on the back strap (the back strap is the back of the grip on the gun).  This gives you more leverage against the weapon which will help you control recoil when you fire the gun.

Mike showing how to hold the gun high on the gun’s grip with your gun hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Place your support hand (your non-dominant hand) so that it is pressed firmly against the exposed portion of the grip not covered by the gun hand. All four fingers of your support hand should be under the trigger guard with the index finger pressed hard underneath it. Here’s Mike demonstrating for us:

Fingers of support hand directly under the trigger guard. Notice Mike’s trigger finger is on the outside of the trigger guard. Safety first!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like you did with your gun hand, you should place your support hand as high as possible on the grip with the thumb pointing forward, roughly below where the slide meets the frame. Look at the back of your hands. There should be a distinct fit, like the fit of a puzzle, with your gun and support hand, like so:

Notice how your hands fit together. Just like a puzzle.

Assume the Extended Shooting Position

Stand with your feet and hips shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly. Mike calls it an “athletic stance.” It allows you to fire the weapon with stability and mobility. Raise the weapon toward your target. Here’s Mike showing us how it’s done:

How to Aim a Handgun

Use your dominant eye. You want to aim with your dominant eye. To figure out which of your eyes is the dominant one, perform a quick eye test by forming a one inch circle with your thumb and index finger. Hold the circle at arm’s length. Look at a distant object and look through your circle so that the object appears in the center of it.  Keeping both eyes open, bring your circle toward your face slowly. Your hand will naturally gravitate toward one eye. That’s your dominant eye.

Align your sights. Your handgun has a front sight and a rear sight notch. Aim at your target and align the top of the front sight so that it lines up with the top of the rear sight. There should also be equal amounts of empty space on both sides of the front sight.

Proper sight alignment

Set your sight picture. The sight picture is the pattern of your gun’s sights in relation to your target. When you’re aiming a gun, you’re looking at three objects: the front sight, the rear sight, and your target. However, it’s not possible to focus simultaneously on all three objects. One of the objects will inevitably be blurry when you’re aiming. When you have a correct sight picture, your front and rear sight appears sharp and clear and your target appears to be a bit blurry. Like so:

Correct sight picture. The sights are in focus and the target is blurry.

According to Mike, the further away your target is, the greater the need for a clear focus on the front sight.

Trigger Management (aka Pulling the Trigger)

To fire a gun, we often use the popular phrase “pull the trigger.” However, to fire a gun properly, you don’t actually want to pull the trigger, but rather press it in a controlled fashion so you don’t disrupt your sights. Here’s a brief and very basic rundown on proper trigger control when firing a gun.

1. Press, don’t pull. Instead of pulling the trigger, press (or like my dad likes to say “squeeze”) the trigger straight to the rear. Apply constant, increasing reward pressure on the trigger until the weapon fires. Ensure that you’re only applying pressure to the front of the trigger and not the sides.

2. Take the slack out of the trigger. Squeeze the trigger to the point you start feeling resistance.

3. Surprise yourself. Keep pressing the trigger straight to the rear until the gun fires. Don’t anticipate when the gun will fire. You sort of want to surprise yourself as to when the gun actually discharges.

And there you go. Now you can go fire a gun at the gun range and look like you know what you’re doing. However, none of the information in this article can replace the instruction and supervision of a professional instructor. If you’ve never fired a gun before, we strongly suggest you visit a firing range and talk to an instructor who will walk you through the process.

Have any other tips for the first time shooter? Share them with us in the comments!

Editor’s note: This article is about how to fire a gun safely and correctly. It is not a debate about gun rights or whether guns are stupid or awesome. If you try bringing up that dead horse around here, your comment will be deleted. I will show no mercy. Keep it on topic, please.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Special thanks goes out to Mike and the crew at U.S. Shooting Academy for their help on this article. Mike along with the U.S. Shooting Academy Handgun Manual were the source of this article.   If you’re ever in the Tulsa area, stop by their facility. It’s top notch and the staff and trainers are friendly, knowledgeable, and super badass.

 

Over the Edge – Key Life Lessons with Michael Bane

Interview: Michael Bane

Welcome to The American Warrior Show, the podcast of the American Warrior Society.  This show is designed for one thing: To help keep you safer through information, motivational concepts, and action steps!  We appreciate your listenership and value your opinion.  Please send comments, questions, or requests on the show to: support@shooting-performance.com

Thank you so much for listening to my show.  Please share it on social media and other methods with freinds who want to be safer!

If you are interested in sponsoring the American Warrior Show, please contact us!

Show #39  –  Interview with Author, Producer, Shooter, Adventurist, and a man who might literally be “the most interesting man in the world,” Michael Bane.  

Michael Banes partial Bio is below (bottom of page). 

In this interview, we discuss: 

  • His background and unique educational paths.
  • His odyssey into extreme sports and the book Over the Edge.
  • The secret of mathematics, and how it helped him overcome the biggest hurdles.
  • How he began his T.V. career (You’re going to love this one).
  • The lessons he has learned from extreme pressure in both business and sport.
  • How he started the most popular and longest running shooting oriented T.V. in history.
  • The Best Defense, and how that project began
  • His education and background in law enforcement.
  • And much more that will entertain you and teach you key lessons about life!

Resources

For more information on this podcast and the AWS please visit:

Thank you to the show Sponsors: 

  1. Next Level Training (coupon code:  “seeklander” for 15% off!)
  2. Umarex USA (coupon code: “seeklandercoupon” for 10% off!)
  3. JP Tactical Rifles
  4. Wilson Combat
  5. Mid America Armament

If you are interested in sponsoring the American Warrior Show, please contact us!

Michael Bane Bio (credit downrange.tv), to see Michael’s full bio, click here.

My adventures climbing big mountains, scuba diving flooded cave systems and kayaking spectacular rivers around the world have been chronicled in such magazines as National Geographic Adventure, Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, , Esquire and literally hundreds of other publications. I’ve written 21 books; my Over The Edge: A Regular Guy’s Odyssey In Extreme Sports (released May, 2000, in paperback by Wilderness Press), prompted the Wall Street Journal to ask…”How did Michael Bane become the George Plimpton from hell?”

I’ve been involved with guns and shooting literally my entire life. Most recently, I conceived and still manage the five-year-old NSSF Media Education Program, which has had a profound effect on the relationship between the firearms industry and the media. It also bought together the perhaps greatest group of firearms instructors of all stripes ever. That “critical mass” of instructors has been redefining handgun instruction, and I’m proud to have had a small part in that. I was part of the 3-person team who handled national media during the Maryland sniper crisis, which as emerged as a textbook example for the industry in dealing with flashfires. I’ve also handled crisis stuff for IPSC and USPSA. we’re currently working directly with major companies on setting up their own media events and training their people to deal with media crises.

 

Combat Focus Shooting – With Rob Pincus

Welcome to The American Warrior Show, the podcast of the American Warrior Society.  This show is designed for one thing:AWS_Logo_v3 To help keep you safer through information, motivational concepts, and action steps!  We appreciate your listenership and value your opinion.  Please send comments, questions, or requests on the show to: support@shooting-performance.com

Thank you so much for listening to my show.  Please share it on social media and other methods with freinds who want to be safer!

If you are interested in sponsoring the American Warrior Show, please contact us!

Please text “AWS” to 42828 to get on the show notification list.

Show #38  –  Interview with professional instructor, author, and well known defensive shooting T.V. host Rob Pincus.  

From his BIO that reads much longer than this: “Rob Pincus is a professional trainer, author and consultant. He and his staff at I.C.E. Training Company provide services to military, law enforcement, private security and students interested in self-defense. Rob is the Developer of the Combat Focus® Shooting program, the most efficient defensive firearms training methodology available today.

Rob provides efficient training methodologies to those interested in developing firearms, tactical operations and defensive skills. These methods stress gaining maximum value from limited training resources and working well with what the body does naturally under real world conditions.

Rob has experience as a law enforcement officer and executive protection agent and was also commissioned as an officer in the United States Army Reserve after graduating from the Military College of Vermont with a degree in Political Science. Rob serves the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office as a Training Officer and has been a staff writer with S.W.A.T. Magazine since 2001….”

In this interview, we discuss: 

  • Rob’s background and love of shooting as a young child.
  • His fathers influence on his love of guns and shooting.
  • His education and background in law enforcement.
  • His time at Valhalla and development of ICE Training.
  • His thoughts on “dry fire” vs. “dry practice”
  • His response to being “anti-competition”
  • Combat Focus Shooting
  • His technique and what makes it different.
  • And other key points that will revolutionize your training!

Resources

For more information on this podcast and the AWS please visit:

Thank you to the show Sponsors: 

  1. Next Level Training (coupon code:  “seeklander” for 15% off!)
  2. Umarex USA (coupon code: “seeklandercoupon” for 10% off!)
  3. JP Tactical Rifles
  4. Wilson Combat
  5. Mid America Armament

If you are interested in sponsoring the American Warrior Show, please contact us!

Perform Better – Live Better Tip#5

#5

“A high percentage of top performers keeps some form of daily performance journal. Tennis champion Serena Williams and former World Series MVP Curt Schilling use notebooks; the rapper Eminem and the choreographer Twyla Tharp use shoeboxes, which they fill with ideas written on scrap paper. What matters is not the precise form. What matters is that you write stuff down and reflect on it. Results from today. Ideas for tomorrow. Goals for next week. A notebook works like a map: It creates clarity.”

The honest truth is that this one while a habit of mine, was not an easy one.  Sometimes it felt like I was just logging stuff just to log stuff.  At least until I happened to just back into some pages of one of my logbooks (I made up some preform attend ones for my programs long ago) to get sample material for an article.  Upon reading my pages, and reflecting on them I thought “this is a goldmine!”  All right under my nose, I has written it all down…but had failed to take the time to reflect on it.  Upon reading the material I had logged I started to see patterns that guided my training to this day.  That is the key- reflection!

Action Steps- 
1.  Buy a small notebook or pre formatted logbook (check out the store for mine) to document your training.
2.  Start religiously taking notes of your training.  Include what you drilled, how it went, and key measurements.  See a sample of a pre-formatted logbook here.
3.  MOST importantly, schedule a reflection session once a week.  Maybe best done in a distraction free place, even the range after your last practice session.  The key is to simply take the time to reflect on what your training is doing for you, and where you may need to adjust.

Excerpt (in quotes) From: Coyle, Daniel. “The Little Book of Talent.” Bantam Books, 2012-08-21. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/mKNjE.l

Until Then – Train Hard!

Mike S. 

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