Author Topic: 8 Directions  (Read 1273 times)

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CR Williams

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8 Directions
« on: December 03, 2012, 10:47:04 AM »
8-Directions Drill

This is a simple drill at first look, but after a point you should find that the look is deceiving. It is based on a progressive drill done with the daito/katana, and can be performed either dry or live. Obviously, I recommend you start by doing this one dry and slowly. Especially once you get past the first stage and into the second, you will want to make sure of your movements before loading up.

Establish in your mind eight lines moving out from where you are standing in eight directions. Straight ahead and back, directly side to side, and angling at forty-five degrees, NE, SE, SW, NW. If at some point you wish to add a vertical movement, you can call it a 9-directions drill. (Given the basis of this drill, that might be appropriate. 9 is considered a lucky number in Japan.) Target/focal point will be directly north.

With handgun either in normal carry position or in a ready position, facing north, present or draw the handgun, drive to the target/focal point, and make the trigger press or take the shot as you normally do. You can repeat this some number of times or go immediately to the next step of the basic drill, which is...

Return to holster/ready position, turn to align yourself facing NE, and present or draw the weapon, driving it to the target and making the shot, simulated or not, WITHOUT MOVING YOUR FEET. You can turn your upper body as needed, but you are not to turn your entire body, you are not to turn and face the target, at any point.

Understand? Now, completing the repetition/repetitions from where you face NE, return to ready/holster and face directly East. KEEP YOUR FEET AND LOWER BODY IN PLACE while you make the presentation as before.

Repeat this process in each direction until you are once again facing directly North. Do not at any time allow your lower body to move any further than is absolutely necessary to keep from putting strain and stress on your knees and ankles. Pivot only around the waist as much as you are able to. When you are doing the repetitions from directly South, perform repetitions turning both left and right to the target, going over around both the left and right shoulder.

Now, either shift the weapon to the other hand or move it to a holster on the support side, and perform the evolution to all eight directions again.

This is the first stage of the 8-directions drill. To begin the second stage, start facing the target at North again, weapon at ready or in the holster. This time, you will execute the movement by taking a step in the direction you are facing as you make the draw or the presentation to the shot. Go to North, turn to NE, step as you present. At this stage, a single step, but you must combine the step with the draw and presentation. Do not allow yourself to draw and then step, or to take the step and then draw. All actions at this point must be coordinated and simultaneous.

Go through the 8 directions stepping, move to the support side, repeat.

You can extend this drill farther as you wish after you feel comfortable with the second-stage movement. Let considered imagination be your guide.

This drill can be performed with pistol or rifle, blade or cudgel, and even empty-handed.
Shikan haramitsu dai ko myo.

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M1911A1

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Re: 8 Directions
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 03:07:09 PM »
Richard;
If you don't mind, I'd like to add another, similar drill to yours. It accomplishes the same sort of thing, but does it differently. Thus it adds another tool to one's "toolbox."

1. Stand facing 180° away from the target. Now, do a military-style "about face" to the weak side. If you start by moving your feet properly, you will end up in a stable, feet-apart shooting position. Practice doing this a few times.
Now add the gun. Just before you begin your "about face" move, place your hand on the pistol and take a firing grip. Quickly, just as soon as the "about face" move is complete, make your presentation. Practice doing this as a dry-fire exercise a few times.
Finally, take the shot. Do the whole drill, and fire two shots as soon as you have achieved stability. Both shots need to land pretty close together. If you can't fire two stable shots, go back and dry-fire practice some more.

2. Do it all again, but this time do the "about face" to the strong side. In this case, you will land in an unstable position. Nevertheless, fire one shot while you are unstable. Then, as quickly as possible, move one foot to achieve stability, and fire a second shot. Once again, success is seeing both shots hit the target pretty close together.

Like Richard's, this drill also sets you up to be able to quickly turn into a stable firing position at any angle, from any angle. It's just another way of doing it.
Obviously, you are not limited to only 180° turns. The first move is always to place a foot in the direction toward which you want to shoot, and then to make the body follow the foot.
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


"Qui desiderat pacem, pręparet bellum."

CR Williams

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Re: 8 Directions
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 06:16:09 AM »
Kewl. Both Steve's drill and the 8-directions exercise is designed to start getting you accustomed to taking and making the shots from other-than-square-on positions and other than completely stable and unmoving positions. The second stage of 8-directions is designed as a first step to development of a capacity to draw and shoot on the move.

Two things to add: One is to start close to the target, closer than you may normally do, when you begin to run this drill. 2 to 4 yards, and I'm serious about not starting any farther away than that. You do not want to fuss about where you're hitting. That will distract you from the point of the exercise. Combat-accurate, combatively-useful hits are the goal here, not one-hole groupings. Second, you must at all times present/move the pistol to the target/shooting position without the muzzle sweeping to the side or around you. It will not take much thought or experimentation to see how this is done from any direction. Not only will forethought and experimentation reduce the possibility of muzzle sweep greatly, it will put you on target in a firing position faster and more efficiently. Consider and work with this concept and you will see the correctness of it.
Shikan haramitsu dai ko myo.

In Shadow In Light - Studying and advancing the art and the science of the fight.

www.inshadowinlight.com