Task Oriented-vs-Goal Oriented

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

In many of the advanced courses that I run, I set up very complex drills to solidify the extremely advanced training that I give. I do not just teach complex skill sets, I teach advanced thinking that is connected to the complex skill sets. To simplify it, I teach the perfection of ruthless violence. Skill sets mean nothing if your thinking is not right.

In my advanced courses I may ask you to work on and accomplish ten to fifteen specific things inside of a three to four-second drill. Then I’ll ask for the absolute perfect after action drills.

The only way to accomplish this is by being task oriented instead of being goal oriented. Being goal oriented means that your focus is just on reaching the goal or the conclusion of the drill. The students who work in this manner tend to forget to do numerous portions of the drill and do not get the same quality of a learning experience as the student that approaches the complex drill while being task oriented. This is due to the fact that the thinking is not right, the drill becomes a ghost of what it truly is supposed to be. Everything just gets mixed up, blended together, and abbreviated.

The task oriented student visualizes the drill before it is even run. He knows each and every aspect of what he is working on, what the Instructor asked from him, and the importance of this type of training inside of his advancement. When an Instructor has trained you inside of a building block approach, it is geared to allow you to do unbelievable complex things, with very little effort. But the tasks inside of the complex building blocks must be dealt with one at a time inside of your training. You need to train yourself to be task oriented, so that you can eventually become goal oriented

For example, here is a drill that I run in the Advanced Point Shooting Concepts course (APSC). Here are the building blocks that have been laid down, and here are the tasks that must be performed to get the very most out of the drill.

From 12 yards out, forward oblique, using a fluid situational response, that turns defense into offense, incorporating a directional change to facilitate flipping that switch.

1) Neutral position of a reactive gun fight, until the threat is called

2) Perfect two footed take off to the forward oblique while clearing the garment and drawing the handgun.

3) Drive the gun to the focal point.

4) Verify that you are indexed onto the target area and guarantee the first shot to center of mass (COM) out of the dynamic movement draw stroke, while using efficient and effective movement. (First shots to COM due to the fact that drill started at twelve yards and shots to COM give me the best chance to guarantee these very difficult first hits.)

5) Work the trigger at the appropriate speed for the distance, to guarantee the hits. The cadence of fire will get faster as you settle into your movement and the distance is closed.

6) Begin to bring the hits up out of COM and into the thoracic cavity, with a focal transition, as you settle in and close distance. (I have now settled into my movement and closed some ground. Hits to the upper thoracic cavity are now very doable.)

7) Visualize the point that you have taken back the lost initiative, visualize the point that he is reacting to you.

8) Flip the switch from defense to “finisher” offense and make the directional change

9) Nail the perfect “sharp angle” cutback using the stutter step. Work “the consistent index” and guarantee the hits as you keep shooting through out your sharp angle change.

10) Step up the speed of the movement and the speed on the trigger.

11) Begin zippering the hits up from the thoracic cavity, to the neck, and then to the head as you close in, using a focal transition. (The direction change has been made, I am settled into my new speed of movement, more ground has been closed, and the hits to the neck and face are very doable.)

12) Remember your retention concept, close in as you put hits into the cranial ocular cavity, and retract the gun back as you fire using the retention concept. Do not project your gun. (If the adversary is still there, finish him with fast and accurate hits to the cranial ocular cavity because it is very doable.)

13) Shoot him all the way down and stop the threat

14) Quick check to break tunnel vision

15) Final check on primary adversary

16) Check for more adversaries to the front as you also scan for a position of tactical advantage

17) Check your 6:00 as you move to the position of tactical advantage

18) Verify that he is still done

19) Reload

20) Medical check in quadrants with color check

21) Is this really over?

If you think you can run this drill and ingrain the training that is designed into it without being tasked oriented, you may not know what you may not know. The more complex the problem, the more task oriented you should become. Being task oriented keeps you calm, it gives you a road map, and it keeps you from panicking.

Do not bite off more than you can chew! Train to be task oriented so that after enough repetition you can do all of this while being goal oriented.

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