Eye/Hand Coordination, Confidence, and the Path to its Discovery and Refinement

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

Whatever you prefer to call it….. point shooting, instinctive shooting, index shooting, reactive shooting, threat focused shooting, contact shooting, blah, blah, blah……it really does not matter. The bottom line is that it is the use of ones natural eye/hand coordination to puts hits onto a targeted area. It is the ability to make the bullets go to the exact point that your eyes are focused on, from any angle or any position. Eye/hand coordination is simply a teaming up of the eyes, the mind, and the body. The mind simply directs the body to align the gun so that the point of aim intersects the line of sight at the focal point. This is easy to understand, but not all that easy to make happen on your own.

We all know that the basics of point shooting has been broken down and taught into specific positions and stances (much like the four count draw stroke.) These specifics help facilitate in the teaching of basic point shooting and are a very important key to unlocking the door to your eye/hand coordination. But, we need to understand that these are only the basics. It is my opinion, that if you were to stop there you have only glanced at 10% of this piece of the puzzle. To get the most out of point shooting you need to break away from this basic breakdown. Point shooting is not a stance, grip, position, or angle dependent skill set. It is a fluid, well-rounded, and completely versatile concept.

But, the basics are the basics and they are a necessary part of the learning progression. When we look at the basics, we usually look at the basic geometry of the body position. We teach to square up to the target with the nose and toes pointed at it. We teach to put the gun on our center-line and to hold the gun parallel to the ground. This basic geometry is virtually fool-proof and it is nearly impossible to not get hits when the basic body geometry is put into place.

It is my opinion, that there is another part of the basics that have been ignored by some of the old timers. I believe that this is done because most of the older books just deal with the absolute basics. Once you move outside of the basic body geometry and take the skills into fluid and dynamic FOF, you find that another very important basic piece of the puzzle comes into play. This would be the visual input of the eye/hand coordination equation. Brian Enos and many other firearm instructors saw the importance of visual input to facilitate making the shot at varying distances, difficulty levels, and under time constraints. I firmly believe in the concept of integrating the old with the new, in order  to become the very best that you can be.

With that said, I firmly believe in the teaching of alternative sighting methods. These methods fall squarely into the “see what you need to see” concepts. By using gun focused skills such as hard focus on the front sight, flash sight picture, front sight only, along with threat focused skills such as type two focus, aligning down the slide, and metal and meat you are teaching your brain to see what it needs to see and laying a solid foundation for your eye/hand coordination and the seamless integration between eye/hand coordination shooting and sighted fire. As I have said many times, just having the knowledge of these alternative sighting methods, your brain will know which part of this information it will need to make the hits. That is what eye/hand coordination is all about.

Once we drop the gun to below line of sight, the visual input of the shot takes on a whole new meaning. We are now working with our peripheral vision outside of our line of sight. Once again, this is something that is completely ignored by some of the old timers, but let us face the facts. When it comes to eye/hand coordination, when your mind takes in the peripheral vision information from the eyes, the mind will attempt to align the body, hand, and focal point off of that information…… whether we want it to or not. That is simply the way that the human machine works. To understand and accept this peripheral vision verification, as fact, is not a bad thing. It is a very good thing. This understanding and acceptance just leads to more confidence.

When it comes to eye/hand coordination shooting…..confidence is the king!

As we push the movement continuum with our point shooting skills, we eliminate more and more of the basic body geometry, to the point that it is almost non-existent. We can no longer rely on our center-line due to the fact that it is just too limiting to our movement options. We now have to work off our visual center-line with our eye/hand coordination. Therefore, any direction that we look gives us our basic geometry. Add to this our line of sight alternative indexing methods and our use of peripheral vision verification below line of sight and we have an amazingly versatile eye/hand coordination aiming system. This system is as simple as can be, works off of the subconscious mind under the typical physiological reactions to a life threatening encounter, and also has the advantages of absolutely excelling with dynamic movement.

A few hours of conscious thought and discovery will lead to a level of confidence, in the subconscious minds ability, that will truly amaze most people. Once you have put in the requisite amount of work at the conscious level, you may never have to visit this level again. You will have a good understanding of your eye/hand coordination and you may never again have to ask yourself what you need to see to get the hits. You will just instinctively get the hits that you need, within the correct context of the fight.

And things will never be the same!

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