By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts
The “see what you need to see” phrase was made famous by Brian Enos and the competition guys. It was all about their ability to make the hits inside of competitive shooting.
But “see what you need to see” has an entirely different meaning for those that are fighting for their lives. For years, I have asked this question inside of my courses, on actually “what you would like to see while fighting for your life.” The list is usually long and is very different from the competition guys list.
1) Hands, because that is what kills you
2) Waist bands, because that is where the weapons are usually hidden
3) Other bad guys, because there is usually more than one bad guy
4) Innocence, because we need to make sure that we do not hurt any innocents
5) Loved ones, friends, partners, because they are on our side or under our protection
6) Available cover, because we just may need that
7) Obstacles, because our attention is going to be focused elsewhere, but we have to be able to see it
8) Footing, because we need to be aware of any trip or slip hazards
9) The exit of the fight, because we may need to simply get out of there
10) Position of tactical advantage, because our mind is the weapon and positioning is key
I have asked hundreds of students this question and until I publicly pointed it out, not one of them said “the front sight.” Even after publicly telling people of this phenomenon, my repeat students sit back and let the first time students struggle to round out the list, to see if anyone actually says it. I have actually seen the front sight mentioned, without being told about it before hand, just a few times.
This is what I have called “the visual input of the entirety of the encounter” for years. It does require being globally aware, over being locally focused. Having the gun in your face and being focused on the front sight makes you locally focused, it facilitates tunnel vision, and there is so much more to see inside of a fight than a few bumps on the top off your gun.
This is why people often shoot for blood below line of sight and this is why people should practice shooting below line of sight. It may not be the most optimal way to get hits, but a lethal encounter is not always an optimal situation, and the encounter may not allow for your most optimal techniques.
If you can “see what you need to see” and then get to your sights, strive for that!
But, if you can not get to the sights for one of the many legitimate reasons possible, have your highly trained, supplemental skill, of shooting below line of sight readily available.