Thadeu H. is a police officer in Dayton, Ohio.
Around 6 p.m. one evening, Thadeu responded to a Dollar General Store to investigate a report of someone using fake bills.
After leaving the store, the officer approached Antwyane Lowe, because he matched the description of the suspect in the fraud investigation.
As the officer approached, Antwyane ignored him and started to walk away.
As the officer got close, Antwyane turned and punched him in the face without warning.
The officer used his Taser on the suspect who fell to the ground.
But as he lay on the ground, the suspect reached into his pocket and pulled out a gun.
He fired once, shooting the officer on the left side of his face.
Thadeu fell to the ground but immediately returned fire, shooting the suspect five times.
The officer was able to radio for help…
He could barely hear but was able to communicate that he and the suspect had been shot.
Another officer transported Thadeu to the hospital.
He was treated for a gunshot wound to the side of the head and his left temporal artery was torn, but thankfully he recovered.
The suspect was also transported to the hospital and survived his injuries. He was charged with two felony counts of assault on a police officer.
Thadeu was shot in the head and still managed to do what he had to do to survive. He reverted to his training, stayed in the fight, and shot the suspect to stop the threat.
He couldn’t have done this without training, practice, and muscle memory.
Even though we don’t think about it that often, muscle memory is part of our everyday life.
We do little things each day without considering them.
We have had a lifetime to practice many of these movements.
But muscle memory also plays a critical role in shooting skills.
Muscle memory when shooting:
When someone shoots a gun for the first time it’s not a natural feeling, their body is not used to the feeling.
If they only shoot once, the mind isn’t learning to retain the skill.
But once you start adding different layers to the action, then your brain will learn.
For example, when you start learning in-depth skills such as stance, aiming, and trigger pull, your mind will start encoding the skills.
Whether your shooting goals are self-defensive or competitive, you need to develop muscle memory.
Because we are creatures of habit, you need to practice your firearm skills repeatedly to develop muscle memory.
Even when you can’t go to the gun range you should practice good firearm habits at home.
This should include dry fire practice.
The same skills such of stance, aiming, and trigger pull should be practiced when dry firing.
The key is the repetition of good habits that will translate into better shooting skills.
Using muscle memory in firearms training:
The first thing to do when looking to develop your muscle memory is to set goals.
For example, tell yourself that you are going to dry fire for a certain amount of time each day.
For me, this is about 10-15 minutes.
If you are new to firearms then start small. Set realistic goals for yourself.
Also, make things easy and build upon your skills.
For instance, in addition to your dry firing, maybe you want to set a goal for live firing at the range.
Let’s say the goal is to get a full magazine on target…
You don’t need to start with trying to hit everything in the center. Start small and build up.
When you are shooting you should be doing repetitive drills.
Starting with basic drills each time will build muscle memory. Without thinking about it you will see your timing and accuracy improve.
No matter how long you’ve been shooting, or how experienced you are, you can always improve muscle memory.