Most defensive encounters end quickly. There are, however, many occasions in which the defender will be required to stay poised and alert for several minutes. Police felony car stops can take the better part of half an hour to safely empty the car and take the occupants into custody. During that time, cover officers will  hold aim on vehicles or suspects. That’s harder than it sounds. Marksmanship, the method by which open space accuracy is achieved, requires minute adjustments to be constantly made in order to direct the sights within hundredths of an inch. Professional counter snipers take breaks every few minutes to relieve their eyes. Admittedly, using a scope with the increase in light fatigues the eye more quickly but the principle remains true in any circumstance. When considering that nighttime encounters often include sharp light contrasts, the sniper example is even more relevant. So eyes get tired but so does everything else. Try squatting or crouching for five minutes. If you catch an intruder and hold him until police arrive, you may be there a whole lot longer than five minutes. The point is mental , optical, and physical focus are demanding and their effectiveness begins an almost instant deterioration the moment the clock starts.  So what’s the takeaway? Relax. Use natural, non-exaggerated stances. Don’t tighten muscles and use a light grip. If working with a partner, coordinate thirty second breaks every three minutes. My fundamentals book, The Perfect Pistol Shot, can help you develop a natural shooting style, you can also find much of that information on the marksmanship blog at Tactical information will be available in my new book Practics Holistic Handgun which will be available this summer.

Thanks to all who have signed up at for advanced information on the new book. You’ll be receiving an email as soon as the date is firm. I apologize for the delay but we wound up adding two sections to the book rather unexpectedly and late in the process. The text is complete and I expect the whole thing to be ready for summer reading. The truth is, I know it will be out sooner rather than later but it is a process with a life of its own, apparently.  I really appreciate your patience.