Decision making is not only the physical act of responding to a threat but most importantly the mental process or judgmental procedure to appropriately respond and not jeopardize taking someone(s) life inappropriately. Responding properly is initiated though experience. Training is another way to reduce human error and to accelerate the acquisition of higher judgmental decision making skills. We must recognize the fact that we now control success or failure in our hands governed by our experience and knowledge. If we err in our decision while under stress an innocent life may be taken. It has happened. Training should include scenarios to reflect good judgment and discretional use of force. Training needs to reflect the way you will need to defend yourself and others in your accompaniment. The fundamental concept is to keep thinking, reassessing, adjusting and reassessing again. Lessons learned will be reflected or transferred in the way you respond. Training scenarios introduce situational evaluation, risk management and decision making, giving the trainee more control over the situation ensuring a successful outcome. We reflect on our past decisions to make current decisions.
Standing in front of a target shooting at the “10 ring” and seeing how accurate you can become is good fundamental practice of the basics. We all do it including myself. Unfortunately when the threat is two arm lengths away you will not have time to study the sight picture. Use of cover, if available, threat identification in dim light, creating distance, communicating to those with you, shooting from difficult positions while protecting others and functioning under stress is what defensive shooting is all about. You will not be thinking about your stance, extending your arms to get a good sight picture in relation to your target while the threat is advancing and practically on top of you. Defensive situations are about critical decision making, responding appropriately and competently without escalating unnecessary force or responding inappropriately. Again, remember we reflect on our past decisions to make current decisions.