Anyone can shoot a 20" X 20" target at 7 or 10 yards for five consecutive shots and probably repeat it two or three times before missing one. Maybe even eight consecutive shots. Although I don't have data on it, I would bet that once you go over six or maybe eight that the chances of missing a shot rise pretty fast. Note the video the shots were drifting down and to the left as he shot his string.
Back to the point that anyone can do this feat although not as fast as Miculek. When I can get on a range that lets me, I will periodically close my eyes and shoot a couple of shots, just to see how much my position changed between shots. I was getting pretty good at two or three shots before missing. I had to shoot paper but I would think steel would be a better choice because of its immediate feedback. And that shooting faster would also increase the potential of hits because the pistol would not have moved as much between shots.
I think success came more regularly due to my balance improving while holding the pistol. Note Miculek is really focusing his attention and eyes totally on the steel target as the blindfold is placed over his eyes. His head does not move even when he raises his hands and draws then shoots. He is maintaining excellent balance and I bet that is a key to his success. I say this from regular practice balancing and doing some movements while having my eyes shut. Yes, I know the inner ear is the key to balance but eyesight lets you judge how well you are balanced. Stand on one leg and close the eyes and see how long you can balance on one leg. It is a decent way to get a bit better in about any physical activity, shooting being one of them.
Not sure what Miculek focuses his attention on when doing this or his other fantastic feats but sure would like to know. Not that his techniques are universally effective but just to know. In many cases, guys like him are not focused on anything. Their minds are blank and they let themselves do the task without interference. It is pretty difficult to do on demand. In other cases their attention is totally focused on one single thing that is the key to their success. When guys get into trouble is when their attention is focused on more than one thing or on the wrong thing.
Balance is perhaps the ultimate in muscle memory. It requires instantaneous and recurrent feedback from muscles to the brain and from the balance center in the brain to the muscles. As adults we have learned to perceive certain cues as more important than others, such as vision vs inner ear. As children, we are easily made dizzy by simply spinning us on a merry go round. As adults, our brain accepts visual clues as more important than those made by our inner ear regarding spacial orientation, and we ignore that spinning middle ear and take the visual cues. It is what allows gymnasts, ice skaters, dancers, etc. to spin dozens of times without becoming dizzy. However, take away visual cues, and we are easily discombobulated. Put adults in dark rooms, and they have a much more difficult time than children do in finding there way out. The longer adults are without sight, the more difficult things become, until we learn to rely on our middle ear again for balance, and for most of us that takes a long time.
”You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt
I am pretty positive that Miculek rehearsed what he did, either live a number of times or dry a number of times, maybe just visualized it, but he did rehearse it. And so he went ahead and did it when he believed with certainty that he could do it. This type of thing is his way of having fun and earning a living. Miculek is also probably the most talented and skilled speed shooter on earth.
GI's on the other hand don't get the time or resources to do such things and I am also pretty positive that blindfolding someone and letting them shoot on a military range would be frowned upon to say the least.
Anyone can do this task though. All they need is the belief they can, the motivation to continue to try until they do, and the resources for them to succeed. Miculek embodies the notion that confidence plus focused training will bring success.
Guys who wanted to try this, I let try. A bunch got into it because it was a challenge for them and they believed they would eventually succeed.
It wasn't something I let them do for a long time and wasn't a regular part of our training. It was a good way to show what needed training though, seeing and moving a finger.
Last edited by LR1955; 02-16-2016 at 11:06 PM.
It is kind of an overused term, but because it's something that I don't think is going away, we might as well try and make our own definition of it. I think the best way to think about it is an almost instinctive reaction that you have honed in your behavior. Like any sport, doing it without really thinking about it.
Love shooting over anything else -- full time manufacturer worker, part time blogger