Diligentia Vis Celeritas
Accuracy, Power, Speed.
Col. Jeff Cooper came up with this phrase with his characteristic academic flare.
He saw students struggle to get lead on target as quickly as possible.
Bigger calibers translated into bigger guns with greater weight. All of that cumbersome architecture must surely translate into slower draw strokes.
At least that was the thinking among the uninitiated.
Cooper articulated a phrase: “You cannot miss fast enough”.
This about sums it up.
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Speed as an “end all goal” is a recipe for disaster. The end result is chaos.
Speed as a byproduct of smoothness and efficiency is a far more satisfactory and repeatable achievement.
Our range and dry fire practice is like Tibetan sand art. The final picture is interesting, but inherently transient.
The goal is mastery of the process, not the product.
We drill and we drill and we drill so that we learn the methodology necessary for the most efficient application of our movements.
Then we commit those movements to muscle memory.
Efficiency is defined as the least amount of movements necessary to perform an action.
We study our movements and discard all superfluous aspects of our presentation, refining our draw to the most basic of elements. Through this distillation of efficiency we begin to arrive at the first inklings of true speed.
The irony is that the smoother we become the slower we feel we are.
Those around us see our draw as a mechanized blur… but we feel that we could always move just a little bit faster.
It is here that we find what is perhaps our greatest challenge: Allaying the desire to push our speed, and a re-dedicated effort to perfect our smoothness.
Those that are able to find this maturity are the ones that become the truly “fast”.
The caliber of the firearm, the size of the gun, all of the variables associated with gadgetry and technological advancement will not in the end translate to repeatable increases in speed.
That only comes with a mastery of the fundamentals.
Our first goal must be to hit the target each and every time (Diligentia).
For our defensive gun use, we need to assure that we are using a caliber sufficient enough to stop a threat (Vis).
Finally, we perfect our smoothness and we find that we have increased our speed…. the last component of our triad. (Celeritas)