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Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

I figured it out.


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So I figured out the whole mental aspect thing yesterday while playing a round of golf. I hadn't picked up my sticks in 6 months, and on the first tee I ripped one far, and right down the center. I knew why.

I said to myself "a_-hole, you have the skills. You know you do. So just do what you've been training for and rip this thing. It's a nice day, you've already seen a rabid fox, and the sun is so warm. You're skipping work and you love this. Enjoy it"... ( I do refer to myself as an Ahole sometimes, be if you know me, you know it's true).

I had a few very hard shots to make, and I said "there is no last shot, there is no future shot, there is only this one. Look, plan, and do." I did these things. I finally concurred the mental aspect of golf, and I had one of the most fun, if not best scoring rounds of my life. Did pretty well for my skill set.

I did the same thing at the range today. Went to a fun shoot and entered my 8 round 1911 in SS, and also in Tactical (anything goes, up to 20 rounds, etc). I told myself I was shooting for fun. I planned the stages, but would tape targets until I was called to the line. Then I walked to the line, and executed my plan. Front sight, press. Move with efficiency. I even found a few lines and moves nobody else did.

I won't say it was nationals level shooting, but it was good. Smooth, not wasteful, not hurried but not slow. I saw the bullets hit the target (in my mind, if not for real), called shots, and had some damn fine runs.

Joked the whole time, and even taped my own targets. Scores are posted, 1st place in single stack, and 6th in Tactical, even with 3x the reloads.

What did I learn?

Trust that you know the fundamentals. The hours and work are under your belt, go for it.

Relax, have fun, enjoy it. This is a game, after all. Don't let a bad shot or stage through you

There is no last shot. there is no next shot. there is only this one. Front sight, press.....

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almost sounds like shooting like you don't care

not worried about the score, just doing what you can do and thats it. The game is much more enjoyable this way. Instead of putting all that pressure on yourself. Your mind works better, your muscles are faster, and you are more receptive.


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Today must have been a ZEN day. Driving to the range today worrying about being late to the match.... it's an hour plus drive... I realize that I am right where I am supposed to be. That there is just now, this very moment, no others. The moment ago is gone, the moment about to be here is still not in existence. All we have is now. I thought about how just reading Brian's post that no matter what the post is his signature of "be" rung the bell today.

Did I shoot great... well no, but I am still a beginner, did I enjoy myself? Yes, and it was a fun drive. I will always be a new shooter I decided today, because I hope to learn something "new" every time I go shooting or watch others shoot.

Shoot well, shoot often, and for goodness sake HAVE FUN!


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It's hard to stop thinking. I am new to reloading, and tanked a few matches due to gun malfunctions. I learned that my gear has to work, and then I don't have to worry about it. So now that it does, and I don't worry about the gun going bang, i just have fun!

people take this stuff too seriously. It's a game, after all. My worst day shooting is still better than most days at work ;)

I'm going to go shoot a full 75 round course of sporting clays. If I'm lucky, I will hit about 25. Doesn't make it any less fun!

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Shooting is an activity we do. Being a shooter, is more.

Sometimes the doing and the being merge seamlessly.

My own experience of being a shooter has been greatly enriched by all the folks here at BE.com B)

Thank you!! -Sam

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, new user here. I had no idea you guys were into Zen.

I've never really "been into" zen but I was raised buddhist and I've been doing martial arts all my life. So the way I approach things seems to be at least on the surface related to Zen.

I don't think I've ever had a KATZ/EUREKA! moment but when I think about it, its gradually become part of my awareness.

Being in the ring is one of the easiest ways for me to be aware. Aware of which point in time and space I am. It was a very in-my-face way to understand it. When I hadn't spent enough time to reach a certain level of mastery, in the ring I'm usually thinking about what to do next, how much things hurt, how better your opponent is, etc. Feeling the ring crowd up and choke you with the presence of a better opponent. My mind and body didn't move fast enough to allow me to reach a certain state of awareness. Full of crap thinking. After a certain level of mastery, and if your opponent is well matched (i.e. not vastly better than you) then you are just there. I find it hard to describe but its not as simple as "not caring." You're there, fully aware. I can't find a better word to describe it except that I AM THERE. There in the fight. This is not what is going on in my head, but when I'm in that state I'm reacting in the right ways, moving in the right direction, doing everything right while at the same time, using my offensive techniques as well as my defenses to impose my will on my opponent. The more experience I gain, the better this state gets. At matches (not sparring sessions), I put my hands together and just empty my mind. Emptying my cup, so that I am ready to receive and give. It works.

In no other hobby have I felt it. I have been racing cars for a few years. There, I'm constantly telling myself do this on this turn, do that at the next braking point, oops did I go over that birm a bit too hard, etc. Very cluttered mind, not where I want to be. I've read on how pro drivers are aware while they drive. What I experience is definitely not it.

For some reason, I feel much closer to this state in shooting, even though I'm wet behind my ears in shooting. Maybe it is because I have been exposed to ring pressure. Before I get up at my turn at a stage, I constantly visualize what I'm going to do. I try to get as detailed as I can, but with only a few matches under my belt I find it hard to do. Despite this, when its my turn and I'm up there waiting for the buzzer goes off, I am able to empty my mind. Of course, I'm new and I suck so I make mistakes and I'm slow, but it still helps me get moving. Made a mistake? No lingering, sights are on the next target. Reloads just happen as I visualized.. or at least I think. I move surprisingly close to how I'd visualized it, though I am sloppy and a bit clumsy due to my inexperience.

I hope with continued practice, I get to experience that awareness feeling again at a shooting match. If I have some talent, I'll be winning and getting places when I'm at that level. If I'm not, its okay, I've still attained a mastery in the art.

I'm glad I found people who seek this type of experience in their passion.

Edited by dwkfym
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