Firearm Sighting & Tunnel Vision – Try this Unconventional Training

tunnel-vision-example

[img cred – Monderno]

In the world of firearm training, maintaining peripheral vision is of utmost importance.  When you are in a fire fight, your brain’s stress response is in overdrive!  As you look down the irons of your weapon, your body focuses all its resources directly on the target, and your peripheral vision fades.  While this concentration of resources on the target helps you a great deal to neutralize the threat, it is a disservice to you when there are multiple targets.

Firearm trainers always teach you to physically turn your head left and right after a fire session in order to train your mind/eyes to observe peripheral threats.  While this is great training, there is another way to train against tunnel vision!  Try this!

Whether I’m taking a short run around my neighborhood, or off on the trail, I always carry my Esee Izula II knife for self defense (the Kbar TDI Law Enforcement Knife is also a great combative knife as recommended by Tactical Intelligence Group.) While there may not be human attackers on the trail, I have had my fair share of encounters with vicious dogs.  While doing my normal run this morning, I picked up the pace going up a long incline of road.  Towards the top of the hill, I noticed that my peripheral vision was fading.  And then it hit me…

“Practice your peripheral vision scanning!”

As I do with my firearm training, I scanned my head left to right.  Instead of looking for assailants with guns, I was concentrating on whether there were any more probable threats – angry dogs jumping over their fences.  This was a VERY REAL tunnel vision training session as I was truly losing my peripheral vision.  And it is that “real life” sensation that makes it so different than being on a static shooting range where your peripheral vision may still be intact.

Loss of peripheral vision usually happens during moderate exercise & exhaustion, as your body focuses energy towards critical processes and needs.  As per Active.com:

“Extreme effort can manifest itself as a loss of peripheral vision, double vision, or loss of focus depending on the individual, and the scenario. But why?

“Basically, you aren’t able to get nearly enough oxygen to the brain,” said Trevor Connor, a physiologist and coach with the Pacific Cycling Center in Victoria, British Columbia. The result, he says, is the deterioration of vision.

“Your body is always trying to maintain balance. Blood pressure, sugar levels, everything,” Trevor said. “When you exercise, you are throwing a challenge at your body, taking it out of balance, and your body is forced to do its best to keep you level.”

While Active.com says “extreme effort”, I do notice some loss of peripheral vision during moderate anaerobic interval training.  When you are going on a run next time, try to throw a sprint or two into your jog.  First, interval training is great for your physical fitness.  However, after the sprint, keep jogging and use the exhaustion as a peripheral vision training opportunity.

While firearm related loss of peripheral vision is due to the stress response and concentration of resources away from the eyes, exercise strips the eyes of resources, but via another mechanism.  All in all, our eyes experience the same sensations.

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