How to become an Old Modern Warrior’

By on 19. February 2015

By Bertrand Bourgeat, Jokokan Ballerup, 1st kyu Yakami Shinsei-ryu Karate-do, first dan Bujutsu Kodosokukai Gensei-ryu Karate-do, June 2012

The POMW I course (Project Old Modern Warrior) is a course in how to shoot with guns, for brown- and black belts. The course is divided into three modules, which systematically, build up the skills of the participants’.

The course starts with a historical overview of the technological development, from bow to guns. Then there were an introduction to modern firearms with a very thorough introduction to the safety rules:

  1. Always treat a firearm as if it is loaded
  2. Always point the gun in a safe direction
  3. Never have the finger on the trigger until you are aiming at the target
  4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it

Although that we only practiced with air gun and laser gun during the course, you have to take safety very seriously. This includes that if you do not follow the designated procedures, we yell “DQ” (eg. Disqualified) and then you have 2 minutes on the bench: “Safety is a state of mind – take nothing for granted”. Therefore, all participants were wearing safety glasses because plastic balls from air guns can at worst case strict an eye out. The Air gun have enough power to shoot holes in the targets and I noticed that the plywood behind the targets, after a day is shooting, was almost reduced to sawdust.

Then we got through the essential shoot principles in five basic rules:

  1. Proper double hand position
  2. Correct use of the sight tools
  3. Proper draw
  4. Proper recoil control and overall position
  5. Evaluate and correct errors

After the first module, we were told to train at home with a water pistol or something like that for building routine and muscles of the hands and arms. This “dry firing” went on for three weeks until the next module and had an amazing good effect on the accuracy in the target hits.

During the course, you get to shoot at different distances from 3 to 5 – 7, along 13 meters. Each shot took place in time, which gradually increases with the distance. On the last module, we also trained shooting on multiple targets and various types of shooting in motion. Some important points from the course are:

– You have to stand slightly forward to counteract recoil
– You must tighten the gun hard with your hands
– Aim with both eyes open
– You should focus on aiming (e.g. Sight tools) and not on the target itself
– You shall use the tip of your finger to pull the trigger and not the finger joint

The essence of shooting is to ensure that, in the moment when the shot is fired, all these conditions are satisfied.

Everybody felt after a few training times that they were concise with a firearm, even out on the long distances. Seen from this perspective, shooting with a gun is infinitely faster and easier to learn than karate. Therefore, it is reassuring that the course is held in a serious tone and that safety is such an important part of the teaching. Yet POMW do help to bring the “little” boy up – and this is the same with the girls.

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