Instructor Zero(IZ) is pushing his personal limitations by running drills that test Muscle Memory vs. Cognitive Function. IZ runs back engage drills with ballon targets to measure accuracy and a shot timer to measure speed
See more of Instructor Zero and his Tactical Carbine Brain Process Drill in the video below.
I caught up with Instructor Zero recently, while he was conducting testing and evaluation of the range for a few companies looking to get his opinion on their products. Part of his evaluation typically include some pushing of his personal limitations, to see how well the product aligns with his skill sets and experience.
Sometime during the day, he decided to conduct back engage drills using balloon targets, to measure accuracy and a shot timer to measure speed.
“All right. We can do better. I want to go under 60. Or near 60.”
He conducted multiple attempts to see just how low he could get his time that day. Always striving to do better, he left it at .58 seconds.
He then took it up another notch by selectively targeting balloons to improve his accuracy.
“Back engage. Reverse out, knee position and we shoot to the blue balloon.”
Here he waits for the timer to go off and listens for an audible call out of a particular color that he must engage. Speed, as far as the timer is concerned, has less emphasis as it is also affected by the timing and reaction of the caller.
“I know what you are going to call.”
“Yeah? It’s probably going to be pink.”
“Is it hard?”
Here we attempt to increase the difficulty of the cognitive function or brain process by adding a decoding layer to the challenge.
“So this time I can call something associated with the color?”
“Yeah. With the proper code that you want to call. It’s a brain project training. You have a mosquito on your camera.”
Adding yet another layer of difficulty, Instructor Zero and I began to have a little fun with the brain process drills.
“I got… [laughter] I got something okay. This will mess you up.”
“Hey, I’m going to shoot your shooter.”
“American dollar! What!”
“I wasn’t sure about that. I can bet that you were going to call dollar for green. I already imagine that person.”
“Okay. Okay. Another one. Ooh! I got one.”
“Okay. Not too long yeah! It needs to be a fast [project]”
“Okay, I got one. Dark! Dark. Well you know pink is light but…”
“What …. Is dark?”
“It’s like oscuro.”
“What’s the scuro there?”
“No, the red one is darker than pink.”
“Okay. Alright. Okay, I got it. Set. Girl. Girl, pink. Right?”
“Yeah, pink. There are two pink there.”
“Which one? Which is more girl than the other?”
“That was my fault, with the dark. I should have said darker”
“Yeah, or pinker. Yeah that’s English, you don’t have pinker in your …. Language?”
“So pinker is more pink.”
“So more pink is red?”
“No. More pink is that.”
“Yeah, but there was a pink and red.”
“Yeah. Red is red. Pink is pink. Then there is Pinker. Its something that is more pink than another thing.”
“Okay. Set. Okay. Papa! Okay, yeah. That’s too easy.”
“I’m just joking. 1.5 Nice. What else can I say to mess you up?”
Zero is adamant about incorporating cognitive processes into more advanced training. ‘Learn how to walk before you learn how to run,’ he always says.
“Set! Blue! Okay. Okay. Set. Green!”
“So, I need to check. I start with my head down so I can’t see his hands. And then when the beep starts, he going to open the hand; I’m going to check the color, reverse out and engage the target, the proper target. Or I should be.”
“It’s not easy. Yeah. Not easy. To get the color.”
“Chris, I didn’t see where you put it. But that’s ok. You just held it down while… You held it up there, okay.”
“1.44 We can do better.”
“The fact that when he sees is just when you close the eye.”
“I’m 14! That’s right.”
“Whoa-ho-ho. Getting there.”
“And I see just a piece of the balloon, because was that small piece, and you cover a little bit with the fingers.”
“You know you need to tell you, need to keep out the safety. You need to see the color, you need to take up the whole your arm, you need to acquire the target, bring this issue to… What?”
“You’re flipping the safety off as well?”
“Yeah. Everytime. You can see from the video, but the point is another. You can’t go with muscle memory here because you have four targets; you don’t know which one area is going to call so…”
In training, the brain processes and, in particular, the anticipation and analysis of it creates psychophysical stressors to the brain. On the field it can improve accurate and efficient reactions to commands and reduce collateral damage through better decision-making and judgement.