Courage Under Fire

Would you be scared in a gunfight or would you be courageous under fire?

Courage is best described as doing what needs to be done, even when you know your actions place you in danger.

A gunfight is dangerous. You can get killed in the blink of an eye.

So how do you control the fear of being killed and remain courageous to do what needs to be done in a gunfight?

Watch this video footage, seen from the perspective of the officer involved in the gunfight, and I will share with you the absolute, no B.S. answer to finding courage under fire …

What is the notable aspect of this video?

The INITIAL exclamation the officer made to himself when he realized he was being shot at. Would you agree he was surprised?

WHY was the officer surprised? After all, this was a high speed pursuit which the suspect ended by tactically maneuvering his truck to provide cover for his exit from the vehicle.

The officer was surprised because he was not EXPECTING a gunfight that night.

The officer is LUCKY he was not hit, while unprepared and startled, by the gunman’s first volley of fire. You don’t get many second chances in a gunfight.

The absolute most remarkable and teachable moment of this video is the officer’s second exclamation when the gunman pops up to continue the gunfight and the officer is not prepared to deliver a shot to end the lethal encounter.

Clearly, by the tone and character of surprise in the officer’s voice he was not mentally prepared to fight, yet his adversary was.

This is quite common in well over 95% of law enforcement personnel and the military. Private citizens who own guns but have not had any formal training are even worse. The truth of the matter is the VAST majority of people who own guns and carry guns for a living are not mentally prepared or trained to win a gunfight.

As a result, SURPRISE gives way to FEAR which gets in the way of demonstrating COURAGE under fire and WINNING the gunfight.

So here is the absolute, no B.S. answer to finding courage under fire and winning a gunfight.

  1. Dry Practice 15 minutes EVERY DAY presenting your unloaded weapon from the holster, focusing on the front sight, and pressing the trigger without disrupting the sight alignment. By doing this every day you will build the neuromuscular pathways from the mind to the muscles (muscle memory) needed to deliver fight-ending hits when the bullets are flying about you in a gunfight. Order your Dry Practice Manual Today.
  2. When you get up in the morning, chamber check your weapon to ensure it is loaded. As you holster your weapon, look in the mirror and say to yourself, (and mean it) "TODAY may be the day I use this weapon to defend myself — and in doing so I may get hit, but I WILL WIN." By saying this to yourself every day and meaning every word of it, you will not be surprised when it is time to present your weapon, nor will you be surprised if your opponent is lucky enough to get a hit on you. Instead, you will know that today is YOUR DAY. You are ready, willing, and able to do what you need to do, even though it is dangerous, and you will take the fight to your opponent and win.
  3. MOST IMPORTANTLY, understand that in a gunfight your mind will be limited to focusing on what it perceives is most important. So you can either focus on the fact that you could get hit or killed and allow surprise, fear, and the physiologic effects of fear (adrenaline) to overcome your ability to do what needs to be done OR you can focus on the one thing that will ensure you win the gunfight … YOUR FRONT SIGHT!

    That’s right. It is so important that I named my school after it. By telling yourself in the heat of a gunfight to, "focus on the front sight and pressssss the trigger," there is NO ROOM for fear to creep into your mind and allow the adverse effects of adrenaline to overcome your ability to make a first-round hit and follow-up hits on your adversary. THIS is what will give you courage under fire to win a gunfight and when you see the front sight, that is where your bullets are going which guarantees the hits needed to stop a lethal encounter.

  4. Also understand that in a gunfight there is NO TIME to prepare. You will default to your level of training and be about half as good as you were in your last practice session. Hopefully that practice session was the PERFECT dry practice you did YESTERDAY and not the mandatory range qualification you did over 6 months ago!

So courage under fire and the ability to WIN a gunfight is up to you.

You can either mentally and physically prepare yourself to expect a gunfight every day and thus be ready, willing and able to win it, or you can be like the officer in the video above who exclaims in surprise not once, but twice, as his opponent takes the gunfight to him and moves in for the kill.

Can you see that after the gunman’s first volley of fire, had the officer been behind the cover of his vehicle saying to himself, "focus on the front sight and pressssss the trigger." the outcome would have been different? Instead of uttering another exclamation of surprise as the gunman popped up to unleash a second volley of fire, the officer would have finished the fight with center hits to his adversary and claimed victory.

Again, the choice to win or lose, be the victor or the victim, live or die is up to you …


Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Front Sight Founder and Director

P.S. Please share this report with your family and friends. If your family and friends would like to receive their own reports, our 12-page brochure, and 90-minute award-winning DVD then please direct them to: Front Sight.

P.P.S. I’m always happy to hear from you, so please email me after you’ve read Gun Training Report #50 Courage Under Fire to confirm you are receiving the reports and tell me what you think about the reports so far. E-mail Dr. Piazza.