1.) Why is balance so important?
Everyone needs balance for optimal performance. For instance, try doing a pirouette with bad posture (= without balance). Truly effective defensive shooting requires the ability to move and quickly address threats in 360 degrees while maintaining full control of your body at all times. This will obviously require balance.
2.) What is wrong with "muscling" it (using "excess" muscle in an attempt to force it to work) when I shoot?
What would happen if Tiger Woods "muscled" his golf swing? He would compromise his speed, power, precision (accuracy), fluidity (smoothness and flow), timing, and balance. Even with their intense burst of muscular contractions, Olympic sprinters are trained to relax and flow through to the finish line. Good principles apply to all human activity. One of these principles is that good technique (proper body mechanics) is superior to "muscling" it.
3.) How does the Turnipseed Technique reduce felt recoil so effectively compared to other shooting methods?
Skeletal alignment for strength, relaxed muscles to dissipate recoil energy. In other words, optimal body mechanics which translates into good technique. Your body is a natural shock absorber. Good technique simply allows your body to do what it is designed to do, naturally. Experienced shotgunners are always amazed when we put them into the proper position and have them fire a shotgun. "I didn't feel a thing" is what they usually say with disbelief when they do not feel the expected pain or discomfort from recoil.
4.) Is the Turnipseed Technique suitable for women?
The Turnipseed Technique is ideal for women. Pain or discomfort from recoil is a common problem for many women (and men, too). However, even a petite woman has more than enough body mass to effectively dampen and dissipate the recoil of a 12 gauge magnum load. The key is for her to effectively utilize the natural shock absorbing qualities of her body through the use of proper body mechanics. This is exactly what the Turnipseed Technique does. Petite women can maintain complete control of a 12 gauge shotgun or a .44 magnum handgun and experience no pain or discomfort from recoil.
Note: The only problem that a petite woman will have with a typically large .44 magnum revolver is finding one with a grip (stocks) that will fit her smaller hands.
5.) The speed of accurate follow-up shots is impressive. How does the Turnipseed Technique make this possible?
First, the Turnipseed basic stance is a very stable position, a stable shooting platform. Then, the inherent recoil reduction of the stance (see #4 above) minimizes the displacement of your firearm, and thus of your sights. Finally, the natural elasticity of your relaxed body returns your firearm to its original starting position, and as a result your sights are back onto the target, quickly and automatically. Therefore, the process of performing follow-up shots is to simply repeat the trigger press, trigger press, trigger press.
With other shooting methods you will lose your sight picture when the firearm recoils. You will have to search for your sights (reacquire them), line them up, then place the front sight back onto the target, and finally press the trigger. The Turnipseed Technique is simply more efficient, especially when your life is on the line.
Note: Professional competitive shooters perform at awesome levels. Their front sights automatically return to the target, too. However, they shoot 50,000+ rounds per year to acquire and maintain this ability. Your front sight will automatically return to the center of the target in your first class with us. This is just one of the many benefits inherent in the Turnipseed Technique.
6.) In extreme close quarters situations, what allows you to move so well while performing accurate rapid-fire from the hip?
Please note in the Turnipseed Action Video (see video clips and images in this website) that the inherently mobile body position is natural, balanced, and relaxed. This means that your personal agility will not be restricted or compromised in any way. Thus, you can fully utilize any and all of the agility that you possess to sidestep or otherwise move continuously to avoid an attacker's attempt to close with you while you perform accurate rapid-fire. Your body becomes a stable and mobile shooting platform.
Advantages of movement:
A. May be required to get to cover, or to escape.
B. May be required to avoid the grasp of your attacker, or his club or knife.
C. If your attacker has a gun, a moving target (you) is harder to hit than a static one.
Note: The ability to return rapid and accurate fire while you are moving enhances the advantages of movement considerably. Your attacker's marksmanship will be significantly degraded when he is "eating bullets."
7.) Is the Turnipseed Technique easy to learn?
Yes. The Turnipseed Technique is easy to learn because it is a structured, natural and relaxed body position. The Turnipseed Technique is a true technique. Repeat, we actually have a technique. The Turnipseed basic stance is natural, but not instinctive. It needs to be learned, just as a correct golf swing needs to be learned. Humans did not evolve with firearms or golf clubs in their hands.
We will put you into a specific body position. You will be taught correct technique that utilizes optimal body mechanics. Repetition is the key. The whole point of the Introduction Class (and of your subsequent regular practice at home) is to perform a sufficient number of correct repetitions that will ingrain the Turnipseed basic stance into your muscle memory, to make it instinctive or reflexive. Incorrect repetitions will only ingrain incorrect movement. Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.
Any firearms expert will tell you that "you will fight the way you train." In a life or death situation, the stress and intensity of the moment will not allow you to think. You will perform on "autopilot." Your training and muscle memory will take over, and you will fight the way you trained, provided that you performed a sufficient number of correct repetitions in training. This is called "unconscious competence." It is the goal of your training, and it will save your life.
8.) Which firearm is the primary self-defense tool?
The handgun. In your home, distances are very short. With adequate training, you should be able to hit your target. Also, when placed in the close-quarters HipShoot position, the barrel does not precede you (think retention) if you need to move through your house (to retrieve your kids from another room, for example).
Outside of your home, the advantage of the handgun is availability. It is small, light, portable and concealable. It can always be with you. A loaded handgun on your person is infinitely superior to a 12 gauge shotgun locked away in your gun safe.
Note: You must know your local concealed weapon laws and obtain the required permit.
9.) If the handgun is the primary self-defense tool, why do I need to learn the shotgun and rifle?
How well prepared do you want to be? This is a matter of your personal choice. Handguns are inherently under-powered. Long arms are more powerful and make it easier to hit your target. If you are not hampered by tight quarters, such as a narrow hallway, a long arm is more formidable than a handgun. If you are in a fortified position in your home and do not need to move about, the shotgun is the superior tool. Outdoors, in general, the rifle is King. You are responsible for your own level of preparedness. It is your choice.
10.) Why is it important to be able to shoot and hit from the hip?
• Extreme Close-Quarters.
According to the 1991-2000 FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), 50% of the incidents in which law enforcement officers were feloniously killed by firearms (Table 7, FBI UCR -the specific Table number varies with the year) occurred between zero to five feet, and 70% within 10 feet. Civilian defensive incidents occur at similar distances. You cannot be mugged from 10 feet. Muggings and rapes occur at "touching distance." If you ever need to defend yourself with a handgun, the odds are that it will be at a very close (intimate and personal) distance.
• Handgun Retention.
If you are standing within five feet of your attacker and you hold your handgun out at arm's length in order to aim it at him, your handgun will also be within the arm's length of your attacker. The reality of reaction times (0.25+ second) means that your attacker can grab or parry your handgun before you can react to pull the trigger. HipShoot is a vital skill at close quarters. Your lack of it could prove fatal.
11.) Do you teach handgun retention, and is your retention technique any better than what is normally taught?
Yes. The Turnipseed HipShoot position and posture is inherently strong and mobile. With this foundation, it was relatively easy for us to develop simple and powerful retention techniques. See Andy Proctor's testimonial in this website. For additional information, you will need to attend the Advanced Handgun class.
12.) What are the requirements of extreme close-quarters defense?
• Fast draw
When distances are close, time available is minimal. You may need to access your handgun very quickly in order to defend yourself.
This is covered in #11 above.
A.) When your attacker approaches or charges at you, a quick side-step at the appropriate moment can buy you a second of time. Continued and continuous lateral, angular and circular movement can buy you more time. The difference in your survival may be measured in fractions of a second.
B.) If your attacker has a gun, a laterally moving target (you) is more difficult to hit than a static one. When that moving target is also returning rapid and accurate fire, it (you) will be very difficult to hit. Your attacker's marksmanship will be compromised because he will be "eating bullets!"
13.) Should I have nights sights installed on my defensive handgun?
It comes down to personal preference, but they are not necessary. Body indexing at close-quarters distances will place your shots on target.
• Disadvantage of night sights
If they glow in the dark, your attacker, or more likely his accomplice(s) off to your side or rear, may be able to see them and locate the target (you).
May be important for target identification if it is too dark for recognition. Also, small but powerful combat flashlights may be used to temporarily blind your attacker, which may enable you to escape without having to engage him. Do not engage unless absolutely necessary.
14.) What are the advantages of shooting from the ground?
There may be times when the situation calls for shooting from the ground. You may need to shoot under an obstruction, such as a car. Or, the only available cover or concealment may be very low in height. Or, because of innocents behind the threat, the only safe trajectory may be to shoot at an upward angle.
Turnipseed GroundShoot allows you complete maneuverability on the ground and enables you to address threats in 360 degrees, using the same technique for handgun, rifle or shotgun. No other shooting method in the world gives you this capability.
15.) I do not want to go the ground and roll around in the dirt. If I take your Advanced Handgun class, do I have to learn how to shoot from the ground?
No, absolutely not. We offer to increase and expand your capabilities with a firearm. The more your capabilities increase, the more your tactical options multiply. Your formidability and survivability will strengthen accordingly. But, we do not force anyone to do anything that they do not want to do, or feel uncomfortable with. It is your class, and your choice.
16.) Other than the obvious, is there any hidden advantage of having "one technique" for handgun, rifle and shotgun?
No. All of the advantages are obvious. It is efficient and economical since you only need to learn one technique, and practice with one enhances all. With a reasonable amount of training and practice, you can be formidable with whatever personal firearm is available.
17.) What does "bio-mechanically correct" mean?
Kinesiology is the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement. It is in this context that the Turnipseed Technique uses the phrase "bio-mechanically correct." Kent Turnipseed applied kinesiology to the task of shooting a firearm. The Turnipseed Technique is the result.
From traditional martial arts Kent adopted the principles of balance, skeletal alignment, muscle relaxation and body indexing which he used to develop a shooting method that utilizes proper body mechanics. It is both strong and relaxed at the same time, and is inherently mobile. It is the modern martial art of shooting firearms.
18.) What is the most important thing you teach?
Awareness. (Condition Yellow is a state of relaxed awareness.) We emphasize awareness and avoidance. The first is required to implement the second. All the shooting skill in the world will not save your life if a mugger can simply sneak up behind you and crush your skull with a brick. The most successful battle is the one that you do not need to fight. Do not engage unless it is absolutely necessary.
19.) Is practical shooting competition a good way to train for self-defense?
No. It can be, if you have strong convictions and discipline and you do not get caught up in the "game," but that would be difficult. The biggest difference between competition and a real gunfight is attitude and mindset. It is the difference between a sportsman-competitor and a soldier-warrior.
The sportsman competes in a spirit of fairness and equality where each competitor has the same chance to excel. There are rules to follow and exacting standards of scoring to separate the tiny difference between first and second place. The rewards of success are glory and money, and the stroking of a healthy ego. In this context it is almost inevitable that the sportsman would delude himself into thinking that he would be awesome in a real gunfight.
The soldier fights to stay alive. His enemy’s goal is to kill him. The soldier’s goal is to take out his enemy with minimal risk to his own survival. Ambushes are ideal. Shoot your enemy in the back before he realizes that you are there. Given the reality of 0.25-second reaction times, shoot first. Be offside on the play. Your tactics are calculated to prevent him from utilizing his skills. The last thing you want to do is to give your enemy a fair and equal chance to kill you.
The top competitive shooters have achieved an incredible level of competitive skill, but all of their reflexes are geared to winning contests, not to staying alive. You will fight the way you train, on autopilot. You must choose whether to train your reflexes for competition or for real gunfights. They are different, and you cannot train both ways. It just does not work.
20.) What kinds of tactics do you teach?
Our specialty in the combat triad is to train you in shooting skill. This is our emphasis rather than tactics. Our focus is to maximize your capabilities with a firearm well beyond what is possible with conventional shooting methods.
The situation demands the action. The scenario + your capabilities = Tactics. As your capabilities increase, your tactical options will multiply, exponentially.
You are encouraged to create and develop tactics that will fulfill your specific needs, whether military, police or civilian self-defense. You are obviously more intimately familiar with your needs than we can ever be. The scenarios in the advanced classes will help you to learn how to think on your feet, to solve problems, and to improvise tactics on the spot based on the specific situations confronting you.
Implicit in the previous paragraph is the concept of “free-flowing” tactics. Overly regimented tactics can result in indecision, paralysis and blindness in the “fog of war” and when things do not happen in accordance with your preconceived notions. It can get you killed. You need to be able to continually adapt and flow with the ever-changing situation on the battlefield, or in the street.
A martial arts master explained it this way. In the 1970’s and 80’s many martial artists and street toughs would enter his dojo to challenge him. A few would ask what technique he would use if they attacked him. His answer was, “I do not know ahead of time what I will do. What I do depends on what you do. But, if you attack me, it will be a mistake.” All of those who were foolish enough to attack him were taken away by ambulance, leaving his mats blood-stained. He had a repertoire of techniques and ability (capabilities) at his disposal. In any variety of situations, he would respond appropriately to the attack and take his opponent out in a second or two. This is a good example of the “situation demanding the action.”
The Turnipseed Technique teaches a full 360 degree application of the firearm with no limitations. What happens in conventional training when they throw a new wrinkle into a familiar scenario? The response of most people is, “oops.” That reaction will get you killed. The only difference between a rut and a grave is that one is deeper than the other. Don’t get caught in ruts.
In the Turnipseed Technique we teach individuals to respond fluidly to a situation and to utilize all of their capabilities to resolve it. The only rule is to win. In a self-defense scenario, to win is to live. We teach realism. We teach survival.