Fundamentals as an adjective in the dictionary is described as serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function. As a synonym it is spoken as basic, rudimentary or just the meat-and- potatoes.
As a student and an Instructor I like to go back to the fundamentals, the basics. It is my belief that without the basics we have nothing. Basic are used more times than we think in such areas as MMA, Jiu jitsu and shooting sports. Competitors win with basics.
There does come a time where we need to push out from the basics and advance forward into newer areas of our craft but it is always good and necessary to come back to the basics.
Let’s look at firearms training. What are the “Fundamentals of Shooting”? The fundamentals of shooting as far as I am concerned start with firearms safety. Firearms safety is a must no matter how experienced you may think you are so learn the rules and follow them!

The 4 rules of Firearms Safety are:
1) Always treat firearms as if they are loaded at all times.
2) Never point a firearm at something you’re not willing to destroy.
3) Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target.
4) Always be sure of your target and what is in front of and beyond it.

After the safety rules we look at the shooting fundamentals such as: grip, drawing from the holster, presentation of the firearm to the target, sight alignment/sight picture, trigger press/control, trigger reset and follow thru.
The fundamentals of shooting are the basics, the meat-and-potatoes of firearms training. The fundamentals need to be worked on each time we go to the range and practice. Fundamentals make us better! Everything else is secondary. Everything else is secondary and needed but let’s get the basics down.

When I run my Level 1 or Level 2 handgun classes, these are beginner to intermediate classes, I notice that some of the students, not all, but some do not understand the basics. Since I have been running private and small classes I have noticed this and have to take the time and review the basics and clear up some misconceptions. We always start out with “dry fire” drills before we go live.
I watch the student(s) closely during this time and make corrections if needed. I do this because it is important and it is needed for proper training.
After the “Dry Drill” segment we load the firearm and begin live fire training. Even during live fire I have the student start out slow and smooth with precise movement to the holster all the way thru to the first round going off. Before that round goes off the student needs to keep sights on target and press the trigger with equal pressure until that round goes off.
This is the basics. As a beginner shooter you should take it slow and only when you are comfortable should you start to slowly increase the speed of what you are doing.
At Riddle Defense we pride ourselves on taking fresh, beginner students and making them proficient with the basics in a short period of time. We always encourage our students to continue their firearms training so they become more confident and better shooters.
If you are new to the shooting world and are interested in getting educated in firearms, becoming a better shooter and getting your Concealed Firearms License, take us up on our offer on our “Handgun Fundamentals Workshop” on June 23, 2019, at the Okeechobee Shooting Sport, Okeechobee, Florida.
We will be taking on-line registrations starting on June 6th. The first 10 to sign up for the “Handgun Fundamentals Workshop” will receive a nice discount.
On June 6th go to: for more information on this course and get that nice savings on our reduced rate!

Would love to hear from you on what you believe the fundamentals of shooting are to you and how you have improved over time.

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