Preview: Building An Action-Shooting Edge For Self-Defense (Photo: Maggie Reese)
Preview: Building An Action-Shooting Edge For Self-Defense (Photo: Maggie Reese)

In the “Ladies Only” column for the September 2014 COMBAT HANDGUNS, competitive shooter Maggie Reese laid out the significant advantages to women participating in action-shooting events as part of their overall self-defense training.

“Shooting, like any other learned skill, must be practiced if you want to be able to perform it on demand,” said Reese. “Once a woman learns the fundamentals of marksmanship, she must ingrain them with regular practice sessions at the range. And if she is learning how to shoot for self-defense, a particularly great place to practice all of her skills is in a shooting competition.”

While some may not immediately see the advantages competition offers the average female shooter looking to hone her range skills, Reese lays out a host of benefits available to the open minded. “Don’t worry if you think you’re not competitive enough. I honestly didn’t think I was, either; I rarely played sports growing up. But here’s the secret about shooting competitions: It’s not just about being competitive, it’s about testing your skills under stress. And that skill can carry over very well to a self-defense situation,” said Reese. “Competition puts you in high-pressure, high-intensity, fast-paced situations. Once the buzzer goes off, you have to keep track of the target and where you are in relationship to it, all while focusing on your objective and managing your adrenaline.”

Finally, Reese attempts to describe the competitive experience and the confidence that can be gained by participating in such events. “Can you make the shot when you feel like everyone in the world is watching you? When the pressure is on? What about when the cameras are flashing? I know what it’s like to be in that position; I’ve been there hundreds of times. I’ve made the shot when it has counted the most. Sometimes I’ve missed. Luckily, in competition, missing has never cost me more than my pride. On the street, it can count for more.”

To read the full article, check out the September 2014 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS, available on newsstands July 1, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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