Dominance

by Mike Straw


Although we’re symmetrical bipeds, we’re asymmetrical in that one side of the brain or the other is dominant, creating a “dominant” side and comparatively “non-dominant” side.

Right-handed people are left-brain dominant, meaning that left-handed people are the only ones in their right minds.This follows through with the eyes as well, but the eye on your dominant side isn’t necessarily your dominant eye. Our ability to aim is accomplished using the dominant eye, but which is it? How can we find out? Bring your index fingers and thumbs together at arm’s length making an “o,” focusing on an object beyond that distance. Bring your hands, still in this position, back to your face. The eye that looks through the “o” is your dominant eye.

(This picture is an example of "cross-dominance")

Aim
Aim is defined as the relationship of the dominant eye, the front sight, the rear sight, and the target in relation to each other. An important caveat: under stress, you’ll lose up to sixty percent of your sight through tunnel vision: you can only see and focus on a cone of about five degrees. You simply don’t have sufficient peripheral vision using only forty percent of your sight to detect tactically moving or additional threats. Doctor Jean Williams of the University of Arizona reports that we lose up to twenty percent of our peripheral vision on each side simply from observing someone do two things at once!

Never close one eye while shooting. You’ll develop an unbreakable habit that can get you killed. You’ll naturally concentrate on the information provided by your dominant eye if you don’t let yourself get distracted by information provided by the non-dominant eye. Just cultivate the habit.

Why? What we ask the body to do through training will be over-ridden by instinct during stress. As stress increases, our body automatically squares to the threat because our pupils dilate, rendering front sight focus impossible; the lens flattens and the eyes begin to move in a saccadic fashion: a rapid, jerky, irregular scan. During saccadic motion, the brain can’t process information, so we see only in glimpses. The only possible way to focus is through summation of two optical signals -both eyes must be open.

Sight Alignment
The front sight and rear sight should be placed at eye level with the front sight blade placed in the center of the rear sight notch. The top of the front sight and the top of the rear sight should be the same height. The front sight should be positioned so it appears to be in the center of the rear sight notch with an equal amount of space on the left and right side of the front sight blade in the rear sight notch creating what is called a “sight picture.”

Sight Picture
This front sight-rear sight “picture” should be placed in the center of the target, exactly where you want the bullet to go. Only the front sight should be in focus, and the sights should be properly aligned over the threat. This is the sight picture.

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