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Unmounted Movement

Joel Park

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Joel Park

Unmounted Movement


Proper technique to move into and out of shooting positions. The movement distance should be long enough that it is sensible to dismount the gun completely and run aggressively.


Setup notes:

Set a scenario such that you have at least two shooting positions with a few targets to engage. Set these positions at least five steps apart.


Engage the targets in the first shooting position then move to the second position. From position two, engage the appropriate targets.


Have your gun up ready to shoot as you enter a shooting position. You should see your sights in your field of view just before you mean to start shooting the first target in your second shooting location. It is not good enough just to have the gun up, you need to be actually seeing the sights. You save time by starting to shoot earlier and you need to see your sights to shoot.

After you finish a repetition of the exercise, you should consciously check to make sure you are standing properly. Remember: Knees bent, wide stance, 50/50 weight distribution, ready to MOVE.

If you are suffering from a “false step” or inadvertent “drop step”, start thinking about throwing your shoulders in the direction you intend to move. This will mitigate stepping backwards a half step before you step forward.

Look to where you are headed. This will line your body up in the direction you intend to travel. Do not look downrange towards the targets if you are not actively looking to engage them. This tends to slow down your movement.


When you move, move as athletically and aggressively as possible. After four or five repetitions, you should be out of breath. This ensures that you are training to maximize your physical potential. If you do train in slow motion expect to overrun positions in real matches when you are shooting “juiced up” from adrenaline.


Slow down into the shooting position gently. Use soft steps to come to a clean stop so you can start engaging targets when your sights dictate. If you see your sights bouncing around an excessive amount when you are slowing to a stop, you need to fix the issue with your lower body mechanics.

Stop so you can move again immediately. You need to build the habit of stopping with your feet wide apart, square to the target, knees bent, and 50/50 weight distribution.

As you exit a shooting position, make sure that you are not making a “false step” where you load up your weight and then take off. The “drop step” technique is only needed when you are getting out of a leaning position.


It is important that you work on the whole spectrum of target difficulties and distances with this exercise. Close ranged targets require little in the way of aiming. They allow you to “cheat” the marksmanship rules in many respects. It is important to train close shooting so you see how early you can get moving from the first position and shooting in the second. You will not know what you can get away with unless you try some things in training.

If you are comfortable with this drill in two positions, try adding more. It can be as simple as shooting position one, position two, then back to position one. This will increase the difficulty by forcing you to set up properly in position two so you can aggressively get back to position one. Remember you are training to shoot multi position stages, and you need to be able to have correct technique in that circumstance. Testing this out in training is a wise idea.


When working towards proper movement technique, it is extremely helpful to have a competent training partner that can help spot problems. When it comes to movement training in particular, most people simply do not have awareness of what each part of their body is doing. The shooting mechanics layered on top of the movement and the time pressure is too much to keep track of. Your training partner can help cut through that and inform you about what your body is doing.

In the absence of a training partner, use your phone to video your runs. This can help eliminate any doubt in your mind as to what is actually happening.

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