A young shooter is a picture of concentration during a rifle shooting event.
Sports Reporter :
TALKING on shooting, Clifford Leo Naidu listed various health benefits of learning air rifle and air pistol sports. Naidu, Sports Trainer (Air Rifle and Air Pistol) at Ace Sports Academy and also a Physical Education Teacher (PET) at Mahatma Gandhi Centennial High School, Nagpur was addressing the participants during online seminar on ‘Karate and Sports Seminar for Physical and Spiritual Development of sportspersons’. The series of seminars is being organised by Karate Budokan International (Vidarbha Region) with Kyoshi Harish B Choube, National Chief Instructor, Examiner Karate Budokan International and Sports Co-ordinator, being the host. The guest speaker at the 30th session that was conducted on Saturday, Naidu highlighted seven health benefits of learning air rifle and air pistol sports and how to shoot a gun. “It boosts physical strength. Accurate shooting requires surprisingly high levels of physical strength. Sure, the weight of a gun varies depending on the specific model.
The smallest handgun is unlikely to test the strength of the average shooter. “Nonetheless, for larger guns, in particular, you must be physically strong enough to hold the gun steady. Don’t, and hitting the target becomes far harder. “Arm, shoulder, back and core strength are all necessary to operate a gun effectively. You have to raise the gun into a shooting position and hold it there. You must keep your body weight distributed properly, maintaining your balance throughout. Learning how to shoot naturally enhances the power in these key areas of the body. You’ll enjoy putting that new-found strength to use in other areas of life,” Naidu started. Apart from the physical strength, the shooter also tends to gain on mental aspect. “Shooting isn’t all about brawn though. In fact, many shooters will tell you it’s more of a head game. It’s a mental work-out as much as a physical one. There’s a level of logic and calculation to shooting. You have to decide the best way to make the shot and adjust your aim according to distance and environmental conditions. An element of intuition comes in play, but a fair dose of maths is called for as well. Overall, physical strength means very little if the mental side of shooting isn’t mastered first. Learning to shoot will hone your mental capacities alongside the physical,” he said.
Very few recognise that the sport has meditation elements, too. “At first glance, shooting a gun might not seem meditative in nature. After all, these are deadly weapons that shoot rounds at high-velocity and emit loud noises in the process. However, you’d be surprised how meditation it can be too. The process of handling a gun demands high levels of focus. Hitting a target from an extended distance isn’t easy. Keeping control of the weapon and holding it steady is hard work. Ensuring safe practice on ranges and in real life requires concentration and diligence. Thus, each aspect of shooting demands attention and effort. That means there’s no time to focus on external problems. You’re well and truly at the moment, focused on the task at hand. The result? A blissful awareness of what’s happening, and a release of stress. The outside world ceases to matter when you’re shooting,” said the trainer. Apart from all these meditation boost, the shooter also gets adrenaline boost and gains in endurance and stamina. “There’s still plenty of room for adrenaline also. Holding and shooting a gun is exhilarating by its very nature. It takes us back to our primal selves and our urge to hunt. The rush of adrenaline that accompanies any shooting experience is an immense positive to your health. For one thing, it feels great! It hones your mind, energises your body, and floods your system with mood-enhancing neurochemicals.
You walk away from the range or the hunt feeling happier and lighters than before. “Most ranges have you stand in one place and lay down in a prone position to shoot. However, that’s not always the case. All over the country, you’ll find ‘run and gun’ events that combine shooting with assault course style challenges. Wearing full gear and slinging numerous guns, you’re tasked with navigating a course of obstacles and firing at points along the way. As you’d expect, these events require serious levels of fitness to complete. Training for them, or anything similar, boosts levels of endurance; shooting abilities under fatigue automatically improve too,” the shooting coach said in favour of the sport. Apart from these, Naidu added that the shooter gets an access to nature and the sport boosts one’s confidence and self-empowerment. The programme concluded with a interactive session of questions and answers. A vote of thanks was proposed by Sensei Disha Choube, 2nd Black Belt, Karate Budokan International.