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A Surprising Hidden Secret – You’ll Want to Learn It.

Posted by Rob Longenecker on September 28th, 2006

First, click here to watch this aviation video, then read “the rest of the story” below. You’ll see how this applies directly to any skill, including shooting. (Don’t cheat yourself – watch the video first.)

 

The first part of the hidden secret in the “Pulling G’s” video is that Blue Angel pilots don’t wear g-suits and still manage to pull 7 g’s without getting tunnel vision or blacking out. Other Naval Aviators who fly high performance aircraft do have g-suits and are used to wearing them for every flight. The second part of the secret is why the Blue Angels don’t wear g-suits.  (Note: there’s an important lesson related to the secret as well.)

Blue Angel pilots fly the “demo” with wing overlap and wingtips just a few feet away from each other’s canopies.  I was a Naval Flight Instructor (not a Blue Angel) and taught formation flying. The control movements are small – more pressure than actual movements. G-suits can be detrimental.

G-suits have air bladders which inflate automatically to keep the blood from pooling in the legs and abdomen as g-loads increase. There is an air bladder on top of the thigh, right where the pilot rests his forearm when holding the control stick.

The “anchor point” of forearm on upper thigh allows for precise stick control – like when you anchor your hand or arm to something when you write longhand or do precise handwork.

If the bladder is inflating and deflating while the pilot is flying 3 feet from wingtip to canopy it will cause unintended movement of the controls. So, Blue Angels don’t wear g-suits. You’ll notice this as you watch them walk to their aircraft before the flight demonstration.

Blue Angel pilots get themselves into tremendous physical shape and learn to grunt a particular way (tightening the abdomen) when pulling g’s.  They train in centrifuges that produce high g-forces and they learn to stay conscious under those high g-loads or they don’t make the team.

The guy in the back seat in the video (who is used to wearing a g-suit) blacks out without it.  He’s grunting but it’s not working.

The hidden story behind this video underlines that there are always “professional secrets” and distinctions to learn as part of mastering any valuable skill.  You can watch a master at work and totally miss those secrets because you don’t have those distinctions. That applies to shooting and many other sports as well.

Watching the top guns shoot is valuable, but they have distinctions you don’t have and can’t pick up through observation.  That’s why, if you want to excel in any sport or profession, you must have a coach, someone who can communicate the distinctions to which you are currently blind. 

One could watch the “pulling G’s” video a hundred times and not know the information I just revealed.  It’s the same with martial arts, shooting and many other life skills.  Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know. Even Michael Jordan, the best of the best, had a coach.

2 Responses to “A Surprising Hidden Secret – You’ll Want to Learn It.”

  1. Tecumseh Says:

    Thats pretty interesting. Unfortunately according to the guy in the video I would not have a problem with the Gs as I am a stocky fat guy who eats to much red meat.

  2. Les Says:

    Interesting lessons here about having a coach:
    I started boxing late (I’m 29) and the funny thing
    is that I don’t have bad habits to unlearn like some
    of my younger cohorts who’ve tried to learn “on the street”
    or some other bunk… A good coach can help you develop
    the skills faster and more soundly than experimentation
    and/or reading.

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