Eye gym to improve marksmanship and reflexes works like a treat. Remember, your eyes are muscles. So, as with any other muscle in your body, you can make them stronger through exercise.
Many people, including first-class marksmen, simply resign themselves to the fact that once you hit 40, your eyesight starts deteriorating. It turns out this isn’t the case. With regular eye gym, you can improve your vision. This weaponless training should form part of your dry firing marksmanship training regime.
1. Brock string
A brock string is a well-known vision therapy tool. It consists of a 3 – 4.5-meter long white flexible string with coloured wooden beads that can be moved to various positions along the string’s length. The beauty of it is: you get instant feedback whether your eyes are working together to focus on an object at various distances.
How it works
Make a loop at both ends of the string. Affix one end to a doorknob. Position the far bead near the end of the string at the doorknob. This is the far fixation bead. Place the middle fixation bead about 1 m from your eyes. Then place the near fixation bead about 15 cm from your nose.
As you look at the near fixation bead you should see two strings, each of which appears to come from your eyes. if your fixation of the bead is accurate, the two strings should appear to meet exactly at the bead forming an “X”. As the bead is moved to within 2.5 cm from your nose, the two strings should appear to meet exactly at the bead forming a “V”.
Shift your eyes to the middle fixation bead and then to the far fixation bead and repeat. if your fixation of the far bead is accurate, the two strings should appear to meet exactly at the bead forming a “V”.
Change the location of the fixation beads and repeat. Throughout the exercise, take note of your peripheral vision.
2. The eyeball roll
Close your eyes and relax your eyelids. Then slowly move your eyeballs up and down. Repeat this exercise 5-10 times.
3. Da Vinci for the eyes
Draw a geometric figure with your gaze while keeping your eyes open. Start with shapes such as a circle, square, triangle and rectangle. Then you can move on to complicated shapes such as a trapezium.
4. Eyes wide shut
You can relax your eyes and regulate blood circulation by closing your eyes for 3 – 5 seconds and then opening them. Repeat this exercise 7 times daily.
5. Increase intraocular fluid
To boost the flow of intraocular fluid, push against your temples with two fingers on either side for about 2 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
6. The stare
Turn your head right to left while staring ahead for 30-60 seconds. You can also turn your head up and down. This particular exercise increases blood circulation around your eyes.
7. Steady gaze
This is an excellent exercise for people who are near- or farsighted. For 5 seconds, look up, then down, right and left; and then in a circular motion. Maintain all aspects of your visual perception, including your peripherals.
8. In a blink
To improve blood circulation inside your eyes, open and close your eyelids in quick succession for 30 – 60 seconds. This exercise also helps clean your eyes by greasing them and lets your eyes relax by taking them away from light exposure.
Spending 10 minutes a few times a week on eye gym to improve marksmanship and reflexes will be very rewarding. Not only to shoot more accurately and faster, but for all-round eye health. And for those on Marksman’s Nest self-defence courses, this eye gym is sure to boost your eye reflexes by leaps and bounds.
In this, the month of love, be sure to love your gun too. Some loving will go a long way to ensuring your gun is in tip-top working order at a time when you might need it most.
It takes very little effort to maintain your gun. Ideally, maintenance should be done every time after you’ve fired it. And if your gun is relegated to the safe for long periods, it needs to be cleaned every few weeks.
What you need
You’ll need a set of polymer cleaning picks, a nylon gun cleaning brush set (or a toothbrush would also do the trick) and battle rope for cleaning the bore. Better yet, simply buy a good handgun cleaning kit.
In terms of consumables, get yourself a supply of cotton patches. Or save the planet by recycling an old T-shirt to do the heavy-duty cleaning. This will be used for getting the crud out of the gun’s receiver.
Cleaners and Lubricants
Don’t overdo the chemicals. Use just enough to clean, lubricate and protect. Using lubrication too liberally may cause all sorts of problems.
There are a number of non-toxic, non-staining, odourless and non-flammable cleaners on the market. If you’re stuck for choice, chief ranger Geoffrey Coetzee is the ultimate pro and he’ll definitely point you in the right direction.
The cleaning process
Step one is disassembling your gun. Most revolvers require virtually no disassembly. For other handguns, if you’re stuck and Geoffrey isn’t on hand to help, YouTube has good video resources.
Remember, only field strip your gun – always sticking to the four golden rules of gun safety. Then start by cleaning out all the old lubricant and gunk from every part of your pistol. Pay special attention to the feed ramp, spring, areas around the safety and mag release, the outside of the slide, the magazines behind the trigger, and the areas where the upper and lower frame meet. Clean until the cotton patch comes away clean.
Apply cleaner inside the bore, followed by the bore snake. Maybe also use the brass brushes to get it extra-clean. Once the bore is clean, apply a small amount of oil to a cloth patch and run it through the barrel using either the tip of your cleaning rod or a plastic pick.
For revolvers, clean the inside of the cylinders and run the bore snake through each cylinder.
Anything metal should have lubricant. So, with a precision applicator, oil the spring and any external parts, including the outside of the barrel, the spring, and the rails. Only apply enough lubricant to ensure that your firearm cycles without impedance. Too much will only give rise to grime.
You’re all set now to reassemble your firearm and check it for function.
Gun ownership requires responsibility. And part of this responsibility is to love your gun with regular maintenance.
There is absolutely no ‘should’ about it, but fact is that senior citizens need our support. All the more so if it’s close to home – as is the case with Goue Aar Old Age Home in Malmesbury.
This wonderful facility has been part of the Malmesbury community for 42 years. It originally started with only six residents, but now totals 55, with capacity for 70. Older people deserve to be cared for, remaining safe and well looked after during their twilight years. Therefore, we ask the Malmesbury community to support Goue Aar Old Age Home wherever possible.
Not only is it important to acknowledge our senior citizens, but also to celebrate the contribution they’ve made to society over many, many years.
As people age, they become increasingly lonely. Usually it’s a case of having outlived friends and children leading busy lives with their own children, work and so forth. Phone calls are no substitute for real visits. You can’t make someone a cup of tea over the phone and you can’t have a good heart-to-heart over the phone.
We’ll all age to the point where we need care. There are armies of people who could grab the chance to volunteer by visiting older people. Companionship is vitally important during one’s senior years.
The bakers out there might want to consider baking a cake or two for these precious older people to enjoy with their morning tea or afternoon coffee. Better yet, it would be a wonderful idea to arrange a fund-raising event for much-needed funds.
Make a difference
Older adult social care is not a problem – it’s a human necessity. So please spare a thought for the residents at Goue Aar, because senior citizens need our support.
Contact: Head of Nursing – Sister Aloise Coetzee; Home Manager – Leon Venter; ph 022 4866240.