Keeping with the thread (rather than it degenerating to old territory), I found these passages in Grossman's On Combat on my plane flight to Phoenix today. You might find this interesting. And this is EXACTLY what I'm talking about, folks.
Autopilot: "You Honestly Don't Know You're Doing It"
Dr. Artwohl's research found that 74 percent of the officers involved in a deadly force encounter acted on autopilot. In other words the actions of three out of four officers in combat were done without conscious thought.
My coauthor Loren Christensen is a career police officer and world-class martial arts instructor, with many best-selling books and video tapes on the fighting arts. He says that many veteran martial artists, highly motivated individuals who have spent 30 or 40 years of their lives ingraining fighting techniques through hundreds of thousands of repetitions, often find after an explosive self-defense situation that they have no recall of what they did. Although the attacker has been reduced to a whimpering bloody pile, the martial artists cannot recall what they did because their responses were purely automatic.
One police officer told me of his powerful autopilot experience:
Let me tell you how powerful this autopilot business is. I came around the corner of this guy's van; I'm just going to tell him to move it. I didn't know he'd already killed one person. You honestly don't know you're doing it. All of a sudden a gun appears in his hand. Then a hole appears in the guy's chest and the guy drops. My first thought was, "Whoa, somebody shot him for me!" I actually looked over my shoulder to see who shot this guy. Then I realized I had my gun in my hand and it was me who had shot him.
Is it possible to see a weapon pointed at you, draw your weapon and shoot without conscious thought? Not only is it possible, in this case it is highly desireable. Of course, his training must be state-of-the-art so that he knows instantly that the threat is indeed a gun, and not a wallet or a cell phone.
Please understand that this is not gross motor movement, or even a motion that looks like a flinch. But it would have been interesting to see how he blended his flinch into the draw-and-fire motion.