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A Game or SD Practice

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by braindead0, May 13, 2003.

  1. braindead0

    braindead0 Well-Known Member

    Anybody know of any good articles on the subject of 'Game' vs. 'Practice' kinda thing? I'm thinking about writing one, but thought that maybe somebody else has already done the work and I could just link to it.

    We've got a couple of gamers, and my problem is that they teach gaming skills as if they were preferable SD techniques for everyone....
  2. SanduneCC

    SanduneCC Well-Known Member

    Some people likes the gamey aspect and some people likes the tactical aspect. Approach it however you want to for your enjoyment. One thing is for sure, your marksmanship would improve a lot more than if you don't shoot.
  3. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Well-Known Member

    if you imagine the process of becoming competent with a handgun as a class, then the practice aspect of it (going to the range and shooting, taking classes, and all the non competetive stuff) is the homework portion of the class.

    IDPA,IPSC and 3-gun are the "exam" portion of the class, and by examining your failures, you learn what you need to study up on.

    as such, your "exam" should be an accurate test of what you're going to face if you ever need your handgun.
  4. braindead0

    braindead0 Well-Known Member

    Good food for thought.. I'm not looking to malign either 'style', just thinking it would be nice to have a go at 'defining' the differences (and similarities) between the two.

    Luckily we've got 2 stressfire instructors who are (as far as I can tell) always on the ball with SD/Stressfire techniques and no 'gamey' moves at all. So they help to balance things out.

    I just don't much care for the guy that tries to teach my wife to speed reload her revolver, when I know that in a stressful situation she'll never get a clean ejection using her index finger or thumb (if she can even hit the ejector!).:fire:
  5. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    I think of it as a game, that also happens to be the best practice you can ever have.
  6. Jeeper

    Jeeper Well-Known Member

    Ditto x 10!!!!
  7. Fair 'n Square

    Fair 'n Square Active Member

    IDPA is a game... a serious game.

    A few years ago (OK, a LOT of years ago!) I remember reading about a "practical shooting" organization. When I got enough time and money to get into it, I realized that it was no longer "practical." The guns and other equipment being used were so specialized that it was far removed from its roots. ISPC is a game. And that's just fine, and of course it will increase shooting skills.

    Now I see a few people trying to get the rules loosened in IDPA. For me, IDPA should be a FUN way to compete with one another, and LEARN from each other, practicing with the SAME EQUIPMENT we would use on a daily basis for self defense or carry. Like IPSC, it's a game. But the focus and the rules should remain true to the idea of increasing our self-defense skills. I don't want to see that idea messed with.

    Stay safe,
    Fair 'n Square
  8. braindead0

    braindead0 Well-Known Member

    Perhaps 'gamer' isn't the right term for those that eschew practical SD techniques in order to shave a few seconds off their score.... Can't think of a better term yet..
  9. mattk

    mattk Well-Known Member

    IF you are scored its a game. IDPA is a game and some of rules, lead to poor tactics. Some are to make the game a level playing field equipment wise, some are for safety, and some are unexplainable.

    HOWEVER, shooters who attend IDPA matches tend to be much more comfortable with the use of their pistol.

    One trend I find disturbing is IDPA shooters using Glock 34s and 35s with trigger jobs and adjustable sights and fiber optics etc and at the end of match they load up a Snubby revolver and stuff it in their pocket for a carry gun. These are usually the same guys that tell you IDPA makes them a self defense expert.

    I shoot the couple of guns I carry at IDPA matches.
    I save the match guns for IPSC.(Which I enjoy more than IDPA)

    So what does this post mean to say?
    If you want IDPA to be practice, shoot your carry gun, use sound tactic decisions even if it means not winning the stage.
  10. Carnitas

    Carnitas Well-Known Member

    People who worry that they'll diminish their ability to defend themselves by shooting IPSC or IDPA are probably getting worked up over nothing.

    Newbies with poor firearm skills will learn to safely and efficiently handle a weapon under pressure. They will probably for the first time get to shoot and move from unusual positions, and shoot moving targets, reload under pressure, etc. THis is all REALLY valuable stuff. The most game-ish technique is probably better than complete ignorance or self taught skill of someone training themselves on the slow fire 7 yard line.

    Someone with tons of tactical training will immediately recognize the "bad" stuff and can make their own informed decision about how to play or whether to play.
  11. braindead0

    braindead0 Well-Known Member

    Funny how, my original post was looking for articles on the gaming vs. self defense aspects of pistol competition (or any competition perhaps)...

    And that's the problem, IDPA in particular is very 'newbie' friendly. As such, I think there is some responsibility to make sure that new folks are introduced to the 'game'/'practice'/'whatever' in such a way that they get exposed to more methods that just the 'gamers way <tm>' :D

    I'm not worried about people with 'tons of tactical training', I'm worried about beginners getting the idea that there is only one way (and according to some folks the wrong way).
  12. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    Remember the mega thread over in General about why shooters don't compete. Many of them said something to the effect of "competition isn't real and will get you killed".

    I think that is just plain silly.

    If I had to get into a gunfight, and I could take two friends, would I pick 2 of my IDPA buddies OR 2 "tactical teds" who won't shoot competition because it is too "gamey" so their practice is placing their box of ammo on the table at the range and shooting a pretty group at 10 yards?

    Almost with out exception, of all the shooters I know, the competitors shoot far better than the non competitors.

    So the tactics aren't perfect. How many of us can engage in Thunder Ranch level training on a regular basis? Very few, but almost all of us can get in a match every month.

    How about this for a challenge. Take a good IDPA or IPSC shooter and drop him off in a school situation. Make the testing scenarios what ever manner you want. I'm willing to bet that the competitor will still do better than just about anybody else in the class. Why? Because he knows how to shoot GOOD.
  13. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    As for game vs. reality.

    If I ever get in a gunfight I'll just game the bad guy to death. :)

    I agree with what Andrew said, competition is the exam. Find what works for you.

    If punching the cylinder release with your finger is more fumble prone for you, then it won't work in the game or in real life. Find what works for you.
  14. braindead0

    braindead0 Well-Known Member

    I guess our club is in a different situation than many, two members are stressfire instructors, several have taken courses at TDI and the like... Then there are the few who are (to my thinking) are gamey, and they tend to be really into 'showing the fastest way to do everything' to all the newbies.

    It's fine if you get the flip side, methods that require less fine motor skills (and in theory are less prone to error under serious stress). I think this is really important for new people as the first few times you do it (or at least I did) the adreneline really gets pumping, perhaps not the levels you'd get in a life or death situation, if some method isn't working under those conditions it's not likely to help you in a real SD situation.
  15. Jeeper

    Jeeper Well-Known Member

    Dead on again.

    I am curious of how people would train for SD situations other than shooting matches. Do the people who think it is too gamey go out and set up sceneriors, clear jams, load under stress, shoot one handed etc. Most everyone I see just shoots groups.
  16. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Well-Known Member

    In role play games, there exists a similar dichotomy between the guys who are in it for the experience(similar to the folks who use idpa as a way to get better defensively), and those are in it for the end result (the "gamers").

    rpg players call the guys in it for the end result "munchkins" or "power gamers".

    http://www.gamerjargon.com/gamer3_op.html#power gamer

    has a good definition of power gamers:

    1. in an RPG, a player who is more interested in "winning" through manipulating the rules of the game system than in cooperative advancement of the game story. 2. a gamer who takes advantage of loopholes, mistakes, and imbalances in the game system, or who uses creative interpretations of the rules, for his or her unfair advantage.

    you can replace "cooperative advancement of the game story" with "becoming better at self defense" or "acquiring skills that can be applied in a self defense situation" and it would fit.
  17. Nippy

    Nippy Well-Known Member

    I think do both and stick hard to the fundamentals and you will be okay on either end.
  18. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Really they can be both.

    I wouldn't want to get in a gunfight with any ranked competeitor. Practice makes perfect. More practice = more perfect.
  19. faustulus

    faustulus Well-Known Member

    I agree that IDPA is easier on newbies, but I think it is a mistake to say one way is 'gaming' and another way 'tactical.' A lot of the IDPA rules are less than 'tactically' sound -- witness the infamous 'get shot in the head while I fumble with this mag' reload. I have never gotten advice from a faster shooter that did not make me better. Remember 'speed kills' and if I was in a gunfight I would sure hope the other guy wasn't an IPSC master class shooter.
    I think too many people get caught up in the 'tactical' aspect and forget it is supposed to be fun.
  20. braindead0

    braindead0 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's supposed to be fun, and it is. I don't have much against gamers except when they try to teach my wife a technique that would be ineffective for her in a stressful situation...but they teach it like gospel (and she doesn't listen to me). I know that she personally will be 100% freaked out if she's gotta use a handgun against an attacker, and I think it's important for *her* to use methods that are less likely to fail under stress.

    Luckily, as mentioned earlier, we've got stressfire instructors to balance it out.. and my wife will listen to them.

    It all boils down to you personally, and what you want to get out of the sport. I prefer to shoot what I carry, usually with cover garment (even when it's not required). Yeah, a high ride pancake holster and concealment make me a bit slower on the draw, but I'm not in this to win I'm in this to improve vs. myself.

    Back to the original topic, any articles?? ;-)

    Of course with all this material, perhaps I can manage to write one. I'm not much of a writer, but my wife could fix it up for me.

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