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Is Shooting IDPA Training or Just Another Action Pistol Game?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Hangingrock, Feb 7, 2012.

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  1. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, that sort of depends on what your EDC is. I tend to carry a Gov't Model 1911 a lot and compete with it (or similar-sized guns) regularly. No special holsters needed. I'd agree it is rarely (at big matches anyway) the guy with an IWB holster who wins -- kydex OWBs are just plain faster.

    But that's an interesting corollary to the discussion at hand. If it is true that full-size guns in OWB rigs tend to enable faster and more accurate shooting and presentations, it is also true that the competition tends to show very quickly and clearly what WORKS and what doesn't work quite so well.

    So, instead of falling into the "I have a gun, therefore I'm defended" mindset, someone who is forced by their wardrobe or situation to use some kind of sub-compact pistol or a J-frame revolver, and/or a pocket carry or deeper concealment rig gets the opportunity to understand exactly what s/he's giving up in terms of performance in order to "buy" that concealability/compactness. "This is slower..." (checks timer)..."five SECONDS slower. Uh oh..."

    It is a great testing ground and educational tool.*

    What does boggle the mind a little are folks who will use a gun and rig that helps them finish well in competition, but then will willfully daily carry a "defensive" gun that they cannot run nearly as well. It's the "good enough" or "pro'lly won't need it anyway" mindset. As though competition is MORE important/serious than self-defense.

    (* -- Further, this is the primary reason I want to see IDPA consider allowing laser sights in competition. I think it would be hugely interesting to see folks begin to compare their scores with the laser and without -- and to track how their opinions and practices change as they move up in ability. The laser sight manufacturers probably will petition IDPA not to allow it, though.)
     
  2. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    I say the same thing as esheato. If you go in running through the stages, nothing counts but good hits and the clock, it's just a game. However, if you approach the stages with an eye toward thinking through an actual scenario depicted by the stage and work it meticulously, disregarding the clock, it can be training. This assumes, of course, that you've had prior training to be able to take advantage of the opportunity for critical thinking and planning presented in the stage.
     
  3. dashootist

    dashootist Member

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    I shot a few IDPA last year. In my opinion, it's great training. It teaches basic movements that makes it easy and interesting. It's a great way to create muscle memory. I think it was Jerry Miculek who said a person need to do the same movement at least 5000 times before it will feel natural and you no longer have to think about it. By shooting and practicing IDPA regularly, you create muscle memory.
     
  4. punchdrunk

    punchdrunk Member

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    Took a good friend to his first IDPA match. He was a long time hunter and owned quite a few pistols and I am sure he felt competent in their use. From the pressure of the match, the pressure of a few guys watching him. Not the pressure of someone shooting at him or having to defend his life. Just the pressure of a weekend match. Here is how it went

    first stage he goes to slide lock. Ejects his mag (1911), fumbles around forever trying to get a new one in the gun. brings the gun up to the target with the slide lock still back. Tries to pull the trigger. Nothing goes bang. tries again. nothing. I watch his thumb press down on the thumb safety again. tries to shoot. nothing happens. Thumbs the safety again. Pulls trigger again. Nothing.

    Finally brings gun down and looks at it. Realizes slide is still back. Drops slide and continues shooting.

    I would say he learned something that day about his own self defense ability. You see the same problem with Martial artist who knife train a lot but never practice from the draw. When they go to practice they get the knife out of the equipment locker. Try putting a dull tactical folder in there pocket, Have one guy in boxing gloves try to beat on them while they get the folder out and open. A little pressure changes everything. Its good for you.

    Is Idpa training? Dunno but i think its good for you.
     
  5. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    Training can be broken down in to three areas.

    1. Instruction

    2. Correction

    3. Practice

    IDPA is really just 3. Unless of course someone points out deficiencies in the way you operate and you work to apply the changes.
    IDPA is less effective if you have bad form and basics. It can be very profitable if you have a good basis.
     
  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Or, perhaps to a somewhat lesser degree, you are a good student and very observant and you watch carefully what better shooters are doing and ask questions at opportune moments. You can learn by instruction but also by observation and mimicry of best practices you see others using.

    I always prefer to be squadded with the best shooters at the match. I learn a lot that way, and it also pushes me to concentrate and try harder for some reason.
     
  7. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    I will give you that with one caveat. Observation is not always accurate. Further explanation is needed most times. But you did also say to ask questions.
     
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Oh certainly! It is easy to get the wrong message from what you think you saw. Or to pick up a not-so-great habit that someone who's pretty good is able to get away with, but is going to hurt you.

    Structured instruction, with plenty of explanation and direct trial-and-correction give and take is always best.
     
  9. ADulay

    ADulay Member

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    first stage he goes to slide lock. Ejects his mag (1911), fumbles around forever trying to get a new one in the gun. brings the gun up to the target with the slide lock still back. Tries to pull the trigger. Nothing goes bang. tries again. nothing. I watch his thumb press down on the thumb safety again. tries to shoot. nothing happens. Thumbs the safety again. Pulls trigger again. Nothing.

    Finally brings gun down and looks at it. Realizes slide is still back. Drops slide and continues shooting.


    Yep, with a few variations, I've seen that (uh, and done that) or several variations of a theme on it, a few times at our local matches.

    Every guy that I've dragged out to the range for a sample IDPA session, to see if they like it, has really messed up with their "carry gun" at some point in the session. I've tried to explain that shooting "on the clock" or under any type of pressure is way different that just standing at the square range and blasting away.

    As long as we don't spend way too much time just standing around, it's a good experience for anybody who needs to get some good "gun time" in.

    I've also found a lot of my friends who say they've been 'into guns' for a very long time have rarely even made it out to a standard range in THE LAST YEAR or so.

    The trip to the IDPA match really opens their eyes to what they've been avoiding!

    AD
     
  10. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    and to what they've been missing out on.
     
  11. Old Guy

    Old Guy Member

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    If you carry every day, well I do, and the Pistol you carry, or a same model, set up the same way, you shoot in IDPA if you have to shoot some one, from the same holster, you will have a good chance at hitting them.

    That is a great confidence builder, in having the knowledge, that the pistol on your side, will most likely work, first time all the time.

    Glock19, good trigger, Truglo fiber optic sights, extended slide release, the disadvantage in an IDPA match, 11 rounds max! My carry mode, 16 rounds, spare mag, a G17 one.

    Working as a Bouncer in Liverpool UK for 5 years, gave me more training in fighting than IDPA has, but the sport of IDPA gives lots of gun handling skills, and the ability to hit a target, in practical distances, multiple times.

    Can't be bad, plus your match companions, on average are great people.
     
  12. Curator

    Curator Member

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    The local IDPA "guru" was involved in a gunfight at 7 yards with a bad guy robbing his store. 14 rounds were expended with NO hits, then he reloaded and fired a few more shots at the fleeing get-away car on a busy downtown street. Cops didn't arrest him for reckless endangerment. He has become a local hero despite his bad marksmanship and stupid behavior. He now re-tells his experience at his "firearms training acadamy."
     
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Was his IDPA experience directly beneficial to what happened in this encounter? Was it clearly harmful to what happened in this encounter?

    Do you think he would have done better or done worse without time spent practicing for and shooting IDPA?

    What is the take-home message we should learn from his actions?

    (Beyond the obvious -- that IDPA doesn't teach the law.)

    What does he say about it? Does he hold his own actions up as an example of sound tactics? Does he use his failures as a teaching example?
     
  14. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    Perhaps there is nothing more stimulating than the actual event as opposed to training/practice/games. Not to imply that nothing is learned from such an event
     
  15. Smokin Gator

    Smokin Gator Member

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    "The local IDPA "guru" was involved in a gunfight "

    Is he a self described "IDPA guru", or is he actually an expert or master class IDPA shooter since the "guru" title implies that he is a very good competition shooter? Or just a guy who has shot IDPA matches? Mark
     
  16. deadasslast2004

    deadasslast2004 Member

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    since I am no expert.....practice and training are always appreciated in my case.
     
  17. bbuddtec

    bbuddtec Member

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    I'm with deadass, practice and experience is more training than no shooting.
     
  18. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Who really cares about winning an IDPA match? I sure as hell don't.

    But this right here is a very good point -

    Take something suitable for a good performance in a match and shoot a few.

    Next take that super-small, ultra-light 3" mega-blaster you carry around just because its a gun, and its "better-than-nothing" and see how you do. Compare yourself against yourself.

    You might find yourself reconsidering just how well-armed you really are with that Noisy Cricket midget-gun.
     
  19. MrBorland

    MrBorland Member

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    I, unapologetically, and sure as Hell, do. :scrutiny:

    I shot the Indoor Nationals at S&W this past weekend. Between the travel & match expenses, time away from my wife, and the sacrifice & practice I put in to do my best at a National Championship, you betcha I cared how I placed (1st MA, btw). It's a competition, after all. If I didn't want to compete, I wouldn't be participating in matches.

    Even at local matches, I'm primarily concerned with shooting to my ability, knowing my placement will take care of itself. But I'd be lying if said I was uninterested in the final tally, and I suspect it's a rare (or mythical) shooter who feels otherwise.

    To answer the OP, neither a master classification, nor a good placing at a major match doesn't in and of itself make me feel "trained" in matters of SD, for which I'd seek bona fide training.
     
  20. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Ya know, I shoot with a lot of guys at my local chapter who really don't. In fact that's most of 'em.

    We run IDPA as an excuse to have a good time and to have a formal program that attracts people to the club. There are only a couple people that I shoot with that I like to place near in a match, only because it gives us an excuse to bust each other's balls until next month.

    Winning a match . . . except for a couple people who are nationally competitive, none of us are that serious about it. It would stop being fun.


    I take time away from my family and travel from time to time, and I could still care less about winning. As long as I did what I know I ought to, and place somewhere near the friends I shoot with, I'm fine.

    Most matches I really don't even look to see my final standings until it's on-line later in the week. I just want to know how far I was from such-and-such.
     
  21. MrBorland

    MrBorland Member

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    To each their own. I likely have as much fun at matches as you, so there's obviously no single correct approach to the sport.
     
  22. Old Guy

    Old Guy Member

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    OK I don't know you from Adam, but MrBorland, me thinks if you were confronted with an armed criminal, at 7 yds, you could draw and put 3 rounds center mass! No problem at all! A Master class shot can shoot.

    Once you trigger the fight or flight syndrome, and pick fight, all other movement is auto pilot.

    Now of course there are the the people who say IDPA is not a gun fight, or Gun Fight training! And it is not. But I have drawn a pistol, and pointed it at people, in the US, and many years ago, once in England (the old England) never had to shoot any one, but If I had to, I feel quite sure I could.
    Tried pain, and did not like it.

    I have put men in Hospital before, the only difference would be the method.
     
  23. Smokin Gator

    Smokin Gator Member

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    Most people who go shoot in matches are there having fun. Even the match winners are having fun. Sure, you'll see the occasional guy that is very serious, doesn't look like he is having a good time and often is the one guy who will question any call against him. Usually they are good shooters but not the best at the club.

    It seems like many shooters who place lower in the match assume that the best shooters aren't having fun. A lot of guys will say that they don't care where they finish, some actually don't, but I guarantee you that most of them would be thrilled to finish up closer to the top. Very few people are going to go to matches regularly if they aren't there having fun and that includes shooters at all skill levels.

    Now, I'm sure that sometimes for the absolute top, pro type shooters, the matches can get to be a chore, but that's a handful of people. I don't consider IDPA real training, but all the gun handling practice and non static shooting positions has to put someone in a better position to protect themselves compared to someone standing there shooting slowfire at a target at the typical gun range. Mark
     
  24. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I find that even the low to mid-level/(upper level Marksman to Sharpshooter) type IDPA shooter is typically far more proficient with a pistol than the average once-in-a-while square-range attendee.
     
  25. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow the robber stood there long enough for him to shoot twice, look for holes, shoot twice more, look for holes seven times??

    :p
     
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