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Old December 11, 2013, 09:28 PM   #26
Jim Watson
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A question I have not been able to get an answer to before...

If you consider IDPA (and USPSA/IPSC) to be a mere "game", what do you do about it?
How often do you take training under an instructor you consider qualified?
How often do you practice what he told you was proper?
Big question: How do you know you are still doing it right? Grading solitary practice of what you vaguely remember from a bygone class seems a problem.
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Old December 12, 2013, 12:29 PM   #27
Glenn E. Meyer
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That's a good question. I found that professional training aided my IDPA skills, esp. in a solid draw, retention shooting, sighting and pistol manipulation. My accuracy was much improved from a tactical class where the instructor diagnosed a bad hand position.

Also, specific classes in nondominant hand shooting and malfunction clearage was useful.
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc.
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Old December 12, 2013, 01:48 PM   #28
Deaf Smith
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Read Jim Cirillo's book on gunfighitng and the NYPD.

He gave a list of attributes on what it takes.

Competition shooting, reloading, hunting, were all on the list as good attributes.

And note... Cirillo, Askins, Jordan, Bryce, etc... were all competition shooters.

"The government has confiscated all of our rights and is selling them back to us in the form of permits."
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Old December 12, 2013, 03:13 PM   #29
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If you consider IDPA (and USPSA/IPSC) to be a mere "game", what do you do about it?
How often do you take training under an instructor you consider qualified?
How often do you practice what he told you was proper?
Big question: How do you know you are still doing it right? Grading solitary practice of what you vaguely remember from a bygone class seems a problem.
Great question!

I try to take a class from someone, usually a pretty high skill level, once a year. However, I switch it up. This year was Manny Bragg, last year was a private course for a SWAT team I tagged onto.

The whole issue of "qualified" is a bag of worms. I have taken several courses from "big name" tactical instructors and found some good, some not worth the time to listen to them. Some top level competitors "teach" and they certainly have the resume, but they are not good instructors.

I shoot several forms of competition, as well as hunt and work with some local LEOs as well. I crave the learning, the doing, the challenging convention and out of the box solutions. A lot of the "dogma" is no longer "state of the art" or even acceptable. Most people will just repeat what they have been told and never actually test it. I took a course from Matt Burkett early on, he forces his students to question all and figure it out instead of repeating the mantras.

The more challenges you face, both shooting, decision making, etc. the better prepared. I will never ascribe to one solid set of "must be done this way" as potential threats don't play by rules. I was able to spend several hours with a Federal officer, working on his PhD, as he interviewed life term convicts questioning them about how and why they chose their victims. Very revealing.

I look at some trainers and wish they would only teach tactics, because my shooting skills are beyond theirs, but they have great insight having been in the fight and on high velocity side of more than one firearm. Then there are those who are great shooters and terrible tacticians. Seeklander may be one of the ones who can actually put it all together, GM skills, great tactics, thought process and a good teacher.
Good Shooting, MarkCO
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Old December 13, 2013, 04:46 PM   #30
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But, if like most, limited in funds and time, USPSA shooting WILL enhance at least your gun-handling and safety skills.
I mean, if you go......
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old December 14, 2013, 02:20 AM   #31
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the training is the issue. Who says its GOOD training?

Say you want to learn how to use a sword. You can buy a book and learn on your own. Not so well though as youll lack core fundamentals from the get go.

Or you can join a theatrical class and learn to make pretty movements for the crowd, but learn something that will get you spitted in 5 minutes by someone who knows sword work.

Or you can join a class taught by someone who read a reproduction fencing manual written in 1538 and who spends three or four hours every other night killing orcs and trolls with a sword in an online pc game.
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Old December 21, 2013, 12:02 AM   #32
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IDPA or Self practice

Anytime spend shooting can only be good UNLESS you get careless with bad
tactics. Example, bad grip, etc.
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Old December 22, 2013, 12:38 AM   #33
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training value of IDPA for the defensive shooter?

I shoot both IPSC and IDPA fairly regularly and shoot PPC about once a year. IPSC and IDPA are best considered skill building exercises that have some training value and can be very entertaining. Any competitive event, of necessity, will not be able to duplicate the dynamics of a real gunfight.

But, depending upon the course of fire, there CAN be training value in the process, if you are shooting the IDPA classifier or an IPSC classifier that measures basic marksmanship and gun-handling skills. Some IPSC assault courses totally lack any connection to reality and are best avoided IMHO, but classifiers and many IDPA courses of fire are at least semi-realistic in the marksmanship skills that are required in that course of fire.

In such competitions I've most often always used whatever my duty gun was at the time. (Currently it's a Glock 22 in .40 cal.)

I'm more interested in getting trigger time than in shooting the matches as a competitive activity. Of course, I'm not particularly fast, so if I WAS attempting to become the next USPSA champion, I'd be way out of luck . . .

In general I prefer the course design philosophy of IDPA. However, I've been shooting IPSC on a sporadic basis at the local level since 1978, in IDPA since 2000, and I've been competing regularly again in USPSA and IDPA since 2005.

I particularly like the USPSA Classifiers and the IDPA Classifier match as methods to test basic skills. Also, several of the local IPSC clubs have LOTS more steel and movers and bobbers and so forth than what we have available at the police range, so the courses of fire they use on match days are much more innovative that what we can do during in-service training at the PD.

There was a similar thread on one of the other forums a few years ago, and one poster had an interesting thought that kind of mirrors my philosophy -- he takes IDPA more seriously and competes in IPSC as a sort of structured practice session.

You'll get out of it what you put into it. Be safe and have fun with it. At the very least, shooting in matches can show you which skills to need to practice more . . .

Many clubs are now on the web and some post the course descriptions for upcoming stages on their web site. If clubs near you do this, you'll find this to be very useful. I don't look at the courses of fire in advance to figure out a "game plan" on how to shoot the course, but rather to get an idea of what skills I might need to practice before the match. (practice strong hand only and weak hand only shooting to start with, and engaging multiple targets from behind high & low cover)

Also, some clubs are more practically oriented, and some have more members who shoot purely as a competitive activity (usually the IPSC shooters, BUT NOT ALWAYS) and by looking at posted courses of fire you can determine which orientation the club has and if the matches they run have any value for what you're trying to accomplish. (Sometimes I'll look at the posted courses for one of the local clubs and if three out of five stages are "run & gun" assault courses [which don't fit in with my philosophy very well] I'll just go do something else that day . . . )

Competitive shooting certainly has the potential to help you increase your marksmanship and gun handling skills, depending upon what kind of matches you're shooting. It can also certainly train you into bad habits, just as focusing too much on speed, jerking the trigger, and forgetting to look at the sights . . . you have to be mindful in everything you do if you want to maximize the skill building potential of that particular activity.

I think you still need to maintain your own practice regime to keep your skills well rounded. Shooting in a match will show you the skills you need to work on. That's one of the things I like best about shooting in matches. If I have trouble with something I know what to practice the next time I go out.

I think the thing I like best about the IDPA course design philosophy is the emphasis on engaging targets from behind cover. That's a worthwhile skill and engaging multiple targets from behind cover is a skill I need to better develop myself.

Whether or not shooting in matches will be of use developing defensive skills depends totally on the courses of fire. Some IDPA clubs stick strictly to the IDPA guidelines and some eventually drift off into semi-USPSA field courses because people want "run & gun" courses with a high round count and lots of movement. Hopefully your local clubs try to be more practical.

In any case, IDPA or USPSA competition can help you develop shooting related skills, and can be worthwhile that way. And if you choose, you can try to be tactically correct when shooting the matches. There is still training value to be gained, if you ignore the clock and focus instead on some of the tactical elements, like use of cover.

If you do a search, you'll find that this topic gets discussed frequently on this and other forums. Some of the observations that posters make are well reasoned and articulate. Others are not . . .
You can only learn from experience if you pay attention!
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Old December 22, 2013, 03:08 AM   #34
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For $20.00 you get to experience scenario based shooting with movement, holster work, shooting from cover, , decision making and engaging targets at varied distances. Or you can go to your gun club and stand in a box and fire at a paper target.
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