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Old October 30, 2008, 09:30 PM   #1
matthew temkin
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Chuck Taylor on Competition.

This from the new edition of G&A Personal Defense magazine...


"And yet, much of what has appeared in the last four decades is relatively worthless for self defense because it's the result of competition target shooting in one form or the other. from good old-fashioned bullseye competition to PPC shooting to IPSC and it's related endeavors, competition
has contributed little to useful self defense.
...Competition shooting allows the participant to examine the course of fire, determine how best to deal with it and even practice it in advance until he feels he has reached an acceptable efficiency level.....In combat the opposite is true, which is why for well over 100 years, competition shooting techniques have always failed to save lives when applied to life and death situations.
Self defense is a serious business, a business in which ego drive, the primary motivator of all forms of competition, can quite literally get you killed.
Please understand that I have nothing against competition. in fact, I was once a world class IPSC shooter, but sport shooting did not teach me how to stay alive in the multiple gunfights I've been in during my lifetime...
..Again, in spite of what some competition shooters think, I am not anti-competition. On the other hand, having been both a sucessful competitor and a survivor of multiple gunfights, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to judge the difference, which is nothing less than extreme....
..Competition is fine, but let's not call it combat. To do otherwise is just plain wrong--dangerously wrong, in fact." ( pg 20-22)
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Old October 30, 2008, 09:37 PM   #2
Deaf Smith
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Competition is fine, but let's not call it combat.
Wow, and who calls competition 'combat'?
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Old October 31, 2008, 12:27 PM   #3
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On the other hand, having been both a sucessful competitor and a survivor of multiple gunfights, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to judge the difference, which is nothing less than extreme..
Quote:
Self defense is a serious business, a business in which ego drive, the primary motivator of all forms of competition, can quite literally get you killed.
Hmmm. Sort of looks like Chuck would suggest that competition techniques and tactics might get you killed in a real fight.
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Old October 31, 2008, 01:04 PM   #4
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To be honest, I didn't realize that was a big secret. Competition and combat are two very different animals. Some of the fundamentals certainly carry over and competition (being a form of practice) can make you better at those basic tasks, but the two aren't 100% interchangeable. Never have been.
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Old October 31, 2008, 01:11 PM   #5
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To be honest, I didn't realize that was a big secret. Competition and combat are two very different animals.
Some folks have a hard time understanding the difference, and try to argue that doing good in the game means you will do good in the fight. Others try to point out that what wins the game can get you hurt in the fight.
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Old October 31, 2008, 01:28 PM   #6
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Don't get me wrong- we agree. I guess I just haven't talked to anyone who thought that their .8 sec IPSC mag changes were going to win them combat gunfights. I know plenty of people who compete for the fun of it and to keep their raw skills sharp, but they all know what translates and what doesn't. That's what I meant by me not realizing it was a secret.
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Old October 31, 2008, 02:27 PM   #7
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Someone should probably tell all those SWAT teams and federal agencies that all that stuff that guys like Todd Jarrett are teaching them is totally wrong because it was learned in competition.

Reminds me of the "combatives vs. MMA" debate in the martial arts community.

I'm not knocking Chuck, mind you; however it's kind of silly to outright dismiss competition shooting as a method of training simply because of personal experiences.
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Old October 31, 2008, 02:45 PM   #8
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Someone should probably tell all those SWAT teams and federal agencies that all that stuff that guys like Todd Jarrett are teaching them is totally wrong because it was learned in competition.

Reminds me of the "combatives vs. MMA" debate in the martial arts community.

I'm not knocking Chuck, mind you; however it's kind of silly to outright dismiss competition shooting as a method of training simply because of personal experiences.
I don't think he outright dismissed anything. I think he is encouraging that things be put into perspective.

I know many people who can go to the driving range and hit beautiful looking golf shots all day long, but then they get stomped into the ground when they go head to head with someone "for real." Some people can do martial arts routines pefectly and they look really good, then they get demolished by someone who just knows how to "fight".

Is that to say that a golfer shouldn't ever go to the range or that a fighter shouldn't get some mat/bag work in? Not at all. What it does say though is that there's a major difference between "not for real" and "for real" and people shouldn't handicap themselves by thinking that because they can do one thing in competition/practice, they'll be able to use the same application in a "for real" situation.
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Old October 31, 2008, 03:13 PM   #9
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I guess I just haven't talked to anyone who thought that their .8 sec IPSC mag changes were going to win them combat gunfights. I know plenty of people who compete for the fun of it and to keep their raw skills sharp, but they all know what translates and what doesn't.
Just haven't met the right people<G>. On another forum we just got finished with a 10-page thread where some were arguing since nobody could provide an example of an IDPA competitor getting killed in a fight while using IDPA tactics that proved nothing in IDPA was a problem in actual gunfights. In fact, in response to the statement (discussing IDPA techniques) "The issue is if one also learns bad habits or tactics or techniques that can get one hurt." was answered with "Since no one here has shown one shred of proof 'bad habits' or 'bad tactics' of any IDPA method has ever gotten anyone hurt or kill, and at the same time the many tactics and habits learned in IDPA have been used successfully on the street, well the answer is clear."
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Old October 31, 2008, 03:17 PM   #10
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Someone should probably tell all those SWAT teams and federal agencies that all that stuff that guys like Todd Jarrett are teaching them is totally wrong because it was learned in competition.
that is where this argument always falls apart. Nobody has ever said, AFAIK, that all the stuff guys like Todd teach is totally wrong. Nobody, AFAIK, says that if something is learned in competition that it can't be of value in reality. The typical thrust of the argument is that some of the things pushed in competition are not good for actual gunfights. Some of the tactics and techniques used to win matches can be counterproductive in real gunfights.
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Old October 31, 2008, 04:36 PM   #11
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I think that Taylor is talking about someone who's ONLY experience/training is with competition and instructors who teach solely competition methods.
Quite a few serious men with impressive service records also compete with no ill effect, but they are in a position to know the difference.
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Old October 31, 2008, 05:01 PM   #12
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You definately need to know the difference. I think some people do, and some don't. To dismiss competition and to say if offers no value to a persons gun handling skills is a naive statement. Competition is "practice" . It is not "training". Understanding the difference between the two is crucial. Competion builds skill that most will not get otherwise. For the most part, it does not offer "real life" tactics, but it does offer practice in gun handling skills under "some" simulated stress. I say compete, AND train, just make sure you know the difference.
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Old October 31, 2008, 05:17 PM   #13
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that is where this argument always falls apart. Nobody has ever said, AFAIK, that all the stuff guys like Todd teach is totally wrong. Nobody, AFAIK, says that if something is learned in competition that it can't be of value in reality. The typical thrust of the argument is that some of the things pushed in competition are not good for actual gunfights. Some of the tactics and techniques used to win matches can be counterproductive in real gunfights.
I agree. And the same can be said for posts on gun boards.

Some of the tactics and concepts posted on gun forums can be good, and some can be fatal, if applied in an armed confrontation.
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Old October 31, 2008, 05:50 PM   #14
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If ya'll want to see the "competition vs. real life" argument taken to it's insane extreme sometime, head over to the forums at Bullshido.com and check out the guys arguing about which is better for "real fights", practice combatives or Mixed Martial Arts competition.

My big concern as an active competitor is that some people are too fast to dismiss the lessons learned in competition because "it's not a real gunfight". I'd hope that most people are smart enough to realize that smoking down pepper poppers and reloading in 1.3 seconds aren't the same as actually having bullets fly past your dome.

However, they do reinforce skills that are useful in those situations, like shooting on the move, multiple rapid target engagement, and even quick reloading skills. It's just frustrating when certain groups act like because it's not "a gunfight" it's automatically invalid.
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Old October 31, 2008, 07:04 PM   #15
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Only thing that puzzles me guys is why the DEA, FBI, SS, SEALS, Marines, SF, etc.. actually have such as Letham teach classes and they learn from what the 'games' people show them. Why they might get killed learning all that stuff!
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Old October 31, 2008, 07:35 PM   #16
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...Competition shooting allows the participant to examine the course of fire, determine how best to deal with it and even practice it in advance until he feels he has reached an acceptable efficiency level.....In combat the opposite is true, which is why for well over 100 years, competition shooting techniques have always failed to save lives when applied to life and death situations.
I highlighted this with bold, because it is a bold statement. I want to see some empirical evidence. No one in a hundred years life has been saved, because they practiced shooting in competition? No police officers successfully defended themselves back in the days of the revolver and PPC competition? None of Coopers students who shot ISPC saved their lives with the shooting skills they learned? All of them always failed?

Taylor is OK. but I'm calling BS on this one and just exactly who are these people who can't differentiate between ISPC, IDPA, etc and having someone shooting back trying to kill you anyway?
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Old October 31, 2008, 09:40 PM   #17
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If I'm not mistaken, Jim Cirillo was a top PPC shooter. He got all his trophies BEFORE he joined the stakeout squad. He was a police instructor on the range and not beat cop. He had never fired a weapon at anyone before the stakeout squad.

And then he capped three of them all the while 'seeing the front sight'.

Hmmm I wonder if all that competition shooting he did had any effect on being able to shoot all three so fast.
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Old October 31, 2008, 11:43 PM   #18
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Only thing that puzzles me guys is why the DEA, FBI, SS, SEALS, Marines, SF, etc.. actually have such as Letham teach classes and they learn from what the 'games' people show them. Why they might get killed learning all that stuff!
As you seem to have missed the post earlier, nobody is saying that there is nothing to learn from the games. Top gamers are great at some skills. Again, nobody has ever said, AFAIK, that all the stuff guys like Todd teach is totally wrong. Nobody, AFAIK, says that if something is learned in competition that it can't be of value in reality. They have gamers teach them shooting skills, not necessarily tactical moves.
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He was a police instructor on the range and not beat cop.
I believe you will find that Jim did his time on a beat before becoming an instructor. And again, you keep tossing up this strawman that folks are saying everything in competition is bad and nothing from competition is any good for gunfighting. It's easy to attack, but nobody is making that claim that I have seen.
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Old October 31, 2008, 11:53 PM   #19
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No one in a hundred years life has been saved, because they practiced shooting in competition? No police officers successfully defended themselves back in the days of the revolver and PPC competition? None of Coopers students who shot ISPC saved their lives with the shooting skills they learned? All of them always failed?
I'm not sure that is what he is implying. From where I am, it looks more like he is saying techniques designed solely to win competitions ("competition shooting techniques") as opposed to broader techniques that are applicable both for competition and real fights. The meaning isn't clear, and your version of it can certainly be valid, but the "ego driven" phrasing seems to me to be referring to that "let's use the game technique to win even though that technique could get you killed in an actual gunfight" mentality.
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Old October 31, 2008, 11:57 PM   #20
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It's just frustrating when certain groups act like because it's not "a gunfight" it's automatically invalid.
Agreed, and the opposite is just as frustrating---since it works in the game it must be good for a gunfight. The games are good for shooting skills, which can certainly be important in a real fight. The games are not so good for fighting skills.
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Old November 1, 2008, 12:55 AM   #21
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Guess I am just totally out to lunch on this. I believe competition is what humans do to hone the edge of the weapon.

In the time of the great tournaments, (in between great wars) combatants from different city states conducted mock battles (actually fairly real) for the joy and adoration of the crowds, the weight of another’s armor (if you won) and to test the edge of your sword against another’s shield. This was stylized war, but it reinforced the basic skills.

The great age of archers, constantly tested in battle and on the lists, used competition to keep the skills of alignment and release sharp and focused. A jingle of the purse, stills the blood and focuses the eye. Again nowhere close to volley fire at a forward moving enemy, whom wished to shred you if they could close, but it did reinforce the foundation skills.

The age of firearms has seem it’s share of martial competition not only to establish the best, but to keep the edge.

I my years as a peace officer I can not remember a firearms qualification either PPC or practical that did not have bragging rights as part of the qualification score. Competition kept those courses from becoming mental masturbation exercises. Not street combat, but reinforced the needed basic skills.

I have been both a street shooter and a competition shooter and for me the basic skills that I honed on the square range helped me on the street.

Scattergun Bob says;
“Once the combat envelope wraps its' cold clammy arms around you, there is more than enough to think about besides how your weapon works, what condition of readiness IT IS IN, or where it shoots.”
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Old November 1, 2008, 01:23 AM   #22
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I have been both a street shooter and a competition shooter and for me the basic skills that I honed on the square range helped me on the street.
Same here, but again I don't think that is what is in dispute. Certainly competition helps with some skills that can be used on the street, particularly basic skills. But competition also incorporates the learning of skills that can be detrimental to the street even though they help you win a game.
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Old November 1, 2008, 01:48 AM   #23
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Good points Bob,

Basic shooting competition, such as PPC and/or practical, is just that, basic. It helps develop some techniques and habits that are almost universal - balanced stance, sight usage, firing for accuracy, firing at speed, shooting weak-hand, reloading, use of cover, some different basic positions, shooting at multiple targets, shooting on the move.

What few of them do is teach flexibility, problem solving or special tactics in unusal situations.

But the basic shooting skills are necessary in every form of either competition or combat. Keeping those skills sharp will save your bacon.

My instructor, during the days of PPC qualifiers, was a former FBI agent. He was teamed with a partner once who was one of the best shots in the agency. One afternoon they went to the range to brush up and he was impressed. His partner put 6/6 right in the x-ring at 25 yards with a 2.5" Model 19 in about 5 seconds. But it took him 18 seconds to reload! He confessed to Vic that one of the reasons he was such a good shot was that he was lousy at reloading. He was also a southpaw which complicated matters somewhat. After a few months of practice and Vic's tutelage, he was able to reload in 7 seconds (from belt loops - there were no speed loaders then).

If you don't have the basic skills down, you need to work to improve them. And in the basic skills category, I include point-shooting along with weak-hand and shooting on the move.

When the elephant looms large, your reactions should be instant and automatic so that your brain is solving THE problem of the moment. That problem might be as simple as remembering where the nearest cover is. Or it could be a complex 3D moving approximation of how much to lead your moving target as he tries to run to you, or away, in an uneven "S" curve. But your reflexes have brought the gun up to bear properly, disengaged any safety and your finger has eased onto the trigger without conscious thought.
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Old November 1, 2008, 02:06 AM   #24
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Dave

I do not disagree with you, learning bad habits in IPSC or IDPA can and will cost you on the street. As usual Dave I was not very clear in my first post. I am saying that competition and winning is part of training as well as the games. My most valuable trophies are a belt buckle from NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor School for top shooter, a DVC belt buckle and the little Bronze cup for the most improved at POST, these were very real fields of competition every bit as serious for me as the US revolver championships.

Good Luck & Be Safe
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Old November 1, 2008, 02:15 AM   #25
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Bill

Would the instructor you speak of be Vic Cortez?
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