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Old June 2, 2012, 08:42 AM   #1
baddarryl
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I have heard it said that IDPA can get you killed?

I have heard this on this Forum in the past. I have now shot 3 matches and it has made me a better shot, gives me the ability to think about cover, shoot on the move, in different positions, etc. etc. Having no formal training of any kind what I am I missing by that statement? I don't particularly see IDPA as training, but I will say I have learned more in 3 matches of that than years plinking away in the woods. If it teaches bad habits, I am sure there are those that would like to know. Thanks.
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Old June 2, 2012, 03:51 PM   #2
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Changing mags "with retention" would be a bit silly in real life

In all seriousness, the "D" in IDPA stands for "Defensive" as much as the "P" in IPSC stands for "Practical". They're sports, not tactical defense training to handle real life scenarios.

That being said, I think any shooting sport that counts for speed and accuracy will make you a better shooter and these skills could certainly be transferred to defensive situations. In other words, you could protect yourself better if you know how to use a handgun really well than if you didn't.

Last edited by Gerry; June 2, 2012 at 03:57 PM.
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Old June 2, 2012, 04:27 PM   #3
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The skills acquired in the action type shooting games, like
Shooting fast and accurately,
Dealing with gun malfunctions under the clock,
Shooting from awkward body positions,
At moving targets,
Shooting on the move,
In and around props,
All of these might come in real handy one day.
It can't hurt to know these things.
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Old June 2, 2012, 04:42 PM   #4
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That which improves your shooting skills to the point they become subconscious, conditioned responses is good.

You need to be able to run the gun from the subconscious so you can devote your attention to avoidance, evasion, threat identification, the force decision and driving the OODA cycle through it all.

Anything that conditions you to focus on matters irrelevant to an emergency, can get you killed.
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Old June 2, 2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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That's the most common statement used by someone who either:
a) shoots IPSC or USPSA and wants to make their sport sound superior
b) thinks that anything that is not tactical training taught by an "operator" is not good enough.
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Old June 2, 2012, 06:43 PM   #6
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People act as they train.

I have read posts from people who were involved in real world shootings. The basic understanding I got was nothing they practiced was ever like what really happened.

I do believe training can save your life, and training is much better than no training. Maybe it will give you tools that you can use if you think yourself through the situation.

While shooting arts give people confidence, the best survival tactic is not to put yourself in a situation where you might have to use deadly force.
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Old June 2, 2012, 06:46 PM   #7
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Driving a car or eating a lousy diet are more likely to get you killed.
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Old June 2, 2012, 06:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Driving a car or eating a lousy diet are more likely to get you killed.
On a television show "Stats" or something like that, you have a 1:88 chance of dying in a car accident.

That number is probably increasing due to all the text messaging and cell phone distraction going on.
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Old June 2, 2012, 07:08 PM   #9
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That number is probably increasing due to all the text messaging and cell phone distraction going on.
I'd guess that safer cars are just barely managing to outpace the increased danger from increasing distractions.

If IDPA wanted to actually mimic the typical experience of a concealed carrier there wouldn't be any shooting at all. I think anything that makes you think and move with a gun in your hand is a definite plus.

Two excellent videos that touch on this topic: Competition vs. Self Defense and Special Interview with Massad Ayoob
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Old June 2, 2012, 07:11 PM   #10
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Sarge said: "That which improves your shooting skills to the point they become subconscious, conditioned responses is good." And someone else talked about "conditioned responses." And there is the problem.

I spent over 25 years as a police firearms instructor and I sure don't have all the answers. But I do know that when things go south and you're on the wrong end of a gun, you will automatically revert to whatever you trained/practiced to do. One example of this as a problem is an officer I once had on my range who was a very accomplished competition shooter. We had constructed a tactical range and when this particular officer took out the bad guy he cleared his semiauto and held it over his head with the empty magazine in the other hand so that the instructor could see it was clear as he approached the fallen assailant. Obviously one would not do that in a real shootout but that was a required safety measure on his competition range.

We worked very hard to train only those habits that would keep you alive in a shooting situation. For instance, no one was allowed to police brass or pick up empty magazines until there session was completed. Cops have been found after a shootout with empty brass and magazines in their pockets which they had picked up as the shooting was in progress. Why? Because they were trained to police their empty brass and pick up their magazines before they moved to the next stage. There was a shootout where the bad guys used whistles to distract the police. Once we heard about that we never again used a whistle as a range signal.

Range safety considerations can get a professional seriously dead, and it's an instructors responsibility to make that unlikely to happen due to his or her actions.
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Old June 2, 2012, 08:23 PM   #11
Don P
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Changing mags "with retention" would be a bit silly in real life
I concur, shoot to slide lock. I understand there thinking with mag changes with retention, BUT what happens if you do change a mag out run dry and load up the mag that you retained only to find you have 2 rounds left. Under the stress most will not be aware of how many rounds were in the mag that was retained, possibly thinking its full. Just a thought, thats all nothing more, nothing less.
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Old June 2, 2012, 10:58 PM   #12
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DepOne, re Post 10: Going on 22 years of trying to teach de po-po to shoot. Just to clarify, I support committing the operation, shooting and reloading of the gun to the subconscious and my comment about conditioned responses was aimed at that attaining that goal.

And yes, I have seen the Ghosts of Other Ranges visit mine. I still have new guys who shoot 2-3 rounds with the gun extended and then pull it into their breastbone and 'scan'... on a 10 round exercise. I had another cat who insisted on moving with a scattergun pointed directly at his feet because some academy instructor told him it was 'tactical' and he'd be glad he learned it when he got on the SWAT team. I had to explain to him that shooting one's self in the foot was hardly ever the correct solution to a tactical problem. Less than 60 days later, that very thing happened on a State range.

I run a hot range. You show up just like you work, grab ear & eye cover and walk out with and shoot with whatever you're wearing. I don't tell you when to reload. If I have to trust you on a robbery call, I had better be able to trust you on the range.
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Old June 3, 2012, 08:30 AM   #13
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The games give trigger time with an increased level of stress. Certainly no where near the stress where someone might be shooting back, but more than stationary shooting at a piece of paper with no clock running.

Quote:
That's the most common statement used by someone who either:
a) shoots IPSC or USPSA and wants to make their sport sound superior
Not hardly. "They" say the same about IPSC and USPSA. In fact, I have myself heard IDPA people say that about IPSC.

Quote:
b) thinks that anything that is not tactical training taught by an "operator" is not good enough.
Heard that, too.
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Old June 3, 2012, 10:10 AM   #14
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Good post Sarge, and I concur 100%.
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Old June 3, 2012, 12:07 PM   #15
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They still use firearms, don't they? It mightbe a little dangerous.

-7-
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Old June 3, 2012, 12:20 PM   #16
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You can develop training scars but the more time spent handling, firing and shooting and moving the better off you are. Many many LEO ranges are static and do not prepare the officer/agent for real life. I don't know how many courses I've taken where I was taught a two handed grip with the pistol canted in close to the breast while moving around and then presented with a firm two handed punching out type move. It works great but I work at night and I always have a flashlight in my weak hand or I'm talking on the portable or using my weak hand to control a suspect, open a door, move a barrier...

Another point is people bringing up magazine changes and games teaching you bad form/tactics. How many of you non LEOs carrying spare ammo when out and about in public? For that matter how many of you LEOs carrying extra ammo off duty?
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Old June 3, 2012, 12:29 PM   #17
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If you consider any shooting game to be defensive training, then yeah, it can get you killed. Shooting games like IDPA usually involve trying to get the highest score in the shortest time while following a known COF where the shooter is already told exactly what is needed to get through the stage. There are no penalties against tactically unsound practices so long as the requirements of the COF are met. For example, there is no penalty for exposing far too much of yourself to the opposition who may then have the opportunity to easily shoot you.

To be successful in such games, shooters optimize time and accuracy and in order to score, shooters must shoot. These and given that shooters already know the COF and exactly what it takes to complete it teach absolutely nothing about some of the most critical aspects of gun fighting, threat identification and shoot/no shoot decision making. The shooter goes in already knowing they must shoot.

Also, games like IDPA have a linear orientation to gun fights. Threats are engaged sequentially and there is absolutely no concern that downed threats you think are out of the battle shooting you or getting flanked by threats that you didn't even know were part of the situation.

The COF is known. The threats are known. What is needed to defeat the threats is known. The shooter in IDPA already has a whole bunch of the critical information determined in advance such that he isn't having to make a lot of critical decisions about which the wrong decision could be fatal.

Games like IDPA simply do not offer the kinds of simulated fight experience present in the real world or in FOF training.

There is no doubt that IDPA and other games can help with shooting skills, but it is naive to think that IDPA is teaching you or providing you with gunfight/battle training.
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Old June 3, 2012, 12:42 PM   #18
Gerry
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Quote:
I concur, shoot to slide lock.
NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Not that either, unless it's your last shot of the stage! I'm an IPSC/USPSA person by the way But I have been getting a little interested in the dark side and IDPA too lately.

We IPSC guys can do better than any tactically trained professional team in handling bad guys in real life situations, as long as the bad guys hold positions while we get a 5 minute walk-through to plan our stage strategy. Those bad guys can't move after either to mess up our plan, plus I'd prefer that they don't shoot back. The darn start buzzer makes us nervous enough already!
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Old June 3, 2012, 03:47 PM   #19
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I'm sure anything you do so long as its proper fundamentally and you know its limits helps your odds. For everyone who says training goes out the window under stress...true to a point. But that training builds muscle memory and confidence. Suppose that's where any training could get you into trouble though...when it gives you an unreasonable level of confidence because in the real world there are pop up shoot back targets. That being said I look forward to participating in idpa.
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Old June 3, 2012, 05:08 PM   #20
Gerry
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For everyone who says training goes out the window under stress...true to a point.
checkmyswag, I'd go even further and suggest that the reason why folks train is to ensure their acquired skills DON'T fly out the window under stress. Ever watch a person improvise complex lead guitar licks while holding a conversation? Same thing here.

The problem is that when we learn how to do things the wrong way for a specific situation so well to the point where it is automatic and unconscious (committed to "muscle memory"), that we may end up not being able to act differently when put under stress except to rehearse what we've been trained to do. That could conceivably cost us our life I under certain circumstances which I think DepOne's post so eloquently described.

I don't fool myself. My passion is the sport. If my passion were tactical pistol in real life situations, I'd be a secret agent or ummm at least a cop since we Canadian civilians get into a lot of trouble if we attempt to protect ourselves with firearms anyway.
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Old June 4, 2012, 05:09 PM   #21
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http://youtu.be/H94THAsrrRw?hd=1
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Old June 5, 2012, 06:48 PM   #22
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"We had constructed a tactical range and when this particular officer took out the bad guy he cleared his semiauto and held it over his head with the empty magazine in the other hand so that the instructor could see it was clear as he approached the fallen assailant"

I shoot most of the action pistol sports and have never heard of clearing your gun and holding it over your head. This sounds like someone making something up to support his side of the argument.

Competition is not tactical training. How many LEO's or others who receive nothing but sound tactical training, get a chance to really put in some regular, serious, tactical practice, to get the repetitions needed to achieve the needed gun handling and shooting skills that will enable them to use their tactical training to the best of their ability? Not a big percentage I'd be willing to bet.

Shooting accurately, quickly, on the move, awkward positions, using cover, reloading, and clearing malfunctions are tactical skills. You still need to learn how to tactically best conduct traffic stops, searches, clearing rooms and buildings and everything else that is included in tactical training.

Also, there is not just one school of thought on proper tactical training. Different trainers and departments have their own ideas on what is the best course of action in similar scenarios.

Actually, I think there may be some truth to the "competition shooting can get you killed" comment for LEO's that shoot very little. Those that shoot only when required to qualify and aren't familiar with other weapons probably should just stick to what their department teaches them.

Some officers who shoot very little, will come out to a match somewhere, thinking that maybe they could use some more shooting experience. When they see how well some non LEO's shoot, they are sometimes hesitant to join in because they thought by virtue of their training that they are good shooters. Sometimes the "competition shooting will get you killed" is a convenient excuse not to compete in front of everyone else. On the other hand, their are many LEO's who are top level competiton shooters.
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Old June 5, 2012, 07:04 PM   #23
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Changing mags "with retention" would be a bit silly in real life

I concur, shoot to slide lock. I understand there thinking with mag changes with retention, BUT what happens if you do change a mag out run dry and load up the mag that you retained only to find you have 2 rounds left. Under the stress most will not be aware of how many rounds were in the mag that was retained, possibly thinking its full. Just a thought, thats all nothing more, nothing less.
You retain mags only if/when there's nothing apparently left to shoot, and dropping a partially-loaded mag under those conditions would certainly be silly.

Quote:
BUT what happens if you do change a mag out run dry and load up the mag that you retained only to find you have 2 rounds left.
It would somehow be better to have no rounds available at all, than to have some doubt about the number of rounds that you do have (because you did that silly retention reload)?
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Old June 6, 2012, 06:57 AM   #24
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psssst

The 'top' guys (I mean "top") very often have a day job that includes teaching real-life shooters how to shoot. They don't teach 'tactics', just shooting skills.



Or, "Where did Jerry B. go?"......
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Old June 6, 2012, 07:13 AM   #25
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They don't teach 'tactics', just shooting skills.
...and it is important to note that they are individual skills.
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