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Old December 8, 2013, 07:37 PM   #1
rjksx1
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IDPA or Self Practice?

any data that correlates IDPA with real gun fight encounters? are IDPA shooters much superior to regular range shooters?
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Old December 8, 2013, 08:05 PM   #2
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No. There is no data. I find IDPA fun and challenging. It is a great way to spend the day. You get to push yourself and have fun doing it. I use it for trigger time and to test out my guns and gear. I shoot my carry guns mostly.
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Old December 8, 2013, 08:26 PM   #3
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Nothing, including force on force, can take you all the way to "prepared" for a lethal force encounter. How and why you react can be partially conditioned. The more you shoot firearms and deal with stress inoculation whether in training or competition, the better your chances that those parts of the problem will not compound with the tragedy you will experience if you must be in a lethal force encounter.

That said, if there is a timer and a scoreboard, it is a game. No game can reasonably claim superiority over any other type of game when it comes to transference of usable skills in a lethal force encounter. To do so, to me is irresponsible and $ driven at best. Any dynamic, or action shooting game, will give some benefit, ICORE, USPSA, IDPA, USCA, 3Gun, 2Gun, even homegrown tactical matches. So too will courses whether from LE/Mil/Civilian and in a variety of formats.

Multiple forms of weapons handling skills, tactical planning, verbal judo, conflict avoidance, weapon retention skills, hand to hand skills, and yes, even physical fitness are all important aspects of personal protection/self defense. Over emphasize one or ignore the others. you may not be properly prepared. The larger the buffet you sample from, and work on requisite skills, the more "luck" you have stocked in your corner if you are one of the unfortunate ones to be attacked.
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Old December 8, 2013, 09:22 PM   #4
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjksx1
IDPA shooters much superior to regular range shooters?
IMHO, competitive shooters of any discipline are much better shooters than what you'd usually see at your typical range. There's nothing like competition to develop skills.

That said, IDPA's a game, not self defense training; but it develops your gun handling skills and tests your gear far more than if you were to practice on your own.

I look at it this way - if the SHTF, and his boat were to sink, Michael Phelps likely has a much better chance of making it to shore than your average non-competitive swimmer.
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Old December 8, 2013, 10:06 PM   #5
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Well, enter a local IDPA match and let us know.

As much as I don't like the direction IDPA took- I can tell you that five years of shooting all the local USPSA-esque action shooting leagues made me *much* better.
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Old December 8, 2013, 10:32 PM   #6
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You do not 'practice' by shooting IDPA matches.

You practice FOR IDPA matches.

What I do is practice SD techniques, good ones, either learned at shooting schools or such and then I shoot IDPA matches as a test.

That way I have the best of both worlds.

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Old December 8, 2013, 11:44 PM   #7
rjksx1
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can you recomend good internet sites for these SD techniques?
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Old December 9, 2013, 10:01 AM   #8
Gaerek
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Quote:
That said, IDPA's a game, not self defense training; but it develops your gun handling skills and tests your gear far more than if you were to practice on your own.
To expand, it's a game, who's "rules" fairly closely resemble the skills you'll want to have in a real encounter. Is it perfect? Not at all. I think IDPA's reload rules are outdated and don't line up with today's thinking. I have a few other problems as well.

To put it another way. IDPA (or really, any practical shooting competition) allows you to hone other skills you that might be difficult to practice at a reqular square range. Most shooters get little to no opportunity to move around while shooting, shooting multiple targets, etc. In addition, shooting against a clock, in front of people, adds a stress factor that's tough to mimic in other ways, especially shooting at a stationary target on a square range.

I look at it as a part of a complete training/practice regimen. There is no "silver bullet" as far training and practice is concerned.
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Old December 9, 2013, 10:04 AM   #9
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Well it sure won't hurt and is fun as all get out!
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Old December 9, 2013, 10:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Well it sure won't hurt
provided it is not your only "shooting."
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Old December 9, 2013, 11:30 AM   #11
Glenn E. Meyer
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To answer the OP - there is no real data that matches scientific standards to show a relationship that I know of.

That doesn't mean that there is no relationship. We know from many domains that practice under stress and simulations aids performance. Gunfight simulators have been shown to aid police performance in a few studies.

However, IDPA is an artificial situation as is IPSC or most other matches.

So if you want a peer reviewed well controlled answer about IDPA specifically, it doesn't exist. However, more practice than the square range is preferable.

I think we have better evidence that quality simulators and FOF are the way to go.
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Old December 9, 2013, 11:43 AM   #12
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No. There is no data. I find IDPA fun and challenging. It is a great way to spend the day. You get to push yourself and have fun doing it.
^^ That's why I shoot IDPA. ^^

I suppose all practice is good. But I don't do it to improve my "real life" defense skills.
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Old December 9, 2013, 12:51 PM   #13
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Nick

what do you do to improve them?
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Old December 9, 2013, 01:04 PM   #14
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slopemeno
Quote:
As much as I don't like the direction IDPA took-
What does that mean?

I'm looking at IDPA as an alternative to paying for a class to re-up my CCW in a few years. I"m curious about the cultural history behind it. Your reply won't be a show stopper to my participation, but i'm curious.

I figure it can't hurt. I will be trying to shoot as quickly and accurately as possible at multiple targets while on the move. That's not a combination I can do on the average public range.
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Old December 9, 2013, 01:14 PM   #15
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As noted above, those who take part in practical competition will be better prepared for any dynamic shooting situation than will those who don't.
The only real issue that I have with IDPA, in terms of how it translates to preparation for a self-defense situation, is that every time you draw your gun at a match, something gets shot. We see and hear a lot about how often "the mere presence of a gun" is enough to prevent a crime, bodily harm, etc., but competition conditions you to shoot every time you draw (could be argued that by the time you've decided a draw is necessary, you are probably going to shoot).
There's a local shooting school that also hosts IDPA matches, and one of the things that you see in their classes that you never see in a match, is "winning" a class scenario without firing a shot.
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Old December 9, 2013, 01:33 PM   #16
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There was a home-grown group many year ago that I was part of.

We "showed up" at the range at a specific time and were led to the edge of a berm in a pair or singly. Sometimes, we were handed a 3x5 card with something written on it, sometimes we were given a 1 or 2 sentence "scenario." Then we were left to "solve" the problem. After the 10 "participants" had concluded the exercise, the 2 ROs debriefed and handed out some observations. There were no timers and no score sheets. Many times we would hit a coffee shop and discuss each persons approach.

At the beginning of the year, we drew names to partner up to be the ROs and for slots to "participate" on the 12 dates for the year. Sometimes, a round or two was shot, sometimes many rounds were shot, sometimes no rounds were shot. We would always get 25 rounds minimum by running a skills drill if there were very few or no shots fired and we were at a range. We had a wide array of folks and it was very beneficial to get the feedback. Sometimes we did this in the morning, sometimes in the evening, and sometimes at night. Sometimes it was at a range, sometimes it was with airsoft at a business (yes with permission and appropriate controls) and sometimes in the woods. I learned a lot.
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Old December 9, 2013, 02:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doofus47
What does that mean?

I'm looking at IDPA as an alternative to paying for a class to re-up my CCW in a few years. I"m curious about the cultural history behind it. Your reply won't be a show stopper to my participation, but i'm curious.
My opinion: IDPA has been getting themselves into a bit of a bind. It's meant to be a competition that's playable with basic gear, while having some relevance to real-world situations. But in order to keep it that way and not evolve into a more gear-centric and/or athletic event, it's become rather rule-heavy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doofus47
I figure it can't hurt. I will be trying to shoot as quickly and accurately as possible at multiple targets while on the move. That's not a combination I can do on the average public range.
+1. Where else can you shoot from inside a car, or while moving through a room, around corners, or shoot moving targets, etc. At our local day/night/day match last year, shooters had to shoot from inside a burning car during the evening match, and from atop a highlift during the day. Good matches will test all your skills, including movement, reloads, strong- and weak-hand only shooting, use of flashlights, your ability to shoot extremely accuracy or fast etc, etc. Heck, most ranges I know of won't even allow double taps or drawing from a holster.

Again, one should get self defense training of that's what they want and/or need, but IDPA's an excellent supplement to that training so long as one understands it's a game.
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Old December 9, 2013, 09:11 PM   #18
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Action shooting sports has crept it's way into Law Enforcement training. I have found it to be very good addition. Almost any trigger time will make someone better, although you can develop bad habits (start gaming it and you will develop bad habits.) The biggest increase in actual gun fight success through new training that I have ever seen documented was by the Massachusetts State Police. They had typical LEO hit percentages in real gun fights of under 20%. They transitioned to point shooting/combat shooting (dumbed down explanation of the transition, they researched pistol trng from everything from OSS in WWII to Israel current day.) After the transition, which occurred in 2001, the hit ratio went up over 80% in actual gun fights. They also went from DA/SA to DAK trigger pull to boot (they now carry M&Ps). Mike Conti, the lead instructor, published articles and books on the New Paradigm of Police Firearms Training. I attended numerous training courses by Mr. Conti and by chance I took a course by the lead instructor for the Swedish National Police and their training mirrored Conti's New Paradigm.
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Old December 10, 2013, 04:50 AM   #19
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Does it have to be IDPA or self practice?
Sadly, I'm not within convenient driving range of anywhere that they have any organized shooting sports, but it seems like it could only be a good thing. As others have pointed out it provides you with an opportunity to work on a lot of valuable skills, and while under a certain level of stress.

You don't want to take it too seriously, and you probably are going to want your self practice to include more than just the skills you need to do well in matches, but it seems like it would be a fun way to get a lot of good training in. And a good way to meet people who might be able to point you in the direction of other good local opportunities.
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Old December 10, 2013, 07:52 AM   #20
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Quote:
Does it have to be IDPA or self practice?
Sadly, I'm not within convenient driving range of anywhere that they have any organized shooting sports, but it seems like it could only be a good thing. As others have pointed out it provides you with an opportunity to work on a lot of valuable skills, and while under a certain level of stress.

You don't want to take it too seriously, and you probably are going to want your self practice to include more than just the skills you need to do well in matches, but it seems like it would be a fun way to get a lot of good training in. And a good way to meet people who might be able to point you in the direction of other good local opportunities.
Indeed. If you're just Joe Shmo its an excellent way to have fun and whet your shooting skills. Is everything applicable? Of course not. Its a scenario driven game. But its helpful in offering up differing scenarios, practical shooting, using cover as second nature, and won't break your wallet in doing it. I will typically run my actual CC rig every two months and find that to be very helpful.
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Old December 10, 2013, 10:13 PM   #21
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Only beef I have with IDPA matches, you're advancing toward the target instead of away and finding cover.
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Old December 11, 2013, 11:53 AM   #22
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Most of the "problems" with IDPA, in my opinion, are a result of the common "search and destroy" stage designs. At my club, we rarely have downrange movement, and then, only from a start position to the initial cover position. Who, in a truly defensive situation, would go hunting for people who want to shoot at you?
All the debate about "cover extends to infinity" and "flat-footed reloads" would be moot if stage designs had little or no downrange movement. Such stages are easier to set up and officiate, but they're not very defensive, and rely on "you hear screaming from the back of . . ." scenarios to compel the shooter to go hunting.
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Old December 11, 2013, 12:08 PM   #23
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Re: IDPA or Self Practice?

I guess id say IDPA is fun practice but not real training.
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Old December 11, 2013, 12:14 PM   #24
Glenn E. Meyer
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I note that IDPA says that themselves. It's pretty accepted that it is a game but gives you some stress and trigger time for gun basics.
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Old December 11, 2013, 12:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBorland
Again, one should get self defense training of that's what they want and/or need, but IDPA's an excellent supplement to that training so long as one understands it's a game.

Seems this bears repeating: IDPA's a game, not SD training. Don't use it as a guide for what're useful & sound SD tactics, and don't criticize it for not always embracing tactically sound tactics. It's not designed to be SD training, nor does it make that claim. IDPA will help your shooting & gun handling skills and test your equipment, but if you want/need SD training, get it.
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