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Old October 4, 2007, 07:14 PM   #1
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The Value of Competing

Just wondering what you guys think... I see tremendous value in shooting competions and I understand that there are a huge number of skills that can be refined in competing that would be directly applicable to real world situations. What are some skills that shooting games (specifically IDPA) fail to exersise and what are some bad habits that these games may contribute to? I think for learning to shoot under pressure and for learning how to manipulate your firearm in a semi stressful environment, shooting games are tops, but I'd be interested to hear what you guys think may be some serious drawbacks to competing.
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Old October 4, 2007, 07:29 PM   #2
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Stress is good.

Making repetitive stupid choices is bad.

Look at what poeple are doing and ask that stupid?

If someone was shooting at me, is this how I would take cover?

If something was going down, is this how I would respond?

Am I training shoot/don't shoot scenarios?

I for one have drawn and shot a lot less than drawn and avoided the conflict in some other way. When your mental blueprint under stress is to draw and fire then you are likely to do what you have trained.
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Old October 4, 2007, 08:01 PM   #3
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+1 on what he said ^^^

as for me:
I've never liked the 'drop the mag, empty chamber, hammer down' rule.

we walk around all day every day never knowing who has a concealed weapon, Why if we're qualified to be there, can't we just excercise the same safety we do on the street?

Oh, and that turn and run with your gun pointed behind you thing. When are we going to use that on the street??

Ken Hackathorn was once told by a student "Sir, I saw your muzzle in that snake drill" Ken replied " son, you're on swat, you're gonna see those in real life too, get over it."
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Old October 4, 2007, 08:27 PM   #4
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Competition teaches you to focus on the task at hand regardless of the environment.
Shoot from akward positions
Safer gun handling under pressure
How to deal with stress (since stress is self-induced).
How to focus your concentration
To shoot faster and more accurately (if you get proper instruction).
To become unconsciously competent (more accurately subconsciously)
The list is very long

Bad training in IDPA:
Cover - requiring the shooter to shoot from behind it is not necessarily good. Most of the time you will not have time to seek cover irl and seeking cover could be fatal (you should seek cover before the shooting starts).
Reloads w/retention - one of the dumbest requirements IMO. For civilians there is no need to practice or teach someone to worry about a partially full magazine.
This list is long too.

Overall, competition is one of the best methods for training.
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Old October 4, 2007, 08:50 PM   #5
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If nothing else, to shoot your weapon and become familiar with it.

I imagine there a too many concealed weapon holders who shoot maybe 100 rounds a year.

If, God forbid, one of us ever has to use it to protect ourselves or a loved one from a deadly confrontation, I hope they can use it effectively.
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Old October 4, 2007, 08:53 PM   #6
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One negative thing that I've noticed about all the IDPA matches I've been involved with is that there are very few stages that have targets within 7 yards. I know blasting at targets 2-3 yards away isn't much of a challenge but I think its much more reality based as opposed to shooting at targets 10-20 yards away which is what the majority of required shots seems to be. I for one love IDPA and I don't want to beat it up to much, but I think having to make a lot of 15 yard + shots while being challenging for the game, is not really practical for the streets.
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Old October 5, 2007, 09:17 AM   #7
David Armstrong
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IMO the most serious thing about competing is that too many people cannot tell the difference between good tactics for competition and good tactics for actual fights. Competition is good, and I support all of it, from Bullseye to IDPA to Silhoutte to whatever. Trigger time is something most need more of. But realizing that a match and a fight are not the same and being able to recognize what skills are needed at the right time are essential.
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Old October 5, 2007, 10:14 AM   #8
Rob Pincus
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I agree with what David said.. know the difference. You an get good isolated skills practice at a match (shooting, reloading, drawing, etc), but the rules often make the tactics questionable at best.... and you can get a lot of bad habits too.

In context, it isn't bad... but don't kid yourself about it being "training".
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Old October 5, 2007, 09:08 PM   #9
matthew temkin
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I'll go with Dave's insights as well.
Many of the old timers loved to shoot in competition, but they knew what was real and what was not.
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