14 Responses to Question of the Day: How Relevant is This to Real World Self-Defense?

  1. It's a hell of a lot more relevant than most of the "practicing" that is done at the range: Standing still, alone, shooting slow, reloading slowly and haphazardly, while not using muzzle discipline. IDPA tries to be more lifelike, with concealment garments and stricter rules for allowable mods to your weapon. The adrenaline rush you get while competing in front of peers contributes to training and so does trying to move and shoot, do it from different positions and behind "cover".

    Not bashing any groups here, but if you had to choose a partner to support you in a pistol fight, would it be an IDPA Master (a notch below the best), a LEO trained by his department , or an Army vet who had seen a little combat?

  2. IDPA and IPSC are nothing more than games. The do offer a great opportunity for trigger time and they are a great way to increase your gun handling and shooting skills. Keep in mind that many of the tactics that it takes to win at those games will get you killed on the street.

    • Rabbi, since I am relatively unfamiliar with both the competitions and actual gunfighting, which tactics that one would use in the competitions will get you killed in an actual fight?

  3. "The do offer a great opportunity for trigger time and they are a great way to increase your gun handling and shooting skills."

    That statement is in line with what I said about the games being more relevant to real world shooting than most practice.

    I agree that certain approaches such as double tapping every target and choosing targets based on a round count or clock is not as real as assessing threat priorities and shooting to stop a threat. I think the games are a great way to get up to speed for tactical classes given by the greats like Vickers, Hackathorn, Leatham and others. That is the route I am taking.

  4. Hmm, Let's see
    Target acquisition skills,
    Recognition of no shoot targets
    reloading skills
    firing on the move
    muzzle control
    exercise — not much but more than standing on the firing line slowly shooting

    Naa….nothing relevant to the real world self defense

  5. Lance,
    Here's a quick few off the top of my head:
    Reloading in the open
    Not using cover at all
    When using cover, covering only 50% of your body
    When using cover, not using multiple locations and heights
    Being able to stand still while shooting
    Importance of speed over proper hits (primarily IPSC)
    Hitting every paper target with 2 shots (most, but not all stages are set up that way) instead of shooting until the threat stops
    Hitting some targets only once (steel)–see above
    Not engaging that targets of greatest threats first (primarily IPSC)
    No thought given to surroundings or bystanders (other than a few no-shoot targets)
    All stages require immediate shooting rather than a decision considering retreat or challenging or not shooting at all
    Engaging one target completely before moving to the next-on the street one each continually is best
    Bursting through doors without pieing
    180 rule -no such rule on the street
    Many people use a competition gun rather than their carry gun. Even those in production often shoot a Glock or something similar yet carry a j-frame
    Tactical reloads
    No consideration of people you are responsible for such as spouse, child, etc.–tactics WILL change if you have people with you that you need to keep safe
    Fighting is thinking, not shooting. There is NO thinking involved.
    All IDPA/IPSC solutions are a gun

  6. "major dude"? Is that kosher?

    Here's a few more that I thought of after my initial post:

    Sometimes stages are intentionally set up to force the shooter to push the gun through openings such as doors and windows which will telegraph your position and open you to a gun disarm

    Mandatory reloads when none are needed

    Some shooters reload their ammo to just barely above the acceptable power factor level, but carry full power on the street

    No threat scanning after the engagement

    Cold range – shooters should reload after fight and keep their gun hot

    There is no threat evaluation and no measure response.

    There is an obvious solution on the range (and walk throughs in IPSC) whereas the street requires quick thinking and the solution may not be singular nor obvious

  7. Bob S; let's evaluate the "benefits" you mentioned:

    "Target acquisition skills" –locating a brown piece of cardboard attached to target stand out in the open in broad daylight that is motionless and not attacking you does not parallel any real life experience I have had.

    "Recognition of no shoot targets" — see above but replace "brown" with "white" with no real consequences when "innocent bystanders" hit by bullets

    "reloading skills" — Agreed. I did say above; competitions are a "great way to increase your gun handling and shooting skills"

    "firing on the move"– Agreed, however, the competition shooter stays usually out in the open instead of moving to concealment or cover and is usually moving quite slow. I tend to move quite fast when being shot at and find it difficult to shoot when running for my life towards cover.

    "muzzle control"–limited to none in competition. All you have to do is not run your muzzle past the 180 line and you are fine in competition. No jail time for pointing your gun at "no shoots." No jail time for misses that hit a bystander

    "exercise — not much but more than standing on the firing line slowly shooting " –If that's all the exercise you get you are not fit to fight.

    Don't get me wrong, I love IDPA and IPSC. Just don't mistake it for tactical training and remember to temper your competition training with street tactics.

    • Rabbi,

      First and foremost, I want to address this
      If that's all the exercise you get you are not fit to fight.

      What a crock!! Guess the people who are in wheel chairs or morbidly obese should just give up and die instead of trying to fight, eh?

      How fit do you have to be to fight the average mugging or robbery attempt? It isn't like it is a running gun battle over mountains and through the swamps.
      I simply listed that it was a benefit of the competition and it is. You can not deny that unless you say that some exercise is worse than none?

      Next moving on to your other critiques — consider me confused — or not able to understand your confusing statements

      Fighting is thinking, not shooting. There is NO thinking involved

      If fighting is thinking, then developing the mental processes to distinguish between 'shoot' and 'no shoot' targets is a process that will carry over to the streets. If the use of no-shoot targets is of no benefit, why do police academies still use the same process?

      the competition shooter stays usually out in the open instead of moving to concealment or cover and is usually moving quite slow. I tend to move quite fast when being shot at and find it difficult to shoot when running for my life towards cover.

      Now, I don't know your background but I don't see how it is relevant unless you've been the victim of many street crimes. Because that is what we are talking about, isn't it?

      Unless you can show that the most success in self defense involves running and gunning, then I think that the mental aspect is the most important, followed by the physical gun handling skills, trailed by physical conditioning.

      Wouldn't you agree?

      Just don't mistake it for tactical training and remember to temper your competition training with street tactics.

      And just exactly how many events are being put on where people can get experience with street tactics?

  8. I will agree with the Rabbi on this (crazy, I know!). IPSC/IDPA is great practice for gun-handling, i.e. properly unholstering (open class doesn't apply here), reloading without looking at the gun, trigger control, sight-picture acquisition skills, etc. It also increases peoples "comfort zone" in carrying a loaded pistol (always carry a loaded gun with one in the pipe, except on extremely rare occasions). IPSC and IDPA are also a whole lot of fun and I encourage anyone who is interested in increasing their handling skills to give it a try. As the Rabbi said, use your carry gun and not something specifically for competitions. Practicing with a Glock in a pancake OWB, but carrying a j-frame in a Nemesis in-the-pocket holster isn't going to help you much when SHTF. Go through enough matches and you'll soon learn the true meaning of "slow is smooth and smooth is fast". Competition shouldn't replace scenario or FOF training for those who truly want to expand their "tactics". BTW Rabbi – I still don't care, I use the slide release on ALL my reloads!

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