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GETTING THE MOST FROM IDPAThere are two groups of people who shoot IDPA and I have no problem with either. One group is the "Gamers" who are constantly trying new guns, gear and techniques to make them faster and more likely to win. They are in it purely to win, and they do win, so they are accomplishing their goal. The other group is the "Martial Artists" who are there purely to prepare for violent confrontations. They have no need "win" the match. They feel no sense of failure after they lose because they knew they were going to lose before they got to the range. This article is aimed (no pun intended) at the beginning Martial Artists or the new guys who don't know which group they are in, let alone know the difference. If you are trying to "walk the path" I will give you a few tips. First off, shoot the match tactically. You can still move relatively fast but do it in a manner that is tactically sound. You will never win by doing this, because you must move slower, but we are not here for trophies. We are here to be better prepared to use Lethal Force in a confrontation. Use cover as it should be used. Don't stick your whole body out in the open. Use cover even if it is not required but available. Most people shoot two shots per target and blaze away at the next one. Mix it up a little by shooting three shots on every target at a match, four at the next, and all headshots at another. On the last target empty your magazine into it. Strive for 100% accuracy going at your personal fastest speed. Shoot from concealment. Yes the same concealment you actually carry your gun. Yes even if it is hot. The funniest thing I see at matches is a guy with a full size pistol doing really well at the match and take it off and put a .32 Kel-Tec in his pocket because his 1911 (or other full size pistol) is too hard to conceal. This is the same guy who is making fun of my Glock 9mm that I actually carry all of the time. Compete with the gun you carry, and carry a gun you can fight with in a manner that makes it easy to access. After you shoot the last target the timer is stopped. There is no need to "speed reholster". That is a terrible thing to teach yourself. After that last round is fired pause and scan your targets. Make up any hits outside the "A" zone. I hope these tips have shed some light on how to get the most out of an IDPA match. Who knows you might even win one sometime. If you get bored buy a weakhand holster and really freak the gamers out! Good luck! 1* James Yeager Chief Instructor OPS Southeast http://www.OptionsForPersonalSecurity.com Cutting Edge Training Across the U.S.A. A similar article:
Added comment by Robbie Robinson: There are more than two groups of shooters in IDPA. Some I have noticed are as follows, and please note, this is no way takes away from what is posted above, as Yeager is absolutely correct in his context: 1. Gamers: "Fast is always better, no matter what the scenario. I want my name to be as near the top of the list as possible. After all, trophies are everything." 2. Tacticians: "Do everything tactically, even if it is not the fastest way to shoot the stage. Don't worry about other people, what they do, or their score." 3. Gamer-tacticians "Kill everything as fast as possible. Fast is always better, no matter what." 4. Quasi-tacticians: "Do everything EXTREMELY slow and call it tactical. Forget that sometimes, slow is nothing more than lack of speed. Complain about the gamers and how they make a travesty of the sport. Complain about every penalty I recieved. Argue that the way I did it is the only correct way and that I should not get a penalty, even though what I did directly contradicted the course of fire description or IDPA rules. Bitch about this all day, to everyone, but also insist that the scores don't matter to me." 5. IDPA Purists (can also fit in as a subcategory of many of the other categories): "I'm so glad I chose IDPA over IPSC. Everyone knows that IDPA is true gunfighting and IPSC is nothing but a game. If any of those IPSC idiots ever get in a real gunfight, they will just get killed. Man, those speed reloads. I do tactical reloads, so it's obvious that I REALLY know what I'm doing." 6. Warrior gods: "Everything I do is the only way to do it because I'm a bad-ass warrior." 7. Quasi-warrior gods: "Argue about everything, because I want to let everyone know I know more than they do. Shoot every stage differently that the way described and then argue how the original stage descriptions didn't make any sense, since I know everything. The only reason I bother to shoot in IDPA is this is the only organization that shoots in my area." This person usually adds, "I've had training." 8. Got-everything-figured-out gods: "I'm the only one who realizes this isn't 'real' because I realize the targets aren't shooting back. I'm the only one here that could survive a real gun fight." This is usually a cop, military person, or someone who has survived a gunfight, and he looks upon recreational shooters with disdain as "wannabes" who really don't have any clue about anything and that should stay home since they aren't as enlightened as he is. After all, he's had training (or been in a gunfight) so how could it be possible that anyone else could know anything more than he does? Forget that just simply being a cop, or having been in a gunfight doesn't automatically make you an expert. This guy usually scores way down near the bottom, but has a litany of excuses as to why he did. 9. People who just like to shoot: "I like to shoot, and this is a good place to do it. I shoot IPSC, steel matches, and anything else, because I like the trigger time and the comraderie of the other folks." 10. Hope-to-learn-something folks: "Try to figure out a good combination of all the above, learn as much as I can, have a good time, and meet new friends."