IDPA as Training

IDPA as Training

This is a discussion on IDPA as Training within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Anyone else here use IDPA for training, as well as competition? For now, I prefer it over IPSC, because the equipment limitations make it a ...

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Thread: IDPA as Training

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    IDPA as Training

    Anyone else here use IDPA for training, as well as competition?

    For now, I prefer it over IPSC, because the equipment limitations make it a bit more realistic and practical, in my mind. I know there's a production division or something in IPSC, but you're still able to 'game' it a little with regards to holsters, mags, and mag pouches, from what I've seen.

    Once I get my holster, and I'm able to stop borrowing other people's equipment, I'll be shooting IDPA with the same gear I'll be carrying. The only difference will be with the magazines. IDPA limits you to 10-rounds per mag, and my Ruger can hold 17+1. I'll probably still carry an extra mag in case of malfunctions. Haven't decided on that yet. I'm babbling now.

    -JT


  2. #2
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    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Yes always carry an extra mag. Always. IDPA is not really training, but it is a good way to hone the basic skills. It certainly wont hurt your abilities.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  3. #3
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    Array pgrass101's Avatar
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    IDPA isn't training but practice. It helps keep up my skill base
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    A lot of people make the distinction between training and practice, especially when the subject of IDPA (or other "defensive" shooting sports) comes up.

    My personal take is that it is all practice and, while some forms of practice definitely provide better training than others (full force-on-force AirSoft is a better training opportunity than a bullseye at the range, more or less), a large part of the training aspect depends on the mindset and approach of the shooter.

    So, if you stick with real carry equipment and real concealment options, and decide that you will use barricades realistically (rather than getting every bit of 50% of your torso out in the open as the game allows) and other things like that, you can use it as a decent form of training. Obviously it won't be comprehensive training, but I doubt that's what you were thinking. You will, though, be able to train certain actions that you may not be able to do elsewhere. For me, my only other options right now are dry-fire and an indoor range. I can train specific skills like that, but IDPA gives me different options.

    Most importantly, though, have fun!
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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    Member Array Airedale's Avatar
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    IDPA,USPSA, steel challenge, etc. are all good training. You learn to handle your firearm, shoot with accuracy, reload, and clear malfunctions. You also learn to think under a bit of pressure (the timer).

    None of them train you for a bad guy shooting situation. All are games. I believe any of the gun games will make you a better shooter than simply paper punching at the range.

    I shoot USPSA, steel challenge and 3 gun. One of our local clubs is starting a monthly IDPA match. I'll shoot that too. Trigger time is good time.

    Don't buy into the one game is more tacticool than the other. They are not. Both (IDPA & USPSA)are fun and both will have rules that won't make sense. Steel Challenge is just fun and educational.

    Dave

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    For now, I won't be wearing anything that I normally wouldn't have with me, safe for eye and ear protection, and maybe a hat. Even with the eye protection, what I wear for sunglasses are ANSI Z87+, so that's my everyday wear as well.

    I know I won't likely score as high as those who are 'gaming' it, but I think it's better practice than standing behind a bench shooting at paper...though that has it's place as well.

    -JT

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    IDPA is great training. Whatelse are you going to do that even compares to running and shooting and using cover all with the addition of pressure; however, this SHOULD NOT BE YOUR ONLY TRAINING. Make a point to atleast take a class a year on advanced defensive firearm training and like a previous poster said FOF training with airsoft is fantastic.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

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    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    What is training? For training to be effective it must have a few key elements:

    -It must be controlled
    -It must be repetitive
    -It must be reinforced through coaching/mentoring

    IDPA can provide all of these things as long as you understand the limitations of the game and the safety measures built into it. IDPA can't provide you with the repetition and reinforcement required for you to build a conditioned response but it can let you practice skills you already have such as marksmanship, weapons handling, and malfunction clearances under somewhat dynamic conditions.

    Here is where IDPA is limited as a "training" tool - if you didn't have the skill when walking in the door, you aren't going to have it when you leave. IDPA is a great place to test yourself - we all need some sort of standard to test the effectiveness of our training - but there isn't enough repitition in a single match to help you reinforce a skill.

    Also, you must carefully consider who you allow to mentor you at an IDPA event - I have heard some pretty incredible things coming out of the mouth of some individuals that caused me to wonder. When getting advice from others, consider the source, their motovations, and their life experiences. I used to shoot IDPA with a SWAT team commander, he had a lot of good information to impart. I also shot with some folks who were big in the IPSC and USPSA communities, I learned from them too just not the same things.

    Go to a match and have fun, but take notes on things you didn't do so well at. Then go home and develop a personal training plan to help you train to do those things better, just remember to be careful about training for the game and not life.

    I like shooting IDPA because it lets me know what techniques I need to work on in my personal training plan. My only problem is limiting myself to two shots in the torso, if the target doesn't go down I usually want to keep shooting it.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array jualdeaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    IDPA isn't training but practice. It helps keep up my skill base
    I shoot IDPA quite often and I have to totally agree.

    And for those who said IDPA is a good way to practice malfunctions I'd probably have to agree if I ever actually have a malfunction.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    IDPA is great parctice and exercise, but it sure isn't situational training. It gives you the opportunity to reload, run, shoot from concealment, slice the pie and all, but doesn't give any sort of direction- just that fast wins.

    It's an excecllent opportunity to run you carry gear, test new ammo, drop some old mags in the mud, drink some coffee, eat some donuts and have a good old time.
    Last edited by Shizzlemah; March 10th, 2008 at 11:09 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    To me, 'training' is a mindset, more than anything else. It's possible to have both training and practice from the same activity.

    Just my opinion.

    -JT

  12. #12
    Member Array PaulBk's Avatar
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    My 2 cents

    We are blessed with a number of active IDPA clubs nearby and many hold two sessions per week, one for competition and one for informal 'practice'.

    As a relatively new IDPA shooter, I find the 'practice' sessions as valuable or more than the actual matches. We have a couple of good shooting instructors who participate and they are very helpful, correcting my minor mistakes and offering suggestions for improvement. I run the CoF once on my own, receive guidance, and re-run to correct my errors.

    I can then use the actual competition day to see the results of my 'practice'.

    -Paul
    Hero's aren't born, they're cornered - According to Jim

  13. #13
    Member Array Cruel Hand Luke's Avatar
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    Right on PaulBK!!

    It is a validation or a critique of how well you have ingrained the key skills to running your gun and of your ability to run your gun and shoot accurately under the stress of a timer and your peers watching you perform.

    It is NOT training. If you look at IDPA as TRAINING then you really need to take a step back and look at the big picture.

    I do not know ANY professional trainers that take students to an IDPA match for the day as stand alone training block. Why? Training is repetitive focused work on specific key skills in an attempt to ingrain those things so that you can do them on a subconscious level while your conscious mind is concerned with problem solving.Matches are tests of whether the skills are mastered or not. Boxers do not go right to a match their first day in the gym. They learn the skills drilling them over and over again until they are ingrained. Then they work to combine them. Just sparring is NOT what makes good boxers.

    Same with IDPA. If you do not shoot well, IDPA is not going to make you a better shot. Working on shooting mechanics with a good instructor will. If you cannot perform reloads quickly, IDPA matches will not speed up your reloads. Working that at home until you can do it fast with your eyes closed will. The match does not make your skills better. TRAINING makes your skills better.

    Having said that, I have taken a student to a match after working with him several times to improve his gunhandling and marksmanship. But the match was not so much training as an intro to shooting under stress and a test of how well he had internalized his gunhandling and marksmanship skills.


    I shoot IDPA matches to get regular practice running my gear and employing marksmanship under self imposed pressure of doing well. THAT is where I feel the true value of IDPA is. Shooting is largely binary....you can do it or you can't. If you can't do it under stress, then that is an indictment of your training regimen. That is where IDPA matches fit in as far as I am concerned.
    Randy Harris
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    NRA Certified Instructor
    Master Class IDPA SSP

    TRAIN with me....http://www.suarezinternationalstore....px?find=harris

  14. #14
    Member Array TonyB's Avatar
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    we shoot once a week in our idpa league...poeple do it for different reasons...some it's like bowling,just a fun sport.Others want to use their guns and carry stuff and alot of ranges have no provision for drawing from concealment and shooting fake bad guys.I guess I am somewhere inbetween.I often use guns I never carry,but have for home defense..sometimes when I do use my ccw(smith 642)my times are crappy,but it does make you learn to shoot fast and accurate..IDPA makes it a point to say it's a game(probably for legal reasons)and if it is your only time to shoot your carry stuff,it's better than nothing....that being said,mind set is everything.
    "Just because I'm paranoid,doesn't mean they're NOT after me...."

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    I am an IDPA member and I shoot in matches. I don't consider it training per se but I do consider it practice that helps to keep your gunfighting skills honed.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

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