Monday, April 16, 2007

World's Greatest Shooter: Competition Good Test of Ability

"I recently ran a class of military shooters and among other things, ran them through the IDPA classifier, participated in a local steel match and shot the Arizona State IDPA Championships!

Let me share with you some interesting observations. They get more wound up and nervous in a match than they do in combat! Why? Because they have time to think about it and get tense! I respect these guys opinion more than ANY so-called tactician out there who is sure he knows the tricks to surviving an armed confrontation. These guys have been doing that a bunch lately, and think IDPA and IPSC shooting both offer much to the testing phase of ones' ability.

On the other hand, they--to a man--do not agree with the philosophies that either is inherently more practical. All the little things like which way do you turn or where you do the load is all something that we can discuss all day on the range, but on the battlefield, men do things that may not be considered practical or tactical and live because they did it fast, accurately and decisively. On the other hand, there are those who did it "right" by some folks judgment and still lost. We all have our ideas of how it should be done, and the rules of the existing games are just that, someone's ideas.

To say going to any kind of shooting event will teach you technique that will get you killed is idiotic and irresponsible. Guys, it is cool to have your own plan but do not try to pass it off as gospel to the rest of us. A discussion of technique and philosophy seldom ends with agreement, but that does not make the other guy wrong or stupid. These are just games designed to test your abilities in a very controlled and pre-planned arena. Who wins [these games] is your best shot, not your most likely survivor [of a real gunfight]. That cannot be tested under the clock. However, those that master executing under the timer are probably more likely to do well in a pressure situation than someone who chokes, misses or gets procedural penalties. This is a point the boys all agree on, thus they train hard and test themselves in the arena of competition to see what they know and whether they can do it."

Rob Leatham



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