Someone who posts on one or two of the forums I participate in has declared that they will have nothing to do with “gamer” — competition shooting — ideas. Not useful to the student of gunfighting, he thinks.
He’s not stupid saying that, but he is short-sighted and unimaginative saying that.
It’s not that you can use competitions as training opportunities. Don’t get me wrong about that. But the “gamer” environment, as he puts it, can offer several things to the thinking gunfighter:
An opportunity to practice techniques that have been learned in training. (Obvious examples: Reloads and the drawstroke and presentation.)
An opportunity to practice those techniques under pressure that we can’t always generate during other range practice.
To do this properly, you have to a) commit to competing in as much of your normal carry gear the way you normally carry (normal cover, in other words) as the competition rules will allow. You will also have to school yourself to not worry about your scores as much as your performance during the exercises…er, stages of the competition. And you have to resist the urge to start modifying things to enhance competition performance at the expense of fighting potential.
What is not considered as much that competitions offer are exercises and scenarios you can use in your own training. It’s much easier to take what has already been done, change it to fit what resources you have for set-up and to eliminate the pure game elements of the scenario, and run it for your own practice and training edification. There are lots of IDPA scenarios available to searches that will provide you a good bit of variety and solid training once you tweak them toward fight-training and not point-scoring emphasis.
It’s like everything else in this area of study. Look at what is available and use what you’ve got to benefit you as much as possible. Save time and conserve resources while enhancing your own capability.
Not a bad thing, even if it is a “game” that provides it, don’t you think?