I’ve been considering the idea of shooting competitions lately and have found a catch 22 that has my brain spinning. In the past, these events have been sold to me as great opportunities to practice self-defense techniques while putting the body under certain pressures it might experience in a real high-stress situation. At the same time, I recently had an instructor say to me, “Don’t worry about keeping your eye on the target (when reloading). This is competition, not war.” So I guess I’m a bit confused. Are we athletes, preppers, or maybe neither?
In a real life situation IDPA rules won’t apply. “Tac Irons” will be compared with “Open” divisions. One person will walk away a winner, period. As we train for speed and accuracy, yes, we will gain a tactical advantage in the use of our weapon, but we are also training to conform to the rules of IPSC, 3Gun Nation ect. Might we be training ourselves into bad habits for life? Further, we compete against numbers on a score sheet. These numbers don’t always translate into the real world. Heck, they don’t even translate from one organization to another. USPSA and IPSC may compare similar abilities, but with differing rules, divisions and methods of testing. We can’t compare their outcomes.
So you won the match did you? Well ok, but your time was not as good as that of the younger person in the same division. Or your time was better, but you got to use a scope and a speed loader. How is a shooter ever supposed to “win” one of these things? And if one does “win” does this skill translate to the street?