Gaming vs Real Life 'defensive' training
I was wondering what your opinions are on this, especially since many of you guys are fighters as well as gunfighters (by that I mean, military, law enforcement, etc).
You've probably heard this question before. "Is competition shooting good training for self defense/gunfights?" And by competition, I mean the more 'practical' comps such as IDPA and USPSA shooting, multigun, etc.
I've personally found it to be immensely beneficial to building my fundamentals of pistol shooting. At the top of it all are my splits (still only averages around 0.5 seconds on a 10 yard while making all the hits) that had naturally become faster as I tried to get better at the game. My reloads, draw, shooting on the move, instinctive use of cover, moving my weapon from target to target, and the timing of it all to connect it all together.
There are some parts that I don't think will translate well to a real life situation. I don't think I'll have time to plan out all my targets and visualize draws, reloads, and movements. I may not remember seeing my sights at all (if the range necessitated it, and not remembering doesn't mean not having used the sights). Since I mainly shoot IDPA, I don't really ever drop my partially empty mags. I tend to crowd cover when I want that extra closeness to my target.
Still, much like how sport fighting has taught me fundamentals like footwork, positioning, timing, defense, etc. Before that I just knew specific isolated moves or even a few steps of moves, but never really 'put it together' to further me as a fighting package.
Similarily, I feel as though competition shooting has helped immensely with my shooting. (I did play airsoft for a long time when I was younger, though) I basically went from not really knowing what to do at all, except plinking at my stall at the local range, to being able to really know how to run my gun. The difference is, I've never tested myself in the 'streetz' with a weapon like I have with my fists.
Out of the people I know with experience to both, I've heard both things. Most of the guys who are proponents have shot with me or still do shoot with me. They generally aren't as serious gamers as the top guys (except Massad Ayoob, master in all classes in IDPA), but are very good shooters that I look up to. Most of the opponents don't really shoot competition and preach 'gaming isn't like real life, you'll get yourself killed.' The skeptic in me thinks the later guys do that at least in part because they see competition shooting as a bit of competition, and probably because they aren't going to be very good at it. Must not feel good to be schooled by young gamers who shoot very well for their years of shooting, when they've been shooting for 20+ years.
To be honest, the latter sounds a lot like 'MMA/Kickboxing/Wrestling/Boxing won't work in the streetz' but what do I know, I've never been in armed/potentially armed confrontation.
So for those of you with more real life experience, what do you think?
Last edited by dwkfym; 8/12/2013 7:36pm at .
You have covered the high points yourself. If you master the mechanics/fundementals then logic dictates you would be proficient when engaged against hostile opponents in the drawing, acquiring, firing, moving to cover, reloading and repositioning. As your targets do not fire back in competition, you would not have the benefit of performing under real pressure. But, depending on the experience and proficiency of your opponent, your fundementals may be the edge that grants you victory. Myself, the training and drills and games allowed me to stay focused and effectively return fire.
I don't shoot myself but I'm curious - what is the alternative to the "gaming" environment? Paintball?
Generally these discussions limit themselves to the range environment. One group saying competition shooting participation is good training, others saying stick to defensive pistol shooter instruction. Latter tends to also state that competition shooting develops bad habits that will get you killed in real life. The former tends to be better shooters though, with some exceptions :)
Ah, this is like the kata vs sparring discussion, except that the range stuff is all kata, isn't it?
You still have training where someone shoots back, called force-on-force but it is kind of a separate matter altogether.
So its more like the discussion between a hardcore TMA vs Sport fighting style discussion, with sparring in either styles ignored completely. We're missing the 'opponent' component completely in either case, but you still get the 'training to compete with others' in other words, being able to really push yourself with competition shooting, comparing yourself against others, etc.
I'm for the competition. One example that always comes to mind for me is Carlos Hathcock (not pistols of course, but rifles). He was a badass ************ because he honed his shooting skills competing at a world class level and he combined those skills with wicked fieldcraft.
I think the same concepts apply to pistol shooting.
@dwyfym - while myself and some of my buds have used paintball as a stress reliever and just plain fun, our tactical training with firearms was with simunitions so we could continue to refine the motor skills with our duty weapons. I guess that is where my mind was on my earlier response. We have a shoothouse that we have used for various scenarios with simunitions for training.
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