Competition Self Defense

Top Lessons from IDPA… So Far

I recently completed my tenth local IDPA match. I’m content with the results so far. Not only have my defensive shooting skills improved, but I’ve also picked up a handful of knowledge nuggets. I can’t claim to be an expert. I’m far from it. Most likely a novice at best. But either way, I’ll share what I’ve picked up.

This won’t be a long post as I just want to get these top lessons out there. But I do want to provide a little context. Even though I’ve carried a defensive pistol for over half a decade, I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know until I took an intermediate level pistol training class about a year ago. As I result, I took up shooting IDPA with the intent of getting better with my carry weapon because the matches provide me the opportunity to practice skills in a dynamic environment while putting me under a bit of competitive pressure. Turns out it’s also a lot of fun.

The scoring system also provides feedback to help one objectively see whether or not they are improving. Lower scores indicate improvements in speed (measured by raw time), accuracy (points down), decision making (procedural errors), and threat identification (non-threat hits).

Enough back ground, here are the top lessons I’ve taken away from shooting IDPA matches:

  1. Good defensive shooting requires balancing accuracy and speed.
  2. Repetitive practice establishes habits – both good and bad ones.
  3. You will only be able to rely on your habits while under stress.
  4. The only way to really get familiar with your equipment is to use it.
  5. Doesn’t matter how good the gun and gear are, the operator is the weakest link.
  6. Moving targets are hard to hit – even harder to hit accurately.
  7. The three most important of the seven marksmanship fundamentals are probably: grip, sight alignment, and trigger control

I most likely will elaborate on these lessons on future posts.

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