Life-Survival Training vs. IDPA

Life-Survival Training vs. IDPA

SWAT team training is difficult, and the conditions must be tightly controlled for safety.

My opinion is that debating the topic of "life-survival training versus IDPA" is meaningless. Training to survive armed confrontations is not--and certainly should not be done as--a game or a contest. In life-survival training, each student should be taught at his own pace so that he can absorb, digest and analyze the instruction and apply this during practical applications throughout the training cycle.

Often, for advanced students, force-on-force exercises are run where the students are engaged by role players, with both students and role players armed with safely modified nonlethal-firing arms in scripted scenarios. There is just no debate as to the practicality of action competition when compared to this intensity of training. Paper and steel targets don't shoot back.


However, there are some practical, usable, real-world skills that can be developed by participating in IDPA and rising through the ranks. A shooter ranked Master in any IDPA division has developed great skill at handgun manipulation, including target acquisition and recoil control, and he understands trigger control and sight alignment. He is also well able to "think on his feet," as it were, for in IDPA events, you are not allowed to repeatedly "walk through" courses to figure out the best way to shoot the stage.



In both training and sport shooting, the individual is stressed, but fighting for your life is not replicated in IDPA. In real-world applications, avoidance by awareness is normally the first and best choice. You "win" the fight by not being there. Next, most personal, life-threatening encounters, barring mass terrorist attacks, can be solved by either not firing a single shot or with less than a full magazine or cylinder of ammunition. Although any such stage in IDPA would be very realistic, not many would want to engage that kind of problem on a regular basis in a contest. And certainly, if force need be used, firing one shot in one problem and two or three shots in another just wouldn't cut it with most IDPA shooters. A match that consumes fewer than 18 rounds is very real but will be under-attended by all but the most die-hard realists.

Sport shooting should be taken for what it offers--an opportunity to develop great gun-handling and shooting skills. If street survival is the goal, IDPA does contribute part of the necessary skills but not nearly all of them.


Working a corner under time constraints is a game, although good habits can be developed if the competitor so chooses.

(NOTE: The author's opinions are his own and are not the official views of the directors or officers of IDPA.)


For more information or to join IDPA, contact the International Defensive Pistol Association, Dept. HG, P.O. Box 639, Berryville, AR 72616-0639; (870) 545-3886; fax: (870) 545-3894; www.idpa.com; e-mail: IDPA.org@yournet.com

Recommended for You

SIG SAUER has introduced the American Made P210 Standard pistol to the U.S. Commercial Market. Semi-Auto

SIG P210 Standard Pistol: Legendary and American Made

Handguns Online Staff - April 23, 2019

SIG SAUER has introduced the American Made P210 Standard pistol to the U.S. Commercial Market.

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer SKU # 180023) is an easy-racking, soft-shooting pistol. Compact

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 Review

James Tarr - November 06, 2018

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer...

The CTS Targets 2x4 X Base Pro comes with four X-base segments, the base itself, a target hanger and a target. Accessories

CTS 2x4 X Base Pro Kit with AR500 Steel Target

J. Scott Rupp

The CTS Targets 2x4 X Base Pro comes with four X-base segments, the base itself, a target...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Handgun Basics

Handgun Basics

SIG Academy's Hana Bilodeau joins Rich and Jim to discuss the essential skills all handgunners should master.

Teaching New Shooters

Teaching New Shooters

Julie Golob of Team Smith & Wesson guest stars, joining Jim and Scott for a discussion of how best to introduce new shooters to the sport.

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

Speer's Jared Hinton shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun load.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Eliphalet Remington's world initially revolved around flintlock rifles at the time, and while early 1911

Remington Timeline: 2011 - R1 Pistol Is Introduced

Handguns Online Staff - September 09, 2016

Eliphalet Remington's world initially revolved around flintlock rifles at the time, and while...

I don't have a distinct recollection of the first time I reloaded a cartridge – it's been a long Ammo

To Cast a Good Bullet

Bart Skelton - June 28, 2012

I don't have a distinct recollection of the first time I reloaded a cartridge – it's been a...

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat Training

Pro Tips For Controlling Recoil

Richard Nance - April 11, 2017

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat

See More Stories

More Training

Richard Nance demonstrates training techniques to improve your one-handed shooting skills. Training

Tactical Tip: One-Handed Shooting

Richard Nance - January 12, 2018

Richard Nance demonstrates training techniques to improve your one-handed shooting skills.

Dry fire training is a great way to keep your skills sharp. Training

Dry Fire Training

Richard Nance - September 18, 2019

Dry fire training is a great way to keep your skills sharp.

This drill will help you improve your draw speed and target transitions—along with recoil mitigation, and sight picture and trigger control. Training

Improving Draw Speed and Target Transitions

Josh Froelich - August 01, 2019

This drill will help you improve your draw speed and target transitions—along with recoil...

See More Training

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.