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Competition, Action Shooting And Training. Competition, Three gun, IPSC, IDPA , and Training discussion here.

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  #41  
Old 10-09-2021, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SG29736 View Post
That's what the "make ready" command is for. On each stage you get the opportunity to draw your gun, take a sight picture if you want, load and holster, all without firing a shot. On every stage. Then on the start signal you can draw and get some gun handling and shooting practice in. Tell him that. You aren't shooting everytime you draw your gun. If he wants to after the start signal he can even draw his gun, run around to each position, look at the targets, and decide not to shoot them. Problem solved.
I've read many ridiculous things on Calguns, but that may be the most.

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Old 10-10-2021, 8:57 AM
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I've read many ridiculous things on Calguns, but that may be the most.

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Old 10-10-2021, 9:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ysr_racer View Post
Years ago when I was shooting USPSA my buddy was a Santa Ana cop. I invited him to a match, but he declined.

He said he didn't want to get in the habit of shooting his gun, every time he pulled it out of the holster.

And that made sense.

In USPSA every time I pull my gun out, I shoot it. As a Santa Ana cop, he said he's pulled his gun out dozens and dozens of times, and only shot one guy.

Your millage may vary.
It does make sense, and the science (neuroscience) supports his theory. What he says wouldn't make sense to someone who hasn't experienced shooting in the sympathetic state, but it's something commonly experienced by those who have been in gunfights and/or properly structured Force-on-Force training, and is also experienced in competition to a lesser degree.

When stress levels are high, the brain will often default to whatever action has been practiced the most as a response to a given stimuli. On the street that may equate to shooting someone who didn't need to be shot, doing a mag dump when one, two, or three rounds were all that was required, etc., and one example in competition is how you can walk a stage ten times, do another ten reps visualizing it in your head, and then come out and shoot it in a different order, while you witness it in real-time, almost from a third-person perspective, yet are unable to change course in the moment. Sometimes that's due to lack of experience, but it's often due to having a lot of reps of a particular response to a particular stimulus, so many that the response has been deeply engrained as a neural pathway. Then, under a certain type and level of stress, that neural network then runs like a "subroutine" in a computer in that once "play" is pressed, it's going to run until it's finished.

Now, whether he would have gotten training scars from attending a few matches is a different subject, but my opinion is that he would be fine attending some matches, and probably better off for it. But he's not wrong as to his theory that you (could/can) develop training scars, but there are a lot of variables that go into that...and as mentioned in one of my earlier comments, for most people it's not going to be an issue.
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Old 10-10-2021, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rodralig View Post
I can't say about real stuff, but I did a 1-on-2 FoF once. I won by 12-to-2, luckily.

I think my advantage was my target transitions and calling the shots. It maybe as small as 0.5~1.0-sec advantage - but I would imagine that in a gunfight, it is good as any advantage worth taking. Movement were not so much because I was from cover/concealment.

Thanks for the recommendations. I will be checking them...

As mentioned above, I will see what TAC-1 and Tactical Hyve can offer...



Like anything - there is always a progression.

For starters, I would assume tactics suitable for home defense? Cornering, cover/concealment, etc. Then 1-on-1, then 1-on2, etc.

If I had to narrow down the areas:
  • Cornering, cover/concealment, clearing, etc.
  • Vehicles
  • Active shooter
  • Low light

_
I think that's a reasonable list to pursue.

I've heard Bill Rapier, Kyle Defoor, and Tom Kier all describe "fighting" as being comprised of three fundamental components: Time, Force, and Space, and that you need to control two of those variables to own the fight (all of those guys are Sayoc Kali practitioners, so they either got it from Tom Kier, and/or it came from the Sayoc system).

In terms of controlling Space, I believe Cornering is the core, foundational skill/tactic everything else is built on. The world is made up of corners (or at least objects, structures, and people that can 'be cornered') a typical doorway has three (top and sides), an upstairs/basement door may have four (bottom), a car has corners (top, bottom, and sides). Anytime you are using cover or concealment you are cornering, even if there's a single tree in a wide open field between you and the threat, that tree may need to get worked like a corner, albeit from a distance. Stairwells are full of nasty corners, I'm looking at one right now that requires dealing with 7 corners to get to, and off, the top landing, and that's a single floor of stairs. Just clearing a closet in your home is going to involve decisions regarding which side/corner of the door to set up on, what does the threat see from his perspective, etc. Other than the 50/50, 1 vs. 1 Stand-and-Deliver gunfight, a dynamic encounter is probably going to involve angles and corners.

My point: It would be useful to find an instructor capable of doing a deep dive on cornering. That person may even be someone who doesn't shoot as well (technically) as you, as long as they know what you're there to learn. It's not wizardry and it's not that complicated, but there are a few core principles to understand, and then if you want to be able to access it (efficiently) under stress, it needs to be repped in FoF to bake it in.

With regards to FoF: It's a great training modifier, but there is good FoF training, and there is mediocre FoF training. If the instructor you are thinking of training with is not already widely known for delivering credible FoF training, then the minimum qualification I would be looking for is a relevant certification from a credible organization, such as the Simunition FX Scenario Instructor and Safety Certification. https://simunition.com/en/training_c...ly/description. That won't tell you if the so-certified instructor is a Jedi in that niche, but it does mean they'll understand all of the safety issues of FoF as well as the basics of how to construct and run scenarios. Tangentially, here's a good article from a guy with a lot of experience teaching force-on-force: https://www.defensivecarry.com/threa...ntation.26284/

Probably the two most crucial aspects (after safety) to good FoF, are (1) that it's structured and run in a way that precludes any sort of gaming--and having an agreement beforehand with the students (and role players) not to game, isn't enough. It has to be baked into the way the course is run. And (2), just like developing technical shooting skills, it has to be done with enough repetition that actual learning occurs (retained to long-term memory and accessible when in sympathetic state). A few FoF scenarios in a year might be fun, but the benefits will be negligible compared to getting 20 or 40 hours of structured FoF. And if an 8-hour block of FoF instruction doesn't provide you at least, say, 15 reps of man-on-man or man-on-men, it probably isn't worth your time (imagine doing 15 reps of dry firing a new drill and expecting it to take, and FoF is considerably more complex than that).

The reason FoF is usually conducted without enough repetition typically comes down to resources: Sims rounds, and the kits to run them, are expensive, as are role players, specifically ones who have the maturity to always act in teaching mode versus ego mode, and the toughness to sustain lots of hits without slipping from teaching to ego mode. That's where airsoft comes in: Inexpensive to run multiple scenarios and less liability exposure. In a perfect world we'd be running sims, all day long, wearing a mask that allows us to get our real cheek weld (if on long guns) and using whatever sighting (and lighting) system we have set up on our carry weapon. Airsoft comes in as pretty close second in terms of realistic weapon handling (excluding reloads), and if you keep students to a single layer of clothing, they can still feel the hits, you just have to pay more visual attention to keeping them honest with regards to the hits they take, given there won't be any paint as evidence, and students (and role players) default to sneaky tricks unless trained otherwise.

I'd also look for a FoF instructor that starts off slow (Crawl-Walk-Run) because, while "stress inoculation" is a good thing, too much stress, too early in the learning process, can have a negative impact on learning and operational effectiveness. Seems like common sense, but there are a few schools out there that have "stress inoculation" conflated with hardening up. Lighting trainees up with mag dumps or otherwise crushing students in the Crawl and Walk phases is counter productive and sometimes achieves the complete opposite of the desired effect.

Also know that, a guy with a primarily LE background is (typically) going to teach one type of cornering (typically slower/methodical) and someone who was an assaulter in the military is going to have a different take on it (Different threats, different rules of engagement, different liability, different resources, different training). Both styles can/may be applicable for your purposes, as long as you understand the Why behind the differences.

I can't speak to HYVE as I have not trained with them. It looks like they have some guys with solid experience on staff...that doesn't always equate to expertise in a niche, but it's more likely than at a school with less-qualified instructors. I'll be interested to read your AAR if you train with them.

If you were planning on doing a deep dive into FoF, I would add this guy to your list https://surefire.news/warfighter-academy-training/ with some caveats. He is Jedi-level, in a number of areas I would classify him as "without equal"...but I won't say that all of his concepts meet that standard, which is why I recommend him only if you are going to also train with someone else (so you can have a point of reference to compare his teaching to, and then to then filter out what you need). He also has experience successfully using what he teaches, in combat. Like I wrote, he's Jedi-level at what he does, but not where I'd go if I was only ever taking one FoF course. But if you are committed to developing real skill in that niche, he is a must-train-with IMO.

Edit: here's my AAR of a course that was focused on solo clearing with the goal of extracting yourself and/or an unarmed person from an active shooter-type situation. Very different than pairs/team clearing. I forgot to add Graham to the list with Bill Rapier and Craig Douglas, but his course is attendance-worthy as well: https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/....php?t=1322075
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  #45  
Old 10-10-2021, 7:07 PM
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., and one example in competition is how you can walk a stage ten times, do another ten reps visualizing it in your head, and then come out and shoot it in a different order, while you witness it in real-time, almost from a third-person perspective, yet are unable to change course in the moment. .
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Old 10-11-2021, 8:52 AM
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Wow, this thread turned out to be so much better than I thought. Thanks to everyone that contributed. It was extremely eye opening.

I heard Rob Leatham tell a class of "operators" that he was there to teach them how to shoot fast and accurate. He was not a tactical guy. But, he didn't think you would want to break into his house....

I think a lot of this depends on what you want to learn from a tactical type class. For me, I don't have a CCW, so I am not going to have an encounter in the bank or 7-11 or whatever where I need to draw and engage bad guys. My engagements are going to be in my house if they ever happen.

I have also predetermined, what I will or will not defend with lethal force. It is pretty simple, just me and my family. So the tactics I need to practice and understand relate to those options. That is what I practice and drill. Bad guys entering from different places, going to different places with various family members in various places. In the dark, in the light and so forth. How to get to our safe room and defend vs how to escape vs a running fight.

I try and take classes around learning those types of skills.

One thought. I agree with Rod about being one of the good shooters in a tactical class, but not the same in a comp class (I am also a B class shooter). If you watch of the the Navy SEAL videos where they shoot their handgun test, any B or C class guy could smoke them. However, I don't think the same in regards to doing that when 10 bad guys are shooting at me after I just jumped from a plane and hiked 5 miles.
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Old 10-11-2021, 9:38 AM
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Unless you are on the job (LEO, armed guard or military) your need for tactics is less important than your need for on demand performance of the fast draw and quick accurate shot placement and target assessment. This is where competition comes in.

The chance of you getting into a fire fight is already small, its even smaller that you get into one with someone that is equally or better capable than you if you actually train/compete.
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:03 AM
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I think a lot of this depends on what you want to learn from a tactical type class. For me, I don't have a CCW, so I am not going to have an encounter in the bank or 7-11 or whatever where I need to draw and engage bad guys. My engagements are going to be in my house if they ever happen.
You will have an encounter wherever the trouble finds you. Even if you're not armed, a lot of tactical concepts apply to the confrontation. Everything evasive in nature, such as "getting off X" and "finding cover" are the same. So is the movement through the building, getting to a safe zone, and escaping.

You cannot return fire, but you can still do quite a bit to increase your chances. Especially if there are others around who panic and provide a distraction.

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I have also predetermined, what I will or will not defend with lethal force. It is pretty simple, just me and my family.
This is by all means correct, just wanted to mention that it's really not up to you to "predetermine." The law in CA does not allow for lethal force to protect property. I believe in TX there is a choice, but not in CA.

It is important to understand how the law works and to understand the difference between "I was protecting my dog" (property) and "An intruder in my house (armed or not) is presumed to have intent of great bodily harm" (self defense).
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Stumpfenhammer View Post
It does make sense, and the science (neuroscience) supports his theory. What he says wouldn't make sense to someone who hasn't experienced shooting in the sympathetic state, but it's something commonly experienced by those who have been in gunfights and/or properly structured Force-on-Force training, and is also experienced in competition to a lesser degree.

...

Now, whether he would have gotten training scars from attending a few matches is a different subject, but my opinion is that he would be fine attending some matches, and probably better off for it. But he's not wrong as to his theory that you (could/can) develop training scars, but there are a lot of variables that go into that...and as mentioned in one of my earlier comments, for most people it's not going to be an issue.
The problem with this is that you're treating a vast number of disparate skills as a single skill.

Yes, the brain "reverts to training" (in simplified terms), but no, assessing the situation, deciding whether to shoot, movement, cover, clearing rooms and other non-shooting skills are NOT conflated in the brain. These skills are quite different and not directly related. A person will not decide to draw the gun and start shooting everybody in sight with two rounds, or subconsciously skip anyone in a white t-shirt.

What will happen is that when the shooting *starts*, the brain will revert to the known pattern of shooting, where the sights and trigger pull will work subconsciously, but the person will still be in charge of target selection. Even in competition, one never engages any object that is not a target. There is no reason a person who trains to *shoot well* will somehow mix shooting with tactics or target selection.
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:26 AM
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The chance of you getting into a fire fight is already small, its even smaller that you get into one with someone that is equally or better capable than you if you actually train/compete.
Exactly, the chances an SF trained assailant is breaking into the home of a SWAT trained LEO is pretty much zero.

That is unless there's some sort of Rambo First Blood engagement, and we all know how that goes.
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:40 AM
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He said he didn't want to get in the habit of shooting his gun, every time he pulled it out of the holster.

Your millage may vary.
Not all Cops are into guns and shooting. Many dread qualification time, and just want to get through it so they don't have remedial training just to keep their job.

Those who practice frequently what they do are invariably better at it when they do it.
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:42 AM
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I'm a bit late to this thread, but here is my 2c.

Competition is a huge benefit to tactical guys and it's only ego that prevents them from competing and becoming better, um, "operators" (better in their field). There is no way around it. It's like going to the gym for an athlete, where core strength is developed so it can be used in any other sport.

Shooting on the move, fast target acquisition, understanding the minimal sight picture, trigger control at speed, shooting from awkward position and other elements of competition are the building blocks of the shooting aspect of the tactical engagement. It's a clear cut who will win between two guys with *equal* tactical training going against each other, where one is also a good competitive shooter.

The "it will get you killed on the street" is simply not true. Skill doesn't replace tactics, skill complements tactics. I've never heard anyone say "running track will get you killed in a football game." In fact, running track will let you win all but professional games even if you're not good at any other aspect of football.
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Old 10-11-2021, 11:42 AM
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You will have an encounter wherever the trouble finds you. Even if you're not armed, a lot of tactical concepts apply to the confrontation. Everything evasive in nature, such as "getting off X" and "finding cover" are the same. So is the movement through the building, getting to a safe zone, and escaping.

You cannot return fire, but you can still do quite a bit to increase your chances. Especially if there are others around who panic and provide a distraction.

This is by all means correct, just wanted to mention that it's really not up to you to "predetermine." The law in CA does not allow for lethal force to protect property. I believe in TX there is a choice, but not in CA.

It is important to understand how the law works and to understand the difference between "I was protecting my dog" (property) and "An intruder in my house (armed or not) is presumed to have intent of great bodily harm" (self defense).
Totally agree. My reference was to purely a gun fight. I am extremely aware of my surroundings. I stay in condition yellow 90% of the time.

Again, I agree and have spent time reading and learning about the law of self defense. My point of reference (for the above) is to try and understand when or why I would draw a weapon and engage in a lethal self defense scenario. Using the color code of mental awareness, you need to understand what you would do if x happens. For me, some of my x's are not available.

For example, in a 7-11 that has an armed person holding the clerk while demanding money. I am not going to draw my weapon and kill the bad guy to save the clerk. Without a CCW, the weapon (in this case a gun) is not available to me. I have to think through other options so I can stay alive (first priority) then seeing if I can help save others. For my other possible scenarios, I get my family into a safe area of my house or escape my house with them. I am not shooting a bad guy that is taking my laptop from the office. Even if he potentially had a weapon. I am not in the room (if possible) to make him draw it on me (or my family) and therefore making me respond.

I guess I am trying to say, some of the considerations people need to decide upon with a CCW are not present for those without. There are ethical considerations that everyone must decide for themselves. Taking a life is forever. You need to understand and get comfortable with that decision ahead of time should you choose to carry a weapon for self defense.
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Old 10-12-2021, 12:24 PM
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The problem with this is that you're treating a vast number of disparate skills as a single skill.

Yes, the brain "reverts to training" (in simplified terms), but no, assessing the situation, deciding whether to shoot, movement, cover, clearing rooms and other non-shooting skills are NOT conflated in the brain. These skills are quite different and not directly related. A person will not decide to draw the gun and start shooting everybody in sight with two rounds, or subconsciously skip anyone in a white t-shirt.

What will happen is that when the shooting *starts*, the brain will revert to the known pattern of shooting, where the sights and trigger pull will work subconsciously, but the person will still be in charge of target selection. Even in competition, one never engages any object that is not a target. There is no reason a person who trains to *shoot well* will somehow mix shooting with tactics or target selection.
We might be saying the same thing, or we might be disagreeing on points, not sure. I agree that the skills in question are separate. I can tell you though, from my past, personal experience delivering FoF training, it is absolutely possible to overwhelm a (trained) person's ability to make appropriate cognitive decisions, to the point that I've actually witnessed a student (an experienced officer, not a recruit) shooting an unarmed lane grader, who was accompanying him through a scenario, at point blank range with Sims rounds. The trainee had taken rounds from a role player he couldn't see, and after three servings of that, he shot the only person he could see...who he had been extensively briefed was unarmed, was a no-shoot, and who had already accompanied them through several scenarios. When asked afterwards why he shot the unarmed lane grader he "knew" was not a threat, his (paraphrased) answer was basically that he'd gotten shot a couple times, couldn't see a threat, and was overwhelmed to the point that he "just found himself shooting" the only possible (from his perspective) source of the rounds he had taken. He very much slipped into automaticity and delivered the response most predicated by his training, even though it wasn't the appropriate response.

Note: This was in a stairwell that had an alcove over the landing where the (firing) role player was standing. The trainee was literally 6-8 feet from the role player and could have easily looked up and seen him, had he not been first fixated on the doorway at the top of the stairs (and/or had his prior training included enough reps of checking the overhead) and then fixated on the lane grader. This was also not a no-win scenario for the trainee, as the role player followed his instructions to not fire until the trainee had bypassed his position without clearing it, and then to only fire one round, and then give the trainee 30 seconds to find him before repeating his fire-one-round-wait-for-response instructions, until the trainee solved the scenario.

I've seen other meltdowns in FoF training, enough to see patterns and to draw somewhat informed conclusions, but that was one of the most dramatic.

Since you've done a lot more USPSA than I have, I can only assume that you have seen at least a few competitors (some of them C, B, or higher) burn down a no-shoot that they "knew" shouldn't be shot, or otherwise completely fall apart on a stage they walked ten or more times, because I've seen it at least a couple times myself, and I've only attended about 20 matches.

You wrote, "when the shooting *starts*, the brain will revert to the known pattern of shooting", and I agree with that statement. But if we agree with that statement, wouldn't we also have to agree with "when the shooting *starts*, the brain will revert to the known pattern of movement and/or decision making"? "Known" being the key word.

Another concept behind what I'm attempting to articulate, is Hebbian Law, aka the neuroscience concept that "Neurons that wire together, fire together...and neurons that wire apart, fire apart". So there's not only the issue of armed professionals learning the right thing in the right order, there's also the issue of designing training so that neural pathways that optimally would be developed in parallel (simple example: being able to draw and accurately fire upon a target while also developing movement and object recognition pathways, and expanded capability to see and process peripheral vision), are often developed in exclusion of each other, making them much more difficult to access when under duress and in the sympathetic (fight or flight) state.

So if you are asserting that people won't default to certain automatic responses under enough stress, or that none of those responses will be predicated on how that person has trained in the past, or that some training, while beneficial in other ways, cannot also produce negative operational outcomes when applied as an answer to the wrong stimuli, then I disagree based on my personal observations as well as having done a pretty deep dive into the available literature regarding neuroscience and fighting with guns. And to be clear, I recommend USPSA to armed professionals, as the benefits are there, but we are now discussing the finer side of training, so I'm also not given to say that there aren't things for armed professionals to be aware of and to consider as relates to gun games. But that's all relative to the individual, their job, and whatever other training they engage in, and really not a concern for most people interested in home/self-defense. In other words, competition in general is beneficial for people who would use a gun professionally or in self-defense, with certain caveats for niche groups and niche scenarios, and the "Competition will get you killed" trope is mostly just that, with certain exclusions.

Somewhat tangentially...before giving the safety lecture portion of training, I would ask students to raise their hand if "they've ever had the experience of finding missing keys in the refrigerator or some other weird place?" Usually everyone in the room has had that experience. Then, after the safety brief, I ask them why they had to sit through another safety brief and why we are so OCD about safety, and the answer to that rhetorical question is, "because we've all found our keys in the refrigerator".

And just to be obnoxious and argumentative (in a friendly manner), I have to say that this analogy ""running track will (not) get you killed in a football game." is memorable but incomplete. Track is a sport, Football is a sport, USPSA is a sport, but fighting with guns is not a sport in that it doesn't have defined rules, pre-known scenarios, start times, and end points, and RO decisions truly are final. And, having run track and played football, I can offer that running cross-country or hurdles in a football game could well get you smashed, because while running may be a part of Track and Football, it's applied differently for each. Which I fully assume is not news to you.

I'm always up for debate and for learning from other people's perspectives and experiences, but where I'm not ready to go is imagining that Competition Shooting and Fighting are close to being the same thing just because they have a few commonalities. We can draw some parallels, we can accept that some/much of what must be done to progress in USPSA is beneficial, but there are tangible differences that make absolute apples-to-apples comparisons invalid. Which is why these "will competition get you killed" threads always seem to end up with one side saying Yes, and one side saying No, versus "It depends". I also agree with you that many armed professionals are negative on competition due to ego and/or ignorance, but some of them have legitimate concerns they are working through, which is why I believe it is useful to have these conversations with the nuances included versus polarized all-or-nothing perspectives.

I'm looking forward to a thread that asks, "Can tactical training cause you to lose in competition?"
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Old 10-12-2021, 1:32 PM
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We might be saying the same thing, or we might be disagreeing on points, not sure. I agree that the skills in question are separate. I can tell you though, from my past, personal experience delivering FoF training, it is absolutely possible to overwhelm a (trained) person's ability to make appropriate cognitive decisions, to the point that I've actually witnessed a student (an experienced officer, not a recruit) shooting an unarmed lane grader, who was accompanying him through a scenario, at point blank range with Sims rounds. The trainee had taken rounds from a role player he couldn't see, and after three servings of that, he shot the only person he could see...who he had been extensively briefed was unarmed, was a no-shoot, and who had already accompanied them through several scenarios. When asked afterwards why he shot the unarmed lane grader he "knew" was not a threat, his (paraphrased) answer was basically that he'd gotten shot a couple times, couldn't see a threat, and was overwhelmed to the point that he "just found himself shooting" the only possible (from his perspective) source of the rounds he had taken. He very much slipped into automaticity and delivered the response most predicated by his training, even though it wasn't the appropriate response.

Note: This was in a stairwell that had an alcove over the landing where the (firing) role player was standing. The trainee was literally 6-8 feet from the role player and could have easily looked up and seen him, had he not been first fixated on the doorway at the top of the stairs (and/or had his prior training included enough reps of checking the overhead) and then fixated on the lane grader. This was also not a no-win scenario for the trainee, as the role player followed his instructions to not fire until the trainee had bypassed his position without clearing it, and then to only fire one round, and then give the trainee 30 seconds to find him before repeating his fire-one-round-wait-for-response instructions, until the trainee solved the scenario.

I've seen other meltdowns in FoF training, enough to see patterns and to draw somewhat informed conclusions, but that was one of the most dramatic.

Since you've done a lot more USPSA than I have, I can only assume that you have seen at least a few competitors (some of them C, B, or higher) burn down a no-shoot that they "knew" shouldn't be shot, or otherwise completely fall apart on a stage they walked ten or more times, because I've seen it at least a couple times myself, and I've only attended about 20 matches.

You wrote, "when the shooting *starts*, the brain will revert to the known pattern of shooting", and I agree with that statement. But if we agree with that statement, wouldn't we also have to agree with "when the shooting *starts*, the brain will revert to the known pattern of movement and/or decision making"? "Known" being the key word.

Another concept behind what I'm attempting to articulate, is Hebbian Law, aka the neuroscience concept that "Neurons that wire together, fire together...and neurons that wire apart, fire apart". So there's not only the issue of armed professionals learning the right thing in the right order, there's also the issue of designing training so that neural pathways that optimally would be developed in parallel (simple example: being able to draw and accurately fire upon a target while also developing movement and object recognition pathways, and expanded capability to see and process peripheral vision), are often developed in exclusion of each other, making them much more difficult to access when under duress and in the sympathetic (fight or flight) state.

So if you are asserting that people won't default to certain automatic responses under enough stress, or that none of those responses will be predicated on how that person has trained in the past, or that some training, while beneficial in other ways, cannot also produce negative operational outcomes when applied as an answer to the wrong stimuli, then I disagree based on my personal observations as well as having done a pretty deep dive into the available literature regarding neuroscience and fighting with guns. And to be clear, I recommend USPSA to armed professionals, as the benefits are there, but we are now discussing the finer side of training, so I'm also not given to say that there aren't things for armed professionals to be aware of and to consider as relates to gun games. But that's all relative to the individual, their job, and whatever other training they engage in, and really not a concern for most people interested in home/self-defense. In other words, competition in general is beneficial for people who would use a gun professionally or in self-defense, with certain caveats for niche groups and niche scenarios, and the "Competition will get you killed" trope is mostly just that, with certain exclusions.

Somewhat tangentially...before giving the safety lecture portion of training, I would ask students to raise their hand if "they've ever had the experience of finding missing keys in the refrigerator or some other weird place?" Usually everyone in the room has had that experience. Then, after the safety brief, I ask them why they had to sit through another safety brief and why we are so OCD about safety, and the answer to that rhetorical question is, "because we've all found our keys in the refrigerator".

And just to be obnoxious and argumentative (in a friendly manner), I have to say that this analogy ""running track will (not) get you killed in a football game." is memorable but incomplete. Track is a sport, Football is a sport, USPSA is a sport, but fighting with guns is not a sport in that it doesn't have defined rules, pre-known scenarios, start times, and end points, and RO decisions truly are final. And, having run track and played football, I can offer that running track in a football game could well get you smashed, because while running may be a part of Track and Football, it's applied differently for each.

I'm always up for debate and for learning from other people's perspectives and experiences, but where I'm not ready to go is imagining that Competition Shooting and Fighting are close to being the same thing just because they have a few commonalities. We can draw some parallels, we can accept that some/much of what must be done to progress in USPSA is beneficial, but there are tangible differences that make absolute apples-to-apples comparisons invalid. Which is why these "will competition get you killed" threads always devolve into one side saying Yes, and one side saying No, versus "It depends".
tl;dr

Cliff notes?
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Old 10-12-2021, 2:06 PM
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tl;dr

Cliff notes?
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
- Albert Einstein

I'm no Einstein, but when we're discussing nuanced training concepts and neuroplasticity as relates to lethal-force decision-making, that's probably the best I can explain myself.

Always up for trying though:

TL;DR - your brain is complicated, your brain accesses information differently depending on your level of stress, specifically when that stress is of a magnitude to induce flight or flight response. When you learn a skill to the degree that it gets baked into long-term memory, your brain actually changes its physical structure (organically) which is why it's hard to unwire suboptimal skills/habits. There are ways to optimally train your brain for particular circumstances, and there are many other ways to train your brain that will produce less than optimal results. Apples are Apples and Oranges are Oranges. Competition, in general, is good for everyone with a few nuanced caveats. I'm not arguing, just sharing information gained from experience and study in niche areas of gunfighting and sports performance. I share my perspective for the one or two people interested in that topic and perspective, and always hope to also read comments/perspectives that I can learn from (which this thread has provided). And finally, I could be wrong and full of it in general.
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Old 10-12-2021, 3:16 PM
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I can tell you though, from my past, personal experience delivering FoF training, it is absolutely possible to overwhelm a (trained) person's ability to make appropriate cognitive decisions, to the point that I've actually witnessed a student (an experienced officer, not a recruit) shooting an unarmed lane grader, who was accompanying him through a scenario, at point blank range with Sims rounds.
...
Since you've done a lot more USPSA than I have, I can only assume that you have seen at least a few competitors (some of them C, B, or higher) burn down a no-shoot that they "knew" shouldn't be shot, or otherwise completely fall apart on a stage they walked ten or more times, because I've seen it at least a couple times myself, and I've only attended about 20 matches.
...
So if you are asserting that people won't default to certain automatic responses under enough stress, or that none of those responses will be predicated on how that person has trained in the past, or that some training, while beneficial in other ways, cannot also produce negative operational outcomes when applied as an answer to the wrong stimuli, then I disagree based on my personal observations as well as having done a pretty deep dive into the available literature regarding neuroscience and fighting with guns.
...
Track is a sport, Football is a sport, USPSA is a sport, but fighting with guns is not a sport in that it doesn't have defined rules, pre-known scenarios, start times, and end points, and RO decisions truly are final.
Some misunderstandings here, so I'll just address the major one.

People will revert back to training and people can get overwhelmed to the point of doing irrational responses, I know that not only from theory but from many other activities and sports I am, or have been involved in. The training can produce "negative operational outcomes" too. Experienced shooters don't burn down no-shoots, but they do fall apart on executing the plan, or fall back to something quite suboptimal when too many things go wrong. They will also miss arrays after a malfunction causes a change of plan. These are all parts of the game. No disagreement here.

What I am saying is that competition shooting is shooting. It's not tactics, it doesn't compare to tactics or clearing houses, it's shooting. Shooting is a skill. A tactical scenario that requires shooting will be executed better if the shooting is better. This means that if the scenario requires X rounds and one person can fire those X rounds in shorter time and with greater accuracy, with more automaticity which leaves brain free for other tasks, that person will do better. Shooting is not a replacement for tactics, so the training and automation of shooting is extremely unlikely to create habits that conflict with tactics.

If shooting was creating conflicting learning with tactics, then you could argue that going to gym would interfere with tactics because you'd have an urge to run to the opponent, grab him and do ten squats while holding him. "Going to gym will kill you in the street." In reality, stronger legs that you get from the gym will make the movement better and enable you to move faster, but they won't interfere with the tactics. The same is with shooting.
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Old 10-13-2021, 7:09 AM
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Stumpfenhammer, I really like the comment about a gun fight not being a sport with predefined rules and outcomes.

While, the following quote does not directly relate to self defense scenarios, it does shine a light on part of the topic.

Richard Marcinko, was the original creator and first commander of SEAL Team 6. He created what he called the 10 commandments of SpecWar.

Here are 9 & 10
9. Verily, thou art not paid for thy methods, but for thy results, by which meaneth thou shalt kill thine enemy by any means available before he killeth you.
10. Thou shalt, in thy Warrior's Mind and Soul, always remember My ultimate and final Commandment: There Are No Rules -- Thou Shalt Win at All Cost.
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Old 10-13-2021, 10:12 AM
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Once the timer goes off, I've "miked" targets at 5 yards, and they're not even shooting back at me
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Old 10-13-2021, 12:22 PM
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If a cop in Santa Ana thinks he'll lose the ability to make a shoot/no shoot decision by entering matches, I'm glad I don't live in Santa Ana.
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Old 10-13-2021, 12:53 PM
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If a cop in Santa Ana thinks he'll lose the ability to make a shoot/no shoot decision by entering matches, I'm glad I don't live in Santa Ana.
Wrong dudes to cross, boy.
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Old 10-14-2021, 7:53 AM
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Killed in the streets.

RIP competition shooters.
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Old 10-17-2021, 9:54 PM
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Any recommendations on accessible classes for tactics?

In my years of going through several training classes here in the SoCal region, I think I have reached a point of diminishing returns. Most of the tactical/defensive (NOT competition) specific classes are simply "stand and shoot."
The value proposition on each round sent downrange has just diminished...

TFTT-DAG has a 4-day 2-man team tactics class, but it is rarely offered. They had a 1-day which I took in April (AAR upcoming) - but will need MORE of these.

I am thinking of getting private training from these SoCal outfits, if offered. But I am guessing that the cost would be prohibitive.

That said, you raising the point of balancing competition vs tactics - I think it is interesting to note that most of the shooters that say they go through tactical/defensive classes are NOT really doing tactics, etc. Again, as I have began to realize going into 2021 - nothing more than "stand and shoot." And if they don't do competition, I simply wonder where they get their confidence. I, MYSELF, am NOT even confident (in spite of 'acing' most defensive classes I take) simply because I am a "middle of the pack" competitor...



_
You have to be realistic in what you expect to learn in a “tactics” class. Unless you are going through a closed class as a guest (think military or LE only class) you won’t really learn tactics. Think about it. If you are a civilian, they may run a general background check kind of like an prospective employer will, but it’s not in depth. The instructors wouldn’t be able to tell if you’re a regular dude or some jihadist. No training outfit that cares will teach “the good stuff” in an open enrollment class.
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Old 10-18-2021, 7:30 AM
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There are training outfits that teach the basics of CQB.

Fieldcraft and Archon Ready Group come top of mind. Archon's is interesting in that you don't even need your gun as they use airsoft guns.
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Old 10-18-2021, 9:43 AM
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There are training outfits that teach the basics of CQB.

Fieldcraft and Archon Ready Group come top of mind. Archon's is interesting in that you don't even need your gun as they use airsoft guns.
Through acquaintances I’ve been fortunate to be exposed with people who have served at the highest units of the military. One thing I don’t think that can be replicated with civilian CQB training is just how close you are and just how close the “bang” is to you.
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Old 10-18-2021, 9:55 AM
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Through acquaintances I’ve been fortunate to be exposed with people who have served at the highest units of the military. One thing I don’t think that can be replicated with civilian CQB training is just how close you are and just how close the “bang” is to you.
If someone is dialed in as far as their technical shooting skills, I can see plenty of value in learning CQB basics and applying those to situations that they may face as a civilian gunowner.
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Old 10-18-2021, 12:29 PM
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If someone is dialed in as far as their technical shooting skills, I can see plenty of value in learning CQB basics and applying those to situations that they may face as a civilian gunowner.
You’re right there is some value. A lot of what is being taught in those courses are pretty much open source at this point though. This goes back to them not knowing who is attending class. You can get basics from the class, but in reality it’s not much different than the hundreds of videos floating around YouTube already. IMO, learn the basics and go to an air soft match indoors, with rooms and such. You will have some practical application as well if cqb is what you would like to learn.

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Old 10-18-2021, 1:00 PM
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I have taken a few CQB courses and a few 2 man tactics classes.

Why

I found them to be fun. button hooking with a buddy- blasting away




I get bored quickly.... I can't scuba dive as its boring- same with sky diving.

So finding a class that I find 1)fun 2) challenging 3) new

that's fantastic

I even have taken some CAR - center axis relock classes. Why
Its a new skill that works really well when seated in a car!


a few days of the eye doing a hard focus on the front sight, shooting while moving or shooting cross eye dominant in CAR - its all good


same with learning how to hide behind telephone poles...

10 round mags vs 33 round mags... missing is slower than hitting.


not to bash on anyone, but how many shootings do we hear about where 50-100 rounds are fired and there are a few peripheral hits
Where legs are struck- probably from a round that hit the ground first...

if you have never taken a class - Add it to your christmas list or Birthday list

no one knows what to buy for another adult / spouse.


So for $150- get a lifetime membership to front sight and book dates

or book a class with Clint Smith in Vegas
or jim fuller in Arizona- https://www.facebook.com/fullerphoenixofficial/
or Gunsight
or Max Joseph TFTT now DAG https://dag-usa.com/
or Jeff Gonzales- https://www.tridentconcepts.com/
or Randy Cain https://guntactics.com/bio.php
or uncle Scotty https://internationaltactical.com/scott.html
or????
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Old 10-18-2021, 3:56 PM
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You’re right there is some value. A lot of what is being taught in those courses are pretty much open source at this point though. This goes back to them not knowing who is attending class. You can get basics from the class, but in reality it’s not much different than the hundreds of videos floating around YouTube already. IMO, learn the basics and go to an air soft match indoors, with rooms and such. You will have some practical application as well if cqb is what you would like to learn.
You're right, a lot of what is taught in public courses (relative to tactics, clearing, etc) is available online as well, and you're also correct that it's also almost always at a basic level.

There are a few places that teach beyond the basics though. And while I'm a fan of airsoft as a tool for FoF, and there may be some learning value in an airsoft match (I've shot paintball matches but not airsoft, but I assume the fundamental dynamic is similar), there are also a number of things that people do to be competitive in a paintball match, that could be detrimental in a real threat scenario.

Yes, you'll get some experience against other humans, but you'll also be repping some things that will decrease your capability. So if at all possible, I'd recommend getting to one of the higher-level FOF courses before you start using airsoft matches as training tools...that way you'll have enough understanding of the differences to sort out the best way to self-train going forward.

I posted a few recommendations 26 posts back in this thread.
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Old 10-19-2021, 6:41 AM
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Wow, this thread turned out to be so much better than I thought. Thanks to everyone that contributed. It was extremely eye opening.


Agree… Lots of insightful information that no doubt will add to my knowledge, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IVC View Post
Competition is a huge benefit to tactical guys and it's only ego that prevents them from competing and becoming better, um, "operators" (better in their field). There is no way around it. It's like going to the gym for an athlete, where core strength is developed so it can be used in any other sport.

Shooting on the move, fast target acquisition, understanding the minimal sight picture, trigger control at speed, shooting from awkward position and other elements of competition are the building blocks of the shooting aspect of the tactical engagement. It's a clear cut who will win between two guys with *equal* tactical training going against each other, where one is also a good competitive shooter.
Well - Leatham and Seeklander just released a new online course called the ”The Big Circle” which I feel is an opportunity to take part of the knowledge and wisdom of TGO. Just a few minutes into the intro video and snippets of lessons demonstrates how Rob knows his stuff and how he imparts them to others.

Anyways - as I am not as eloquent with putting thoughts into words as @IVC or @Stumpfenhammer - I will just share a Venn:



The rationale being is that Rob coming from the competition world and Mike coming from the LE/MIL perspective collaborate on the common core between “competition” and “tactical” shooting.

PS: Got this course for 40% off…


… that said - I may be biased - but I feel that competition develops that common core more than any other defensive/tactics class out there… I really love Rob saying, to paraphrase, I will break every QCB rule out there to gain a 0.10-sec advantage on a stage. Tactics is basically dictated by the situation, and I am in a game…


Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
So for $150- get a lifetime membership to front sight and book dates

or book a class with Clint Smith in Vegas
or jim fuller in Arizona- https://www.facebook.com/fullerphoenixofficial/
or Gunsight
or Max Joseph TFTT now DAG https://dag-usa.com/
or Jeff Gonzales- https://www.tridentconcepts.com/
or Randy Cain https://guntactics.com/bio.php
or uncle Scotty https://internationaltactical.com/scott.html
or????
I have taken classes from around half of that list, more or less acing their evaluations (in spite being a middle of the pack competition shooter). I will reiterate it - I feel that it is not enough, even for the most likely civilian scenarios. So, am questioning - where does the confidence of the defensive/tactical guys that abhors competition that they can carry themselves in situations?

Well of course - we have exceptions - BJ Baldwin. Pure defensive/tactical shooter that pushed his skill to be able to defend himself and his girlfriend (a top competition shooter) from two armed thugs.

And that sentiment is driving me to further training…


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Old 10-19-2021, 7:56 AM
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So, am questioning - where does the confidence of the defensive/tactical guys that abhors competition that they can carry themselves in situations?

_
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Quote:

And that sentiment is driving me to further training…
As a civilian it seems like you have more than enough training with firearms, but do you have your base covered? What I mean by that is as a civilian, we are most likely to come upon an encounter that will get physical before a forearm is ever produced. If you agree then your basis should be fitness followed by some sort of combatives. Maybe your training needs and focus need to shift?
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Old 10-19-2021, 8:15 AM
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As a civilian it seems like you have more than enough training with firearms, but do you have your base covered? What I mean by that is as a civilian, we are most likely to come upon an encounter that will get physical before a forearm is ever produced. If you agree then your basis should be fitness followed by some sort of combatives. Maybe your training needs and focus need to shift?
I am mid 40s…
  • Self defense coverage - Check
  • Legal aspects - Andrew Branca courses / USCCA case studies - Check
  • Physical - Black belt in a few “old school” Japanese martial arts (not the West’s flashy gymnastics type; I got my belts in Japan) - Not as flexible as before, but do keep in shape and still practice - Check.


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Old 10-19-2021, 8:45 AM
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I am mid 40s…
  • Self defense coverage - Check
  • Legal aspects - Andrew Branca courses / USCCA case studies - Check
  • Physical - Black belt in a few “old school” Japanese martial arts (not the West’s flashy gymnastics type; I got my belts in Japan) - Not as flexible as before, but do keep in shape and still practice - Check.


_
I’m in my late 40’s so I can relate somewhat to you and these are the things I’m specifically working on:
  • Combatives. Have done bjj for 24yrs now, but specifically working on weapons tied in with wrestling.
  • Fitness. Currently running 10 miles a week and hitting strength workouts. On days not running distance, I’ll so shuttle sprints with USPSA movement involved.

I guess what I’m trying to convey is that we always have room for growth. It’s just not as big as it was when we first started. Sometimes growth can be just as simple as taking those old school Japanese arts and seeing how you can modify them for younger, stronger wrestlers and then actually getting some partners and trying to execute them. Food for thought.
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Old 10-24-2021, 8:40 PM
Scotty Scotty is offline
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