Our recent podcast about people shooting IDPA matches with guns they don’t actually carry brought out a strong stripe of IDPA shooters who clearly are not in it to practice with their carry guns, but instead to win. Just flat out win. Not CCP, not BUG, high overall.
That’s a fine goal (although winning matches is ultimately a terrible goal), but if you’re in it as a game, go shoot USPSA.
If you’re going to an IDPA match, do it in the spirit of the sport. Shoot your carry gear. Be realistic about it. It reminds me of something Bruce Lee said about martial arts and different styles and forms:
Empty your mind
Or in this case, your self-image. Don’t pigeonhole yourself as an IDPA shooter or a USPSA shooter. Don’t pigeonhole yourself as a tactical shooter or a competitor. Be a shooter. Don’t tell yourself “I can’t X because I’m a Y.” Shoot what’s in front of you. Define yourself by what you do (“I shoot 2 second bill drills and 25 yard bullseyes.”) not what you are (“I’m an IDPA ESP Marksman.”) Always be expanding what you do.
Be formless, like water.
Don’t shoot in a particular style. Don’t have a particular form. When shooting standing up, shoot squared up. When you’re shooting prone, shoot from prone. Do not try to mold the world to fit your style. Mold your style to fit the world you shoot in. If that world is only ever USPSA matches, then shooting from retention isn’t probably something you should practice a lot.
You put water in a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle.
When you go to a USPSA match, shoot your gamer gear, and exploit the rules. When you go to an IDPA match, play along with the scenario. If you’re shooting an IDPA match like it’s a USPSA match, you’re in the wrong place and you’re just going to annoy people around you. Expand yourself to fill the space you’re in, don’t try and force your way in to spaces where your rigid form doesn’t fit.
Be water, my friends.