18 May 99

Comments about competitive shooting from several colleagues:

“I quit this stuff, right after I faced an armed belligerent while participating in a weekend ‘action shooting’ match. I unexpectedly found myself (while carrying, of course, an unloaded pistol) confronting an enraged drunk, who was wearing a loaded pistol and who thought he was entitled to use our range forthwith and who wasn’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer from bunch of powder-puff ‘action’ shooters. I suddenly realized that I would be helpless if this psychotic cretin tried something. Needless to say, I talked fast. Now, any time I’m carrying a gun, it’s loaded! The idiotic practice of carrying empty guns is one I’ve abandoned.”


“Safety is correctly defined as ‘those reason­able, judicious, and sensible measures invoked and en­forced, the purpose of which is to reduce risk of injury to an ac­cept­able minimum, without compromising train­ing objectives.’ Safety is, unfortunately, often, and incor­rectly defined as ‘a fanatic and mania­cal preoc­cupation with the utter eradication of all risk, to the point where everything else, including training objectives, is sub­ord­inated and usually forgotten entirely’. It is not difficult to see that very little in the way of training will be accomplished in such an environ­ment.”


“There is nothing wrong with a healthy ego, and a disciplined intellectual diet, combined with structured and relevant problem solving, contributes to a healthy ego. On the other hand, unfettered self indulgence will invariably produce a whining, sniveling, twit. You’ll see plenty of them at pistol matches.

The problem presented by all the ‘action shooting sports’ is that, in an effort to adhere slavishly to the socialist notion of ‘fairness,’ a numerical scoring system, based solely on superfluous levels of accuracy, is invariably developed.

However, I still encourage any serious student of defensive shooting who wants to get regular practice to attend both IPSC and IDPA matches. I further suggest that they ignore any ‘rule’ that does not go directly to primary competence. Most match organizers will allow you to handle a stage any way that you like, so long as you are willing to accept the penalties assigned to your conduct.

Kind of sounds like most of the rest of life, eh?

For example, in IPSC competitions you may engage any target from outside the ‘shooter’s box.’ You will, of course, be assigned penalty points for each shot thus fired. You will, however, also get practice at working an entry correctly, instead of standing in the ‘shooter’s box’ that childish and unsophisticated stage designers invariably put in the center of the open doorway.

FORGET THE SCORING SYSTEM COMPLETELY. You do not even need to attend the scoring of your targets other than to assure yourself that you got the hits you wanted. To avoid any temptation at considering the numbers generated by the match system, touch the target before the RO has a chance to score it. Their ‘rules’ say that any target so touched is automatically scored a zero. You are now assured that numbers generated on the match results are completely meaningless (which they are anyway). More importantly, you have had a day of practice solving scenarios tactically.

Weapons and techniques which breaks bones, rip out joints, and leaves holes in people is serious business. It should never be looked at, or practiced as, a ‘game.”

Remember, the path of the warrior is a path apart from the crowd. The crowd will never understand, nor is it important that they do. Other warriors will invariably recognize you instantly. Don’t worry about grasseaters. Let them eat their grass while they can”