In my Handgun Carry Classes I often get students who want to train with their own gun in our class. On the surface this is easy to understand. It is to be expected that someone going to a class to allow them to carry a handgun on themselves would want to train with it. There is a bit of misunderstanding about the class however. The class is not designed to train you to fight with a gun. The shooting portion of the class is only designed to “qualify” you to carry the gun.
It takes much more training and practice to become competent with the handgun as a defensive tool. The handgun can be used effectively even by the unskilled. It can also be a source of false security if we use it as a talisman. Just having the thing with us is not the same thing as being skilled with it.
Skill comes from training and practice.
Often when we practice we do so in one of the standard big three standing 2 handed strong side positions. This is ok in as far as it goes. If we are intending to practice for a “qualification” that is enough. Marksmanship practice is indeed a part of our training/practice. We must be sure not to confuse that with defensive training.
When we go to the range and only shoot in one of those big 3 positions and tell ourselves that we are training for defense we are fooling ourselves. If we but spend an hour on Youtube we can see all the defensive shooting videos we will ever care to see. One thing that jumps out in all of them is that they don’t look like the shooting we do on the range.
In defensive shooting situations people are moving. The shooter is moving. The target they are shooting at is moving. They are often shooting with only one hand. While these are more difficult to practice, we must put forth some effort to practice these skills.
Even though IDPA is not perfect it is a good place to step up the realism in our practice.