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The Benefits of Competition

by ADTA members Mark Knapp and Ed Streit

Some of us strongly advocate that our ADTA members begin taking part in competitive shooting matches. One important reason for participating in competition is that shooters will be able to experience how quickly our skills become impaired when performing under the pressure of the matches.  Learning to function under stress is an important aspect of any firearms training. 

Both of the indoor gun ranges now in progress are expected to include bays that will provide opportunities for tactical training and shooting competitions. Competition creates some of the stress that shooters should anticipate in real life self-defense situations.

You should expect your normal shooting performance to be impaired significantly when you are under pressure. During matches you will experience jams and other unexpected problems. Even if you have never had to clear a malfunction during your time at the range, competition will teach you how suddenly problems can precipitate!  You will discover how easy it is to miss a target that is right in front of you or even to run past targets that you know are there.  Not everyone experiences stress the same way but learning to perform under stress is critical!

Consider competing in events with the United States Practical Shooting Association and the International Defensive Pistol Association.  The Paul Bunyan Range in Puyallup runs IDPA, USPSA and Steel Target matches every month.  The Renton Fish & Game Club also puts on IDPA, USPSA and Steel Target matches every month.

Most of the matches in Renton and Puyallup are focused on pistol shooting.  The new ranges expected to open soon in Federal Way are both expected to host shooting matches.  Two  new ranges means that getting started in competition has never been easier in Federal Way.  But start now so that you are ready to contribute to making the events successful when match competitions become available in Federal Way

We have talked to a few of the USPSA Range Officers and they are looking forward to helping us in Federal Way.  The IDPA range officers will respond the same way.  In some respects, IDPA is the closest to the training in which the ADTA is involved.  IDPA shooters work with shooting from cover, tactical reloads and using equipment that is conducive to concealed carry on the street.  That means that IDPA dovetails very well with the ADTA’s stated mission.  Many IDPA shooters are also more interested in the training aspects of the game than they are in competition.

The target configurations fully test the shooter’s ability to think, shoot, and react within a complex array of shooting zones. You are guaranteed to experience problems about which you never have given any thought before.

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. Proverbs 22:3




Armed Defense Training Association (ADTA)
A 501(c)7 non-profit organization, founded in 2011
Federal Way, Washington, USA
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