Pulling back so I can move forward

I had written this long post that basically wound up being me sorting out my thoughts.

I opted not to post it since it was just endless rambling. But because of what I sorted out, I figure I might as well post about it because 1. it’s less rambly, 2. it actually might be directly relevant to some of you.

I’m not going to be teaching as much in 2013.

I still love teaching. I’ve met so many great people, helped so many people overcome fears and take those initial steps towards greater personal responsibility and safety. I also learn a tremendous amount (how does the saying go? when one teaches, two learn.) I will still be helping out at KR Training as much as I can, but with finite time and resources, especially on weekends, pulling back on my assisting there is what had to be sacrificed.

So what will I be doing to move forward?

I’m making the commitment to participate in competition.

I’ve been treading water. My skills have stagnated, and I’m just fooling myself in trying to find ways to get better without doing the core thing: shooting. If you want to get better at X you must do X. Dry fire only takes you so far. Even using that Airsoft is helpful, but only takes you so far. My friend Tim, who is a master-ranked IDPA shooter, has been very helpful, supportive, and encouraging in this area… listening to me, helping me sort through it all. If I want to progress, I need to get out and shoot more.

I’ve tried to do competition in the past, and I even made it a goal that in 2012 I’d shoot at least one competition match. But I didn’t. It comes down to lack of time, and that I didn’t make time for competition. Simply put, I can only allocate so much time and effort in my life to “gun stuff”, and I preferred to spend it at KR Training helping with classes. Looking back, that was the right decision on a number of levels. Going forward, now is a time I can do this.

Why IDPA? Looking at the types of matches available in my area well… 3-Gun, Carbine, and other long-gun types of matches are out because those aren’t really my thing nor my emphasis (tho maybe later). So that pretty much leaves ISPC/USPSA, IDPA, or Steel Challenge. Some time ago I steered away from IDPA because I didn’t want to get bothered by the folks that shoot it like it’s tactical training and deny that it’s just a game, that it can be gamed, and it can be an equipment race just like any other game. I just didn’t want to be around the element. But I look at what I need to focus on in my own skills, and what I need right now is actually to slow down and get more accurate. I need to focus more on accuracy, and when it gets down it it, IDPA is a game of accuracy first and speed second. Steel? That’s all about speed. Given my needs right now, IDPA actually seems most fitting.

I don’t consider this “training”. It’s a game. But I know it will help me perform better because it’s new situations, pressure, and a break from the stagnation. And if I’m just better at the core task, that will carry over regardless of context. I’ll admit I’m unsure about the level to which I’ll take it. Will I totally game it out? Or will I stick with habits? For example, dropping the slide by grabbing the slide over the top (horseshoe grip), pulling back, and releasing is probably the better general approach to working the slide. But there’s no question it takes time to do and isn’t as fast as hitting the slide lock button. I’m sure I’ll fall back to established habits at first, the question being if I’ll replace those habits with the gaming element. Just have to see how it goes.

I think what’s also helped is all my lifting. Staying dedicated there has really made a difference to me. Writing about it is part of that dedication. And so, it’s part of why I am writing about this change here — an intent to follow through and commit.

This isn’t some “new years resolution”. It just happens to fall around that time because schedules are being determined. But it is a change, and I do need strong resolve to go forward. Thanx for riding along with me.


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