The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. It was founded in 1996 as a response to the desires of shooters worldwide. The organization now boasts membership of more than 22,000, including members in 50 foreign countries. IDPA offers an exciting forum for practical shooters in which truly practical equipment, techniques and courses of fire are mandated. Prior to IDPA, there was no place to compete with common service pistols. There were no shooting sports where your concealed carry holster could also be your match holster without handicap. When you come to an IDPA match, you can not only use your duty/CCW equipment, you can be completely competitive with it! Other shooting sports have become equipment “races”; IDPA will not. If you’re interested in using truly practical pistols to solve challenging and exciting defensive shooting problems, then IDPA is the sport for you.
Self Defence Format
Most courses of fire in IDPA matches fall into this format. IDPA is based on “defensive shooting” and therefore the match designers try to simulate scenarios where you would be forced into using your gun to defend your life or others. Common stages found in matches involve you being caught in a convenience store robbery, a home invasion, car jacking, ATM/bank robbery and more. Many scenarios are drawn from newspaper and TV reports. Others are drawn form the stage designer’s imagination in which worst case scenarios are encountered while performing ordinary, everyday tasks or errands. Self defense stages will find you having to engage targets from awkward or difficult positions. You might find yourself having to engage targets from inside a car or from beside it, having to move from point to point while shooting, jumping up from a recliner or bed during a “home invasion” or shooting while seated. The possibilities change with every match. You might not even draw from a holster although that comprises the majority of the stages you will see. You could draw your gun from a glove box, a nightstand drawer, under a counter or from a bag or case. All of this combines to keep theses stages unique and challenging for each match.
Who Competes in IDPA
In a word, everybody. IDPA membership and matches are open to all people who can legally own a handgun, regardless of occupation, race, gender or religion. IDPA members come from all walks of life and represent all skill levels within the shooting sports. The IDPA community is made up of shooters like you who are looking to test and improve their skills through the structure of competition. While time and accuracy measure a shooter’s skill, it’s the fun and excitement of spending the day on the range with other like-minded individuals that is the true reflection of the IDPA community. Each weekend, ranges all around the country are hosting IDPA competitions where friends gather to do more than just shoot a match. By shooting together, IDPA members help one another improve their shooting skills and form close bonds of friendship that often span the globe and last for years.
Standard Exercise Format
In standard exercise stages you are required to perform the basic components of shooting such as drawing the gun, sight alignment and trigger control with out the more complex decisions and movements required in a self defensive stage. The standard exercises are usually designed with minimal targets and require little or no movement. The key is to test specific items such as strong hand only shooting, Weak hand only shooting, simple draw and fire, accuracy at short and long ranges and basic movement while shooting. These standard exercises help the competitor to gauge their skill level and note areas that they might need to work on improvement. They provide a base line that in important in the continued development of the core skills that not only will elevate your match performance but carry over into your daily life should you ever have to use a gun in self defense.