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Thread: Competition gets you killed on the streets.

  1. #1
    Site Supporter Cory's Avatar
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    Jan 2016

    Competition gets you killed on the streets.

    Recently, I've seen some comments on facebook where the term "Kilt on the streetz" was used and people did not understand the comment or how it was applied. It's my hope that I can elaborate on the meaning of the phrase, and the way I perceive its use. Others may use the phrase differently or may interpret it another way. In order to explain how I understand the phrase and its use I'm going to break down the points made in an article.

    While doing some google searching about a vastly different topic, I stumbled across the following article. The article is written by an "expert" about why shooting competition will get you killed on the streets. I've decided to take an honest look at the article and see what points are valid if any. Its a short article, give it a read. I have never shot any form of pistol competition, but intend to begin shooting USPSA soon because I think it will benefit my technical ability and thus increase my ability for defense.

    Iím not anti-competition shooting, but I do find fault with most of the competitions out there. The reason being they arenít realistic and cause the shooter to form extremely bad habits that can get them killed on the street.
    Immediately, our expert states he is not bias, but finds a lot of faults. H states competition will form habits that get us "killed on the streets". I'm curious to learn what these habits are, and how i'll be killed.

    Competition shooters are on the whole amazingly fast when it comes to getting off accurate shots. In and of itself, that is a great thing.
    So by becoming a competitive shooter I will learn to shoot amazingly fast and accurate. And that's a good thing. Makes sense to me.

    1. All targets are single shot targets for the most part.
    The bolding there is the author's work. My problem with his point here, is that its wrong. From what I have seen, of USPSA competition for example, this isn't a single shot competition. Grab any USPSA video from youtube, talk with any semi-seasoned USPSA shooter, or read a rulebook about how scoring works. Anyway you dice it, there are multiple targets that need to be shot multiple times. Perhaps steel challenge requires single hits on a target but for the most part I think competition requires a vast amount more.

    Valid? No.

    2. Speed reigns supreme in competition.
    In this section the author disagrees with what he said earlier. Suddenly competition shooters are described as sacrificing their accuracy for speed, when before he said they were great at being fast and accurate. So which is it? Fast and accurate, or fast at the cost of being accurate?

    He continues to describe 3 gun shooters as holding their rifles in a way that is "goofy" but helps them steer their gun. He somehow asserts that while this helps them in competition it wouldn't help other places because no one is shooting back. So while shooters are practiced and trained to shoot in this way that makes them both fast and accurate it is somehow not valid because our author finds it goofy and different. He continues to describe his preferred method to hold a rifle, and says that it's the right way.

    Valid? Plausible at best.
    Missing too many shots, or going into lesser point value areas can lead to a lower score, costing you a victory. However, I think shooting for the A zone without taking the extra time to absolutely guarantee all hits does get you a better score. So while true to a degree, it's largely false. You still can't miss fast enough to win.

    3. Thereís no need to take cover.
    As far as I'm aware the author is correct here (remember I'm no "expert" like him. I haven't shot competition, yet.) IDPA competition I vaguely remember as having rules about reloading behind cover or something like that. However I don't think USPSA has any rules about cover. From my understanding it is a game of shoot the targets with as much accuracy as you can, as fast as you can. Cover doesn't play into that much unless it is built into the stage design.

    however, this section has the author discussing things more important than cover. Here he talks about tendency, and claims if you are used to shooting a rifle offhand then should you find yourself in a situation where you need a rife for defense you won't try to go prone or supported. To me, that is complete bull. Situation, environment, and a million other factors are going to influence how a defensive scenario occurs. The service uses a handy little acronym called METT-TC. If you're unfamiliar please look into it. Essentially it is a list of variables that can effect the decision making process. What if my threat is at 7 yards and I'm holding my rifle? Should I go prone? To say you will never be able to use cover because you aren't used to it is stupid in my opinion we'll get into why in the next section. As he so eloquently pointed out earlier, the targets don't shoot back and thus there isn't a need.

    Valid: Yes... but...
    There is never any "slicing the pie" technique. What I normally see is peek and shoot at best or the shooter leaning out as far as possible to engage as many targets as possible.
    While our author makes what I would consider some wrong suggestions about how a practiced shooter will think during a lethal encounter we'll cover that in a bit. For this section, in my unexperienced mind he is correct. Competition shooters don't emphasize cover, and the awkward leans from this quote can be seen in USPSA match reels. But does the lack of cover emphasis in a match mean you'll never use it? I'll touch on this more.

    4. Youíre limiting your configuration possibilities.
    Here he states that you are really only preparing yourself for a few routines. While some stage setups used for classification are more frequent then others... the sheer diversity I've seen is insane. The stages all require different movement, different order of targets, different distances, and more. It is my opinion (and the opinion of many) that competition develops skill. You aren't simply learning and remembering one set up that you can perform well on. You are learning and developing the skills that help you complete a ton of different set ups.

    This is where the author really falls apart in my opinion. He touches on "muscle memory". There are a lot of different terms for this concept. Unconscious competence, over learning, etc. Here he states that that getting used to different configurations, and different sizes, heights, and distances to target will get us killed. The problem with his argument is that competition so frequently changes those things that a shooter isn't getting used to shooting a routine, they are getting used to the skills and actions required of them to meet the needs of their given problem. Being able to quickly change from one target to another, at different sizes and ranges is a SKILL. This develops a proficiency and skill level that is extremely beneficial. We aren't learning a routine, we are building the "muscle memory" of different actions so we can perform them at will on different targets and in different situations.

    The other thing he fails to mention? When we develop a skill, and have the proficiency level of someone who has "overlearned" it or has developed an "unconscious competence" or "muscle memory" it means it can be done without cognitive attention. Like driving. Driving has us performing a lot of tasks but we don't think about how to do them, we just do them while our mind is focused on belting out Taylor Swift. Why? Because our mind can process other things while doing it. The same is true of shooting. This is where his earlier argument about cover falls apart. If I don't need to think about how to drive my weapon to the target and break a shot that will strike the mark, then I'm free to think about other things. Like cover. Like follow up shots. Like where I may move toward, or whatever other outside factors my mind needs to process instead of shooting.

    Valid? No. Hell no. In fact it is the crux of the argument against competitive shooting sports, in my perhaps valid perhaps not opinion.

    5. Competition shooting breeds an environment of gizmos, gadgets, and race guns.
    Valid? Depends on you. Some are in it for the skill improvement, and some are in it for the cool guns that go fast. Either will improve your shooting if you work on it.

    Nevermind if competition is good or bad, whats the deal with "kilt on the streetz"

    When people use this phrase, they are often mocking, or making fun of folks like the "expert" who wrote this article. People who are so diametrically opposed to anything that is outside of their accepted right/wrong. Some folks are set into their ways of "this is how we do it, because this is how it has always been done" and don't know or care the reasons behind those things. They often meet anything different with the ridiculous notion that it will somehow get you "killed on the street" or words to that effect. They often have not done the research, or tried things out for themselves, to see how successful something could be. Think of the way the article's writer claims that the method that produces the best results shooting a rifle in 3 gun is suddenly less valid in self defense. If it is muscle memory and practiced, but comes up with better results why is it less valid? Because it somehow doesn't fit his sense of right. So he discounts it as not valid because "nobody is shooting back". See what I mean about not accepting things that don't jibe with their sense of correctness?

    This forum and a few other hideaways of information are different. People measure things, and evaluate what works and what doesn't. People here are invested in the pursuit of improvement. For me this means improving technical skill to make myself a better shooter, in any scenario. I've got a long way to go however.

    When I read the phrase "kilt on the streetz" I often read into it a healthy does of sarcasm, and a laugh at the way of thinking that inspired the linked article. Sometimes folks use it when questioning how detrimental something could be if they were in a lethal encounter (although I find that to be the case less often).

    Hopefully this is somehow helpful to someone.


  2. #2
    Member Luke's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    We've had some pretty good discussions on this here before. I think Gabe was leading the way.
    i used to wannabe

  3. #3
    IS WHAT PLANTS CRAVE BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    In self defense situations, the shooting tends to be the easy part. While competition can, and does, build skills it can also build over confidence and can also cause a loss of perspective in how much things like a fast reload and ultra high round counts matter. Without more realistic training, I think you'll find that the over confidence is really the biggest "get you kilt in the streetz" component. It's a hell of a lot easier to engage 3 cardboard targets then 3 meat ones. It's easy to forget how fast and violent and compressed in time real shootings are, as they would make very boring competition stages.

    I would approach competition as a way to build technical skill, same as target shooting or other fundamentals work. For many people without access to a .mil/leo training facility, this may be the only chance they get to practice shooting on the move, etc. Mixing in some Simunition training to "keep it real" will likely help you get more out of it.

  4. #4
    I shot the PX4 before it was cool.

  5. #5
    Dis gun b good
    Chief Developer for V Development Group
    Everything I post I do so as a private individual who is not representing any company or organization.

  6. #6
    Mr. Shovel Lover Hambo's Avatar
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    Aug 2014
    Behind the Photonic Curtain
    And here I thought "Kilt on the Streetz" was Scottish hip-hop.
    John Wick didn't kill all those people because they broke his toaster.-MickAK

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Santa Fe, NM
    i'd invite him to a IDPA match. misses add to your time. poking out of cover add to your time. not know how to run your pistol adds to your time.

    i run my daily carry pistol at matches. bone stock Px4 9mm full size. i do pretty well, after about 3 years of practicing and competing. so come on out, show us what you can do with your "expert" level of knowledge. you might learn something if you aren't careful.

    accuracy absolutely counts.

  8. #8
    Site Supporter Cory's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by Luke View Post
    We've had some pretty good discussions on this here before. I think Gabe was leading the way.
    I didnt know this had been discussed here. But based off the replies, i'm guessing its ad nauseum at this point.


  9. #9
    Leopard Printer Mr_White's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Gaming In The Streets
    This is an old discussion that has been done many times. I'm not sure I'm up for doing the whole thing again, at least not today, but the linked article is a tired rehash of mostly dumb points and betrays a lack of understanding of a number of issues on the author's part. Competition isn't suitable as the SOLE method of preparation for self-defense, and neither is any other type of training or activity. You have to use multiple methods of preparation to shore up the different weaknesses that ALL of them have, including well-conducted tactical training. And competition can provide some very powerful benefits that are hard to get elsewhere.

    cor_man257, in total contrast to one of the author's assertions (the limiting configuration possibilities thing), one standout thing that I think competition - I'm thinking of USPSA here - does overwhelmingly well, is force the shooter to improvise in the face of limitless physical variations of targets, space, and barriers. Because the plan doesn't usually work out exactly as intended and adjustments have to be made on the fly. And with a lot of task-loading going on too, due to the overall complexity and round count of a lot of practical shooting stages.
    Technical excellence supports tactical preparedness
    Lord of the Food Court

  10. #10
    Member Luke's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    It's kinda like which round is better. There are proponents of both and tons who disagree with the other side. Nothing can be said that will change people's minds. Just one of them things man.
    i used to wannabe

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