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Thread: Competition Bad Habits? Do any exist? Competing Anonymously possible?

  1. #1

    Competition Bad Habits? Do any exist? Competing Anonymously possible?

    I've only some a couple competitions a long time ago, maybe 20 years ago now?? Just a few matches and I didn't have much money at the time, ammo was cheap but the match entry fees were like 20 bucks! Plus I didn't have much free time then, birth of our youngest, and each match wanted you to do a special safety class or something that they only offered at specific times/dates and lasted a few hours and man Ill tell you I was really offput by the bureaucracy aroudn it. I get it, safety is important but back then I was buying cases of 9mm at walmart for like $75 or $80, and the $20 match entry fee was just more than I could justify for running a few stages so I never did it then but now I have more time and a bit more money so I am thinking about it again because it looks fun and useful!

    I'm sure competition has changed a lot since then and everyone here really likes it so I'm thinking of tryin it again. But I have two hesitations.

    1 is can I compete anonymously? I have no chance of being a world champ, no real desire, the competition is just to get some stress and practice skills. But my old lady doesnt want people to know I own and carry a gun and well with everything being on google and facebook now, she makes a good point. Her job and family is very anti gun (from Los Angeles). So for a competition, can I just go, pay the entry fee, tell them my name is John Doe, run the competition, not have my picture taken and uploaded to their facebook group, not have my real name associated with my score? Maybe thats paranoid? But man everything is online these days and even just photos the match organizers might post to facebook will be facial recognition matched to me. Even if I have to show them my ID im a bit scared by that because if Equifax and the Office of Professional Manaegment cant keep their records secure, how can a volunteer running a match be trusted with my drivers lisence info from leaking out? And newspapers have been publishing CCW names in some cities that's scary to me, but not scary enough not to have one!

    2 is what bad habits might come from competiting? If any at all? Ill give an example of something Im familiar with, is I have done muay thai for a couple years back in the day and also some straight up mexican style boxing. When Im just boxing, Im bladed stance because you have to protect your body. But when Im kick boxing, its a square stance so you can get hips open to kick. And I havent done any MMA or wrestling but I know they do square stance so they can sprawl.

    Well I used to do some gym competitions in boxing and I fought bladed as you are supposed to. But for a real life street fight self defense, hips square is the way to go for kicking and spawling. I guess I could either compete in boxing the wrong way with squared hips and lose against a guy of equal skill but say "well its okay because its practice for the street reeal world" but no, I always stood bladed and then when I got into muay thai it was hard for me to adjust, so the bladed hips was a "Bad habit from competition" of boxing.

    Would anyone say Im less good at self defense because I boxed competitively a bit? Probably not, Im sure a competitive boxer would beat the piss out of a regular person in a street fight even if he was standing bladed.

    I hope you can see what Im getting at, not that competitive shooting is bad but it is a game so there might be some bad habits you do for the game that are less than ideal for real life. Not that you should avoid competition because Im sure it's good and if it wasnt for the price back in the day and nowadays the privacy aspect Id be doing it already!

    What I want to know is, what should I keep an eye on that I might start doing or I might see competitive shooters do that is actually a bad habit for the street and I should be cognizant its a thing like blading in boxing competition. Yeah its possible to stand square and compete in boxing but you cant get to a high level that way (to my knowledge), so maybe theres some gamer-based stuff that is less good for the street but necessary for the artificial game of shooting comps?

  2. #2
    Gucci Gear, Walmart Skill Darth_Uno's Avatar
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    Competition Bad Habits? Do any exist? Competing Anonymously possible?

    Shooting matches isnít a 1:1 equivalent to the realities of a gunfight, but itíll make you a better shooter. Since you already seem to be aware of this, you should be good.

    To use a similar example to your boxing, think of training non-stop for one specific lift. Youíll get really good at that specific lift, but youíll also get stronger overall.

    And I used to shoot IDPA anonymously. Not for security reasons, I just wanted to see how Iíd do and wasnít interested in ranking or moving up. When my (now closed) range hosted matches, I could pay the fee and shoot. I just wasnít listed on any match results.


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  3. #3
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    A guy near me competes under a nom de guerre. He works for a college in the city of Chicago so...yeah. I'd probably ok it with the MD first, and believe me, you'll have a hard time finding photos or videos of you. Usually you'll have to ask someone to film your stage.

    As far as competition and bad habits, a lot of discussion can be had on that subject. The advice that I, as a decidedly non tactical dude might give is this. If you got challenged to a fight in your Muay Thai school, you probably wouldn't compare it to a fight with a dude in a bar. There are rules and there is a much greater risk of misfortune befalling you if something goes wrong in a street fight.

    But if you got in a street fight with the dude at the bar, your mechanical ability to fight would not be the problem. You may need to alter strategies.

    I sense the people who think a GM class shooter suffers tactically because he shoots a game are the same people who think an undercard for the UFC couldn't win a street fight with a dude who doesn't train.

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  4. #4
    I have never heard of somebody creating an alias to compete before but I'm sure you could if you wanted to. The club I shoot at uses Practiscore and 95% of the shooters sign up/pay online. So you'd need faux payment info as well. That could be tiresome.

    We usually squad around 60 shooters for most matches. Sometimes upward of 100. Most everybody in attendance is there to shoot and really couldn't give two shits what anybody's name or occupation is. And there sure as hell isn't anybody asking to take my picture.

    I've had some people tell me that shooting sports instill "bad habits." They're usually the people that attend two matches, get their asses kicked or DQ'd and never go back.

  5. #5
    Member That Guy's Avatar
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    For an expert opinion, look up what Dagga Boy has written about the difference between competition and real life shooting.

  6. #6
    Lowly Production C-Class olstyn's Avatar
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    You can definitely compete at least semi-anonymously. You do not have to be a USPSA member to shoot level 1 matches, every level 1 match I've ever attended happily takes cash for payments and allows day of signups. While I've never tried to hide my name, I've never had my ID checked, so I could easily have given whatever name I liked, and nobody would have been the wiser. All of that said, the USPSA website only lists first name + last initial of competitors in the scores unless you're a logged in member, so unless your blue-voting associates are joining organizations they're politically against in order to try to "infiltrate" them, I think the risk of competing under your own name is fairly low.

    I have a similar situation in terms of wanting to hide my status as a gun owner from certain parts of my family and social circle, and the only time I've ever really worried about it in regard to competition was when my squad at the state section match wanted me in a photo that was going to end up on a Facebook group. I explained to them why I was refusing to be in the picture, they understood, and it was no big deal.

    Whatever way you choose to do it in terms of your name, get out there and compete; as others have already said, it'll make you a better shooter, and it's also a hell of a lot of fun.

  7. #7
    Member Olim9's Avatar
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    Chuck Pressburg has some great insights on this topic
    https://youtu.be/3dM6XRQCJY0

  8. #8
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    Iím not up on all the practiscore stuff, but I donít now that anyone ever carded me to shoot a match. Had I shown up and said my name was Bevis Judge I canít recall a time where anyone would have questioned it.

    While electronic payment may mean that youíre not totally anonymous, if your only real concern is the public facing aspect you could register as George Constanta but pay with your real payment info and the public-facing scores would only show your alias.

    As far as bad habits, I wouldnít worry about that. Shoot to win, or at least improve. Donít let ninja skills creep into your gaming. It will not get you killed in the streets (brass in pocket, waiting for whistles to draw, and other old wives tales not withstanding).

    Ironically there is at least one person Iím aware of thatís in a wheelchair today at least in part because his military training had him retaining empty, or partially empty, mags. Had he been a competition shooter heíd have likely had bullets in the gun when the dude with the AK resurrected himself. So you canít even really rely on ďcombat trainingĒ to not get you killed in da skreet.

  9. #9
    "can I compete anonymously?"

    I suppose that's going to depend on the venue. I used to run bullseye league, and I didn't check IDs or anything - you walked in, said 'I'm Fred Smith', and I wrote your name down. Many people had NRA classification cards, but it wasn't required. I guess I never worried that bank robbers or terrorists were competing; the matches were at the local PD range, and I suppose all the marked cars and uniforms would be somewhat of a deterrent to ne'er do wells. And even if ID was required, the match director might be sympathetic to a request along the lines of 'Here's my real name/ID to show I'm not a crook, but can you put me in the match results as John Wayne, because I have privacy concerns (crazy ex is a stalker, you served on an MS-13 jury, your wife is a cop, ...).

    "even just photos the match organizers might post to facebook will be facial recognition matched to me"

    That's a possibility. I'd expect politely asking photo takers to not include your face would work, but of course you might not notice all the photographers.

    "what bad habits might come from competiting?"

    You certainly can develop bad habits. The classic one was people shooting their string from a revolver and then emptying the brass into their hand and pocketing it (because the training range wanted all brass picked up), and then continuing that habit in a fight. I'm no expert, but the question might be 'will the extra skill I get from competition outweigh the negative of whatever bad habits I acquire'. Suppose competing in some format lets you get really good with the first magazine's worth, but gives you the bad habit of not letting the mag drop on the ground. While you'd be better off w/o that bad habit, it might mean you are a better/faster shot with those first 17 (or whatever) rounds, and that's not nothing: the overall tradeoff might be better than just shooting less.

  10. #10
    Site Supporter David S.'s Avatar
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    Regarding privacy: For convenience sake, I'd maintain my first name and only change my last name. (Unless I had a name that's particularly unique in shooting sports)

    I doubt anyone is going to specifically film you and tag you in pics unless you ask them, but they may take and post random pics that happen to include you. I don't see how you have much control over that.

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