The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is America's fastest-growing practical shooting discipline. With more than 12,000 members since its inception in 1996, the IDPA has risen to fill the self-defense niche on today's shooting-sports menu. So what exactly is IDPA?
To quote directly from the rule book: "IDPA as a sport is quite simply the use of practical equipment including full charge service ammunition to solve simulated real world self-defense scenarios. Shooters competing in IDPA events are required to use practical handguns and holsters that are truly suitable for self-defense use. No competition only equipment is permitted in IDPA matches since the main goal is to test the skill and ability of an individual, not his equipment or gamesmanship."
Shooting an IDPA match is a little like a round of golf. You show up with your equipment (guns and ammo instead of clubs and balls), which you use to negotiate an obstacle course. Lowest score (strokes in golf, seconds plus penalties for misses in IDPA) wins. To finish the analogy, it is important to note that a round of golf is different from a golf lesson, just as an IDPA match is different from firearms instruction. Ideally, the match is an opportunity to practice your gun-handling skills in a competitive yet friendly environment.
IDPA matches are based on tactical reality in self-defense shooting scenarios. Each match is supervised by Safety Officers (SOs) and Match Directors (MDs) who ensure that safety is paramount and that each match is conducted appropriately within the subjective competition rules of the International Defensive Pistol Association. According to the IDPA rule book, "Certified Safety Officers are the people whose purpose and goal is for all the shooters at the match to have a safe and enjoyable day at the range by directing the shooter through the course of fire."
You don't have to have the latest gun, sighting equipment, and competition holster to be competitive. Since alterations to the sidearm are carefully regulated in IDPA, and magazine capacity is limited to a division-specific maximum of 10 rounds it is possible to be competitive in IDPA with a greatly reduced outlay of money.
You can find more information on www.idpa.com or
For info on local IDPA matches and practices please visit www.metrowesttactical.com
Be safe and join us at the range!