The class is only 3 days away, and the sign-ups have been available for a month, but so far nobody has contacted me to pre-register! Which is surprising, because it is sponsored by my home club, and we don't charge you for the class.
And it's too bad, because when you get a chance to learn about USPSA competition and it doesn't cost you anything but a few hours of your time (one Saturday afternoon) and a couple of boxes of ammunition.
That's a bargain that's hard to find.
Looking at the USPSA website, I can't find any place where people can look up clubs which offer this training. I think that information should be available for potential new shooters. And I wouldn't expect to find it on the official website, because most of the people who are doing this training are offering private or semi-private lessons/classes.
But private classes take enough time to deal with each individual shooter to correct problems, provide guidance, and evaluate student performances. Those which teach a group, rather than an individual, allow students to learn from each others' mistakes as well as their Good Practices.
Unfortunately, even long videos don't show you everything you need to know to begin competing in USPSA matches.
Usually, the videos are limiting their content to one of three categories:
(1) WHAT YOU NEED TO HAVE TO BEGIN COMPETING IN USPSAThese videos are usually limited to a quick overview of equipment requirements, and they don't get into details. The information they provide is accurate, but they don't answer such questions as:
- Is my gun legal for competition?
- Is my holster legal for competition?
(2) WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BEGIN COMPETING IN USPSASome videos actually show an instructor working with new shooters to improve shooting techniques for specific goals; one example is getting the first shot on the target in under 3 seconds ... and then teaching techniques to get that shot in the target in under 2 seconds!
Some of these videos delve into the rules of competition. I've seen five that get into the "IPSC FAILS" compilations, which show competitors violating several safety rules. They're interesting to watch, but it's impossible to actually get into the details.
Mostly, these videos serve to embarrass the people who are served with at Match Disqualification (DQ). The best of them specify the actual unsafe act which is demonstrated. At least one only specifies the specific rule which is violated.
Citing the rule is not generally helpful:
For example, being notified that the subject competitor action violated Rule 10.3.2 isn't as helpful as that the rule covers "Negligent Discharge". Unfortunately, the term is not defined in the videos.
It would be helpful for a new shooter to know the difference between a Negligent Discharge and a really really bad miss.
And what's worse is that the viewers aren't told how the Range Officer is going to decide whether you missed, or you were negligent.
(3) WHAT YOUR FIRST USPSA MATCH WILL BE LIKEI haven't decided whether these are the most valuable or the least valuable videos, considering the limitations of YouTube Videos.
These videos won't teach you the rules, but they teach you what you can expect at your first match.
They show people actually competing in matches, demonstrate a small number of useful skills, and illustrate that every stage is different, there are no standard stages, and competition will teach you skills which you never thought you would need to use when it comes to gun-handling in several
The Worst Part about relying on the YouTube School of USPSA Competition ...... is that you can't ask questions. You don't get the standard training techniques, which are:
- Tell the Student what he is going to learn
- Show the student what he should do to learn it
- Let the student practice the lesson, until he has learned it
YOU GET DQ'D FOR SHOOTING WITHIN A FEW FEET OF YOUR FEET, but when is it actually okay?
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHOOTING IN THE BOX, OUT OF THE BOX, AND NEITHER IN OR OUT OF THE BOX and why should you care?
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR FAILING TO MAKE A "MANDATORY RELOAD and how can you minimize the consequences?
These, and others, are the sort of things which new shooters will not learn from YouTube.