Short answer: No. Being complacent, lazy and unwilling to test things out in a formal, peer-reviewed environment is much more detrimental than any alleged downside competition may offer.
I’ll let experienced law enforcement officers take it from here:
No one will argue that a race car driver driving a specialized vehicle at speeds in excess of 160 mph will probably still outperform you in a street car. A skilled MMA fighter with some tactical street sense will outperform the average Joe in a hands-on street fight as well.
Yet, because it hits too close to home and challenges our egos, we tend to put blinders on when that competitive shooter absolutely dominates a tactical situation. He gets hits on target before his peers can even mount a weapon. He moves from position to position better, has better weapons handling and safety, and can process information and make decisions at a higher rate of speed than just about anybody else around him.
How does this happen? The reason is that the higher end competitive shooter has trained under far greater stress and pressure than you can put on yourself in training by yourself. He has mastered his emotions, his equipment and has a driving will to prevail that will come into play when he enters a fight….provided he has the right values and mindset for the fight in place as well.
This is training synergy in action and why I use competition as part of our training model. Simply put, you can do more with it, if you use it correctly than you can without it.
Responses to this were spot on:
“IPSC and IDPA… Anyone who thinks that either is going to hurt you in combat is probably someone who is pissed off that they cant keep up with your shooting.”
“I was a firearms instructor for my Dept. for 14 years and had been an IPSC shooter for many of those years (still active in IPSC). I can state with no reservations whatsoever that IPSC competition was a great asset in my ability to deal with deadly confrontations. The competition gave me much better shot placement skills and the pressure of competition enabled me to handle stressful situations on the street with much more confidence.”
“I would much rather have a competitive shooter for back up that the average police officer who barely qualifies each year.”
“Competitive shooting is VERY valuable to LEOs for the reasons stated but the clear majority of officers look for reasons to NOT go and compete because they are afraid of how badly they will do compared to the civilians out there.”