I hear this a lot from tactical trainers. Competition will get you killed as you always revert to your training. Or competition creates training scars. Or………

They always come up with something like we always had to do X on the range and officer so-and-so got hurt because he did X when he was put under pressure. [Most of the time these stories are fabrications not based on reality.] My thought is that officer did the bare minimum of training to be able to qualify. When the SHTF he had no clue how to react and went back to his minimal training.

In my 20′s I had a job that put me in harms way and a few times a month I had to defend myself. I used to spar a lot to stay in shape and stay sharp. When sparing we did not hit full power, or try to submit people at full power, or do things that would incapacitate our opponent. When the time came for a real fight where there were no rules I had no trouble understanding that there were no rules and to proceeding accordingly.

It was because I spend a lot of time working on my skills that I did not have a problem keeping my head when the SHTF. I didn’t have to think about the skills, just the situation.

Shooting competition is a great way to learn how to run a gun. It has nothing to do with tactics. What it does do is keep your shooting skills honed under pressure so when you do need them you don’t have to think about it.

I spared to stay in shape and I enjoyed it. I shoot because I enjoy it and to have fun with my friends. It also gives me a reason to train. I train to keep my skills sharp.

– Jason Steel