But it has little to do with shooting USPSA instead of taking a tactical course. Instead, it has to do with WHERE you are training.
Flat range mindset is a sticking point with me during training. Too often, when I set up drills that require kinetics, guys are hesitant to move in varying directions, with a gun in their hands. The administrative need to orient it downrange overrides the necessity to move naturally with a weapon system in hand.
This was brought home to me when I was on “Shooting Gallery”, training with Gabe Suarez. One of the drills we did was a shoot on the move where we darn near ran full-out at a 45 degree angle to the target while putting rounds on-target. Because of my history with square ranges and IDPA, I was doing a “duck walk” and couldn’t initially work up the speed that Gabe was looking for. Once Gabe helped me get into the spirit of things by pointing the frame (Not the barrel nor the slide, just the frame. Calm down, people.) of his Glock at my head, it quickly got me out of the square range mindset and onto the 360 degree world of the street.
Because so much of our competition/practice/training revolves around cold ranges, keeping our guns pointed downrange at all times and/or not pointing our gun at the guy next to us, we forget that the real world does not have a 180° rule. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT in favor of “big boy rules” and sending students into the line of fire, but you can’t think outside of the box if you can’t go past the firing line. Sure, you can “scan and assess” for threats if you’re doing tactical training on the line, but how much good does that do if you can’t take the logical next step and actually engage the threat you’ve spotted?
On a related note, a local firearms training company puts on a “Shoot N Scoot” practice/range session on the weekends that’s pretty much a free-form steel/USPSA practice session for new gun owners, but done with a hot range. At first, I didn’t quite understand what they were doing, but once I went to one, I got it. The shoot n scoots aren’t there to teach the latest tactical techniques or get people up to C Class in USPSA overnight. Rather, it’s there to get new gun owners used to the simple concept of carrying a loaded gun around on a regular basis.
Any CCW instructor will tell you that the #1 problem they face is getting people to carry their guns after their students have finished their class. Carrying around a pound of potentially dangerous metal on your hip is not a part of most people’s lives before they take a CCW course, so anything that gets your students accustomed to safely carrying a loaded gun around and safely shooting it under stressful conditions is a good thing (and good for your repeat business as well).