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Classifier Practice


Racinready300ex
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I keep reading, people shouldn't practice the classifier, you don't want to get to good at the classifer and not do well in matches. So my question is how do I practice with out practicing the classifier?

I like to practice my reloads, I shoot revolver so this is a big area to practice. There are 4 reloads in the classifer. I practice draws, and there are 13 draws in the classifer. I like to work on strong and hand and weak hand, both are in the classifer. I think transitions can really make or break you in a match, so I like to work on them. There are like 33 transitions in the classifer. I know I need to work on is the 1st shot on the move and after a turn. Both are in the classifer. I also need to work on my longer shots, and everyone knows that's in the classifer.

So what should I practice, to avoid getting good at the classifier. I don't want to risk getting classified as a SS with out getting a bump, it just wont be as satisfying.

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Take the shots that trouble you and put the targets even farther away.

Make transitions longer, ie put more distance between the targets, or vary distance in between targets.

Practice draw n turn

Put them all together. The classifier is easy to set up and some people are more concerned about the status of earning whatever classification, I'm more concerned about being at the top of the score sheet.

Practice the weakness until they become strengths, reassess and repeat.

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Nothing wrong with practicing the classifier in my opinion. The skills required in the classifier will be very helpful in any idpa stage, and the fact that you have to shoot it every year makes it convenient to use bits and pieces of it as drills to track your progress.

I just wouldn't recommend practicing exclusively (or even mostly) on the classifier.

Note, for full disclosure, I pretty much ignore the classes unless theres a shooter I don't know close to me in the overall results. I don't care if you are SS, EX or MA, if I have shot against you before, I pay attention to how my results stack up against yours.

Edited by motosapiens
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Think of it another way. Practice the skills you need to win matches. Fact is the skills needed to do well in the IDPA classifier mirrors many of the skills you need in a match- less concealment, movers, lo light, table starts, etc.

I agree with moto- and specifically don't just practice the classifier.

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So what should I practice, to avoid getting good at the classifier.

The goal isn't to avoid any and all skills used in the Classifier. The goal is to avoid overtraining exactly those hyper-specific skills tested in the Classifier. You don't want to classify as a Master and lose in competition to Sharpshooters who have the full spectrum of skills.

So, yes, you want to practice draws, transitions, and mag changes -- but you want to practice them at various ranges, even within the same string, while on the move, while slicing the pie around a corner, etc.

(By the way, isn't it odd that the Classifier doesn't have a single string where you shoot an array of targets in tactical sequence while moving toward cover? You should practice that.)

Edited by Not-So-Mad Matt
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So what should I practice, to avoid getting good at the classifier.

The goal isn't to avoid any and all skills used in the Classifier. The goal is to avoid overtraining exactly those hyper-specific skills tested in the Classifier. You don't want to classify as a Master and lose in competition to Sharpshooters who have the full spectrum of skills.

So, yes, you want to practice draws, transitions, and mag changes -- but you want to practice them at various ranges, even within the same string, while on the move, while slicing the pie around a corner, etc.

(By the way, isn't it odd that the Classifier doesn't have a single string where you shoot an array of targets in tactical sequence while moving toward cover? You should practice that.)

In all fairness... I'd be surprised if someone has the skills to make Master in a classifier and get beat by a SS. That wouldn't make sense to me.

Also- tactical sequence isn't always that common around here. Tactical priority is a must. Besides- I don't think it's a skill that any different than shooting 2/target... other than keeping count. lol

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I'd be surprised if someone has the skills to make Master in a classifier and get beat by a SS.

You should be surprised if someone classifies as a Master but only performs at the Sharpshooter level, but if someone trains specifically for the Classifier, that's what should happen.

It's not unusual for a Marksman to spend 80, 90, even 100 seconds on String 3, with penalty time for points down included, where a Master would only spend 40 or 50 seconds, so working on long-distance shooting might shave 60 seconds off your Classifier score -- without having much effect on match scores. If you also work hard at tactical reloads and one-handed shooting, you might become a decent Marksman with the skills to make Master.

Is this common? No, of course not. Very few people in IDPA want to classify way above their match skill level.

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I'd be surprised if someone has the skills to make Master in a classifier and get beat by a SS.

You should be surprised if someone classifies as a Master but only performs at the Sharpshooter level, but if someone trains specifically for the Classifier, that's what should happen.

It's not unusual for a Marksman to spend 80, 90, even 100 seconds on String 3, with penalty time for points down included, where a Master would only spend 40 or 50 seconds, so working on long-distance shooting might shave 60 seconds off your Classifier score -- without having much effect on match scores. If you also work hard at tactical reloads and one-handed shooting, you might become a decent Marksman with the skills to make Master.

Is this common? No, of course not. Very few people in IDPA want to classify way above their match skill level.

On the contrary from what I have seen it is very common for people with Master level skills to shoot SS on the classifier... for the love of plaques.

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so working on long-distance shooting might shave 60 seconds off your Classifier score -- without having much effect on match scores.

I just don't believe that can realistically happen. If you can classify as master, you clearly have the shooting skills to do well in matches. You would have to train and practice exclusively on the classifier, and consciously try to suck at everything else.

Now the other way around, I can see. I can imagine folks doing well in matches who are only classified SS because they flailed at stage III of the classifier, or because they last shot the classifier a year ago and got better since then or because they are just lame sandbaggers who like the special-olympics class awards. None of which really bothers me.

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I just don't believe that can realistically happen. If you can classify as master, you clearly have the shooting skills to do well in matches. You would have to train and practice exclusively on the classifier, and consciously try to suck at everything else.

If you come to the sport as a novice -- and thus unconsciously "suck at everything" -- and then train hard at Stage 3 of the IDPA Classifier, you will shave 60 or more seconds off your Classifier score without improving your overall shooting skills nearly as much. If you work hard at one-handed shooting, you can shave off more time, again without improving your overall shooting skills much. In this way, you could classify way above your match-shooting skill.

Does anyone do this? Not that I know of. Most shooters do the opposite. (Maybe the revo guys overemphasize the Classifier, since they don't have much chance of a match bump?)

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I just don't believe that can realistically happen. If you can classify as master, you clearly have the shooting skills to do well in matches. You would have to train and practice exclusively on the classifier, and consciously try to suck at everything else.

If you come to the sport as a novice -- and thus unconsciously "suck at everything" -- and then train hard at Stage 3 of the IDPA Classifier, you will shave 60 or more seconds off your Classifier score without improving your overall shooting skills nearly as much. If you work hard at one-handed shooting, you can shave off more time, again without improving your overall shooting skills much. In this way, you could classify way above your match-shooting skill.

Does anyone do this? Not that I know of. Most shooters do the opposite. (Maybe the revo guys overemphasize the Classifier, since they don't have much chance of a match bump?)

I disagree. There is no way someone will shoot a 40 second stage 3 and suck at everything else. Do you know any case of this? It won't happen. It's a shit load easier to shoot targets at 7 yards than it is at 20 yards.

Now can Experts beat "classifier" masters? Sure. Some matches don't offer challenging targets/partials and in that case it speed might be more of a factor that accuracy.

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so working on long-distance shooting might shave 60 seconds off your Classifier score -- without having much effect on match scores.

I just don't believe that can realistically happen. If you can classify as master, you clearly have the shooting skills to do well in matches. You would have to train and practice exclusively on the classifier, and consciously try to suck at everything else.

Now the other way around, I can see. I can imagine folks doing well in matches who are only classified SS because they flailed at stage III of the classifier, or because they last shot the classifier a year ago and got better since then or because they are just lame sandbaggers who like the special-olympics class awards. None of which really bothers me.

Agree. I feel bad for sandbaggers.

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There is no way someone will shoot a 40 second stage 3 and suck at everything else.

How do competitive bullseye shooters do in the IDPA Classifier, anyway?

I stand by my point. There is no way someone will shoot a 40 second stage 3 and suck at everything else. Bulleye shooters don't typically draw, shoot from barricades and barrels and do tac reloads. Again I don't know one case where someone can shoot a 40 sec stage 3 and suck at the rest.

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so working on long-distance shooting might shave 60 seconds off your Classifier score -- without having much effect on match scores.

I just don't believe that can realistically happen. If you can classify as master, you clearly have the shooting skills to do well in matches. You would have to train and practice exclusively on the classifier, and consciously try to suck at everything else.

Now the other way around, I can see. I can imagine folks doing well in matches who are only classified SS because they flailed at stage III of the classifier, or because they last shot the classifier a year ago and got better since then or because they are just lame sandbaggers who like the special-olympics class awards. None of which really bothers me.

Agree. I feel bad for sandbaggers.

I don't really care about sandbaggers. I only look at the overall results anyway, so divisions and especially the artificial classes are uninteresting.

I think IDPA has the right idea by raffling off the valuable prize-table items. Sandbaggers *can* get a plaque, but if you're *really* an expert or master skilled shooter, how lame is a plaque for 1st place SS?

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I'd be shocked to find a true SS-level shooter (not a sandbagger) able to shoot the classifier as a master. Not saying it's impossible. But there are just so many match-oriented skills required in the classifier.

I don't really see anything wrong with practicing some of the classifer strings, particularly if they represent a weakness in your match shooting.

There are a few elements of the classifier that I love to shoot. Some verison of El Presidente, for example, appears over and over in matches - at least the ones I've shot in. So why not practice it?

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There is no way someone will shoot a 40 second stage 3 and suck at everything else.

How do competitive bullseye shooters do in the IDPA Classifier, anyway?

you should find a local Bianchi Cup shooter and run him thru stage 3..

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