By MAJOR HAROLD M CABUNOC (INF) PA
When I set foot in the Land of the Oragons, Bicolandia, I discovered so many pleasant surprises. I have appreciated the scenic spots and the fresh air; and, I met a lot of nice, friendly Bicolanos.
As a shooting aficionado myself, my first point of interest during my first week in Cam Sur is the site of the firing ranges. I felt sorry that we didn’t have a reputable rifle range like the ones in Nueva Ecija and Tarlac. Therefore, I make myself contented with the improvised 300m firing range in the quarry site near the Pili airport. Endangering the jetsetters? No, it is beyond our line of sight (LOS) and bullet path (BP).
Upon learning that one of the best firing ranges in Bicolandia lies 200m from my very own office, I became elated. Shooting is my stress-reliever. Others call me a shooting addict. I don’t care. As a soldier, it is my own way of continuously harnessing my shooting skill which I need to protect myself, my family, and anyone who may need my help. As I regularly visit this firing range, I came to know that the shooters here in Bicol are indulged in a different shooting discipline. “This is the so-called IDPA shooting match”, says LTCOL LEO CIRUNAY (CDP Division, Sharpshooter), one of the best shooters in Bicol today. It was quite new to my ears but I became interested. “Permission to join the group Sir!”, was my quick reply. Having been exposed to IPSC, AARM and PNSA shooting disciplines, I wanted to learn the challenges of IDPA matches.
This shooting sport is governed by the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) which is based in Berryville, Arizona. Founded in 1996, it now boasts membership of more than 13,000 coming from 36 different countries. In the Philippines, Bicol is home to over fifteen gun clubs which are all involved in IDPA matches. Almost every month, IDPA matches are hosted by different gun clubs; and, a Regional Level match is held every quarter. A national level IDPA match is scheduled in November 2009.
IDPA shooting matches are based on real-life scenarios. You normally find hostage-rescue situations and “room-clearing” as well. Basically, the shooter is required to engage the target using Tactical Sequence or Tactical Priority. Unlike in IPSC format, you must hide at least 50% of your body behind hard cover (concrete wall) or else you will be penalized. There are two main magazine reloading techniques: IDPA Tactical Reload and the IDPA Reload with magazine retention. A shooter is only allowed to drop the magazine in the event that all ammo is spent and the gun is in “slide-lock” condition.
Today, IDPA shooting sport is rapidly growing due to the aggressive involvement of Bicolano shooters. It is now declared as the official marksmanship training for all police personnel after their participation in the IDPA format competition in 2008. As the proponent of the CPQC in the Philippine Army, I am also pushing for the adoption of the IDPA shooting sport as the part of the pistol marksmanship sustainment training of all soldiers. I hope that we can replicate this excellent training methodology Armywide.