“World Champion.” Fewer words have more meaning to any athlete, who will strive for years for that one moment to be at the top of their sport—to reach the pinnacle and stand as unquestioned champion and master of their field. Until 2011, the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), had never crowned a World Champion. That all changed in the pouring rain of Frostproof, Florida.
My experience with the International Defensive Pistol Association began back in 2008 in a small town named Atlanta…Indiana. The Atlanta Conservation Club was holding their monthly IDPA match, and I was fresh off getting an Indiana carry permit, so I figured “let’s do this!” Needless to say, I showed up with a bad gun for the game in a terrible holster, and I got stomped. But I also got hooked, and soon thereafter I had picked up my first 1911, which I still have, and shot my first state championship match… where I also got stomped, but learned alot.
Somewhere between that time and September of 2011, I got better. I kept shooting, kept practicing, and last year I became one of only 13 people that have achieved the rank of Master class in all five of IDPA’s division. IDPA divides shooters at matches up based on two criteria—division and classification. Your division is based on what gun you shoot, and the five divisions break down like this:
• Custom Defensive Pistol (CDP)—for .45 ACP guns.
• Enhanced Service Pistol (ESP)—for single-action guns like 1911s in 9mm or .38 Super.
• Stock Service Pistol (SSP)—for Glocks, Berettas, M&Ps, Sig Sauers, etc.
• Enhanced Service Revolver (ESR)—basically a division for the S&W Model 625 .45 ACP revolver.
• Stock Service Revolver (SSR)—for revolvers in .38 Special that load from speedloaders.
IDPA further breaks shooters into groups based on classification. Your class is determined by shooting the IDPA Classifier, a 90-round match consisting of all the fundamentals of IDPA. The ranks in IDPA are then determined by your score on the classifier. You can qualify in any of the following ranks: