by Mike Seeklander I've been asked many times, "Does 'practical shooting' under the stress of competition offer training benefit to those who want to use these skills for 'combative' purposes?" My answer is a strong yes, and I plan to break down why in this article. This is a two-part article, where I will try to draw correlations between the two areas (combative and competitive) in each of the five critical skill-sets in part I. In part II we will break down each of those skill-sets and discuss training concepts for each area. What's in it for you? Civilians who use practical shooting as a testing ground for their ability to perform under stress will get that process validated. If you carry a firearm professionally, hopefully this will help you convince your supervisor or training coordinator to let go of some ammunition and perhaps a couple hours of training time to test your skills in a local match. Why listen to me? Consider my background. Competitive experience: I am a card holding GM in USPSA, Master in IDPA, and a Master in the NRA classification system. I have done well in pretty much every major match and have more than 10 years competing against the best shooters on the practical shooting circuit. Combative experience: I am a former Marine with combat experience (if Desert Shield/Storm counts as combat!). I have local and federal law enforcement experience, including more than 10 years as a full time instructor or lead instructor a portion of which I was in charge of the Federal Air Marshal (FAM) firearm-training program during the FAM buildup after 9/11. I have had the privilege of working with some of the best Military and Law Enforcement Instructors in the United States, and I credit all that I submit to you in this article to folks I have worked with and learned from. What should this mean to you? It means I have done my homework in both arenas and can hopefully offer some insight into how "practical shooting" translates to quality training for combative purposes.