International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), founded in 1996, is a pistol shooting sport that uses defensive techniques and concealed carry to handle simulated real world encounters in a competitive environment.  It can be enjoyed by a new shooter as well as remain challenging and rewarding for the advanced shooter.

Through regular practice and competition events you will hone your self-defence skills, speed, accuracy and quick reaction time in working through a variety of real-life scenarios.

IDPA is geared toward the average person, using common production un-customized handguns, side holsters, magazines and equipment to engage in realistic defensive shooting situations.  The goal is to test the competitor’s skill and abilities, not the equipment or gamesmanship.  Competition only gear is not permitted





1. How does IDPA fit into shooting sports?
The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates self-defence scenarios and real life encounters. IDPA was founded in 1996 and has grown to over 22,000 competitors spread over 50 countries.
2. Who can compete in IDPA?
If you legally own a handgun, you can shoot IDPA! This sport encompasses all walks of life.
3. What kind of gear do I need to get started?
• A common production pistol • A standard side holster • A magazine carrier • At least three magazines but four is better • A sturdy belt • A cover garment (that covers your magazines and pistol/holster when your arms are raised by your sides, lateral to the ground.) • Please refer to the IDPA rules for gear requirements http://www.idpa.com/compete/rules
4. What should I expect in an IDPA match?
Courses of fire generally fall into two categories. Self defence scenarios simulate real world confrontations and challenge the competitor to engage targets from 3-20 yards using various points of fire and positions. Standard exercise scenarios aren't simulations, but are designed to test the competitor's shooting and gun handling skills. IDPA matches are infinitely unique and always test the competitor's accuracy and speed.
5. What if I'm a novice, or conversely, a veteran competitor?
Depending on the type of pistol used, you will be sorted into five different divisions (ESP, SSP CDP, ESR, SSR). Furthermore, an affiliated club can award five classifications (MA, EX, SS, MM, NV) within each division, given a competitor's performance at a sanctioned match.
6. What are those divisions and classifications?
ESP = enhanced service pistol
SSP = stock service pistol
CDP = custom defensive pistol
ESR = enhanced service revolver
SSR = stock service revolver

MA = master
EX = expert
SS = sharpshooter
MM = marksman
NV = novice
7. How do I get started?
• Contact one of the IDPA Directors (contact information below). • Review the club calendar for scheduled IDPA events. • Next, become an IDPA member. https://www.idpa.com/join-now Holster courses may also be available .