Eric Grauffel and Robert Vogel are superstars of the IPSC world and by watching the way they demolish this steel you can see why. Both competitors possess an incredibly impressive resume of achievements within the firearms world, and although they are not combat shooters, both have mastered the pistol.
Eric Grauffel has astoundingly won 199 President Medals and is a five time World IPSC Champion making him one of the most accomplished shooting competitors. He has succeeded in achieving an unprecedented winning streak by taking roughly 190 straight victories against the world’s top competitors. Eric Grauffel is sponsored by Tanfoglio amongst numerous other notable companies.
Robert Vogel is also not a person to be dismissed or taken lightly as he is an amazing competitor on the world stage. He is the only Law Enforcement Officer to have won both IPSC and USPSA championships and his resume includes a stunning amount of titles and awards. Mostly accomplished with a Glock in his hands.
Both shooters began early and since that time have spent countless hours training and putting millions of rounds down range. By studying the videos and hopefully being able to train with them, we can take a peak at the awesome skill and technique that these two display.
One element that stands out to me most is the way that each athlete does not hesitate or become thrown off by missing targets. It’s great going when the ship sails smoothly, but real competitors are determined by how they deal with their errors or un-anctipated events. On top of maintaining focus throughout the stage, their shot cadence, accuracy and speed are awe inspiring to watch. Another skill that sets these two apart from the millions of other competitors other than their flawless reloads and smooth draws, is their ability to move efficiently. This ability much like Bruce Lee’s economy of motion theory, allows both shooters to gain valuable time by not wasting it through excessive movement. This allows them to make accurate hits on target. It would be beneficial to also study their precise movements as they transition to different targets and how they move their shooting platform.
IPSC was broken down simply to me by a student of Eric’s. IPSC, he said, is really two games in one. It’s a moving game, and it’s a shooting game. The faster you move, the more efficient you move, the more time you give yourself to make accurate shots. Not only have I found this to be true in competition, it has resonated within my other training as well, specifically the martial training. There are more or less efficient ways to move your body from point A to point B, as there are with moving your fist from point A to point B. By moving efficiently we are able to gain valuable time and perhaps distance, which when combined give us more space to react. A straight line is more direct than a circle, and as such, a straight punch will always be faster than a hook. Assuming one has any preparation time to put the theory to work. You may drive faster than I walk, but if you leave as I cross the finish line that fact is not going to work to your benefit.
Eric’s characteristic giant step, like a sprinter out of the hurdles, initiates all of his movements. Choosing where to change mags can be the difference between a good win and a close loss.
It is my intention then, to highlight areas where our different skills and training cross-over in order to facilitate the broadening of our individual perspectives. No single person has all the answers that we seek, so we must learn to accumulate, interpret, and extrapolate information from every source available.