Fit to fight, the run-away defense.
When clients come to me for instruction in firearms, I spend as much time as I can fit in teaching the many other facets to a personal protection plan. For me, number one is alertness. The chronology is certainly a good debate but, I’m a big fan of avoidance. Avoidance starts with alertness.
After that, somewhere on your list should be fit-to-fight. How fit do you need to be? Fit enough to win! Many years ago, I attended an Officer Survival course and the instructor told us, “you need to be able to go 30 seconds longer than the other guy.” That statement said a lot to me.
Occasionally, I will hear the comment “I’ll just run away.” I like the avoidance part of that but, can you run away? Can you exert yourself at close to maximum output for 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 30 seconds longer than the other guy?
If you are not doing a regular fitness program, your personal defense plan has a huge hole in it. If running away is part of your plan but you don’t have a running regiment, you’re fooling yourself. You want to shoot better? Forearm strength is a big factor in recoil control, train them.
If you want a quick check of your fit-to-fight level, try 60 seconds nonstop, on a heavy bag, battle rope, or inertia wave. Then, sprint 50 yards. You’ll know.
It’s too easy to develop a reasonable fitness plan and the reality is, you are more likely to die from a health issue than a violent encounter. Stay fit for better health, and in case you need it to save yourself from a zombie attack.
To start, like shooting, train the things you suck at. If your cardio is weak, prioritize it. If you are weak, do strength training. I started cross training when I was a kid, before the “CrossFit” craze was ever dreamt of. The equipment and science today is much more sophisticated but the concept is the same, train the whole body. Use body weight exercises if you don’t have equipment or a gym membership. Push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, crunches, planks, jump rope, etc. etc. 20 minutes of non-stop movement three times a week would be awesome (more would be more awesome). If you can’t do that, do 10 minutes. From retired SWAT officer Bob Whaley, you need to develop; strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, coordination, and speed (I agree.)
Here is a simple 10 minute workout.
- Pick an exercise i.e. push-ups
- Do one set every minute
Pick a rep number you can manage, like 15. Start your time when you start your reps. If it takes you 15 seconds to do your reps, you then have 45 seconds of rest. As you improve, increase your reps, the time is still one minute. Select any of the above mentioned exercises and do a 10 minute workout. Add them together for 20 or even 30 minute workouts. Do something every day. Ta Da! Next thing you know, you will be fit-to-fight.