One of the most important factors in determining the outcome of a confrontation is often times physical fitness. Unfortunately, fitness is often neglected in self-defense training. A solid foundation of agility, balance, strength and endurance will be needed when in threatening situations. With a little planning and consistency, fitness can be a fun, routine part of your training regimen.
About 15 years ago I was taking a self-defense handgun class. As people were arriving, one of the instructors was complaining about some training she had just attended. The instructor she had trained under was extremely reputable, having taught throughout the country for over a decade. She was upset because a large portion of the class involved getting on and up from the ground. This was difficult for her due to lifestyle choices. Keep in mind, this was a “self-defense” class, not a target shooting class. Instead of realizing that movement was a reality in self-defense situations, she proudly proclaimed that the class was horrible and would recommend it to no one.
Understand that self-defense situations are going to be extremely uncomfortable. You will be forced to do things you would never choose. Do not avoid training that you find physically uncomfortable. Rather, start working out and get in shape!
The key to exercise is consistency! Commit to 2-3 hours per week of exercise and make it a priority. Here are a few things you can do to get in shape for the realities of a confrontation.
- Martial Arts: Study a martial art that has a focus on self-defense. Get in shape while learning combatives in a structured, long-term program.
- Kickboxing Fitness: Kickboxing fitness classes are a great way to have fun, learn some kicking and punching routines, and get in great shape.
- Functional Fitness: Our daily lives require physical activity such as sitting, bending, jumping, stretching, lifting and more. Do your research and find a functional fitness class that works on the movements you regularly encounter.
- Find a Partner: An exercise partner is a great way to have accountability and motivation. Be picky! Find a partner who is serious and will drive you to do your best.
Think about the situations that you may encounter. Is your level of fitness in line with your self-defense plans? Exercise can be fun and rewarding, if you so choose.