Cliff WiesePhysical Fitness and SurvivalFerfal,My name is Cliff Wiese and I am the Director of Fitness for a combatives company in the U. S. called Suarez International. We teach a broad cross-section of the population on how to become effective in violent encounters. Recently, we have started implementing fitness training for our clientele.There are a number of reasons for introducing fitness. Many violent encounters begin as hand-to-hand fights. Accessing any weapon is difficult to impossible if a person is not able to win the initial fight. It requires more than merely strength or even martial arts ability. To win the fight explosiveness, endurance, and the willingness to bring overwhelming violence to the encounter are all essential. If you cannot struggle with someone for several minutes at 100% intensity, you are in trouble. The old-fashioned notion that simply carrying a gun is safety enough is a false assumption. That weapon may never get out of its holster if you cannot survive the initial violence.Being in good physical condition also makes you less of a target for criminals. They want easy victims, not a person who will put up a fight. If you are willing to commit yourself to becoming strong and powerful, along with remaining aware of your surroundings, you become much less appealing to thugs. You will not look like a victim. Why would they want to fight with you when they can wait another five minutes and find an easy victim?Another reason for being in good shape is the potential for an economic meltdown. The saying, “Only the strong survive,” holds very true in this case. The better shape you are in, the longer you will be able to survive. You will have more energy, be less likely to contract illnesses, have a better outlook, and be prepared to possibly work at whatever physical labor that might be available to support your family.Probably the most important reason to workout is because you are much more likely to lead a longer and healthier life than someone who doesn’t exercise. You may or may not be involved in a violent encounter or an economic meltdown. For certain, your life will be improved by being physically fit. Working out keeps your heart healthier, lowers your blood pressure, helps you maintain your weight, and, according to the Mayo Clinic, even has some of the benefits of anti-depressants without any side effects. Staying in shape will improve your life, whatever the future holds. Doesn’t it make sense to be as healthy as possible in all circumstances?I have put together two DVDs for people interested in fitness. The first, Combat Fit I, is for someone who is just starting a fitness regimen. It teaches you everything you need to know starting with Day 1, Exercise 1, Repetition 1, and helps you progress at a reasonable pace while minimizing your risk of injury and keeping you from becoming too sore from the workouts. It is the first fitness DVD that I know of that helps someone starting a workout program do it right from the first day and teaching them proper progressions. Combat Fit II is a more advanced program for the person who has completed Combat Fit I or who is already in good condition. It teaches exercises that promote strength, power, explosiveness, and endurance. The way that I describe the difference between the two DVDs is that CF I is similar to a program training someone for a military Physical Fitness Test. CF II teaches you how to build the muscle to become the “door kicker” on an entry assault team. I doubt criminals would want to assault either person. Fitness is a big part of survival.The DVDs can be purchased at www.onesourcetactical.com
Cliff, its been great exchanging emails with you and I appreciate the article. Couldn’t agree with you more on the reasons why fitness is a top priority. I’ve noticed it too, at contact range the best hand to hand fighter wins, the gun will be of no use at all if your attacker physically overpowers you. I’m sure I mentioned this before, but its worth telling again. During a force on force exercise, I saw how an excellent shooter lost each and every time against an unarmed non cooperative partner simply because he couldn’t draw his weapon and put it to use at such a range. No matter how fast you are, at contact range all he has to do is move quickly, keep your hand from drawing of even if you do, keep it away from his body. There’s of course techniques you train to make the distance and shoot at extreme close range, but physical fitness plays a mayor role. With your attacker’s hands holding your’s, you better be stronger than your attacker and have some hand to hand training.
Intermediate and advanced combat training is physically demanding. Its not about target shooting. You have to make those tight, small groups when shooting, but you also need to be able to retain your weapon in a fight, run, move for cover, fight with your hands, knife or whatever you have handy, jump walls, drag a partner away from danger (or family member), kick down doors, etc. Sounds like too much for the average Joe? Probably, but once you get started you’ll end up doing many of these things even if you’re a average guy. I’m an average guy and that’s what I enjoy doing. One guy on a forum once told me, “you shouldn’t be doing that, that’s only for cops!” Come again? Why the heck not? A cop wont materialize out of thin air to help me when I need it, and frankly I’m not expecting much from a person that shoots less than 50 rounds during his entire firearms training. In my class there’s business men, construction workers, cops, a judge, a doctor and a lawyer just to name a couple. We’re average Joe but this is what we do with our time and money.
There’s also that little thing called reality and common sense that the survival community could benefit more from. Truth is most of us are thousands of times more likely to die from health complication probably linked to a sedentary life than anything else. How to you “fight “ this? By loosing that extra weight, eating healthy and staying in shape.
Summarizing, fitness will benefit your survival skills and life in general:
*By being combat fit.
*By “looking” fit and strong, thus both being and looking like a hard target certain criminals will avoid messing with.
*By benefiting both your physical an emotional health. You don’t just look and feel better, working out changes your mood and boosts your immune system. Endorphins make you a happier person.
Cliff sent me “Combat Fit I” and “Combat Fit II” and I highly recommend both of them. Between the two they cover fitness to get started from zero to top physical shape. Take it easy when doing the workout and don’t try to skip stages. Cliff Wiese is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and a Sports Performance Coach with almost three decades of fitness experience.