Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fitness for Fighting

Fitness is extremely important. Not only is it important for improving quality of life but it's important for survival. During potentially dangerous or violent situations the body goes into "fight or flight" mode. This generally causes a release of adrenaline and other stress hormones. The result is an increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, tunnel vision, decrease in motor control, diminished mental acuity and muscular quivers known as "the shakes". If a person is not physically or mentally prepared for this response it can be overwhelming. It can actually lead to a "freeze" response rather than a "fight or flight" response. In other words the mind and the body become so overwhelmed that the intended victim becomes frozen in place with fear. Even if the person is able to avoid the "freeze" response he or she may become physically unable to continue the response due to physical and/or mental fatigue. Remember, while violent altercations generally do not last long, most under 1 minute, they can still be physically and mentally draining due to the adrenal response and the violent muscular contractions that are required to fight or flee.

Keeping this in mind, we can see how important physical fitness is to our survival, especially during potentially violent altercations. We should all spend a portion of our lives striving to improve our fitness. This can be as simple as spending 15 minutes 2 or 3 times each work performing some interval drills or be as extreme as working out 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week. Personally I prefer brief and efficient workouts only 2-3 days per week. I adhere to the philosophy that we should exercise to live not live to exercise. However, I can not stress how important some amount of physical exercise is, especially if you should be unlucky enough to find yourself in a potentially violent or life-threatening situation. Combine efficient exercise with efficient self-defense training and you will be well on your way to successfully dealing with most altercations you may run into. And, if you are lucky enough to never find yourself in such a situation you will have at least improved your overall quality of life by taking steps to improve your health and your safety.

Take care and stay safe!

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-27 years training in personal safety -Multiple martial arts black belts -Multiple instructor certifications -Certified law enforcement trainer -Crime Prevention Specialist -Previous self-defense trainer for one of the country's largest airlines -Child safety specialist -Certified Fitness Trainer -TACTIX Fitness Trainer -High Intensity Training Specialist -FAST Defense Instructor -Kid Escape Instructor
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