Your best defense for when SHTF is a fit body and sound mind, both trained to fight
By Janine Acero // Jul 24, 2019

The world is increasingly becoming more dangerous. Everywhere you look there are looming threats of war, security issues and political unrest. When the brown stuff finally hits the fan and you find yourself surrounded by people who wish to harm you, would you be able to defend yourself? (h/t to


Most accidents that happen on a regular basis are caused by something as simple as negligence. Many people endanger themselves every day by not being attentive to their immediate surroundings no matter what they're doing; be it driving, walking into a grocery store, or even just crossing the street. Since danger is ever-present, it's imperative that you be more proactive in keeping yourself fit and in training your mind and body to react to adverse situations so you can fight for your safety and survival.

The perfect recipe for self-defense

The best way to prepare your body for defensive tactics is to learn basic fighting skills. A simple heavy bag (punching bag), a pair of gloves and wraps, and kicking pads are all you need to train in hand-to-hand combat. You can train with a coach at your local gym – they should have all these items – or you can invest in these items yourself and train at home. There are numerous videos online that teach basic fighting skills that you can follow on your own.

If you decide on training at home, you have to consider the space in which to practice your skills. The fighting techniques below are great for training in minimal space:

  • Punching – This is one of the most basic and instinctive ways of fighting. However, incorrect punching may result in a broken hand or wrist. Practicing the correct form not only increases your strength and the power behind your punches, but also minimizes your risk of injury. To practice punching, stand in front of a mirror so you can watch your form, then bring your hands up in front of your chest or face in a fighting position. Slowly rotate your right forearm as you extend it forward at head height. Your arm should be straight with your palm facing the floor and the wrist straight. Repeat with the left hand.
  • Elbow – Elbow strikes work best when there is little to no space between you and your opponent. To practice the popular horizontal elbow strike, stand in front of a mirror and use your own reflection as a target. Put your hands up in a fighting position, then lift your right elbow until your arm is parallel to the floor. Bend your forearm toward your bicep as you swing your elbow across your body, aiming for the temple in your reflection. Repeat with the left arm.
  • Kicking – The side kick is the most useful form of kicking in a fighting scenario. Many martial arts highlight this type of kick because they tend to be powerful enough to defeat an opponent. To practice side kicking from a static position, lift your right knee up to your waist, then rotate your leg inward so that your knee points to the left and extend your leg directly to the right. Pull your toes back as you kick. In side kicking, the heel is the point of contact. Repeat with the left leg.

So, you already know the standard techniques for physical fighting. However, everything you've learned may go out the window if you don't prepare your mind to fight as well. It's important to strengthen your resolve and pay attention to your mind as much as to your surroundings.

How you think and react under duress will all come down to breathing. When disaster strikes, the surge of adrenaline will make your mind race, your breathing shorter, and might make you freeze in place like a deer in headlights. To combat this response, practice deep breathing.

Take a deep breath. Focus. Feel your body slowly coming down from the adrenaline high and your mental fog clearing up.

While acting quickly in an emergency is important, you won't be able to think through your plan unless you breathe deliberately, recenter yourself, and focus your mind.

Lastly, all these techniques and skills will amount to nothing if you don't keep yourself fit and healthy. What you put in your body as fuel will need to help you get through any tough situation, so make sure that you consume only the good stuff. Eat a balanced, healthy diet full of organic fruits and vegetables every day and keep yourself active and moving with moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercises a couple of days every week.

Sources include: 1 2

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