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Old September 11, 2011, 07:18 PM   #1
stonewall50
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Physical Fitness is a MUST!

I was recently in a situation that made me question the methods of self defense of some of my family. I watched an older gentleman playing a game with his grandson. A quick little burst of energy landed him in the hospital with some pretty nasty injuries to his knee and hip(he tripped in a hole and fell basically is the short version).

I got to thinking about what might happen if someone like my grandfather or even my father (who is no spring chicken either) were to get involved in an altercation that require them to fight back. My father gets little excersise outside of hunting season(though he is not the staypuff marshmellow man...he isn't 20 either). My grandfather can hardly walk. I train in martial arts(brazillian jiu jitsu for flexibility, balance, strength, and weight loss and kali for self defense...plus learning some standard dirty fighting tactics and DTs from friends that are prison guards) and I am am frequently doing some form of workout around that training.

How many of you take into account your AGE and ACTUAL ability in a situation where you might have to resort to pulling a firearm? Remember in answering this question that you must get enough space to pull your firearm. That entails being able to ward off an attack and have enough balance, energy, speed, and strength to handle the situation. If you want a reality check I suggest you watch videos from The Armed Citizen channel on youtube. Not my page, but an EXCELLENT source for videos of ACTUAL events.
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Old September 11, 2011, 07:27 PM   #2
irish52084
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I train similar to you and I am always looking for little tricks to add to my "survival" bag.

I think a lot of people who carry are quick to dismiss the fact that they may need to separate themselves from an attacker to get to their gun. I also read a lot where people rely almost solely on their situational awareness in hopes of surviving or avoiding an attack. I think these are huge mistakes and bull headed attitudes.

It's tough to convince people to change their ways. I've been trying for years to get my father to train and practice more as well as carry more often, but to no avail. He's like me and can be very stubborn.
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Old September 11, 2011, 07:44 PM   #3
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Physical Fitness is important, and probably - if we knew the lifestyles and eating habits of many of the people on this forum, they are statistically more likely to die of cardiac arrest than ever be acosted let alone killed by a criminal, yet they'll spend thousands of dollars on firearms under the pretense of it being for survival and self-protection, but they won't exercise, or stop eating the bacon cheeseburgers.

On the other hand, the firearm is the great equalizer, giving a frail old woman the ability to defend herself from the even the most physically fit young, would-be mugger. Meaning, she doesn't have to out-wrestle or duke it out with an 18 year old homocidal maniac, she just has to deploy her firearm and shoot him.

Yes there are circumstances that govern any situation, a frail old woman is not going to be able to deploy her firearm easily if the mugger already has her in his clutches.

One of the reasons physical fitness is important to me is that it improves my grip, stance, helps me maintain better sight picture and sight alignment longer, and just generally improves my performance. I also can shoot well for longer periods of time without getting fatigued.
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Old September 11, 2011, 07:55 PM   #4
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I share the same midnset as you guys. I want to know how to fight with and w/o weapons. I train in muay thai and eskrima. I like the conditioning aspect of boxing, muay thai, and jiu jitsu, etc. I lost a lot of weight from muay thai alone.

Stonewall50, do you practice blade work in your eskrima?
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Old September 11, 2011, 08:23 PM   #5
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Its just a matter of fact that as we get older "things change". Its doesnt really matter if you are 22-45 or 70, you need to have a good understanding of your abilities as a physical human being. Not just for SD purposes but as a general purpose of getting though life. Understanding your abilities and limitations as we age is just a life experience process that is closer to instinctual than anything else- specific ages dont matter all that much.
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Old September 11, 2011, 08:31 PM   #6
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I do take into account my age [68] and physical ability, and to tell you the truth it's scary. My body is so broke up from my wild younger years that there isn't much I can do. But I do think about it a lot and try to work out some.
After much consideration, I started to carry in front where my hands are always close to the weapon and I don't have to reach back to access it.
Awareness is of utmost importance in my situation. Believe me, when you get to where I am you think of these things. At least I do.
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Old September 11, 2011, 08:34 PM   #7
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The thing of it is, a lot of people seem to feel that if they have a gun, they don't need hand-to-hand skills. And many of them feel it takes too long to learn how to fight effectively.

With regard to needing hand-to-hand skills, there are many more scenarios where putting hands on somebody might be both required and justified than there are where shooting somebody would be required and justified. If one only has a gun, and no other tools in the toolbox, how does one handle lower-level threats?

And, as noted in earlier posts, to use a gun, one has to be able to bring the gun to bear.

So, as far as learning how to fight effectively goes... it would take months, or even years, to make somebody into a good fighter. On the other hand, it would only take a few hours of training to greatly improve somebody's chances of being able to maneuver or break loose long enough to draw and use a weapon.

This is true for small people and old people of either sex.

While nothing is guaranteed, there are several basic movements that have high success rates at escaping grabs, that do not rely on strength or speed. Gravity, torque, and body unity can do wonders.
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Old September 11, 2011, 08:49 PM   #8
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Never really got into M/A all that much, but I do Tai Chi every morning, around 15 mins. My niece is a Krav instructor, she would wipe the floor with me (and I have 6" and 40 lbs on her)

I keep in shape just by being around horses all day, and all they require, my dad was 77 when he died and could still throw 60lbs bales......all day long.
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Old September 11, 2011, 09:10 PM   #9
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So many gun guys fear and prepare for the chinese paratroopers but not diabetes and heart disease.
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Old September 11, 2011, 10:02 PM   #10
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If physical fitness is a MUST, then some of us are without hope.
Age and diseases take a toll that prevents many of the elderly over 70 from being fit. Accordingly, we must do what we can under the circumstances, but for many of us fighting off an attacker for more than a few seconds is out of the question.

Such problems come upon everyone if you live long enough. Fortunately, with good judgment the odds of attacks are very small. I can attest to that and so can those I know.
Yes, it can happen to anyone anywhere, but it does not except in very rare instances.

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Old September 11, 2011, 10:38 PM   #11
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A cane could be an option, depending. But then there's the legal aspect, but if you are older and unable to defend yourself physically, and can defend that it court, disparity of force may be on your side. I don't know for sure on that, so don't quote me.

As for empty hand techniques, it really comes down to why you need them. I'm young, have had a lot of experience in Martial Arts and real, albeit stupid, fights. So, I can't touch on self defense in later years, but I'm thinking a lot of basic escapes would be first. It doesn't take as much strength, or even speed sometimes, to accomplish. Add a face shove and it can buy a bit of time.

As for the content of the original post, falling is more common and just as dangerous as a violent situation. There was a study done not too long ago about the elderly falling and getting hurt while the young usually don't. They came to the conclusion that since people USUALLY don't practice falling, they don't know how to react accordingly. They started a course to teach people to fall safely in hopes of preventing injury. I've not heard anything about it since, but I thought I'd mention it.
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Old September 11, 2011, 10:46 PM   #12
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Interestingly, when snowboarding was first getting popular with my peers in the 90's (the decade, not my friends' ages), the leading injuries were to hands and wrists. People who aren't proficient in falling tend to try to catch themselves on their most vulnerable body parts - hands and wrists have lots of small bones and are very, very fragile things. The muscles of the lats, buttocks, and thighs are much better at handling impacts.... watch a judo guy take a breakfall sometime.

So, yes, knowing how to fall makes a difference.

Also, being comfortable with falling tends to make people more relaxed when it happens. People who are tense immediately prior to and during an impact tend to incur more injuries than people who are relaxed and loose.

Which is one major reason why in car accidents involving drunk drivers and sober drivers, the sober drivers are usually hurt worse.
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Old September 12, 2011, 07:35 AM   #13
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Yes indeed, it's important to know where we are physically. As age creeps up (and up) on us, our limitations expand faster than our skills. I was lugging a pair of 40 lb bags of salt to the water softening unit. I've done this every couple of months over the last years. Now that I'm approaching 60, I didn't realize that I had become that much more fragile. Now, after rotator cuff surgery for the tear initiated by the salt bags, I'm much more aware.

I wonder what defense programs are out there that address the ongoing damage of aging. For me PT used to mean physical training; now it means physical therapy. It's easy to say "stay in shape" when you're in your 20s to 40s, but when there's no cartilage left in one knee, only 1/2 in the other, your hips feel like some b*st*rd has poured sand in them, and you can stand at attention like the old British redcoats with their leather collars just because of the arthritis in your neck, the admonitions for a rigorous daily exercise routine just don't reach the level of reality. So, are there people who specialize in this problem? Is there SD/HD training available for the arthritic? I've seen individual responses about personal adaptations, but I wonder if there isn't a market for a systematic program.
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Old September 12, 2011, 07:50 AM   #14
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I don't think people fully appreciate how injuries limit what exercises you can do afterwards.

I had a double hernia when I was a kid, which got sowed up, which was the best technology at the time. I opened it up again while sparring in karate, it got sowed up again, and then 3 years ago moving a peice of heavy equipment. This last time mesh was put in, but basically, there is no recovery program like athletes go through in the NFL after ACL surgery or something. I'm not going to get back to some 95% number of what I was...

Basically I can't lift anything over 100lbs - end of story.

So there are some exercices that are just out of any regimin I use to stay in shape.
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Old September 12, 2011, 08:09 AM   #15
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There's a reason why predators prey on the OLD, weak and sick.

Besides attempting to stay in good physical condition (which has varying success), maybe being willing to draw earlier is justified?
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Old September 12, 2011, 08:16 AM   #16
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Physical fitness is helpful - there's no doubt about that. But, good training with a gun in various situations can make up for some lost physical fitness. At some point in all or our lives, those of us who are lucky, will live to be lacking in physical fitness and other physical abilities.

If you leave this world physically fit and mentally competent - something went wrong.
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Old September 12, 2011, 08:29 AM   #17
MLeake
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I understand about physical limitations, even though I'm only in my early 40s.

That's partly because, in my early 20s, I had an impact with a wall in a racquetball court (of all things) that herniated two lumbar disks, one so badly that it impinged my left sciatic nerve to the point my left leg was barely useable. It ultimately required surgery (diskectomy). Every so often, since then, I've tweaked the old injury. Sciatica isn't fun.

Along the way, I've knocked one kneecap 7 or 8 degrees out of alignment (dropped a 55lb dumbbell on it), but that was fixed over time via physical therapy. I tore up the soft tissue in one shoulder doing too many dips, then damaged the other shoulder by favoring the first one....

Also tore the junction of my left achilles and gastrocnemius in a football game... That one talks to me if I run much more than a mile.

So, given that list of limitations, I've had to modify my routine.

Squats went away after the back injury. There's really no way to do those without loading up the lumbar region. I'll do leg presses on a seated shuttle, but no squats. I have to be very careful with shrugs and curls.

I also learned that doing more core work is good for supporting the back. Planks in particular, but also crunches, leg lifts, etc. A stronger core section means less back pain, in any given activity.

With the shoulders, I figured out what range of motion I can work before I start feeling pain. If I push those limits, it isn't with weights, it's with yoga or plyometric exercises.

For many people, yoga or tai chi make a lot more sense than resistance training. For people with leg injuries, Pilates was developed to help rehabilitate ballet dancers with leg injuries, so it's typically a good fit.

For arthritic knees, aside from glucosamine, I don't know much about dealing with that. Although if I had those issues, and lived near a lake or river, I think I'd do a lot more canoeing.

One of the big things I've found over the years is that if I don't enjoy an exercise, I won't do it. It's much easier to motivate myself to go to the dojo than it is to get myself to go running. It's much easier to motivate myself to get on a mountain bike trail than it is to get myself to ride a stationary bike. In the winter, I like skiing. Hiking with the dogs is a good option.

So, to summarize, tailor your workout plan around your limitations; find exercise programs that you actually enjoy, whenever possible. And a point I should have raised earlier - consult your physician for advice.

Last edited by MLeake; September 12, 2011 at 09:53 AM.
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Old September 12, 2011, 09:27 AM   #18
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Awareness is of utmost importance in my situation. Believe me, when you get to where I am you think of these things. At least I do.
This is key for all of us, even the kung fu experts. Situational Awareness is the single most important tactic we can deploy IMO. I have used it to avoid many a potential situation and as advanced warning for a couple others.
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Old September 12, 2011, 09:45 AM   #19
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never mess with an old man, they will just shoot you.
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Old September 12, 2011, 12:15 PM   #20
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stonewall50
Physical Fitness is a MUST!
I still work out, trained in martial arts, stay active, and am not overweight - but know what??? Most guys in good shape in their 20's can probably kick my butt in a fair fight. Key word - fair. Heck, my 12 YO who is 5'7" (gotta be the German side of the family) would probably give me a run for the money strength & endurance-wise! Getting old sucks, but thankfully we have other tools available to even things out.
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Old September 12, 2011, 12:19 PM   #21
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If you leave this world physically fit and mentally competent - something went wrong.
Geez! I never thought of it in those terms, but you are 110% correct!!!
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Old September 12, 2011, 01:35 PM   #22
stonewall50
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I am glad this spawned such a long discussion.

I see a lot of talk about technique and lasting. The thing is with self defense, a situation is going to be over within seconds. Not minutes. I think we all generally know that. So the best and most effective techniques are the ones that are going to give you clearance and distance. When I train kali I prefer to learn about how to defend against blades and sticks with empty hands. I will probably never need my gun, and it is less likely that I will have a knife or stick in my hand either.

I recently read a book about a member of the SAS. When he discussed close quarters combat, he refered to higher level martial arts as being unneccessary and too fancy. What they learned was quick effective brawling skills. That is basically what I am advocating now. These skills can be practiced by a man named Lucky missing a leg and an eye with 1 hand behind his blown out back. All you need to be able to do is put out 1-3 brutal shots out.

As far as PHYSICAL fitness being so important...if you are older and you should talk to your doctor about a good workout. Even if you are 40 you should change your workout routine to fit your aging body. I talked to my dotor around my 22 birthday about my workout habbits and what I should do. It isn't that I am out of shape or need to change, I just want to know the best things to do for my no longer rubber teenage body. But if you want something for ability...be able to simply do 3 minutes of difficult cardio(for YOU). Why? Because no REAL fight is going to last that long. And you can build to that 3 minutes. That is all I really have...the rest I say here is simply my $5(i talk too much for it to be $0.02) on my own training for hand to hand.

The tactics I am most likely to use in a fight that I practice most often are BASIC skills that take very little effort. In the end my FIRST goal is escape. That means proper strike points (eyes, philtrum, nose, jaw line, throat, genitals, knees, and ankles). You hit someone with a quick direct shot to these locations and you have just given yourself a big chance of survival. I also don't practice a punches and kicks with these really. I don't want to break my smaller fingers if I miss. I use the heel of my hand, elbows, and knees. I actually have taken it to the point that I practice headbutting someone in the nose(but that is just my curve ball...we all have those). As far as getting in close like that I have worked my Brazillian Jiu Jitsu into the game as well...if you are familiar with the art you know that standup is the same as Judo basically. My instructor is actually a champion Judoka from Brazil. At 55 he can still throw ME (a full 100 pounds more). So I try to keep the footwork, sprawls, and trips in my standup game. The trips are a REALLY good technique to have in that defense bag because they are easy to pull off on someone who isn't watching their footwork.

I would say if you REALLY want to learn what techniques are effective...find somewhere that teaches general self defense (even a women's self defense course can be effective for a man because the techniques will be almost the exact same) learn a few moves and practice. And remember....SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. We all know that, but just remember to look around. It doesn't take more than a few miliseconds to see who that person is behind you.
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Old September 12, 2011, 01:55 PM   #23
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Physical fitness IS a MUST!! Not for shooting, but for living. Age, injury, and disease ultimately catch us all. The only way to "shoot back" is by working the body. Exercise is a proven, FREE (relatively, running shoes cost money) way to increase the quantity and quality of life. As the old saying goes, "If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl. But, by all means, keep moving." It sounds funny, but it works in life too. Keeping active keeps you able.

Oh, and there isn't just running. That's my addiction. There's swimming, hiking, martial arts, (all other addiction... guilty as charged. ) and many other activities for everyone. Get up, get outside, get moving... and shooting.
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Old September 12, 2011, 02:28 PM   #24
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Don't pick a fight with an old man.

He may decide to kill you.
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Old September 12, 2011, 02:50 PM   #25
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I have yet to see an old farmer couldnt pick up his load country living keeps one fit and strong. Daily heavy work is key, lift up stuff carry it around drop it there etc. I unload 2 ton of feed in bags weigh 80 lbs by myself, saturday went up on the barn roof to replace broken sky lites, saved 500 insur money doing it myself, roof and siding on house is next.

Physical work is good for ya, not as much is done these days as in older times. Cut up a tree went over next I will split it up by hand....

Get out and do some work, or come over and lend me a hand
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