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Three Simple Tips to Getting Combat Ready

As a guy who carried a gun for over 35 years of my life, I can tell you that a gun is a tool, and like all tools, they can fail. You may find yourself in a position where you cannot draw your weapon or drawing your weapon should not be your first response. In these cases, you might have to use your hand to hand combat skills to stop the threat or to at least create the space you need to draw your weapon (or to escape).

To do this effectively, you need to have training in some type of hand-to-hand system. If you’re not training in a self-defense system, then you’re not ready for combat.

I suggest you study something that is really made for combat and not something that is helping you develop your chi, or kick box aerobic for health.

You need something that really prepares you to protect yourself. You must also understand the difference between using your combat skills to stop (or terminate) the threat and using tactics to create space to escape or draw your weapon.

Here are three distinct areas to focus on when training to be combat effective as a responsible concealed carry permit holder:

1. Physical Fitness

I understand that everyone has different levels of physical fitness. I am also aware that some of you reading this may have physical limitations that keep you from performing some movements (that’s OK as long as you do something to constantly improve your physical fitness). Being physically fit doesn’t mean you have to look like a body builder or cross fit champion. You just need to be in the best possible shape that YOU can be in.

When it comes to being ready for street combat, you need to have the strength and stamina to deal with your attackers. You don’t want to gas out during an attack. Personally, I like going to the gym. I also have plenty of weights at home along with a stationary and recumbent bike, elliptical and treadmill, which is plenty to get a good workout in.

You are not required to own all the equipment that I have. You can build a basic gym at home without breaking the bank, and you can actually get into pretty good shape without any equipment at all.

You can do pushups to build arms and chest, pull ups to build your back and arms and squats to build legs. There are also plenty of free and for purchase workout routines available online depending on what you’re looking for and what your goals are.

For example, I recently bought and started the Street Soldier Science Fitness program from TRS. I like it because it prepares your body for combat with the types of moves you will have to use for self-defense. Pick a program that is right for you and start training your body for potential combat.

2. Firearms Training

If you are authorized to carry a firearm, just going through the concealed carry class needed to obtain your permit is not enough. That class was just the basics to demonstrate you have basic knowledge of firearms and the laws you need to know to carry in your state.

Also, just going to the range once a month, if you go that much, is also not training; that is just practice which you should do on a regular basis. But if you don’t know what you are doing, it’s just wasted practice, money, and time.

When I speak of training, I mean actually spending the money and time to go to a course taught by a reputable instructor. I have had a ton of training in the military and law enforcement. If you have that’s great. If not, invest in a few different types of classes to increase your skills with your weapons. By the way, if you plan to use a handgun, shot gun, and rifle, you will need different types of training for the different types of weapons.

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Here are some types I recommend:

  • Basic shooting course
  • Tactical firearms course
  • Shotgun course (if you use one)
  • Long rifle course (if you use one)

Once you attend these courses, you should then take what you learned and practice these skills regularly at your local range to master the skills. Continual training and practice are required to stay sharp. Your firearms are you “go to weapon” to protect yourself and your family, so you should be confident in your ability to use them under stress.

3. Close Quarters Defense & Fighting

Finally, you have to know how to fight. Your weapon may not always be available to you or the appropriate initial response. Even if it is your initial response, you may need to fight to get to it. If you don’t have the combat skills you need you might as well not have a gun since you won’t be able to get to it and use it. Hell, your attacker might even take it away from you and use it against you.

I am often asked which martial arts system or systems I would recommend for a regular person who carries concealed. I have written about my favorite choices many times and will synopsize them hear as well as why I chose them. From my own combat experience base on real life situation during my military and law enforcement careers I’ve settled on three systems that are easy to find and are suited for men, women, and children to defend themselves adequately.

  1. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Most fights end up on the ground, so it is essential to learn how to fight on the ground. I think this is THE best art for this. However, you can also practice judo or wrestling, and they will make you effective on the ground as well.
  2. Krav Maga – This art is practiced by many military forces around the world and was invented to quickly teach soldiers how to fight in real combat, even against weapons. This is a great one to learn.
  3. Western Style Boxing – Even boxing skills will make you very effective in a street fight.

If you cannot afford or get to a school to train, TRS has some great DVDs you can buy and practice at home with, including my own Special Agent Combat System, designed to make you a complete fighter using the same basic and easy to use techniques I taught my special agents.

All three systems are good to know for what you may realistically encounter on the street. The bottom line is any of these will work. Check and see what is available locally and visit some programs to see how they do things. Some will even let you take a few FREE lessons.

My recommendation is that you study a combination of one of the recommended stand-up fighting systems along with one of the ground fighting systems in order to have a complete combat system. As crime in the world increases, so should your training and your skill.

Click here for easy-to-implement and brutually effective combat skills taught by Derek Smith.

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14 thoughts on “Three Simple Tips to Getting Combat Ready”

  1. I’m surprised there’s not any comments on such an informative specification for acquired skills that involves compromised knowledge is needing intervention preemptively of contentious subjects.
    And that’s always?
    Or at least longevity? Even gets better!
    I was in the Military once upon a time ago.
    Had to get permission from my mom I was only 17yrs.
    Yuma bound home base down from 51 & the scrap yard of aeronautics time capsule.
    My mo was the Cook and I was told it’s the best job.
    Never even saw that one coming.
    More than one way too skin a cat says metaphorical practicality.
    Equivalent logics positions.
    Then even had to get permission to venture civi-side (forever-clause) is check. (dam Santa) can’t tell Ones from the other’s sometimes.
    Anyway theirs a hell of a lot I’ve forgotten?
    Bad environment conditions here where I live in the areas.
    Elmer-cud’s Doctor practitioners druged & permanetly injured me experimenting on my mind and also body? And to think I’d worked inside a slaughterhouse just to understand a properly prepared steak. ( I always did my extra homework) Ridleys & Pace packing in Sweetwater tx. Straight-A..talented & fixed that younger tentative.
    Some of those butchers had the sharpest knives in the world.
    Anyway thanks Bob & company for excellence in the range of professionals.

  2. Good knives. and expect traning will also be top quality,. Thanks for keeping us in the loop. and helping to make us prepared.

  3. From the day one , I am on , Fight Fast blog , I never missed any article . In Jamaica , we have about , 10,000 , police officer and 30,000 , liscensed firearm holder . Ministry of National Security , has realized the true fact that , Jamaican police force alone cannot be responsible for protection of law abiding citizen . That is the reason behind , current minister , has decided to encourage all law abiding citizen to arm themselves . Regretably , as you have emphasized , having a firearm alone is woefully inadequate for protecting yourself and family . Jamaican armed thugs are better trained , and experienced killer .
    Your fast fight blog is must read and put theory into practice ; combat ready . Really appreciated for you and your team for effort , sharing and motivating us ,

  4. You, are correct a Gun is not enough!

    I have learned from the School of Hard Knocks that you have to have the correct MINDSET!

    Everything starts in the Mind!

    I myself graduated from Fort Benning Harmony Church, where I received my first dose of Combat Training, at the age of 17 1/2.

    To me: Training, Training, and Training!
    Situational Awareness, Deception, and Knowing Everything Around Me Is A Weapon!

    Knowing, I will choke you out with your own T-Shirt! Or pull your jacket over your head, then bring you and said jacket down to knee level, and knee you in your face! Followed by a elbow to the back of the head!

    Knowing, before I even get into a fight, that I am going to hurt my Enemy with Extreme Prejudice and Malice Aforethought!


    I like to train with Speed Bag, Heavy Bag, Sparring Partner, Bows, Knives, Axes, Screw Drivers, Bottles, Towels, Deception, or Anything that will give me the Tactical Advantage.

    You, must also Acclimatize to the weather, and your environment!

    Stay hydrated!

    If At All Possible, Avoid Contact and Walk Away!

    Unless, you or others are in immediate danger and must confront Perps!

    Who Dares Wins!

  5. What a Great well-written and well thought out article; many thanks for sharing it with us.

    All your points made are very important.

    On the street, things can happen very fast and at a blinding speed; often occurring unexpectedly.

    “Better to have it and NOT need it, than to Need it and NOT have it.”

    Many thanks again for sharing; blessings

  6. The underlining truth is to find a simple effective fight skill,yes. And slot of weapon carriers get,weapon over confident. That alone is deadly. Another mistake many people make is,weapon training in a controlled reality. Again deadly very deadly mistake. Street wise coarse or combat wise training is a must. To stay alive,its better to learn maximum stress and diverse, no rules fighting. The attacker, killer is not interested in our well being. And to be put into a kill or be killed feeling. Whether it’s a human or animal attack. To be able to cleanly attack an attack and when it’s time for a quick kill or neutral an attack. An attacked moment is bad enough,carring a weapon into an attack without proper knowledge. Is just giving your attacker an upgrade. It’s good to train with others who fight different. MMA Fighters,streets fighters and combat trained fighter,are a good combo. Always hungry fore the chance to touch other fighters,in a training session. Keep safe,Bob ,Germany

  7. I have combat experience with special forces years ago. A weapon can fail and I am here because of my training with a knife. I prefer a 6″ blade that I keep razor sharp and carry it all the time on the farm or town. God bless you for helping people

  8. I trained in martial arts and weapon fighting since I was very young. Today at 69 I am almost defenseless, with replaced shoulders and knees and hands that cannot be made into a fist. I could defend myself with a knife, possibly for a while but could be knocked down very easily . Your fighting tactics are not made for the most vulnerable, the old. Any suggestions other than my cane or mace and I do not carry a gun because the gun is not allowed in most places

  9. Has anyone ever read this? “You don’t need brute strength.” “With your bare hands you can beat the man who wants to kill you.” It is from Major W.E. Fairbairn”s book Get Tough first published in 1942 when he was a Captain training British commandos. It is one of 3 books by him that I am aware of. It is amazing how many of the moves he taught are incorporated today into various fighting systems. With that said I completely agree that a gun is often not enough and worthless if you don’t really know how to use it in a real situation. I also completely agree that no matter what age a person is, being in shape and having some knowledge of how to fight are very necessary for survival

  10. I agree with all three suggestions for a well rounded defense plan. I really like what you said about target shooting not being real training. Thanks for the information and inspiration.

  11. Thanks for the tips. I am a 60 year old geezer, and though I’m not as strong or fast as I was in my prime, it is an excellent idea to stay active. I really enjoy running hills and lifting weights through the pain of arthritis and tendinitis. I understand some of us are limited. But if you’re not you should make an effort. It gives you an edge over much younger thugs. I’ve been faced with such situations here in the big city. It’s good to have faith in your defensive skills and especially in your Creator. Thank you FightFast for the cool gadgets and excellent tips!