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Getting The Most out of your self-defense training

Getting The Most out of your self-defense training


by Mark Luell

In a world where time and money are scarce, finding ample resources for self-defense skill development seems like a luxury. This challenge necessitates a shift in mindset towards efficiency and prioritization. You can’t do everything all at once. Let's delve into strategies to optimize training time without breaking the bank, with a focus on time management.

The most critical concepts I can give you for this are planning and periodization. To adequately develop or maintain a skill, we need to spend time and money on it. Because of the many disparate skill sets required to be well rounded, we need a strategy for managing our resources. Approaching training this way requires us to spend time being honest about our current abilities, our desired abilities, the relative importance of those abilities, and our budget. Integrating various disciplines and leveraging home-based opportunities become essential components of this approach.

Define Your Mission

Begin by defining your mission statement—your reason for developing self-defense skills. For instance, mine revolves around living a safe and fulfilling life with loved ones. With this clarity, identify the key skills you aim to enhance. Whether it's physical fitness, shooting proficiency, emergency medical training, or martial arts, write them down in order.

Allocate Time

Realistically assess the time you can allocate to training weekly. It might not be as much as desired but be honest and don’t overextend yourself to prevent burn-out. Identify your weakest skill and prioritize it first. It's tempting to focus on our strengths, but addressing weaknesses is crucial for balanced growth. Prioritization ensures efficient progress.

Prioritize & Reassess

For most, physical fitness should take precedence. Eight of the Top Ten leading causes of death in the US relate to metabolic dysfunction and obesity. You’re more likely to die of a heart attack than a shootout. If you don’t know where else to start, start with fitness and dropping harmful habits. Allocate 75% of your weekly training time to a diet and fitness goal, and the remaining 25% to maintaining other aspects of self-defense. Do this for 8 weeks and then revise your priorities list for the next 8-week block.

Streamline your training with these tips:

  • Have a plan and keep a journal to track progress.
  • Develop shooting skills with dry-fire. Confirm the skills with live-fire.
  • Allocate budget for professional training courses wisely, prioritizing realistic needs.
  • Find activities that develop multiple attributes at once (e.g. martial arts, jiu jitsu, krav maga)
  • Invest in home exercise equipment for convenience.
  • Schedule workouts without disrupting family routines.
  • Combine exercises for efficiency, like incorporating dry fire after push-ups.
  • Limit training sessions to 60 high-intensity minutes.
  • Engage in mental rehearsal and visualization during daily routines.
  • Choose shooting drills wisely, focusing on relevant but low-round count exercises.
  • Train things you don’t love to train and bring up the weaknesses.
  • Compete in a shooting or combat sport to drive improvement and hone focus.

Prioritize, strategize, and maximize your training time, all while balancing life's demands. What time-saving training tips do you swear by? Get training, then cherish moments with loved ones. Remember your “why?”!

By Mark Luell

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