I recently had the pleasure of jumping on a podcast with my good friend Anthony out in Fort Wayne, IN. We covered a myriad of topics on self defense, strength and conditioning, leadership, teaching, business, affiliations, etc… (you can catch the full episodes HERE). One of the points about training that I brought up centered around how when life changes so should your approach to self defense (and fitness… and pretty much everything). I think this is something that people tend to overlook.
We have a tendency to get stuck in a rut of what we know and believe and find it hard to work our way out of that rut to accept that we may not be the same person we were 5 years ago, or one year ago, or 3 weeks ago. Our abilities may have changed. Our goals may have changed. Our needs may have changed.
When you’re 20 years old, full of energy, haven’t completely screwed up your mobility yet, and haven’t completely been bogged down by the weight of the world your needs are completely different. If you’re training self defense you can spare to spend 3+ hours in the gym, you can get away with heavier impact, you may even be able to effectively deliver head kicks or dynamic movements. When you’re 40, balancing work, family, and training it may not be as easy to find 3 hours to train in one day. The high kicks start to lower a little bit. Each hit you’ve taken over the last 20 years has taken it’s toll. Your joints feel like shit, the motivation lowers. Additional recovery time is needed. Training needs to adapt. What are your true goals? What is the most efficient way to achieve that goal. As you get older efficiency becomes even more important.
You may not have kids or a spouse. You might be more aggressive and brazen when it comes to real fights (I wouldn’t recommend it, but boys will be boys, and when ladies snap, well… you know). If you’re in good enough shape, you can simply evade most altercations. You don’t have anyone else to be accountable for. You can be brazen, you can simply run away if you like, it’s only you that you have to worry about. How does that change when you have a spouse? Maybe you’re pregnant or your wife is? Maybe you have a child? Or two? Or three? Jumping into that fight doesn’t seem as smart? The situations you could simply have run from, they become more complex when you’re taking care of a two year old. The circumstances have changed… has your self defense plan changed?
What about injury? Just 48 hours ago you may be healthy and full of awesomeness. Then 12 hours ago you were in a car accident that left you with a torn ACL and broken foot. During the three to six months of surgery and rehab, how does your self defense plan change? Are you considering that?
Maybe you just joined the academy and intend to become a police officer. When you’re on duty you can’t simply run away from every altercation, or beat the shit out of someone that looks at you the wrong way. You have to adapt your training to fit the context of your job.
Life changes, it can be a change that takes years, or one that happens overnight. You must continually ask yourself, am I doing the best thing today for my goals and the context of my life? If not, then take the time and make the change. This applies to fitness, to self defense, to friendships, to family, to everything.
When things change, are you fit to adapt? Or are you stuck in your ways?
Be good, stay safe, train hard