Is it possible to be ready to fight at any moment?
After dealing with the psychological aspect of mental preparation to combat (read Always be ready to fight: the mind), we move on to the rudiments of the physical aspect. Before proceeding we need to do a small premise, if 0 represents the worst possible physical condition and 10 our best one:
- To always have a peak performance (10) is absolutely impossible
- Also to have a constant middle-high level (8-10) is extremely hard
- Our goal is to reach a quality level of 6-7
Even if a minimum physical condition of 6-7 out of 10 may seem a low milestone, identifying ourselves in the various situations of a normal daily life we will realize that the goal that 6 Dragons Kung Fu arises is more than ambitious.
Even though we often do not realize, our body has a different physical form / reactivity:
- Every hour of the day (let’s think at late night, early morning, etc.)
- Depending on the physical activity we have performed (heavy work, training, etc.)
- Depending on our mental state (which we have already talked about, stress, etc.)
- Depending on the state of our health (from simple colds to aching limbs, etc.)
A note by Master Kongling – Although it is hard to admit it, common people, even if partially trained (at an amateur’s martial arts level) are rarely ready to face an improvise combat (both physically, both mentally, read). These kinds of skills are more related to military special corps than martial artists and / or fighting sports athletes.
How to prepare our body
From a bodily point of view the best way to always be in a functional physical state of struggle is, once again, preparing ourselves in advance with:
- Wake-up exercises – Do stretching (read How to correctly perform stretching) and a few cardio exercises every morning just waking up; this (in part) allows us to be flexible, powerful, fast and mentally positive even without having time to make proper preparation for the fight (eg. during a sudden attack in a self-defense situation)
- Fast stretching – On the street in no cases we have the time to do a correct and complete stretching session; we have to determine what is our basic stretching; knowing our body is the key to get the best results, we need to figure out on which part we are most at risk of injury and rapidly (if the situation allows it) prepare that particular region (eg. ankles, shoulders, etc.)
- Intelligent management of resources – We have to train on a daily basis intensely but always leaving enough energy to support a short fight; in this sense, in the concept of “workout” enter all the other activities that in our routine cause us to burn calories (work, sports, walking, etc.); those who prepare themselves for self-defense can never afford to be exhausted
- Acceptance of pain and fatigue – We have to gradually accustom our body to endure during training pain (conditioning, etc.) and higher workloads (weighted vest, complex movements, etc.) so that we can feel, under normal conditions, that we can express superior performances (in terms of agility, speed, power, coordination, etc.); this is one of the 6DKF’s fundamentals, training at 100 to deal easily with 10
- A good fighting energy economy – Learn to use breathing (read The 6DKF’s combat breathing) and structure (more about this later) instead of muscle strength and economize movements / energies during clashes; in training the effort must be voluntarily “extruded”, in combat (after making the right assessments, read Recognize the opponent’s preparation level) it can be voluntarily minimized
- A good muscle memory – We must train (through variable contexts, read Same exercises, different execution) muscle memory in relation to the (sequences of) fighting techniques that best fit our personality; our body must at the same time be able to act unconsciously (if taken by surprise) and to follow our tactical / rational directives with precision
- Smart clothing choices – We can wear any kind of clothes but avoiding all those that diminish / block our martial mobility (range of motion, speed, power, etc.); especially if we are able to use kicks and knees (read The use of legs in a real fight) it is crucial to have garments (shoes, trousers, etc.) that do not limit our capabilities; no less important is the aspect linked to the possibility of being able to escape (read Personal defense: the S.A.F.E. method) without problems (whether we are in bed to sleep, or that we find ourselves dancing in a disco)
- An improper weapon – We should have at our disposal (eg. wearing it) at least one improper but legal weapon; it can be an element of our clothing that can quickly be converted to an improper defensive tool (eg. a belt, a ring, etc.); we never have to forget that the best way to prevail (sometimes entirely avoiding the fight) is to always maintain an overwhelming and immediate advantage
- A good diet – Last but not list, we must follow a healthy diet and drink plenty of water; as we have seen, our Qi is strongly influenced by what our body assumes / does not assumes and in relation to the quantities (read Qi and proper nutrition)
A few conclusive thoughts:
- Many other things could be said, but if we follow the psychological guidelines mentioned earlier and these last tips we will get the much-coveted result of being “always ready” to express a potential not less than 60% of our martial skills
- Once our mind is trained to be subject to our will it becomes rather “easy” to eliminate the most trivial psychological aspects as well as every type of other collateral physical weakness
The real problem comes when what is limiting ourselves is a more serious physical problem, in the next article we will see how to behave in terms of more “serious” injuries and bad health states (read Always be ready to fight: extreme conditions).
- The muscle memory – What is and how it works in 6 Dragons Kung Fu
- The use of legs in a street fight – Another article about the use of legs in self-defense
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night? On that occasion could you have faced an attacker?
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.