Get Strong, Hit Hard & Toughen Up!


Randy LaHaieWelcome and thanks for checking out my blog. I hope that you find what you are looking for. In an effort to help you do that, allow me to tell you a bit about myself and where I’m coming from.

My name is Randy LaHaie and I’ve been studying and teaching self-defense most of my life.

I’ve dedicated four decades to the study of health, fitness, psychology and realistic solutions to violence and confrontation.

I continue to dig for “the truth” about the principles of self-defense , combative training and how to deal with predatory, volatile and violent situations.

Over the years, I have taught thousands of people in law enforcement, high-risk professions and everyday life.

I started this blog to capture, organize and share my thoughts about a few burning questions…

  • What do you need to do to prevent, detect, diffuse or respond to threats to your personal safety?
  • What combative workout methods can you perform to improve health, fitness, fighting ability and emotional toughness?
  • How can you cultivate the motivation and willpower to workout in a focused and consistent way to achieve your goals?
  • How can a commitment to self-defense and combative training make you tougher, healthier and more effective in all aspects of your life?


Join The Toughen Up Tribe

This blog is for people seeking the knowledge and motivation to study and train to improve their health, functional fitness and personal safety.

If you have a passion for self-defense or combative fitness, this blog is for you.

I usually post twice a week and often use questions and feedback from my readers to prioritize topics to write about. If you want to stay current on the latest issues, sign up for free updates by entering your email below (I’ll send you a complimentary eBook when you confirm):

Who Is Randy LaHaie?

legswingBorn and raised in Winnipeg, Canada I took up a passionate interest in the martial arts at the age of 15.  From that time forward, I’ve been immersed in the study of self-defense and related topics.

I’ve always sought “the truth,” about personal combat, often thinking outside the box of traditional martial arts by exploring the “street application” of my craft.

Climbing the ranks within the martial arts culture, I lived, ate and slept self-defense with the dream of teaching self-defense for a living.  In 1980 I achieved that goal and taught martial arts professionally for two years.

It was about the time that “life happened,” and I realized that teaching self-defense didn’t offer the security I needed to raise a family and pay a mortgage.  All it would take was a zig instead of a zag during a full-contact sparring session and I was out of a job.

A few of of my “cop” students encouraged me to consider a career in law enforcement.  At the time, police work made perfect sense.  After all, isn’t a cop’s job all about dealing with dangerous situations, fighting bad guys and bringing them to jail?

Randy LaHaieIn 1982 I began my career with the Winnipeg Police Service.  Winnipeg, Manitoba is a great place to live, but also has a reputation as being a very violent city, consistently earning the title of the “murder capital” of the country.  Having lived a fairly sheltered, non-violent life, being a cop in Winnipeg was certainly an eye opener.

Working the streets as a patrol officer in the city’s north end, I saw the reality and brutality of violence first hand.  I added further to that experience as a plainclothes detective and an assault team member on the Emergency Response Unit (a.k.a. SWAT).

After seven years on the job, and undoubtedly because of my martial arts background, I was tasked with developing officer survival training for the Service and started teaching my fellow officers as a guest instructor.  A short time later I was transferred to the police academy on a full-time basis.

I researched, developed, delivered and defended numerous policies and programs for my own 1200-member police service and others.

In addition to having direct experience with violence, victimization and conflict as a patrol officer, I was now in the unique position to review and analyze violent conflicts between the police and the criminal element.

I travelled extensively attending and presenting at conferences and networking with other trainers.  My position granted me unique access to the science and reality of violence and critical incident performance not accessible to the general public.

I left the academy after 5 years with a hankering to return to “the street.”   I’d been teaching for long enough.  I wanted to get back out there and test my methods and theories in the real world.

After a couple of years back in the trenches, I was asked to return to the academy as the “Officer Safety Coordinator.”  I managed officer safety, use of force and firearms policies and programs for another seven years.

In 1994, while still employed as a police officer, I formed my own company, “Protective Strategies” in order to accommodate several requests for training, expert testimony and consultation for corporate and government agencies.  I managed my business part-time juggling it and my duties as a police officer.

Finishing off the my remaining years of my career back on the street as a shift supervisor, I retired from the Winnipeg Police Service in April of 2010.

That pretty much brings us brings us to the present.  I now manage Protective Strategies on a full-time basis returning to my roots as an instructor of self-defense, confrontation management and combative fitness.

I can now invest my time in the things I love to do… training, writing and teaching.

Life is good.

Connect with Me

This blog is my home base. If you prefer to contact me directly or want an immediate response, you can email me at  You can also find me on the following social networks (in order of how much I use them):

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Linked In

Legal stuff

The information on this blog is based on a life-time of training, real-world experience and extensive research pertaining to risky, volatile and violent situations.  I offer no guarantees about the results or consequences produced by this information.  The situations I write about are simply too varied and unpredictable.

Also, I have no way of knowing your level of health, fitness or skill. With any physical activity comes the risk of injury from accidents or over exertion.

If you are not of sound health, or are unaware of your health status, get a thorough medical check up before engaging in the workout and training suggestions recommended here or anywhere else.

If you want to use an excerpt of my content, please contact me via email at .

Stay in touch

I hope this blog challenges, inspires, and motivates you to stay healthy and safe. If it does, please send me a note . I’d love to hear from you.

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