The Tao of Toughen Up (Where Fitness Meets Self-Defense)
What is TOUGHEN UP all about?
Everybody wants to be “tough.” Contrary to what many people might think about this term, a tough person is not mean, callous or violent. Rather a tough person is healthy, motivated, strong, resilient and self-confident.
A tough person is ready, willing and able to “handle” whatever life has to delve out, whether it is interpersonal violence, a health threat, or an every-day problem or challenge.
Toughness doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by having a deliberate, well-thought-out game plan and a commitment to carrying that plan out on a consistent basis. It comes from “training.”
“Toughening Up” is a deliberate process of becoming physically, mentally and emotionally healthier by integrating on-going, combat-relevant training into your lifestyle.
The spirit of Toughen Up is not only to improve your health but also to improve your ability to protect it.
Toughen Up involves a “yin and yang” approach to combative training. It achieves that objective from two angles:
#1 Combative Drills That Improve Your Health & Conditioning
#2 Conditioning Drills That Develop Combative Performance
I’ll expand a bit on both those areas…
#1 Combative Drills That Improve Your Health & Conditioning:
This involves the same practical fight-related training methods that boxers, kick boxers and martial artists do. This achieves not only the development of practical, real-world self-defense skills but health and conditioning benefits as well.
Examples include punching, kicking and fighting skills development. Hitting things like focus pads, a heavy bag and other impact equipment. It can also include vigorous sparring and partner training drills.
You’ll find information about those activities in my Toughen Up training manuals.
#2 Conditioning Drills That Improve Your Combative Performance
Many popular exercise programs do virtually nothing for your functional fitness or combative performance. They imply that you can isolate and training individual muscles groups (which you can’t) and are focused solely on the aesthetic appearance of your physique. Many of these “cosmetically developed” people are not coordinated, functionally strong and couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag!
Contrary to what many self-defense authorities might have you believe, a “fight” is a very demanding athletic event requiring a wide variety of athletic qualities that can only be developed through a relevant and intelligent training program.
The training recommended through Toughen Up is focused around “functional fitness” that enhances your physical performance not only in a combative situation but ANY physical challenge or activity.
These activities teach you to learn to use your entire body as a powerful, well-coordinated weapon through interval training, body-weight exercises, Russian Kettlebells and free weights.
Through my websites and the Toughen Up Training Manuals I will supply you with practical, concrete training advice that will allow you to integrate ongoing combative and functional fitness workouts that will make you tougher.
About Randy LaHaie
I’m the founder of “Protective Strategies,” a training and consulting company providing self-defense and combative fitness solutions to law enforcement, high-risk professionals and private citizens since 1994. I am a retired police officer, court-declared expert in use-of-force and critical incident performance, and a life-long student of self-defense and combative fitness. “My Thing” is to help people incorporate functional and minimalist workout strategies to improve their health, fitness and personal safety.