Years ago, I was spending time with well-known firearms instructor Massad Ayoob. Since he’s been in the shooting business more than 40 years, I asked him, “What’s one thing you wish you’d known or done when you first started out?”
To my surprise, he said he wished he’d started studying the martial arts and hand-to-hand self-defense a lot sooner than he did.
And, actually, I can say the same thing. When I was with the Agency we spent a heck of a lot more time doing firearms training than training with a knife or empty hand defense. And when I left the Agency I continued the firearms training but didn’t spend the amount of time I should of studying the martial arts.
After all, I try and carry my gun with me every time I leave my house, but there are places I go that I can’t bring it, such as the post office. And, in two weeks I’ll be teaching a course in Los Angeles where I won’t be able to carry my gun at all.
The fact is, as much as I love guns, when it comes to personal protection I believe in being as well-rounded as possible in case I find myself in a life or death situation and I don’t have my gun.
Plus, even if I do have my gun with me, martial arts training teaches you how to move properly (to help you get off the X quicker) and it also teaches you how to fight in close quarters situations so you can properly defend yourself against an attacker while you draw your gun.
This is why I currently study the Filipino martial arts, but there are plenty of other choices to study too, including Krav Maga. If you do a simple Internet search I’m sure you’ll find lots of places around your home where you could get training (you’ll be amazed what you’ll be able to do with an edged weapon or even empty handed after having some of this training.)
Another important thing to consider is that you don’t have to be a ninja or in the best shape of your life to train in the martial arts. I’ve talked to a lot of people who seem intimidated by going out to this type of training, but you’ll find people from all walks of life in most places you visit. And of course, if you try a place and it’s a little too “Rambo-ish” or the people are jerks then just try somewhere else.
When bad things happen you want to have as many options as you can to protect yourself. So even though I’ve got my gun on me anytime I legally can, I still want to know as many methods as possible to protect myself and my family.
So if you’ve ever thought about training in a martial art, look up a place near you today, and make it a goal to attend a class next week.