Do You Train More Than Your Physical Fitness?

Yesterday I was teaching a self defence course.

It was attended by a good group that came armed with some great questions.

During one drill, one that was designed to deliberately fatigue the participants and test their determination.

I made the point that a person’s performance in the drill, much like in a fight, has little to do with their muscles, their strength or their cardio.

Anyone who does the drill properly comes out the other side knackered. Take one guy of a sofa, and another out of an Olympic training centre, run them both through it and after a minute they’ll both be gasping for air.

exhausted athletes


The point isn’t physical fitness.

The point is mental fortitude and determination.

Something that is rapidly going out of fashion in the modern era of instant gratification, entitlement and the “everyone’s a winner, lets reward mediocrity” culture.

But if we end up in a physical struggle with a person intent on doing us, or our loved ones harm, there is no second place medal. No participation certificate.

So from time to time we need to recreate these conditions.

Taking part in competition and training accordingly is one of achieving this.
Taking on a challenge workout, the kind that keeps you up at night worrying about it, is another.
Training when you don’t feel like it, when you’re tired, when you’re sore, when sleep and nutrition have been less than optimal, are ways to achieve this.

Fitness training takes many forms. Indeed I coach people for many different results.

Whatever you are training for, make sure that you don’t neglect that muscle between the ears. Develop you’re grit, determination and tenacity in the same way you build your strength, endurance and mobility.

If you don’t know how, I’ll show you.


Dave Hedges

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