There’s a prevailing view that learning how to fight isn’t a necessary skill if you carry a gun around regularly. I emphatically disagree. Of course, carrying a gun is the ultimate form of self-defense, but martial arts are a phenomenal form of supplementary training that can help improve physical fitness, help you develop grit, and teach how to de-escalate a situation without killing someone. Not to mention that learning to fight, namely grappling, can help you fight off an attacker who is preventing you from drawing your weapon.
Grappling is probably the best thing you can learn. It’s all about controlling your opponent. This has been particularly useful for law enforcement who need to non-lethally subdue people all the time. Training some form of grappling (I do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) dramatically decreases your odds of a troublemaker getting their hands on your weapon or preventing your draw. Maintaining control over a violent and resisting opponent is the name of the game. Plus it can help you out bad situations like being choked by surprise or someone trying to break one of your limbs.
I particularly value martial arts because it helped me develop grit: the ability to work in spite of the pain. It’s almost never easy to just clench your teeth and get through bad pain. Martial arts forces you to become accustomed to it and power through. It’s an essential skill that can save your life. You can’t give up just because something hurt. In short, you learn how to take a punch and come back swinging. This skill isn’t too applicable to concealed carry, but more of an overarching life skill in case of an emergency.
Drawing and using your weapon with lethal force is a big deal. It can take a toll on your mental health and seriously scar you, not to mention the harm done to the other party. Even among the most hardcore of concealed carry guys, de-escalation is the name of the game. Martial arts can help you handle an attacker without taking their life.
The last reason is it’s just a lot of fun and a great way to get fit. I’m a big proponent of being both physically fit and concealed carry. I consider martial arts as just a portion of my over drilling to be someone who’s tough and extremely capable. Being able to fight makes you more well-rounded as a protector whether you’re protecting yourself, your family, or just some random passerby on the street.
Training with firearms and martial arts makes you a true force to be reckoned with.
Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense, and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller, and other publications.