Concealed Carry & Home Defense

Old School Coach: There’s More To Self-Defense Than A Gun

Guns and Gear Contributor

Old School Coach here, kids. The primary reason to own a gun is to protect yourself from intruders and other criminals. Violence is in the headlines everyday. We need to protect ourselves.

I’ve trained military personnel, law enforcement, firearm instructors, federal air marshals, and while many of them have a high level of skill with a weapon, many of them have no skill with managing their own health.

They have a disproportionate amount of confidence in the fact that they can shoot somebody, but if they had to roll around and grapple on the ground with someone for 25 seconds there’s a good chance they would just give them their wallet and family history rather than wrestle anymore – because they’d be so exhausted they wouldn’t have the strength to pull the trigger.


Consider taking a portion of the time, money, and energy we use to focus on protecting ourselves from external intruders and use it to focus on what we call the “intruders within”. The intruders within, of course, refer to self-inflicted, damaging behaviors. Coronary disease, diabetes, obesity, balance issues, vision issues, dietary issues – the unlimited amount of preventable health issues that we face every day that compromise your ability to defend yourself.

In self-defense, we talk about preparation for protection. Part of that preparation should not just be practicing on a gun range, but should be practicing habits that keep you in good fighting shape. I would argue that the problem people have with practicing keeping themselves healthy is that it takes more work and discipline to stay healthy than it does to aim a gun and pull a trigger.

What I would suggest is if you’re living under the illusion that your nobility is defined by the fact that you have a gun to defend your family isn’t it equally responsible to protect your family from your own poor behaviors? Because if you’re not there, if you’re six feet under or in a hospital bed, then you are definitely not going to be able to protect your family. You can be the fastest gun in the West, but if you’re sick in the hospital, or dead, that gun will just be gathering dust in your closet and your family will be unprotected.

In a way, the “intruder within” is a scarier scenario than an external intruder coming through your window at night. Many times you don’t see the intruder within until it’s too late. A reasonable analogy would be a sniper. You’re dead before you even know you’ve been attacked. We just had a guy who had a clogged carotid artery in his neck, didn’t even know it was there, and then “Boom” … stroke … dead.

That’s a sniper attack.

Who are you going to shoot to protect yourself from a heart attack or a stroke?

Who is the real enemy in those cases? We are always looking to direct our energies at someone else, instead of ourselves – because it’s difficult to assess yourself. Especially your physical conditioning.

The most common excuses to not get healthy are, “I don’t have the time” or “I don’t have the money.” If you’re an avid gun guy, you’re spending both time and money on that. Why not take a portion of that time and money and spend it on yourself getting healthy? The statistics say it all. In America in 2017, nearly 16,000 people were killed in firearm shootings while over 600,000 people died of coronary disease.

Simply put, the chances of me killing myself are much, much greater than the chance that I will be killed by a gun.

So go ahead and concern yourself with protecting your family and yourself from the external intruder, but also be sure you are protecting yourself from the internal intruders. Stay healthy for the safety of your family. Old School Coach out.

Steve Holden (a.k.a. Old School Coach) is a super trainer with over 40 years of experience.  Steve enjoyed a 13-year career as an Undefeated Heavy Weight Full Contact Kick Boxer and is ranked a 7th degree black belt in Kenpo Karate and was inducted into the Kenpo International Hall of Fame. Steve spent 20 years as a corrections officer. He has the #5 rated fitness app by SELF Magazine. Click here to see the app. Click here to visit