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Cardiorespiratory Fitness: The Foundation For Fighting

Updated: Sep 10, 2022

"Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All." Army General George Patton wrote it to his troops during World War II, and Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi was quoted saying it to his players. It basically means that once you get tired, you start making poor decisions, be it on the battle field, or the sports field.

Poor decisions due to exhaustion can manifest themselves when defending yourself as well. For example, holding an assailant rather than continuing to strike until you've either stopped them, or escaped their hold.

Another example is lying on your back with a bigger, and stronger person on top of you, trying to finish you off, (or have their way with you). Your brain is screaming, "Get Up! but your body is too tired to do anything.

When your muscles are filled with lactic acid and there's no oxygen left to make them work correctly, no amount of will-power, or mental toughness is going to get you out of that situation. I've been there and it’s not fun.

Methods of cardiorespiratory training that are specific for fighting are sprinting, and endurance type running. Not only will these training methods ensure you will stay in the fight until the end, they are also the easiest method of defending oneself, which is Running Away.

Trained correctly, each method has their own combat-specific benefits for fighting. There's a reason the military, as well as every combat sport (boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, MMA etc.) use running as an integral part of their training. It's because they know that cardiorespiratory fitness is the foundation for all successful fighting endeavors.

Here are a few types of cardiorespiratory fitness:

  • Long distance running of five + miles (i.e., marathons),

  • Mid-duration running in the 1-5 mile running range.

  • Short duration running of less that one mile (i.e., sprints).

Additionally, there are certain sport-specific movements, and fitness exercises that can help increase your cardiorespiratory endurance. However, the above mentioned methods are best because they are the foundation to enhancing any sport movement or fitness exercise.

In The Short Fight book, I give you running routines, and explain how to utilize the different types of cardiorespiratory training, and target heart rate training as well.

For more exercises to improve your performance for fitness and self-defense, get my book, The Short Fight, on Amazon at You will also get free access to all my exercise and self-defense instructional videos by signing up at Want to get in the best shape of your life? Check out our fitness training programs here Until next time, Stay Fit! Lawrence Castanon, Author, The Short Fight @theshortfight #running #sprinting #endurance #marathon #cardiorespiratory #fitness #health #longevity #exercise #selfdefense #selfdefence #fighting #theshortfight

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