Importance of Continued Combatives Training

Cover & Evacuate vs. Combat – The Importance of Combative Training for Protective Service Professionals

Within the industry, it’s been long debated whether or not martial arts training is essential to an agent. And if so, what style? In my opinion, the short answer is, of course, it’s essential. In this industry, we voluntarily take on responsibility for someone else’s defense. This implies that we should have an adept ability to protect ourselves proficiently. 

Choose Your Style

So the natural next question is where do I start in selecting the right combative training program? Establishing what style you practice and how often is solely up to you. But let’s go over a basic outline of the styles and systems that are available in most areas. 

Styles like karate, hapkido, Kenpo, and other traditional arts indeed have a combative application, but usually, they take some time to learn and even more time to execute the techniques in a real-world scenario effectively. That is because they are primarily rooted in tradition. Combat sport systems such as kickboxing, boxing, muay Thai, judo, and jiu-jitsu are styles that have techniques that are readily applicable to the streets and can be effective. They can also be tied into your fitness regimen via shadow boxing, the heavy bag, grappling dummy, or even a couple of pairs of three-to-five-pound weights and a mirror for the times that you’re on the road. Other systems like Krav Maga (and others) can be very beneficial to the protective service agent because it is a melting pot of several of the systems listed above and solely focuses on self-defense while providing a journey and supportive community to its practitioners. 

Whichever style you decide to commit to, make sure you research the instructor, the system, and watch a class or two to ensure it fits with your overall objective. Many protection schools are starting to tie in some defensive tactics training programs into their curriculum. This is great because it is crucial to understand how certain techniques apply directly to the profession. However, these shorter-range programs should not be the only time you train. They are a great introduction to concepts, but it takes many repetitions and drills to truly lock in a solid combative skills platform. My recommendation is to start with a strong foundation from some of the systems listed above then use the specialized programs to build and supplement knowledge. 

On-the-Job Skills at The Ready 

Some might be thinking, “it is not my job as an agent to stand and fight. I want to cover and evacuate.” And that is 100% true. We always want to be as far away from danger as possible. But what if you’re in a situation where danger meets you where you are regardless? For example, your client is in their hotel for the night and as you’re going down to move the vehicles and you see a member of the entourage getting assaulted? What if you’re a solo detail in a country where you cannot carry, and you have no way out but to fight? Or if you’re out with your own loved ones (our most important “clients”) and we have to defend them against an attack? No matter what we want to believe, we cannot plan for everything. Any of these things can happen on any given day. Because of that, we have to put in the physical work and training to be sure the odds are in our favor when they do. 

Raising Your Standards

It is commendable to see protectors invest in themselves by attending training courses, continuing their education, investing in the right gear, and reading industry-relevant publications and books. All these acts help in the development of laying a professional foundation for your individual brand. Similarly, by choosing to enroll in combative training, you are committing yourself to self-improvement, your craft, and your overall warrior ethos. Almost every city has some kind of combatives gym that can be accessed or utilized immediately to get you started on your journey.

Many take up martial arts classes to learn discipline, gain self-confidence, get in shape, or learn to protect themselves. All of these qualities apply to the professional protector at an even higher standard because we have additional responsibilities. As a lifelong martial artist and a private security professional, I can attest that you will be more confident and capable of tackling the task of a protection professional once you’ve had intense encounters on the mats or in the ring. Training and putting yourself through simulated hell will not only toughen your body but your mind as well. Once you step back into the real world, you can tackle any obstacles or punch life throws at you!

Importance of Continued Combatives TrainingBy Devon Taitt

Devon is the owner of Kingdom Risk Mitigation Services, a self-defense company based in Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at [email protected]

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