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Learning to Fight Past Your Prime
Crackpot Mailbox: Rod is Curious about Harm City and Boxing
© 2020 James LaFond
Questions re. Boxing/Fight Training
Sat, Jun 27, 12:47 PM (23 hours ago)
Mr. Lafond,
I'm starting to go through the readings that you recommended in your recent "Riot Training" post ( . While I've known for a while that I should be doing some form of martial art, I haven't made the first move yet.
I'd like to start into some boxing as a first step into my preparedness, but had a few questions.
1. In your "Punishing Art" book, you talk about learning nothing but the jab for the first six months of training. I'm interested in this patient approach, but worry that doing it on my own will just teach me some bad habits, as there will be no one with a critical eye to make sure that I'm doing things correctly. There is a boxing gym nearby, but I'm leery to join, as I suspect that they'll try to move students along much more quickly than you recommend. Should I just go it on my own so that I can maintain my own pace?
2. I've got a vascular issue in a part of my brain, so my neurologist has recommended that I avoid concussions, if possible. I assume, then, that I shouldn't look to actually train for any (real) boxing matches. Does the need to avoid getting hit too much negate a lot of the value in training for boxing? Or can I still pick up enough useful skills to make it worthwhile?
Some background on me
52 yrs old
Spent some time in the Marine Corps a while ago, but was not in a combat arms job
Need to drop a few pounds and get into better shape
Never been in a physical altercation as an adult
Since I'm not a youngster, I'm not anticipating that I'll be able to train for hours on end.
As an aside, I live in western PA, not too far from where you grew up here.
Finally, my wife and I both went to school in Maryland (her in the Towson area), and she still has fond memories of Baltimore. I've tried to pass along some of your info regarding the state of affairs in Harm City, but she's still convinced that Baltimore isn't that bad of a place. Aside from your blog, do you have any more "milquetoast" references that I could send her to so that she can get more up to speed with the reality on the ground.
Sorry for the rambling. And really enjoy your podcast.
Rod Goring

Do not try and convince your darling that Baltimore is dangerous.
If you succeed she will cry.
Just check the Baltimore Sun Murder map. 350 people were murdered here last year.
As for boxing, forget the gym, get a punching bag, start hitting it and train your wife to watch your form.
Being able to it hard enough to drop someone is always good to have as a potential.
Avoid head contact.
Learn stick fighting by beating the bag with a peace of PVC and using my Lancaster Agonistics videos as training references. Learning weapon use is important as most attackers will be younger and out number you. PVC is a great non-weapon, weapon.
Drop the weight however works for you and do plenty of walking.
Good luck.
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Steve Benko     Jul 22, 2020

Mr. Lafond,

Great response to Mr. Goring's questions. I am also from western Pa. and in my late sixties. I am concerned about the state of our country and feel that self defense training is so critical at this point. I train in my own home gym that consist of six heavy bags and two speed bags. My program is walking, indian clubs, and bag work with fist and weapons. Damn it, I will be ready, just in case.
James     Jul 24, 2020

Sounds like a good program.

Good fortune, Steve.
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