(Feature Image: Delta’s Patrick A. McNamara, author of Combat Strength Training)

(Dedicated to my brother LPD256; love ya madly)

This essay we shall, for the sake of the political season, refer to as my ‘Concession Speech.’ I have received to date a common core battery of questions, the top subjects of which fall into either a ‘Weapons and Tactics’ container, or the other heavy hitter, ‘Combat Physical Fitness Training.’ To this point, I have conceded to proceed with my account of my own physical training regime while serving with the Delta Force.

I am a physically fit sort of fellow, that I am inclined to fancy of myself. I started a deliberate personal physical fitness program at the age of 13 years old, motivated by the prospect of learning a hand-to-hand martial art. In my case, Ed Parker’s Ken Po Karate, a Chinese system by claim, with a Japanese title by sheer dumb luck that some punk white kid in Arizona would know the difference and call them out.

My first lessons came from a high school mate who studied the Okinawan system of Sho Rin Ryu. My mate was not a fighter; he trained for the sake of perfection of technical form in kicks, strikes, and in Kata. His form was impeccable; he could lift his leg into a fully extended side kick, and hold it there, still, balanced, and awe-inducing.

Haircut-needing author locks out a side kick

I learned all he knew, just as he knew it. He and I found an opportunity to train with a reputable Black Belt Si Fu in the next city over. This guy was not about cool-looking, awe-inducing anything! He was about getting it on and mixing it up. We junked up on the first day and pounded the shit out of each other. I broke a toe, was pretty sure I did; fought anyway.

On the drive home my brother confessed that he didn’t have the heart for the fight, so he continued with the dance, and I continued with the Si Fu, training in full contact kickboxing, to eventually fight in the first ever full contact kick boxing match in the history of Arizona. This was a MARS rated event that would officially match fighters and allow them to progress up matrix to eventually fight for sanctioned city, state, and national championships.

I managed a pallid five wins, no losses record in AZ, winning one championship in the Black Best division of a tournament in New Mexico.