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Self Defense/Is weightlifting (specifically kettlebells) enough to develop the conditioning to handle the "Average Asshole"?


You already know that in addition to practising Muay Thai and engaging in MMA bouts, I'm a big user of kettlebells. You told me to "train to handle the average asshole" in my last question and looking at a  question someone else asked about nonviolent professions and skills with weapons, you stated how manual labour creates some hardcore motherfuckers (you even quoted an SF friend who grew up in a Tennessee farm).

So I am already called my uncle who owns a farm to work there in upcoming summer break after college classes are done just to build up my strength to handle the average asshole. But I am wondering, assuming you don't work in a manual job and you don't have the necessary freetime (such as summer break) to train via hard labour such as chopping trees......

Is lifting weights a good alternative? I'm already strong enough that my kettlebells are 30 lbs but now I'm going to increase it gradually until it reaches over 100 lbs. So I can  simulate "load shifts" doing farmer walk up and down my apartment every night.

However you said in the weapons question:

"The reason I tell you about him is during SF training a lot of healthy and fit gym rats encountered this level of pain and exhaustion for the first time in their lives. And, as he said, "They didn't understand it." They'd never been in a situation where there's nothing they could do about hurting and being trashed.  These guys dropped out. Whereas farmboys and manual laborer types 'embraced the suck' and kept on going."

In addition in this interview

"SEIF HAMMACK: True. So lets take the average guy out there who lifts a lot of weights, maybe takes some martial arts classes or hits a heavy bag every now and then feeling pretty secure that he has what it takes to handle it out there. What’s wrong with that picture?

MARC MACYOUNG: (laughing) He’s dog meat. Fighting is kind of like playing football. You’re not going to play football without getting tackled. What a lot of people want to do with their martial arts is to go from the peewee leagues to the NFL. However, like football, the better you get the better the people you’re up against are going to be. You’re not going to be playing in the peewees anymore. You’ve stacked the deck and so has the other guy."

In another question however you also wrote:

"Well, short answer is that old school training did involve strength training... but Americans didn't like it.

I've seen classical systems that while they didn't do weights like we think of them now, most definitely had strength training via weighted objects. So a big part of the answer is because what they're being taught as  'traditional martial arts' has been watered down to their comfort level-- and that level is awfully low. "

Hence the question I have. You imply athletic training is not enough to develop toughness but at the same time you also stated traditional martial arts used weight training. So I'm confused. Would I literally have to spend a summer break every year to get into the physical and mental toughness of an average asshole? Would lifting weights (not just that but even doing cardio with weights such as running with two 30 pound kettlebell in your hands) not enough to makeup for lack of daily access to manual labour jobs for endurance building?

Weight training does not automatically instill the commitment and willingness to endure pain to achieve a goal -- especially when you have no other choice.

Yeah there's discomfort and strain, but that's entirely voluntary. Don't want to feel the pain, stop lifting. Get slammed while doing manual labor and if you want to get paid, you have to shake it off and keep going. Exhausted and aching from bringing in the crops? Yep. Suck it up or face financial ruin.

Recognize the reason the average asshole is such a handful is that such commitment isn't anything special. It's a fact of life. There is no choice but for him to keep on going.

Let me introduce you to one type of this fella

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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Too numerous to list here. My CV (for my expert witness work in court) is at

Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

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