Self-Reliance, Physical Fitness and Personal Responsibility


James Giudice

James Giudice

One of the main reasons that I support the right to keep and bear arms is my firm belief in self-reliance and personal responsibility of the individual citizen.

Self-Reliance can be defined as:

Reliance on one’s own capabilities, judgment, or resources; independence.

Self-reliance goes much further than simply owning a firearm. “One’s capabilities” as part of the definition above, include the physical as well as the mental. In this article I will address the necessity of physical fitness and why it is key to being an independent, responsible citizen. JB wrote a great article found here on mindset if you are interested.

Modern society has created a sense of security in the majority of us that is unrivaled in all of history, and some may rightfully argue unnatural. A slogan we used in almost every breath in the Marine Corps was “complacency kills”, and the creature-comforts of society breed complacency. In an article titled ,“Sitting is the Smoking of Our Generation”, Jeff Kuhland of Athletic Human shows us yet another way that our modern civilization is making us soft and slowly killing us. I am not here to go on a diatribe about society’s many issues with health, but there are a few things that I do want to address as I believe they are often neglected in the conversation surrounding independence.

First, in order to be independent and have the capability to take care of yourself, your property, and your family you must be physically fit. I am not necessarily talking about a gym-centric physical fitness. Don’t get me wrong, if your motivation is to look good at the beach by all means use that as your reason Specifically I am referencing a more natural and applicable fitness. You do not need to shell out $100 per month or more in order to be fit. Our world is our gym and the limits we have are the ones created in our mind. With the right resources and knowledge we can attain a high level of physical fitness with nothing more than the world around us. With fitness comes the capacity we need to be healthy, meet any challenge, and ultimately freedom.


Imagine for a moment that your worst fear comes to pass, and you find your self in a life or death, self-defense situation. Even if you are armed, is your body physically prepared to deal with the adrenaline dump you will experience, and simultaneously capable of a burst of energy you may not have called on since high school? The time to find out the answer to this question is not when your life or the lives of others is on the line. So, what am I talking about when I say “physically fit”? I am talking about the basic capacity to run, jump, climb, crawl, lift, press, and fight. You do not need to be able to run a marathon, climb a mountain, or go 3 rounds in the UFC but as a responsible citizen who is armed and takes independence seriously you should be able to run quickly for 30 seconds, climb a chest high obstacle, and prevent an attacker from gaining control of your weapon.

Whether we like it or not, the average police response time country wide is over 9 minutes. That means that on average in the event of an emergency it will be up to you to take care of yourself for 9 minutes until authorities arrive. If you let that notion sink in for a moment you begin to realize just how much can happen in 9 minutes.  Having experienced such situations in combat I can tell you first hand the physical stamina necessary to deal with a life threatening situation is tremendous. Physiologically things happen to your body in a life or death situation that are extremely taxing. Whether you are running up a mountain side or simply laying in the prone, you will need physical fitness on your side to stay in the fight and to ultimately win. When you reach the point of maximum exertion (condition black) suddenly you can’t aim, fight or perform any of the basic tasks necessary to defend all of the things you hold dear, and you are now at the mercy of your assailant. If you want to be ready to face a threat and come out on top, physical fitness is a must, and it is the decisions we make each day that will take us to where we need to go.


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