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Episode 55 S2-20

Survival Sparring


Special Guest:

Without Land Ch 20

Ben Branam

Erika finds her tiny self in the sparring ring, facing multiple opponents, as the Without Land story continues. The lessons she learns in the ring are essential. Here to talk with us today about sparring and its critical role in survival is Ben Branam author of and host of The Modern Self Protection Podcast.

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"You have to do it! You have to go full force with someone who can physically dominate you."


Unless you get this experience of being physically dominated you don't know how it feels. When you are put into these circumstances you find the true weaknesses within yourself and feel the true panic the situation induces. When you face these feelings you can begin to relax, think and play the game of chess that happens during a fight. You get the feeling of actually being hit, which most of us don't experience as adults. You will know what you can take and what you can't. Plus, you can emotionally conquer the feelings you get when you are being hit. You will learn to take that hit and keep on trucking. 


Getting into a sparring ring is essential because you need to learn to relax and breath during a fight.


The experience pushes you personal fortitude to new levels. Sooner or later you are going to get hit and you have to be able to keep functioning. You can't be knocked out or give up. Then you are at the mercy of your attacker or a mob of attackers. In a SHTF situation there will be no help and you will have to know how to take care of yourself.


Everybody can benefit from sparring. There are some great health benefits to staying physically active enough to participate in self-defense training. If you have never sparred before, never fought, never been hit, or have never been in a street fight, you better start practicing because it is a rude awakening when you do. People who have only a small amount of training can also benefit from additional practice because you think you know more than you really do. Also people that only train one style of fighting need to get out and spar folks who practice different disciplines so you are ready for anything. Remember in a real fight there are no rules so you need to think beyond the rules of traditional sparring but not necessarily use those techniques when you are practicing with a partner.


Illegal moves in a sparring situation will be the moves that dirt bags will resort to. You have to learn them so you can end a real fight as fast as possible. To learn how to fight and spar, you will need a quality instructor. Jujitsu is a great place to start. In class you will get challenged everyday. Then get a good stand up art instructor and start learning more. Also community colleges are great places to find instruction in self defense.


When applying sparring concepts to firearms practice a lot of principles remain the same. Static practice with a firearm teaches you the basics and how the gun works. You need to move beyond that into advanced techniques that center around shoot and move concepts. Getting shot sucks and you probably won't die in today's society but in a SHTF situation health complications will come into play. Your body armor is the one piece of gear you don't want to use because that means YOU GOT SHOT! If you can move faster than your opponent and still hit your target accurately, you will win. Concealed carry holders need to learn to move, draw and shoot. That skill will win  90% of the time. Break the static habits so you don't stop to shoot every time you take a shot. Being able to maneuver wins the day. If you can be fluid and your opponent spends too much time "getting into shooting position" just like they've been taught, you will win.


Just like sparring, it is a good idea to get a good shooting instructor. Having an instructor will significantly shorten your learning time. Ben Branam is a top notch instructor with classes all over the south. Ben also recommends learning from Gabe Suarez. His two day course will teach you to shoot and move proficiently. You can teach yourself. Go slow with an unloaded weapon or fake blue gun. Get used to drawing and shooting as you move slowly. Start with moving forward and backward after that start moving left to right and then right to left.

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Without Land Ch 20

Ben Branam

"I’ve loved shooting since the first time I pulled a trigger at age 8. During high school I volunteered at my local PD where I learned more about handguns. I joined the Marine Corps Infantry after high school. I was a reserve for 10 years with 2 years of active duty and 1 tour in Iraq in 2003. I worked for an armored car company for almost 7 years mostly in the LA area of California. During all that I also got a degree in law enforcement and went through two different police academies. Being a cop never worked out, but through it all I’ve always been training people to fight. I spent all of 2008 in Iraq again as a private contractor defending a base. There I got to teach and train with the US Army and others. Now I want to bring that experience and my joy of teaching to others. I love teaching firearms and want the good people of the world to be able to defend themselves. It’s now my mission and purpose in life.." -Ben Branam

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