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You Should Be LARPing.

If you’re anything like me, you don’t get near the trigger time you want because ammo is expensive. Ranges are static, and many don’t allow for anything outside of basic shooting from the standing, kneeling, prone, or bench. This is fine if all you ever plan to do is sit in one place and ambush hunt a hapless herbivore or predator for sport. But if you ever want to develop the body, mind, and stamina for the true purpose of the second amendment- you really should be airsofting.

Now before anyone gets their panties in a wad, let me put this out there so it’s plain as day- I am not advocating violence any more than a person telling you to learn martial arts to protect yourself. In fact, that’s all I’m doing. I am literally telling you that if you want to protect yourself in the worst case scenario you should learn the epitome of martial arts. Warfare.

I’ll circle back to arisoft in a second, but for now I want to elucidate the various “martial arts” that so many people don’t even realize are martial arts. The reason is because they are flat out unsexy. They suck to do, and they require a plethora of intestinal fortitude and discipline even to accomplish.

The first of these unknown martial arts is pure cardio vascular endurance. I honestly don’t care how you build this important martial skill, but you need to cultivate this skill to the very highest degree. I say this as a guy who has fallen off the bike for a time and is working back into it. My first airsofting adventure woke my sorry ass up to this fact and humbled me to the core. I used to be able to move for a solid mile at a dead run in full combat gear- now I’m lucky if I make it 200 yards. This ability to move when needed under stress duress and load isn’t just a nice thing to be able to do- it’s the bedrock of warfare. Maneuver is key. Getting out when things get too hot or in when it’s time to get to work with a swiftness are critical not only to survival but to victory.

The second of these skills is strength. Not just lift heavy things strength- any idiot can master that- but “carry this 80 pound tube from hill A to hill B while also carrying your sustainment load and full rations for three days” kind of strength. It couples with that endurance and uses it in ways that an Olympic sprinter would be crushed under. Being fast and agile is awesome- being able to move over distance with your mobile home on your back is more important. Warfare isn’t static and static forces become former static forces one way or the other. You can have all the firepower in the world, but if you can’t move with it to where it’s needed (or away from where it’s going to be shredded) you’re useless. Learn to carry heavy things far from home and back again.

The third of these skills is mental fortitude. You need to learn to be uncomfortable for long periods of time and still be able to go 100% at a moment’s notice. You need to learn how to stay calm when everything is chaos and stick your post when it matters most. You need to learn to tune out danger while knowing it’s there and focus on how to stop it (or evade it). In essence, you need to learn how to zen when the world says panic.

The best way to build these skills at the same time as far as I’m concerned- airsoft.

At least if you take it seriously. People you play with may not, but this doesn’t mean you can’t. This can be as simple as wearing a weighted vest while you run around with your super light AEG with 1000 bb magazine, or it can mean you get a good gas blowback and never fill your mags more than 30 BBs while carrying a proper combat loadout. The choice is yours. Either way, taking Airsofting seriously (and playing Milsim) will get those baseline skills up there while honing your ability to work on a team and boosting your ability to shoot and scoot. And because it’s a game you’re more likely to push yourself harder than you would if you were only using a treadmill or a weight bench.

You’ll also build a dynamic form of fitness that will serve you well. Being able to run, crawl, and hop over logs in the woods will translate to just about everything you could hope to do in life. Being able to do all that while moving with a glorified BB gun and accomplish a mission will build confidence and assurance in yourself- further building that mental fortitude. You’ll build faith in yourself as a warrior and not an armchair general. This goes far in allowing you to take on things that others may shy from.

LARPing is a thing you can do and learn from if you take it seriously. Yes- you can LARP yourself into shape and build yourself into the Warrior in a Garden. I’m not going to tell you it’s “ok” to learn the skills of the warrior. Doing so is far more important than that. As an American I feel that you- as a fully active citizen- MUST learn the skills of the warrior. To truly be in charge of your own destiny and to become the model of the gentleman or gentlewoman you must learn the application of force and master the art of war. There are those who will balk at this- claim that they can be a good American and a gentleman or gentlewoman without learning the skills of the warrior- and they’re right.

But the difference between those who can be violent and take others to task but choose not to and those who chose not to learn such ways is that the first group is truly peaceful while the others are toothless. I know there are those who will disagree, and that’s fine. We don’t have to agree on everything. Just realize that I identify as a warrior who wishes peace upon the world but realizes that such a dream is foolhardy at best.

There are evil people out there who will harm you, use you, and kill you if it suits their ends. Those people will only respond to naked force. If you can’t use naked force, you will be their victims. Airsofting allows you a window into learning how to use that naked force in a safe, fun, community driven sport. The people I’ve airsofted with are some of the best people I have ever met. They will bring you in, teach you what they know, and celebrate when you eliminate them from the game using what they taught you.

In short, if you don’t airsoft- you should. Embrace the LARP. Have fun. Kit out your gun and yourself as you like and go make friends at the same time. You won’t regret it.

Battle Specter, out.

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