Tacfit Commando Interview With Scott Sonnon

Q: I’m here with Scott Sonnon, creator of the Tacfit Commando program. Thanks for being here, Scott and taking the time to answer a few questions. I’m sure we’re all interested in knowing what your training experience and credentials are, so why don’t you tell us a little about yourself and your major areas of expertise?

A: Like my motto, I was born to fail but made to succeed. Swimming upstream from the shallow end of the gene pool, I had to exploit every training and technological advantage due to my physical challenges (like osteochondrosis, obesity, etc.) and learning disabilities (several forms of severe dyslexia).

I could not only not perform conventional skills like average kids due to motor skill acquisition problems, but traditional exercise shredded my connective tissue and left me in a corset of agony, requiring my mother to spend long nights forcing liniment into my joints to be able to sleep.

We had no money, so the hi-tech options were out; so I had to seek out alternative movement educational methods such Total Physical Response, Chisanbop and others. But the realization that there were alternatives was the true discovery.

This led me down a long path of martial art study, which I devoured voraciously. I discovered I learned more quickly than my peers, or perhaps I just invested many more hours a day than them. But my genetic challenges became my allies, as I had no ego involved in merely getting bigger; I had to become better as well.

My diligence paid off in huge dividends, as I earned my spot on the US National Team for the Russian national sport of Sambo submission fighting in only 2 years, competing at World Games, winning grand national and international championships, and the attention of my former Soviet counter-parts.

After years of petitioning, I was accepted to become the first foreigner to formally intern behind the “iron curtain” in the “think-tank” of special forces and national trainers at the RETAL Center (Russian Scientific Consultant Practical Training Center) – officially sanctioned by the Ministry of Sport and the Olympic Committee as the exclusive representative of martial art in xUSSR.

It was in those 6 years back and forth and across the former Soviet Union that I was exposed to their training technologies which gave me the practical edge in fighting efficacy, and allowed me to come out of retirement in 2005 and win an international kickboxing championship (in Chinese Sanshou).

I now share these peak performance training methods with people around the world – from the real-life action-heroes putting it on the line daily, to those on the homefront looking to transform the world by transforming themselves.

Q: What would you say are the main principles of Tacfit Commando workouts?

A: Efficiency – Portability – Adaptability – Waving Intensity – Rapid Recovery.

Q: Which units, armies, and agencies did you get to train during your career?

A: To put it into perspective, my martial art coach is a Russian General. There, martial art is a military art. Physical culture is a political platform. Their special forces were also their national champion athletes, so billions of rubles were invested. Personnel from so many that it’s hard to remember some days… but the ones people like to hear about the most are often Belorussian Spetsnaz Alpha, Russian Spetsnaz Condor, OMON, GRU, Latvian special tactics police, Ukranian special police, Lithuanian frontier guards and special police, Estonian Spetsnaz, Russian and Ukranian Cossack militia and more recently Israeli Lotar counter-terrorism and Sayeret Matkal special forces, as well as secret service, Italian counter-terrorism and bodyguards to the Prime Minister’s family, as well as US personnel such as the Dept of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Office of Air and Marine…

Q: Watching the Tacfit Workouts you released on the web, I saw that some of the exercises are not the sort people do in gyms. How easy is the transition from regular workouts to the ones in your program?

A: Instant. The body craves complexity. It wants to be masterful. We’re neurological predators and it thrives upon challenge and dies without it, since aging and atrophy are a process of losing complexity.

Q: Why does recovery take up a dedicated part of your program?

A: Recovery is King – Exercise is Queen. Most people (most professionals) get that backwards, if they get it at all. Think of it this way: you don’t grow muscle exercising – you grow after exercise while you recover. If you don’t recover properly (if at all) you cannibalize all of your gains, and begin to regress and shrink.

Due to my genetic challenges, and the fact that fitness is a necessity for my job of fighting – and a demand for those I train for whom fitness could mean the difference between getting home to their families safely or not – I discovered technologies to maximize the speed of recovery and the percentage of growth / progress you earn from the exercise you do.

Most of the professional athletes I’ve trained were under-recovered, and as a result sub-prime conditioning. They didn’t even know their ultimate potential – and they were professionals. Most average gym goers have no idea how much intensity they can recruit, because they wander through the purgatory of endless plateaus besieged with a constant assault of aches, pains, injuries and illnesses… which are exercise induced.

Imagine what would happen if that were not the case. Imagine how much benefit you could reap from even one perfect repetition. Imagine if you could perform at your true peak performance several times a week! That’s what recovery methods can do for you.

Q: What would you say the benefits of Tacfit are over other, more traditional fitness plans?

A: TACFIT Commando -

    has no monthly memberships,
    it can fit in your pocket on your phone or a piece of paper and be taken anywhere,
    it can be performed at any moment – in an office, yard,  park, beach, desert, tundra, jungle, hotel or living room,
    it doesn’t require any equipment but gravity and your own bodyweight,
    it requires only 20-30 minutes
    it doesn’t just grow functional muscle and blowtorch the fat, it makes you a better neurological master… it is the martial art of exercise.
    it makes you mentally tougher and emotionally stronger
    And it scares off the neighbors. :)

Q: Who would you say is this program for, who’s right for it, and who shouldn’t use it?

It’s not for people who merely want show muscle and not GO muscle. So if you’re a bodybuilder who prefers the suffocation of everlasting swole, or if you’re an athlete who believes that only by feeling like a trainwreck have you trained enough, TACFIT Commando isn’t for you.

Don’t attempt TACFIT Commando if you don’t want to confront the reality of your weaknesses. If you prefer to wallow in the comforts of your strengths and keep that dirty basement light off, then stay far, far away. You cannot perform TACFIT Commando without dying a little bit every day.

To succeed in training, you must die a little bit everyday. The ego cannot pass thru the firewall of transformation. Every time you encounter its willingness to quit, and choose to continue forward one more step with good form, the ego dies. Each day we are reborn a purer version by liberating ourselves from the oppression of its weaknesses.

TACFIT Commando is for those brave enough to face the elephant, and move forward.

Q: Can you give us 3 tips to do better with your program?

A: 1.  Exhale with the effort phase of the movement. The goal is to connect the core to the Earth through the power of your appendages. Some people have panty-wasted abs and have trouble fighting sleep, much less bad guys. Core Activation means “crushing the can” – not merely resisting extension with the rectus, but pulling down the ribs with the obliques, tightening up the corset with the TvA, pushing the diaphragm down while pulling up the pelvic wall to supercharge the “inner unit” of the core – the intrinsic muscles such as the mutlifidus to stabilize the spine for absorbing impact and expressing power.

2.  Practice being elastic like a rubber band, rather than solid as a plank. Use your knees and hips, elbows and shoulders to absorb and load the arrow of your trunk’s bow so that you can absorb and retranslate that power back into the Earth, or into the unwanton advance of a would-be aggressor. The body isn’t robotic, but made of endless spirals of spring-steel fibers (the myofascial matrix). Coil your body into movements and explode rather than merely pushing or pulling.

3.  That said, the tighter – the lighter. To perform more “quality quantity” you must make accessory muscles as tight as possible, such as in something as simple as the basic pushup. Training military, firefighters and LEO to obliterate their PT exams in pushups is often merely about technique: quads fixed tight, tailbone slightly tucked glutes strong, knees locked kicking heels backward pulling toes to shins, abs pulled strong crushing the can, elbows driving back to hips and pinched to ribs to pack the shoulders down, chin down crown driving away from the heels, pushing the Earth away driving the elbow hollow directly opposite the feet with an exhale. The tighter – the lighter. Not only does this technique supercharge the volume, but it means greater exercise value in every repetition – for with greater understanding of the intrinsic technique comes greater neuromuscular adaptation: in other words, better technique = more growth. Quality quantity.

Q: Even though I train regularly at the gym, I still found the exercises super-challenging. Is this a New type of fitness, one which most people are hardly aware of? How is it different from regular gym exercises?

No, it’s not new. Thousands of years old. The way we have been taught to train at a gym is the new kid on the block. Conventional gym training evolved out of the Victorian era at the turn of the 20th Century Britain. Whole bodily movement was considered “grotesque and vulgar” – so hips, legs and core were fixed rigidly in place as you can see from conventional calisthenics.

Then bodybuilding erupted out creating selectorized machines which could keep the body suspended while isolating one muscle group for growth. Taking it to its logical (far) extreme, we discovered quickly that the power of the human athlete is far greater than the sum of its parts, and the “functional training” renaissance began several decades ago.

But then we became a bit silly in our circus of performance tricks, standing on stability balls while pressing kettlebells and playing the didgeridoo. Reality was required. Sobering reality. What were we “fit for”? That’s the ultimate question that we finally came around asking. Fit-ness demands answering – “fit for what?”

Martial artists for thousands of years had an answer to that question. They believe(d) that the physical readiness to respond to the most challenging predator in the history of the world – Man – was what they were becoming “fit for.”

And in our world of over-populated crises, we have now required the answer of tactical fitness again… TACFIT is defined as having the goal of “being able to acquire, refine and resolve any physical challenge with ease and imagination.” It doesn’t mean just hand to hand fighting, though for the real-life action-guys, that’s a definite issue. TACFIT prepares you for mentally, emotionally as well as physically navigating successfully through any physical crisis… to transcend being a neurological predator and become the master of one’s own physical excellence.

Q: What kind of support do you give people who get Tacfit Commando?

A: “I am not your friend. I am your brother.” This is the credo of our TACFIT Team Leaders around the world. 24/7/365 somewhere in the world, one of us is online, manning the frontier towers of our website and the gates of our forum to help escort you safely through the wilderness of tactical fitness.

Q: I want to thank you for this interview, Scott, and for taking the time to answer all these questions.

For more on Scott Sonnon’s military fitness program, visit TacfitCommando.com