Uncomfortable Truth, Cold and Timid Souls


Dismiss the "cold and timid souls" and enter the arena.

Dismiss the “cold and timid souls” and enter the arena.

As you are likely aware, Jarrad climbed back into the cage a couple of weeks ago for his first fight in over four years. His budding professional MMA career was interrupted by shoulder surgery and then the agonizing physical rehab that followed. I must claim some of the blame for his tardiness getting back as I took him on as a partner and producer for Student of the Gun TV, then radio, some three years ago. Needless to say, we have been exceptionally busy expanding the brand and producing new material for you to enjoy.

On the afternoon of Jarrad’s recent fight a good friend sent me a message to wish him good luck and he attached a tremendously poignant excerpt from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt entitled “The Man in the Arena”. Rather than paraphrase, I will let you read it verbatim. The entire speech “Citizenship In A Republic” can be viewed here and is worth your time.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

At this juncture in our nation’s history, Roosevelt’s word hold as true as they ever did. The United States of America seems to be teeming with “cold and timid souls”. We have an entire country full of those who would rather observe and critique than to participate and get their hands dirty or break a sweat. The Internet has given voice to every cold and timid critic who, from the safe comfort of their easy chair or Cheeto stained beanbag, casts aspersions on those who are actually toiling, sweating, and striving for the preservation of the Republic. Posting snide quips on social media is their sole contribution as they continue the consumption of valuable oxygen.


It is the doer of deeds that matters most.

It is the doer of deeds that matters most.

I hold myself to be tremendously fortunate to have received during the last three decades the tutelage of some of the finest trainers, fighters, and warriors our nation has to offer. I will freely admit that I was spoiled from the beginning when, at the age of 19, I took a 40 hour fighting handgun course from John Farnam. I count myself extremely fortunately to now call many of my mentors friends.

Whether as a committed Citizen of the Republic, a Law Enforcement Officer, or a United States Marine, the education and training I participated in all held one central theme; fighting. The tools may have varied from a baton, clenched fist, M-16A2 rifle, 12 gauge shotgun, duty pistol, or even the Shoulder-fired Multi-purpose Assault Weapon (SMAW), the premise behind their use was nonetheless identical, combating evil in an unsafe world.

Fourteen years after a cold slap in the face and the loss of over 3000 innocent lives, you and I must ask ourselves a sobering question; is the United States more safe and secure or less so? I believe that you will agree with me that the ugly but realistic answer is no, the nation is in as grave peril now as ever before, more so even.

Uncomfortable Truth

What I am going to tell you now may make you uncomfortable, it may even make you wish to turn away and embrace some distraction, but it must be said regardless. It is long past time for you and I to push away the cold and timid souls and their sideline mentality. You must prepare yourself to fight.

When I say “fight” I do not mean vote, protest, or call your congressmen in disgust. I mean that you must steel your mind, your heart and your body for the fact that you will be called upon to engage in genuine physical combat for the preservation of your own life, the safety of your family and the security of your community and ultimately the Republic itself.

It has become painfully obvious that those whose task and responsibility it is to protect and preserve the nation are either being deliberately hampered or they are part of the problem itself. When you have a Chief Executive and innumerable willing accomplices making deals with nations that seek our destruction and then inviting the minions of destruction to live among the American citizenry, what other conclusion are we left to draw?

While the United States of America is being set up for a hard fall, the cold and timid around you fill their days with distraction and selfish pursuits. Rather than climb into the sweat soak arena and risk their own blood and bodies, they choose instead to remain safely in the tenth row, far back from the fight.


Jarrad and I will have none of that here. We will continue not just to speak out using the TV, Radio, and this electronic format, we will step into the training arena with our brothers and sisters. We will risk the soreness, sweat, and even blood to engage and prepare. My goal today is to inspire you to join us in whatever manner you can muster. Take the genuine physical steps to prepare your body and with it your mind.

I offer my genuine and heartfelt gratitude to you for getting this far and taking the time to consume this text, as uncomfortable as it may have been. I will also make you this solemn promise, for as long as I continue to draw breath, for as many days as the Almighty will grant me here, I will strive, not always achieving perfection, but strive I will to the absolute best of my ability to fight and preserve the greatest nation that God ever established on Earth. Will you join me?

With all sincerity,

Paul G. Markel

P.S. An excellent place to start is with a visit to the Patriot Fire Team website.

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Paul Markel

Founder & President at Student of the Gun
Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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  1. matt Zimmerman

    God bless the USA!!!!!!! This why I listen to you guys every morning. Keep on with the good fight jarred and Paul!!!!!!!

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    1. Lee

      Great article as always. Please continue putting this stuff out.

  4. PF Flyer

    Thank you. Not to be in the same category of a MMA participant, but I found I was “failing” at several things in my life. Thought it was me. Then saw your article. Thru the help of my wife she showed me yes I didn’t fully succeed, but I was the only one who stepped up. I jumped in, without knowing all there was to know, because nobody else did. If that makes me a failure, I can live with it. Keep swinging.

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  6. Dan Farnsworth

    Very well stated, Paul. I believe America is soon coming to the next point in her history in which the fate of her future generations will be determined by private citizens willing to take up arms in the defense of freedom. The military will continue to fight…but as we know, the military serves at the behest of corrupt politicians and corporate profiteers, and will likely be of little use in combating the domestic threat posed by groups such as ISIS, #BlackLivesMatter, and other elements of violence and utter lawlessness. Definitely appreciate what you do in inspiring those of us on the “right side” of history to continue to prepare for the fight.

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