In a combat engagement with a vampire, you will be facing an opponent that is physically superior compared to any human opponent you have ever encountered. Why, then, you may wonder, should you even bother with physical conditioning? Why not emphasize strategy and combat techniques instead, given the fact that you will always be at a physiological disadvantage and rarely be able to match your opponent in athletic prowess?
While it is absolutely true that the techniques and strategies you employ in battle will ultimately determine your success in vampire combat, your level of conditioning is what provides the opportunity to deliver these techniques at the precise moment to ensure victory. Both technique and conditioning are necessities in battling a bloodthirsty ghoul—perfecting one without the other will doom you to failure.
Let us also make this point clear: We are not discussing a gentlemanly match of fisticuffs or a rule-bound grappling bout. Most vampire engagements last no more than a few minutes, and, like most assaults, are brutal, vicious, and utterly exhausting. The window of opportunity you have to survive the attack and neutralize your opponent is already slim; your level of conditioning can help widen that gap. The other detail to reemphasize is that as a human being, you have the ability to continue to improve your athleticism regardless of your age or current level of fitness. Your undead opponent, on the other hand, is unable to improve its physical assets with additional exercise.
When it comes to what type of conditioning you should focus on, there are many varieties of exercise you can employ to help your overall fitness level. We will concentrate our discussion, however, on activities that will explicitly improve your chances in vampire combat.