The toughest special forces training in the world. Special Forces refer to military units that receive special training for the purpose of carrying out special operations. According to NATO, special operations can be described as “Military activities which are conducted by specially designated, organized, trained and equipped forces manned with selected personnel, using unconventional tactics, techniques and modes of employment”. This covers essentially, the duties performed by Special Forces.

Military training is a strength-consuming exercise. It necessitates bravery, precision, and discipline. Military personnel is subjected to training activities and regimens that would almost certainly land many of us in the hospital if we tried them at home. 

The hardest special forces training in the world aims to transform them into breathing weapons for the greater good of the country.  which most soldiers are required to undergo.

The 20th century saw the emergence of Special Forces and during the Second World War, there was a notable increase in the growth of these Special Forces as various major armies who were part of the battle, created units that were directed to perform special tasks behind enemy lines.

The duties carried out by these Special Forces vary from nation to nation and may include operations such as airborne operations, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, Covert Ops, Foreign Internal Defense, Direct action, Hostage rescue, High-value targets/manhunting, mobility operations, intelligence operations as well as unconventional warfare.

Top 10 Hardest Special Forces Training In the World

1. People’s Liberation Army of China – Hot Potato Game Using Live Grenade

Soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army in China participate in a training exercise called “Hot Potato,” which involves playing a life-or-death game using a live grenade. 

During the training, Chinese forces stationed in Hong Kong fire a live grenade to one soldier who in turn throws it to the next till the last one throws the live grenade into a hole. 

Following this, the soldiers run for safety to cover their heads before the grenade goes off.

2. Russian Special Forces – Taking A Shot To The Chest

Coming second on the list of hardest special forces training in the world is taking a shot to the chest during military training in the Russian confidence-building program. 

During this training, some soldiers get injured, while others only endure knocks caused by the bulletproof vest. The unusual concept behind this military practice is to train soldiers for the possibility of being shot by an enemy. Regardless of the outcome of the practice, the brave soldiers must be able to accurately and rapidly return fire.

The soldiers push others away while firing at the ground and they shoot at targets just inches away from volunteers playing innocent bystanders just to demonstrate how stress affects soldiers’ attention. 

Despite the hectic environment, the soldier must be able to remain calm and do his assignment.

3. U.S. Navy SEALs (Drown proofing Training)

The Navy SEALs have some of the hardest special forces training in the world. Coldwater conditioning is another name for this type of training. As part of “drown proofing,” the troops’ arms and legs are chained. 

Then the soldiers must bob up and down for twenty times. They must swim to the pool’s shallow end and turn around without touching the water’s bottom, and including this, they have to float for five minutes. 

The soldiers must return to the deep end of the pool and perform forward and backward somersaults underwater, and retrieve a face mask from the pool’s bottom. 

4. U.S. Marines (Drinking cobra blood)

The days of proving a soldier’s value with an assault course and a few push-ups are long gone. Drinking cobra blood and ripping the heads off chickens using their bare teeth are now standard training for US Marines. Thai naval instructors now teach the US Marines how to kill deadly cobras. 

These soldiers are also encouraged to drink the blood of the animals, including deadly cobras. Something similar to this is a soldier killing a chicken by biting off its head.

5. People’s Liberation Army of China (Jumps through rings of fire)

Another training performed by the People’s Liberation Army of China’s soldiers involves jumping through rings of fire during a military drill. 

While doing this, the soldier must hold an assault rifle to simulate the sensations and adrenaline rush of a genuine battle.

6. Chinese Soldiers (Breaking slabs of concrete with their heads)

The breaking of concrete slabs using bare heads is one of the hardest special forces training in the world done by the Chinese military. During this training, soldiers must break bamboo poles on their backs and shatter bricks on their heads to test their strength.

7. Belarus Red Berets (Testing balance by walking over fires)

As a member of the Belarus Red Berets, you must complete a series of tests on a challenging course. Storming a high-rise building, hand-to-hand combat, and testing balance by walking over a fire are all part of the assault course. 

Extra challenges during the balance training are thrown in by the instructors to make things more difficult for the soldiers, and an example is knocking new recruits off the balance beam with vehicle tires and gunfire.

8. Taiwan Marines (Crawling along a path with jagged corals and rocks)

The Taiwan Marines also have one of the hardest special forces training in the world which they call “Road to Heaven.” In Southern Taiwan, this training is the final step of a nine-week intensive amphibious training program. 

During this training, the soldiers must complete numerous workouts and crawl along a 50-meter-long walkway strewn with jagged corals and rocks.

9. Israeli Defense Forces Military training (Jumping from skyscrapers and rappelling down the side)

A bizarre military training drill in Israel involves jumping in through a window. It’s a preventive measure in case the terrorists try to kidnap people from a Tel Aviv skyscraper. 

An anti-terrorist team of the Israel Defense Forces has been jumping from the top of one of Tel Aviv’s sky-touching towers and rappelling down the side. The Trainees must block out everything in their environment and must also concentrate solely on the window while waiting for the signal to move.

Following this, before the recruits can be considered for the advanced training drill, each of them must complete some serious and difficult fitness tests which involve:

  • Running 3km in 14 minutes
  • Doing 3 squats while carrying a 60kg barbell (but at least 11 is considered a good score)
  • Making suicide run inside a 15kg vest in just 14 seconds
  • Doing 60kg bench push-ups for 3 reps (with a minimum of 12 considered an average score)
  • Doing 3 pull-ups in a 15kg weighted vest

10. Russian Alpha Group Spetsnaz

As an applicant for the Russian Alpha Group Spetsnaz force, you must pass the world’s most difficult military fitness tests which include:

  • Running 3000m in 10 minutes 30 seconds 
  • Running 100m in just 12.7 seconds
  • 10 x 10m suicides in under 25 seconds
  • 25 pull-ups or more
  • 90 push-ups in 2 minutes
  • 90 sit-ups in 2 minutes
  • A minimum of 30 dips with no break
  • 10 reps of bodyweight on the bench press
  • Hand-to-hand combat, 3 x 3 minute rounds against a typically larger opponent. If they act defensively or lose the fight, they fail.



Joining a Special Forces unit is no easy task, and even individuals who consider themselves physically fit might not be able to withstand the rigorous training. However, given the types of missions, they are expected to complete, training is critical in preparing them for the challenges that lie ahead. 

Joining a Special Forces unit is by no means a small feat and even those who regard themselves as physically fit often find themselves, conquered by the training involved. However, considering the kind of missions that they are required to do, the training is very important to prepare them for the possible trials ahead.

Another significant advantage of military training is that it helps in the development of confidence. Constant training has been found to aid in the improvement of military personnel’s willpower. They can see how far they’ve come since the training session and how much stronger they’ve become. It also helps the individuals in surviving in a hostile environment, such as a terrorist assault or a battleground. 

All over the world are men and women who do not have the mental fortitude to join the regular army, not to talk of its more advanced units. For those people, it is interesting to know that all over the world, there are elite groups of people who are way higher than regular soldiers and have engaged in rigorous training which has made them capable of the feats they are capable of. These men and women represent the most disciplined and capable amongst us, both physically and mentally, in high-pressure situations.

These men and women are put through training exercises and the most difficult special force training programs in the world that would probably land many of us in the hospital on the first day and it works towards fashioning them into loving, breathing, dependable organic weapons for the good of the nation.

2 Replies to “Top 10 Hardest Special Forces Training In The World (2024)

  1. Evidently you haven’t done much research or had very much interaction with said units and branches. You left out enough for me to know that this is cursory and no one has given you all relevant information. I’m not one to provide you with what you need. Suffice it to say that you have missed several levels of top echelon segments of the military not only in the U.S. but around the world. It’s okay though, most don’t want to be recognized or described fully because how can you be clandestine if everybody knows who you are. HA HA HA
    Anyway, you might want to do some hard digging to get your information straight. I will give you one thing though Gurkhas are some funny badass dudes.

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