Defensive Mindset V

by George Mattson

by Van Canna

This defensive mindset series is nothing more than a time honored exercise in intuition ,the development of skills in a systematic fashion to identify and predict potentially dangerous situations and to respond with the survival
instinct best suited to the threat whether it be fight or flight!! It has nothing to do with “OBSESSION” or teaching trough fear as it has been suggested !

In the “gift of fear” DR DeBecker described men’s internal EARLY WARNING SYSTEM , a mechanism in place long before we used language to help us discern friend from foe ! In the book the doctor argues that social conventions often work to cause us to deny danger until it is too late! !We also invite danger unwittingly by the subconscious projection of symbolism which is seen as a challenge to a certain cast of villains at large!

My intent here is to stretch out the usually mundane “awareness” concepts into a more perfect fabric blend of the survival equation , mental, physical, criminal and civil exposure !!

There is a very good tool in use by lethal force experts called “THE SURVIVAL TRIANGLE”. Picture an equilateral triangle with the words “””MIND SET””” written across it’s base; the words “”skill”” written along it’s left side and the words “””TACTICS””””” written along it’s right side!!!! This is the working blend you carry with you , should carry with you , in BRAIN LOCK fashion if you are really in thought of self preservation and if you PURPORT to teach SELF DEFENSE to your students!!

Out of the three components , mindset and tactics are more important than skill for lot’s of reasons, not the least of which being that, most often they keep you from having to fight in the first place. Winning does not necessarily mean physically beating your opponent!! It means being able to walk from harms way in one piece by identifying the threat, predicting the outcome, deciding and executing the survival action called for whether by avoidance ,
de-escalation, cunning , flight or , at the last resort ,THE VERY LAST, countervailing force!!When violence finally comes to you in spite of your best deterrence efforts, your response action better be launched the best it can be or you may not be around for the “debriefing”!!!

The denial factor, expounded by Doctor DeBecker, is responsible for our improper or non existent mindset and failure to even entertain a study of basic “WHAT IF” tactics which put us at ruinous disadvantage in a confrontation!!

The advantage of visualizing and analyzing the three concepts of mindset, skill and tactics through the experience of others, is an accepted standard of mind conditioning in the deadly serious business of lethal force application involving use of firearms!! While attending the lethal force institute [run by Massad Ayoob], there were a number of police officers who had killed felons in the line of duty and who were gently prodded by the teaching staff to share their capers with us so we could vicariously and effectively be touched by “FIRE”!!! The resultant triggered “chemical cocktail” was then enhanced by physically running full speed 100 yards to get us as close as possible to the hand shaking, hyperventilating ,mistake prone confused state of mind of real life encounters and, in this state, we were next put to work in tactical combat scenarios of cover and concealment, building clearing drills , shoot/no shoot decisions, reminding yourself to breathe while avoiding well thought out ambushes and testing your problem solving abilities under stress!

The episodes as related by Dave Moy and others [ especially the one in NY Chinatown] are perfect examples of SURVIVAL TACTICS , one of the component of the survival triangle enumerated above!! NO !! The immersion into this forum’s mindset principles does not predispose someone to more violence; quite the contrary, it will program a rational survival attitude while promoting the will to employ your karate tools if and when absolutely necessary and tactically feasible !!

Van Canna

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