Tag Archives: Instructors

Mindset

So, I’ll start by asking a question here, What exactly is “The Mindset”? I often see many talk about having a good mindset, having the mindset to deal with threats, etc. etc. So, what does the mindset entail exactly then?

See, the main, the basest mindset that every living creature on this planet has, is of Survival. Survival at all costs. Even sexual reproduction was evolved due to Survival being programmed into the genes of complex multi-cellular organisms, from reptiles to mammals, every creature has a survival instinct.

For us humans though, it gets a bit more complicated, see, maybe our stone age ancestors got by on the same survival instinct back in the day, but we, as we’re today, are not the same as we were a few hundred thousand years ago. Today, there are a lot of implications for having a total survival based mindset. It has consequences on a societal level and legal and moral level as well. Think about making a choice between saving you and some stranger from being shot, who would you choose? What about the aftermath of that choice, if you chose you or if you chose them? Both will lead to destructive aftermaths.

The thing about having a particular mindset is to have an appropriate mindset according to where you are, who you are and when you are and taking into account the future of where you will be. Military personnel will have different mindsets, but even then, different military personnel will have different mindsets, for example, a Marine would have a different kind of mindset, but a Military Police would have a different mindset, but an administrative clerk in the Military will have a different mindset, and a General will have a different mindset, etc. and so on.

Now this is just talking about the military mindset. What about the mindset of a police officer? Can their mindset be the same as a soldier? Well, that would depend on many different factors wouldn’t it? Firstly, where they are, do they have a desk job? Or are they out on the street? If it’s the second one, are they in a low crime or a high crime area? Both will require different mindsets, mind you. High crime will require high level of vigilance and the officer will have to be extra careful if they are talking to someone, or pulling someone over, but in a low crime area, even though, threats may exist in those areas as well, maybe some violent individual has crossed into that part of town, either way, in that area, having high vigilance might cause an overreaction in a small matter that didn‘t need to be escalated, leading to an unnecessary negative outcome. Here’s the thing though, even in the high crime area, a police officer cannot have the same mindset as a soldier in combat. Because killing someone by sniping them, may lead to extreme consequences. When soldiers do so, they are following orders, their goal is to fulfill the order given to them by their superior. In a police officer’s case, they have to make the decision themselves, there are no superiors giving them orders at the time of a violent situation. Their mind will need to process everything and make a decision as opposed to a soldier following orders, they already know what they have to do, of course that doesn’t mean that a soldier just blindly goes into combat, no, what I mean by that is the end goal is much clearer to a soldier in combat, than to an officer in a possible life threatening situation.

The mindsets, as a result will change a lot between these two. One has to make decisions based on the orders given to them and are often with a team and back up, and possible aerial support and complete the mission by any means necessary. The other, is on their own, often have no back up or the back up is minutes away, and has to take everything into account, and make a decision that will alter their life regardless of what happens.

Two extreme situations, the threat, the violence is often very high in both situations, but the mindsets required to navigate through those situations, will differ. They have to, in order to make sure that least possible damage occurs to the individuals involved those situations.

Now those were extreme situations for professionals, but what about a normal everyday individual with no experience with violence, suddenly coming in contact with a violent situation? What about their mindset? Well, as I wrote earlier, regardless of what or who you are, you have survival instincts ingrained into your genetics. The only difference is that the above mentioned professionals, have trained to cultivate a certain mindset appropriate for their professions as a necessity, but an average individual, with today’s availability of food, clothing and shelter, don’t need to have that survival instinct, they have everything they need to survive, and as a result, will not have cultivated that mindset. So, when they come across a violent situation, the only response their brain knows, is nothing, which translates to freeze response. The brain cannot access the genetic area where survival is programmed, due to not having accessed it before. So, an average individual’s mindset is basically composed of, going to work, eating, coming home to their family, maybe having a little fun, watching t.v., going on a holiday, having sex, shitting and sleeping, not necessarily on the same day and in that order, but yeah, that‘s the gist of it, they don‘t need constant vigilance, they don’t want it and they don’t even know what it is.

On the other hand, take a violent individual, who has experience in really hurting someone. Let’s say a home-invading serial killer/rapist. I’m purposely taking that extreme example here to contrast the previous one. Well, this individual, has most probably their whole life hurt others to get what they want, to intimidate and then mutilate because it makes them feel like a god who is in control of life and death. They enjoy the rush of seeing someone writhe in pain, they get off in seeing children cry and make their mothers cry harder. This individual in their whole life has seen and done violent things that would make someone like the above, puke in their mouth. This violent individual is most probably searching for a new victim because he/she is bored and wants to feel the rush. So, at this point, let’s say they come across an average individual, following him to his house. Now, this average joe, not having the vigilant mindset that of a soldier or a police officer or even just a trained civilian contractor, etc. doesn’t notice the stalker and leads him to his home, giving the stalker, an easy target. Now what kind of mindset will this violent individual have? This one will most probably be a psychopath, so lack of empathy, an adrenaline junkie, probably an addict, narcissistic, manipulative, pathological, most likely delusional, extremely violent, will do anything to get what they want, etc. etc.

Now, based on the above description, what chance does an average joe stand against someone who is far more experienced, far more skilled in violence and far superior in a predatory mindset than himself. How does he protect his family? By training, you’d say. Fine. Yes, that makes sense, but unless he can be trained in the next few seconds before he and his family are slaughtered like cattle and eaten, training now isn’t gonna do much, is it. What can happen though, is the natural survival instincts in him, the pre-programmed survival response, might be triggered, because now, not only his life is threatened, but the life of someone who will help carry his genes forward and a part of him, his child, are threatened as well. It might be that he himself may not survive, due to lack of his brain’s ability to respond, but chances of his family surviving, would be increased. It might even happen that a response may be triggered in his wife, and she might help in taking down the predator as well. Strength in numbers just might give them a chance.

That being said, logically, if it’s a sudden invasion, which it usually is, who has a greater chance of winning here? The predator with experience and the willingness to be violent or the one who hasn’t come across anything remotely violent since he had a small fight in high school, which was broken up by the principle. Did you say the first one? Well, in that case, you’re the predator, aren’t you? You are the serial killing home invader, because that mindset came from him doing that for years, he wasn’t trained in it. If you said, the second one, well, that’s because you most probably are one of the individuals with that mindset, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, this is the normal mindset according to the time we live in, you don‘t need violence to survive, to get food or fight over territory, you can just buy a home or rent it, so the violent nature has no use of it in your daily life, unless you‘re a professional who deals with it as a part of your job. That being said, it does not mean that the second mindset won’t win against the predator, why? Because external factors will play a role in the outcome. Plus another factor will play in, it’s the most important and the most natural one, it’s your preprogrammed survival instincts. You were made to protect yourself and your genes. Since now, not only you, but your gene pool is threatened, chances are you will fight back and probably even win, you may not survive the ordeal, but your family does have a chance. People with zero training have survived career criminals and done incredible things. They have surprised themselves. When the survival instincts have been activated, even the most calm people, are capable of extreme violence in order to protect their own.

So, a question here based on all of that. Which mindset is better to have? The very first one of a soldier, the second, of a police officer, the third of an average joe or the fourth of a predator, or an unmentioned fifth one, of a trained civilian? The answer isn’t as simple as one might think, you see, if you chose the last one, the trained civilian one, well, it’s not the best answer, why? Because, first, that mindset, doesn’t technically exist, and two, let’s face it, many “combatives” instructors who do train civilians, basically either give you a mindset of a soldier or a mindset of a criminal, there are some who even try and give you the mindset of an action movie star, avoid them like the plague!

Very rarely someone even tries to get close to something like a trained civilian and even then, it’s still more physical violence oriented, which again doesn’t take into account other factors involved before, during and after, the legal, the moral, the psychological, the societal, environmental. They are just trained like they would a police officer or a bouncer. Maybe a lock or a joint there or a punch and a palm heel strike there.

So when people say ‘have a proper mindset’ what exactly does it mean? Well, I don’t know what they mean, but for me, it’s having the basest need to survive. Having the on and ‘off switch’ in you. I have even written an article about that before. For me, it’s not training like a soldier, or a police officer or a career criminal that helps, but instead training like a survivor that does. I don’t need to know how a sniper rifle works, I’d love to know out of sheer curiosity, but not because I want to snipe people out of existence. Same way, I don’t wanna learn how to arrest people, that’s not my job, it’s the brave people’s job.

My only job and my duty is my survival, my protection and I prefer to train that way. But here’s the thing, it’s not just physical survival, that’s where this differs from the above mentioned complete survival instincts from the stone-age times, no, since there are consequences of our actions, our actions should be based on survival from all aspects of today’s society, such as legal aspects. I prefer to have a mindset where I do and don’t do things to keep myself safe from all possible angles beforehand, before the violent situation has even come across me. I develop my mindset, according to my situation and my needs. This is the same thing that should be done, that should be trained, you train as per your situations and your needs. You are not training for violence or to counter it, you are training to educate yourself on what violence entails and how you can avoid it and keep yourself safe from it and from all fundamental aspects of dealing with it. Safety and survival of your genes is important and what your mindset should be and is naturally, it definitely should be that fundamentally simple, but as we have evolved, our societal constructs have evolved with us. As a result, we need to evolve in our methods of being safe to suit those constructs. Taking into account all those factors which would affect us beforehand, during and in the aftermath, is what’s truly a modern survivor’s mindset.

Well, that’s it. Hope I got my point across. Thanks for reading.

A Rant, because I can‘t…take this bullshit anymore

This is something that many might’ve noticed, it’s the fact that whatever becomes popular in a way that’s trendy or whatever that makes an individual stand out as some unique thing is usually what’s taught.

There was a time when Martial Arts were this “mystical” and “new” and “cool” thing. So people wanted to know more about that and train in it, then came the RBSD and again people wanted to go for that because that was something that wasn‘t too mainstream, then those same RBSD people wanted to switch to the so-called “Military Martial Arts” and “Systems Taught to Navy SEALs”, Why? You guessed it, it was something that was rare and exclusive and new and not too mainstream.

Of course, now people just create different versions of these above things and re-package it as something new and edgy and sell it to people who want to stay “current” with all the trending stuff.

So, what provoked this post? Well firstly, if I don‘t get this out, I will lose it and punch through someone‘s face, but since I don‘t want to go to jail, I thought, I‘d write an angry frustrated post! Also, I was watching this video today, made by a local individual who I had an “experience” with…no, not that kind of “experience“! Jeez! Anyway, in that video, I saw that the same guy who advocated MA’s for self-defense a few yeas ago, was now calling them obsolete and ineffective for it. Not only that, but was also just repeating what you hear a typical “RBSD” Instructor say in a typical you tube video. The irony? While “debunking” the so-called misconceptions, that individual was actually doing the same thing that the video was meant to debunk. It was the same b.s. stuff, same crap about focusing on the physical, same stiff open palm strike to the nose b.s. and same over head block b.s. while teaching all of this to not only men, but women as well.

Now I don’t want to say their name out loud, especially because this individual is quite famous here and has a lot of contacts and followers, which someone like me cannot and does not want to contend with. But it boils my blood to see that whatever will bring in the clients is what will be taught, even though it’s not understood by the “instructors” in it’s entirety and in depth and this is especially done by those who are popular and have enough contacts to make them even more popular. Networking over quality.

My question here is, How can you teach something when you don’t freaking understand it?!! Huh?!!

It’s like now Martial Arts here, are only for housewives and children. Kickboxing is only for people who want to sweat and just feel like they “did something“. Mixed Martial Arts is something that only “badass guys and gals” do and “RBSD” is something that only “super god-like Instructors” and “Military guys” do. There is zero mention of Conflict Management or even it’s aspect of Self Protection, which is not self-defense, nor there’s any kind of discussion on avoidance and preventative methods. “Instructors” mention self-defense and immediately go to these cliched “moves”. Not accounting for anything else, then call it “self-defense training”.

There’s often not even a passing mention of verbal factors or psychological factors or legal or societal factors or anything of such sort at all! Some barely sometimes would just say something like “Don‘t fight outside, because this is very lethal, don’t use it unless you cannot escape” No shit Sherlock! That’s not even the half of it! I mean what the actual fuck, man? This is what’s happening now? Really?…and the sad fact is that only a rare few understand that these things are not fixed for one type of individual, and when I say ‘rare’, I mean RARE, they‘re like unicorns here!

You know, I still get calls where people just want to “learn how to fight“, how to kick ass and take names and take on a billion guys at once! They’re not amateur or pro fighters btw, not that an amateur or pro can do that anyway, but still.. and when I hear these demands, I’m thinking “Why the hell do you want to fight? Are you insane?” So I just turn them away. I’d rather not have someone stupid like that train with me, it would be a nightmare just to handle their stupid giant ego and their mountain of misconceptions in their warped minds, honestly..

Here’s an interesting story about one instructor’s ego and their self-aggrandizing behavior though. This was about three or four years ago and today it brought back that disturbing memory. So it started when I contacted that individual, I messaged them greeting them, telling them how much their videos are a refreshing thing so see, and asked if I can meet them and talk in person and maybe even train together.

Apparently this individual is a “JKD instructor”… Who knows… Anyway, about these videos and why I complimented them, the thing is, they weren’t bad, compared to many others here, they did have these exact same cliched things though, out of context as well, but still, they were about how you should be careful of multiple opponents and the knife will cut you no matter what, etc. etc. usual basic stuff like that, good fundamental pointers in a way, no doubt, which is exactly why I thought, maybe this individual might be different than other ego-based instructors who don‘t care about anything but running a business, so why not ask them if they wanted to train with me and exchange ideas and stuff? It would be a great thing to have a like-minded individual so close by. It seemed like a great idea!…It wasn’t. That was my mistake though, wasn’t it? Thinking that exact thing. Yes it was! I’m a dumbass! You see, it turned out that, that individual was so freaking egomaniacal and so self-absorbed that they didn‘t know where their head began and their ass ended. It was so cringe worthy, that it was painful, it physically hurt my head.

So, the event; I messaged them, and at first they were quite indifferent and aloof and I mean, not in a “I don‘t know you yet, so I‘m not gonna open up” way, no, I’m talking about not even having the basic courtesy, I could look past that though, and I did, but the thing that was difficult to look past was that, it was more in the sense of a “I‘m better than you, I’m a celebrity and you, a nobody, is wasting my time” kind of way, you know the type? If you do, you’ll know what I’m talking about here. I mean I have spoken, and even still do, to people who actually are truly up there in the levels of skill, knowledge and experience and are extremely well-known for what they do, good people, great to talk to.

One example of that being, Rory Miller, and he is the most polite and educated and an extremely fun guy to talk to, he never once showed any kind of attitude when we spoke, he was down to earth like any average friendly individual, even though I was kinda nervous and was like a babbling idiot, he not only tolerated me, but actually spoke to me nicely and he‘s an extremely busy guy! I was a stranger! To whom he had never before spoken! My god! The difference here is immeasurable! Of course, I had to stop, so I wouldn‘t make a complete fool of myself, it was embarrassing in a way, but compared to the other individual mentioned here, it was awesome! BTW, I know I‘m fan-girling out right now. Shut up! I’m just proving a point here!

In fact, now that I think about it, it was around a couple years after I spoke to the ego guy. One of the reasons why I was nervous, I thought I might have another similar experience here as well (I was wrong). So, my point, even though Rory Miller, is an extremely busy guy who‘s way above in skills, knowledge and experience than myself, he still treated me with common courtesy and genuine basic human respect. But this individual had the audacity to behave in such a rude, “holier than thou” manner? What kind of mindset must that individual have? The comparison is disturbing. I feel sorry for the students that train with that ego-maniac. It must be like living in a dictatorship, but they must love it, due to developing a cult-like mindset in a cult-like environment.

Anyway, moving forward from my little inception tangent rant within rant. So I asked to meet them and exchange some ideas and train with them, and their response? “I have been teaching for more than six years and I don‘t meet with individuals who are not at my training level, I will let you play with one of my junior students, if you want playtime. Okay I‘m busy now”. That was a word to word reply btw, I copy pasted it. As soon as I read that, well, I just refrained from messaging them any further. What do you even say to someone like that? Later, I saw some of his students training, and honestly, it just looked like a scene from a typical dojo. Even though they weren’t wearing a Keikogi and Obi, it wasn’t a training session, it was a typical freaking worshiping session in a money dojo.

I swear, even though I have washed my hands of this stupid “RBSD” industry now, I’m still haunted by its stupidity in one way or other and still come across people like that even today, it’s just that now I know better and avoid them altogether. When I come across someone like that, I somehow instinctively know what kind of an instructor that individual is, just by the way they conduct themselves and talk to other people, it‘s weird, their behavior is weird, it appears as an abnormality to me. Just as the observational skills to spot “off” individuals and potential threats. It’s like having “Neo vision“ for idiots.

The thing that’s frustrating beyond belief to me though, is that people still wanna learn from these a-holes instead of the truly good ones, and not just that, they want to learn whatever new thing comes along without questioning its effectiveness for the purpose they want to train in it, and it‘s the ego-based instructors who “know everything” and the ones who just run a business, not an educational training facility, who capitalize on that new trend, get people in and brain-wash them and just create more mindless drones! No one questions these things! They‘re just like, “I want to learn kickboxing because I want to learn self-defense” and I’m here thinking…“How the hell does that even connect?” Can anyone help me here? Is no one else going through this? Is it just me? Am I an idiot-magnet here? Or am I just a crazy whack job who’s over-reacting due to all the built up frustration about this bullshit? Either way… I really wanna be done with this now…

Rant over and so is my patience for this idiocratic system and its mindless followers!

Thanks for reading though…If you did, even I didn‘t read it back. I just wanted to get it out.