Sunday, January 24, 2016


Last Friday we were drilling multiple armed attackers (knives) versus one receiver.  This is one of the toughest scenarios to train, since the odds are heavily against you from the start.  It's sobering how fast things can go wrong in these situations, which is why so many violent attacks involve armed groups on a single, unarmed individual.

Some themes emerged during the training:

1) Don't Get Caught in the Middle
Stuck in between several opponents is the absolute worst place to be.  Like quicksand, once you are stuck in it is incrementally harder to get back out.  Time is NOT on your side and flailing won't make it any better.

Standing still is not neutral, it's NEGATIVE - often dangerously so.  Once we are aware of any threat, it is imperative to start moving and keep moving.  The direction almost doesn't matter, it can always be corrected later.  What is critical is to get going and keep going until you are out of danger.

3) K.I.S.S.
Keep it short and simple.  Too much complexity takes too much time.  You won't ever have as much time as you want or need, so better to plan quick and move quicker.  Complex techniques will fail under stress due to adrenaline, so it is far better to use simple, effective movements.

4) Have a Game Plan but Be Ready to Change it
Based on available info, make a plan.  As info changes, make sure the plan changes.  It is far better to have a fluid, adaptable mindset that to remain committed to a failing plan.

5) Concentrated, Short-Term Focus is better than Multi-Tasking
It is far better to harness full focus on a single task for a short term than to try to do everything at once (and fail them all).  Focus on the most immediate goal, complete it the best you can within the time you have and then move on.  It is actually more effective to hit each single objective 80% and keep going than hit 5 at 20% each and be overwhelmed.  "aim big miss big, aim small miss small" is a mantra used by elite snipers which means to focus on a small detail (aim at the shirt button) rather than a big target (aim at the man).  Precision is efficient and efficiency makes a big difference when time and the odds are against you.

6) Take What You Need From Those Around You
In a fight, your weapon will become my weapon as soon as I can make it so.  I am always out to even the odds, and then skew them in my favor, and one of the best ways I can do this is to take whatever my opponents' have and use it to my benefit.

7) Leverage Your Environment
In a fight, everything is fair game, especially the environment.  Walls, stairs, furniture, railings, anything in the environment can and should be used to help even the odds, and then skew them in your favor.

8) Be Decisive
Second place in a serous fight usually equals being severely injured or dead.  Every hit must count, and there is almost no margin for error.  To walk away, you must be committed to survival more than the others are committed to hurt or kill you.

9) The Mental Aspect Matters
In every situation, it is your confidence, willpower and commitment that have the biggest influence on the outcome. That means cultivating a mindset to do whatever is needed to survive an encounter and walk away.  Willpower is a very important ingredient for success.

10) Believe in Yourself
Survivors have a "survivor mindset".  Rather than arrogance, it is a quiet confidence in themselves and their abilities.  Survivors know what they can do, and know that what they can do when they have to is usually far beyond what they can do when they choose to.  Believe in yourself is also believing in your own ability to keep going no matter what.  Perseverance is a common characteristic of the most successful people.

and the most important of all:


There is a big temptation to be passive and wait for things to come to you before dealing with them.  In a fighting situation, this is usually the worst possible choice.  Attackers, especially groups of attackers, will continue to worsen your situation if allowed enough time to execute their strategy, and waiting becomes like a noose tightening around your neck.

Guerrilla warfare is generally the best approach, using the environment, aggressiveness and surprise to paralyze the enemy until they can be defeated.  In small-scale this means that you must immediately explode into action - directly into an attacker, and continue to aggressively seek and destroy the others before they can recover and combine to bring you down.  Fights need to happen on YOUR TERMS rather than theirs.

Tactically, we always seek the border of the space since we want to avoid being in the middle (see above) or exposing our backs, but the principles of environment, aggressiveness and surprise are still essential.  Waiting almost always makes the situation worse.

I have stated many times that the dojo is our laboratory for life.  What we can learn to do in class, we can learn to do outside class.

So, what does it all mean?

This training drill is not just to practice knife defense versus multiple attackers.
If you consider the above lessons, they apply almost universally to success in work and family, as well.  "Take The Initiative" is good advice for any endeavor of our lives.

All too often, we remain passive, waiting for someone to do it for us, or for things to happen to us.  This rarely has the outcome we want.  Instead, it is far better to actively engage our lives and those around us - take the initiative - and create the life we want to have.  This is true for individuals as well as companies.

The guidelines above offer advice for a wide variety of situations.  I hope you will consider them.
Moreover, I hope you will accept the responsibility to take the initiative in your own life, rather than waiting for it to happen to you.  Make it Happen rather than letting it happen.  Be the cause rather than the effect.

Come to class with energy and confidence, and be determined not just to complete the drills, but to OWN the training, OWN the workout, OWN the outcome.  Seize the Opportunity.
BE AWESOME.  Make a revolution in your life.

The Revolution Will Be Owned --- BY YOU.


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