The mindset is a very important aspect of your training.
Your mental response to things is most often something that occurs subconsciously – it basically boils down to how you’re programmed and will dictate how you respond to external stimuli.
A self-defense mindset is simply an effort to re-train yourself to respond in a predetermined manner under different scenarios. To make yourself able to respond effectively when placed in a high-tension situation (such as a mugging for example) – it takes training, repetition and positive reinforcement.
“This will never happen to me”
Unfortunately, this isn’t one of the things you can control. If someone decides to target you, then the decision is made. 3% of people per year in the UK suffer an assault every single year – so as frightening as this might be – it could happen to you
“If I’m assaulted I’ll be able to talk my way out of it”
Possible but unlikely. Talking your way out of a fight with someone you know is one thing, but trying to talk your way out of a fight with someone trying to take your wallet – not likely (and even giving them the wallet/purse isn’t enough in most cases to protect you)
“I’ll be able to work out a plan if/when it happens”
The reality is that these things happen in the blink of an eye. Without training, the natural reaction is to freeze. Not only will you not see the situation coming in the first place, but if it does happen, you’re likely to be flat on your back before you know it.
“I’m too small / old / unfit” to defend myself
Self-defence and self-preservation don’t need you to be built and/or fit. OK, the fitness will be useful – but you can fix that with some effort. The main thing you need to develop is the will, mindset, response and techniques to win – you don’t need to be big to keep yourself safe.
“The police will save me”
The Police do a great job and I have a great deal of respect for them – however, in most cases, by the time the police arrive, they’re responding to a crime, which means its too late – the damage is done. They might bring the perpetrator to justice, but it won’t save you ahead of time.
“If I defend myself I’ll be thrown in jail”
Not necessarily true. There is precedent for pre-emptive self-defense and you’ll be taught this at any decent self-defense course. Even it if was totally true – the way I look at it is that I’d rather go to jail than be hospitalized, crippled or killed!
Attitude goes a long way
Ever seen a cat chase off a Doberman? Or heard the familiar tale from high school of the little guy who “snapped” and attacked the biggest guy in the class? The reason this happens is all to do with attitude. It’s a will to win and a belief you’re willing and able to do whatever it takes to protect you and yours.
This attitude doesn’t come naturally to everyone. I know this to be true because years ago I didn’t have an inch of self-belief or attitude – when backed into a corner I used to crumble (or cry!) Those days are gone for me – and they can be for you if you’ve got the will and motivation.
There is no “right” answer that fits everybody for every situation, but a decent Self-Defense establishment will be able to show you the way. If you want some pointers in the right direction get in touch. I’m qualified to teach so that’s an option if you’re local.
Attitudes to improve your chances:
If you can adopt the following beliefs and act upon them by following through and training, then your chances of surviving an encounter will be vastly improved. Give some of the below some serious thought then get in touch to get your training started.
“I need a plan”
When I talk about a plan, I mean a self-defense strategy to deal with different scenarios, set up in advance involving mental triggers that result in action without conscious thought. Planning your reaction and practicing techniques appropriate specifically for you can mean the difference between success and failure to defend yourself when the time comes.
“Giving up isn’t an option”
Letting yourself give in when attacked isn’t an option. This isn’t a planned fight we’re talking about. If you give up, it doesn’t necessarily mean the fight is over – it just means that you’re no longer in control of the outcome – and that can be deadly. Never give up. Ever.
“Anger and aggression are right and appropriate in the right context”
Let me ask you a question. How angry would you be if someone attacked and hurt your Mother, Father, Sister, Wife or Husband? How about your Daughter or Grandmother? Now let me ask you another – why don’t you feel that same anger when someone attacks or threatens you?
If someone attacked and hurt you – would you still be able to look after those you love? No, you wouldn’t. The attacker is trying to take you out of action – and that will have a direct effect on those you love, the heartache and fear it causes can be emotionally crippling for you and those around you. What if you’re crippled and no longer able to work? Can you still look after your family? Get the picture?
Controlled anger and aggression in this context is a GOOD thing. You are protecting yourself and your loved ones in the process
“Anyone who would rob, rape or harm me is not deserving of a second chance”
This is simple – you’ve been attacked, confronted and cornered – the person or persons who have done this are undeserving of mercy. Worrying about the damage you do to them is counterproductive. Everyone is responsible for their own actions. If the consequence of their assault is that something of theirs gets broken – so be it. You have to be comfortable with the fact that the people involved have made their own choices – and left you with none.
What to do now?
If you like what you’ve read but you’re unsure what to do next, feel free to get in touch. I’m qualified to teach, and although it’s not my main purpose in life these days, I’d never turn someone away if training them would be feasible and achievable. At worst I can point you in the right direction for the self-defense course to suit you.
Previously Published on What’s Your Outcome