The mindset of the fight and how to train

The mindset of the fight and how to train

This is a discussion on The mindset of the fight and how to train within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have been posting on another thread and it was going off topic with how one should react in a gunfight and the way one ...

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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    The mindset of the fight and how to train

    I have been posting on another thread and it was going off topic with how one should react in a gunfight and the way one should train for the fight. Statistics where being brought up that polls showed that out of 100 times of the use of a gun 92% the BG stopped at the sight of the gun while only 8% need to have shots fired.

    Some said because of the statistics one should not be in a hurry to pull the trigger while others said to shot off the draw.

    So lets discuss that here and let the other thread run on its topic.

    Here is a post done by Roger Phillips, SI instructor (Sweatnbullets) on the forum, on the mindset of the fight lets start with it and go from there.



    No matter what fight shows up at your doorstep, there is one perfect solution to that specific problem. But the only way to be able to pull off the one perfect solution is to have a wide range of skill sets to choose from.

    This means that we must train in fluid concepts and not in niche techniques. Not only do we need to own these fluid concepts we also must know exactly where they fit into the specifics of the fight. Since a fight is a ever changing dynamic event, the idea that a couple of techniques and a couple of tactics is all you need to know, is ludicrous. This wishfull thinking is for the ignorant, lazy, blind, and stupid (yes, I said it.....STUPID!)

    The dynamics of a particular fight are very specific, yet the fight continuum is extremely wide ranging. There are some things that are constants inside of the fight and all of our solutions are dictated by these constants.

    1) The situation is the dictating factor

    2) Your mission is the #1 most important factor inside of the situation

    3) Distance is a huge portion of the situation

    4) Your placement on the reactionary cuve is another huge portion of the situation

    Everything that we do must begin from this core understanding. Once you have your head wrapped around these core facts then we can begin to find out how to be as deadly as we can possibly be inside the situation that we are confronted with.

    "The fight will be what the fight will be!"

    In most cases you do not get to choose the way the fight starts, you are left reacting to the fight. But, we sure as hell can choose how the fight ends. But without the prerequisite "understanding" you will never even know how to train to be as deadly as you can be.

    Once you have your head right then we actually begin to put the intertwined skill sets into their proper place.

    There is a phenomenon out there that must be recognized, identified, and acknowledged. Let's call it the "too far" phenomenon. This is when a student is taught something within the correct context, yet ignores the context and uses the new skill sets much further than they were intended for. As an instructor I see this all of the time. Student latching onto their new "pet technique" and applying it way out of context. For some students it is very difficult breaking them of their technique focus and get them to work conceptually. But the conceptual approach within the proper context is of the utmost importance.

    I remember back when I first start pushing this "one hand for dynamic movement" concept. It was met with unbelievable resistance, that was until I posted an actual test for everyone to see what I was talking about. After that test was posted all of the resistance just melted away. But this was never designed to eliminate two handed shooting or two handed shooting with dynamic movement. It was designed to break people away from being a slave to their two handed grip........which is what it had become.....slavery! Every once in a while I see students that have taken this particular fluid concept who have turn it into just another dogmatic technique. They have taken a new skill set and taken it much further (more dogmatic) than it was ever intended to be.

    We should have one goal in mind!

    That is to be as deadly as we can possibly be all along the fight continuum!

    This means that we must have fluid skill sets inside of fluid concepts!

    This is what I am talking about when I mention "the intertwined skill sets connected to the mental aspect of the fight." This stuff is all intertwined and it all works off of your understanding.

    1) I need to be able to fight in every direction on the clock

    2) I need to be able to do this from 1 inch to 500 yards

    3) I must know exactly how fast I can move, in order to avoid the adversary's aim, while still puting fast and accurate combat hits on my adversary, throughout the fight continuum

    4) I most know exactly what I need to see to guarantee combat accurate hits all inside of the perfect balance "to hit and to not be hit."

    5) I must know how I need to work my grip and trigger to be as efficient and effective as I can possibly be inside of the fight continuum. I must make the hits and I must do it as quickly as I can

    This is the SI philosophy!

    "Just win baby!"

    Do whatever you have to do to find that one perfect solution to the situation that is at hand.

    Entry level CCW kindergartner BS is not going to get that done.

    Men should fight like men!




    What say you?
    TSiWRX and jem102 like this.
    It's gotta be who you are, not a hobby. reinman45

    "Is this persons bad behavior worth me having to kill them over?" Guantes


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    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Every class I've attended and everything I teach is about violence of action. They chose to fight and we need to end it immediately and at all costs. I always advocate extreme aggression. The two times I've been in a life or death type fight, it was my violent action that allowed me to walk away. I don't have the mindset of fight to defend myself or be on the defensive, I go on the offensive and attack with absolutely everything I have.

    Having a wait and see attitude nearly got me killed when I was 19 (12 years ago). I don't have that attitude anymore.

    I train regularly. My movements, during the fight, all have purpose, are efficient and explosive. I don't step to one side, I explode to that side. I don't train to fire one well placed shot then wait and see, I fire 4 or 5 until they're on the ground or running in the other direction.

    So, once the fight is on, there's no boundaries. I become the attacker, not the attacked. I'm on the offensive and they WILL regret their decision. They chose to fight. As much as I don't want to be in his type of situation, I will end it however I have to.

    For the record, this comes from personal experience and what I've done in the past, not what I'd like to do or hope I'll do. I've found what we see ourselve doing and what actually happens are two very different things.
    Bark'n, First Sgt, 3D and 4 others like this.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Violence begets violence. Clearing leather is a tricky thing, when you do and they run the threat is over. There is the split second that the BG has to make his choice, if he makes the wrong choice BANG, if he makes the right choice he will live to fight another day. I have been fortunate that I have never had to pull the trigger. Make no mistakes If needed Im up to the task.
    TSiWRX and jem102 like this.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

    Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I believe that we are talking about two different, albethey related, subjects.

    Mindset (or mind-set), to me. is typified by the first paragraph of Jon's post. It is an disposition, attitude, inclination of the nature of the response that will be put forth in a given type of situation.

    Roger's post and the third and forth paragraph of Jon's post refer to the training, strategies, techniques and attributes that support the mindset. While related, I see them as separate and distinct.

    The circumstances of a situation will determine whether a shoot from the draw or a "draw and see" action are called for and they may change midstream. Whether one can keep up and not shoot or shoot, depending on what is called for, will be determined within the actual situation.

    Rager and I spent a day together a while back for an exchange of concepts, techniques, alternatives and related subject matter. It was an interesting day for both of us.

    To summarize, there is mindset, and there are the elements that support that mindset.
    Bark'n, First Sgt, TSiWRX and 3 others like this.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
    Every class I've attended and everything I teach is about violence of action. They chose to fight and we need to end it immediately and at all costs. I always advocate extreme aggression. The two times I've been in a life or death type fight, it was my violent action that allowed me to walk away. I don't have the mindset of fight to defend myself or be on the defensive, I go on the offensive and attack with absolutely everything I have.

    Having a wait and see attitude nearly got me killed when I was 19 (12 years ago). I don't have that attitude anymore.

    I train regularly. My movements, during the fight, all have purpose, are efficient and explosive. I don't step to one side, I explode to that side. I don't train to fire one well placed shot then wait and see, I fire 4 or 5 until they're on the ground or running in the other direction.

    So, once the fight is on, there's no boundaries. I become the attacker, not the attacked. I'm on the offensive and they WILL regret their decision. They chose to fight. As much as I don't want to be in his type of situation, I will end it however I have to.

    For the record, this comes from personal experience and what I've done in the past, not what I'd like to do or hope I'll do. I've found what we see ourselve doing and what actually happens are two very different things.
    In regard to that in bold, Do you see this as lack of mindset? I feel many people train and learn the use of the weapon, they know the how to win the fight, but because they do not work on the mind the fall short on the why of winning the fight.
    It's gotta be who you are, not a hobby. reinman45

    "Is this persons bad behavior worth me having to kill them over?" Guantes

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    I really don't have anything constructive to add to what both jonconsiglio and Guantes have posted.

    Both are excellent posts and pretty accurately describes my sentiments. I would only distract from what they have both succinctly put forth.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill MO View Post
    In regard to that in bold, Do you see this as lack of mindset? I feel many people train and learn the use of the weapon, they know the how to win the fight, but because they do not work on the mind the fall short on the why of winning the fight.
    I think there's two main reasons. One of the main reasons to me is the lack of real training. Not a lack of range time, but actual training. I can shoot all day and that means nothing when it's time to actually fight. Being able to use a firearm is just a part of fighting. When I work on my handgun and defensive shooting, I'm usually incorporating some type of movement into it. Let's use a move and draw drill as an example. The student goes to the line with a target at 5 meters, for example. The instructor then calls a command like "move right". At this point, the student should move to the right, draw and fire a set number of rounds, which should be changed with each command. Now, as simple as this sounds, you'll see all kinds of stuff going on here. Student 1 may side step in a deliberate movement, get in a fighting stance then fire a few shots. The whole process takes 3 to 4 seconds, maybe.

    Now, student 2 comes to the line. He's also given the command "move right". Instead of side stepping, he explodes and from his relaxed standing position to the equivalent of a solid 2 side steps, digs his heals in to stop himself. As this is happening, he's starting to draw. Once he's stopped (not after he gets into an ideal stance), he's punching his handgun forward, already obtaining a sight picture and rapidly firing the predetermined number of rounds. He accomplishes this in maybe 2 seconds or so. This sounds simple, but given the Tueller Drill, this is a vital part of training as it changes his direction of attack, allowing you enough time to draw and fire.

    If something similar is not part of our training, what's going to happen when someone attacks? Someone may think they'll do something similar, but if all they do is draw and fire on a flat range, they'll most likely not move and draw, at least not correctly. If they do, most will move then draw or keep moving in a very inefficient manner. This is just one example of many. Another very important part of training is the immediate contact drills where you fire during the draw after pushing the target. This one is also a must in my opinion as it's not something that comes natural. Only with extensive training will it become a natural response to an attack.

    The other reason is the mental preparedness. This is right up there with training. We don't know what we'll do under stress, especially in this type of situation. The only thing we can do is better prepare ourselves with training and put the odds in favor of us fighting instead of complying or waiting too long. Along with this comes a true understanding of our state's carry laws and self defense laws. I'm much more willing to defend myself with lethal force if I've read a number of stories of people defending themselves and having the law on their side. Believe me, this goes a long way with our willingness to fight.

    We need to understand that one bullet will likely not do a whole heck of a lot to an attacker. Sure, some flee after one shot, but that's not always the case. Know what you are capable of and train for that. I know if I should be in this situation, I can draw and fire 3 to 5 rounds in about 2 , give or take. I know how accurate I am and at what distances and speed. I know what I'm willing to do to get home to my family or to defend them. I know this, I don't think it and that's an important distinction to make. Unfortunately, most of us can't say that without actually experiencing it. But, the above things are what we can do to ensure we have the muscle memory to act accordingly, and this will help us tremendously.

    When training, we need to be aggressive. We need to want to destroy our targets. We need to want to hit them as quickly as possible. We need to picture that target as someone trying to do us harm. I don't see a piece of paper or steel, I see an attacker, someone invading my home, etc. See, I don't go to the range to have a good time (usually). I don't go to see how tight my groups are (usually). I go because I'm trying to better my ability to survive or I'm trying to teach someone else how to survive (always).
    First Sgt, Bill MO, 3D and 2 others like this.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    To me it's partly about how to go from low arousal to high arousal without getting tunnel vision and losing fine motor control.

    One famous "fighter" used a type of self-hypnosis to do that, having a trigger word. I've worked on this (my word is 'white-hot').

    My partner doesn't even need that and can more-or-less react instantly. Me, I am slow to anger and therefore (normally) slow to react.

    Another famous 'fighter' said 'winning the fight is about 75% aggression and 20% technique and a few percent of intangibles, or variables.

    A key, though is knowing your limitations. I can 'fight' with my handgun but I can't clear a house, I can't go on a mission to take out a subject, like a hitman, but I can find cover and defend in place (which 95% of the non-armed populace can't do reliably). I also need to have the moral high ground and have defused or evaded as much as possible (if alone).

    I can carry 24/7, go to the range and I can work scenarios with my partner. Alone I am not very effective, but I am more than twice as effective with my partner, who also carries and backs me up.

    I can carry some non-lethal options, I can cover my partner and I can do some basic first-aid and call 911. I carry a recorder a camera and OC spray and a tac light and a cane 24/7 (or really 16/7). I can be consistent and train consistently.

    ...and so on.

    $.02

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    Mindset is about how you talk to yourself mentally. How you see yourself in your mind. To develop a combat/survival mindset, you must change how you speak to yourself mentally, and change the vocabulary you use when you speak to yourself. After that, you must change how you see yourself visually, reacting to any given event in your mind. It must be ingrained and repeatedly practiced until you have removed all former references from a standpoint of weakness to one of victory and domination. It doesn't happen over night and takes practice.

    It does not mean you have to become a jerk and jackass in your outward appearance and demeanor. You don't behave like some macho jerk-off. You can be as mild mannered as Clark Kent in your outward appearance to your friends and public persona, and hard and ruthless as Jason Bourne to your inner warrior mindset.

    You have to train yourself mentally to think in terms of superiority and not defensively. It may sound stupid and silly that one should talk to one's self mentally, but that is exactly what you do.

    You abandon words and phrases of weakness like "self defense," "blocking his punch," "defending my wife" and replace those words and phrases with words which denote strength and power. Replace them with words and visual images such as "attack, destroy, crush, dominate."

    When you close your eyes and think of a situation where you are walking to your car in a dark parking lot, and two scruffy men step out and surprise you, you can mentally alter the situation to where you are in command. Instead of the former thought process, you change that into, "As I am walking to my car in a dark parking lot, my situational awareness alerts me to two scum bags lurking in the shadows and they no longer have the element of surprise against me!"

    When you think "as I approach my car, one of the men swings a club at my head and I reach up to block his swing," you are imagining that scenario from a position of weakness. Trying to block someone's attack or punch is coming from a position of weakness. Instead, you train yourself to think in terms of offensive counter attack. You say instead, "As the scum bag swings his club, I will attack the first part of his body which moves and crush his arm with a blow so strong it breaks his arm. He drops his club and is now defenseless."

    It is a process of mentally changing your vocabulary and how you talk to yourself subconsciously and then how you mentally visualize things to yourself. It's a ritual you must do repeatedly in order to condition you to give up your natural tendency to respond from a position of weakness to responding from a position of superior strength and power, both mentally and physically.

    I never actually think in terms of self defense and defending myself (even though I say that in public for politically correct reasons and for the benefit of lawyers and juries). But make no mistake, in my mind, and how I rationalize, visualize and mentally verbalize things to myself it is from a warriors mindset. I will attack, with explosive and unabashed violence of action, so overwhelming that I will literally destroy my attacker before he knows what happened. I will take on all comers and crush them into dust.

    If you don't understand that concept and believe it works, then forget everything I just said, and continue on with the rest of the pack. You're not going to get it.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
    So, once the fight is on, there's no boundaries. I become the attacker, not the attacked. I'm on the offensive and they WILL regret their decision. They chose to fight. As much as I don't want to be in his type of situation, I will end it however I have to.
    I agree with this wholeheartedly. For example, I get extremely angry just thinking about someone messing with my family, If someone threatened my wife or put her life in danger it would take an act of God to save that poor soul. My reaction would be instant and final. That is the mindset one needs to have (as Jon and Barkn mentioned...I think), a visceral reaction that leaves only enough room for you, not a bad guy.
    tcox4freedom likes this.
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    The best defense is an offense that forces the attacker to go on defense.

    If they are attacking, attack harder and force them to go on the defensive.

    If you are playing defense in an attack, you are behind the curve. Action beats reaction every time.
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    Training is important, but we can train all day, and if you don't have the will to kill in your heart its all for not. I like the saying I am as nice as you allow me to be and as mean as you make me.

    Any Force I am Met With Will Meet That of Equal or Greater Force.
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    Bark'n, jonconsiglio, and Guantes have pretty much summed it up on this thread. In regards to MINDSET, let me say that I was taught and firmly believe there are three battles you must win. They are the gunbattle, the court battle (criminal and civil), and the emotional battle...Fighting is 95% mental and 5% physical. Your attitude and awareness are critical to your survival. You can't fight back effectively if you are not willing to do whatever it takes to prevail...An aggressive mindset could very well reduce your attacker's will to fight. Most attackers (BG's) are looking for victims. They really don't want to fight you. Understand that bad things happen fast, and sometimes with little or no warning. Do not be indecisive, be prepared (mentally and physically) to move and do something. The most effective mindset is probably based around controlled anger. You are certainly justified in being angry when confronted by someone that cares so little for the life of others that they would take yours for nothing more than short term gratification. NEVER GIVE UP...You are going to die sometime. You can't stop it from happening. However, you have some control over how it happens and when it happens. Knowing this fact and training for this fact, separates you from the rest of the population.
    TSiWRX and tcox4freedom like this.
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

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    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    Aggression is fine and mindset is important but just thinking 'Hulk Smash' will not get your goal accomplished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerJ View Post
    Aggression is fine and mindset is important but just thinking 'Hulk Smash' will not get your goal accomplished.
    Agreed. And no one said it did. But I can tell you the military, (especially the Marine Corps.) work on developing a combat mindset throughout the entire 11 weeks of boot camp because it has proven to be no small component to the equation.

    Having that win at all cost, do or die mindset was no small part in how the Marines defeated the Japanese in the Pacific during WWII, who also possessed a fanatical mindset of their own.
    glockman10mm likes this.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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