November 11th, 2007 12:02 AM
Who are you?
Over the last seven years there has been some major advancement in the art when it comes to the world of the gun. This is predominantly due to the realization that “one size does not fit all” and that the “situation” is the dictating factor when it comes down to choosing a tactic or technique to deal with a life threatening encounter. It is plain to see that the facts are that the situation dictates the strategy, the strategy dictates the tactics, and the tactics dictate the techniques. The technique based training of the past locked us into a “one size fits all” mentality that simply does not stand up under open minded scrutiny and much less inside of force on force.
As we look at the situation, one of the key components of this situation comes down to “who are you?” As we look at this question we immediately think of the most obvious aspects of it. We think about age, physical ability, size, and training. Of course, these are very important aspects of your personal situation. One aspect, that is less obvious, but none the less important, is your mindset. The question needs to be ask “who are you” in regards to the mental aspect of the fight. What has your past experiences and performances been in physical altercations? Are you aggressive or passive by nature? Did you immediately take the fight to the opponent or hesitate due to denial. Did you only go on the defensive?
These are all very important questions. But the reality is that many people have never had to answer these questions. For those of us that are not as lucky, we have a basic idea of who we are. For really unlucky people and the professionals, there is enough experience to know exactly who they are.
The reason that this question is so important is so that you can prioritize your training to take in account exactly who you are. If you know yourself to be very aggressive, you can train aggressive action as a known priority. This will not only fit your situation very well but it will also further entrench this natural desire to take the fight to the adversary. By ingraining this deeper and deeper, you will recognize the situation, for what it is, earlier and respond quicker. It is my belief that this is what we see in some of the old timers that have prevailed numerous times with stand and deliver skills or while advancing aggressively. Gunfighters such as Fairbairn, Sykes, Bryce, Jordon, and Askins were born hunters/meat eaters that knew exactly who they were and trained with this knowledge to the point that they were “in the fight” before the Average Joe would even know that a fight was eminent. This ability to recognize the fight early and respond to it with decisive aggressive action leaves options of tactics and techniques open that simply are not available to the Average Joe.
You may also know yourself as someone that can shift gears to aggressive action, but only after a slight hesitation. This is where many moderately trained civilians would find themselves. This knowledge can help you prioritize your training to something that gets you off of the line of attack, at a subconscious level, to give yourself some time for the conscious mind to catch up and go on the offense. This is where getting off of the X really shines. The forward oblique’s and parallel tracking works very well for this type of mindset. Visualization while training can improve this hesitation. You need to tap into that inner animal, the one that simply works off of indignation. Visualization of protection of my wife and kids brings me closer to the decisive aggressive action that some of the top gunfighters in history have used to prevail. Reality is that my wife and kids do not even have to be present for this mindset to be enacted. Any attack on me is an attack on my wife and kids.
You may also know yourself as someone that will only act defensively, someone that will simply not go on the offense. While I do not agree with this type of mindset, as an instructor I have to understand that this may be the makeup of some of my students. Skills such as rearward movement or fighting to cover can be taught as their priority tactic. As I give them those skills, I do my best to convey to them the importance of a winning mindset and the option of more aggressive tactics and techniques.
As I said earlier, many people have not had to answer the question of who they really are. For these people it is important to train yourself to be as well rounded as possible. It is also important to work on ingraining a winning mindset. Force of force courses can help you begin to determine who you are. Visualization while training is a very important aspect in cultivating this aggressive winning mindset.
When we look back on the old timers that were so successful in there numerous gunfights, one thing is perfectly clear. They had the mindset to not only win, but to aggressively destroy the threat. They did not shoot to stop. They did not shoot to defend. They shot to effectively obliterate the threat. This is what made the tactics and techniques that they chose to use, as effective as they were.
They knew exactly who they were. They trained and fought with this absolute knowledge.
So the question bears repeating, “Who are you?”
November 11th, 2007 12:28 AM
I'm not sure if you can define "who you are".... by your action .001 or maybe 0 percent of the time. If the time comes you have to defend yourself or a loved one I believe anyone can do that, it if the circumstances are right.
November 11th, 2007 12:49 AM
I wish that was true...unfortunately it is not.
Originally Posted by mfitzwater
November 11th, 2007 01:40 AM
excellent post Roger, definately a question that people should seriously consider.
do you think that it's possible, short of being subjected to an experience that changes your entire worldview, to change "who you are?"
"Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina
If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.
November 11th, 2007 02:02 AM
We have been discussing this in depth. It seems to be clear that you are born with certain characteristics. Your ability to change this genetic blue print has limitations. If you try to make decisions way outside of your genetics the chances of incorrect/bad decisions goes way up.
Originally Posted by KenpoTex
To some extent you can be taught to improve, but the amount of possible improvement may be limited by genetics.
This is why I feel that it is important to truthfully look at who you really are. Once you have this baseline information you can set obtainable goals, taking your true make up into consideration.
For those that need help to become more aggressive, education would be the first step. Know yourself, know the enemy, and know pre-attack indicators.
After you figure out who you really are, you need to know the enemy and the evil of man that can be found any where......at any time. Until you understand the enemy, you may never be able to step up to the levels that may be needed to save your life.
Political correctness and this litigious society is responsible for making many people afraid to learn and train in the most effective forms of self defense. This is something that the old timers did not have a problem with. They were trained "to kill" and did so without the fear of being thrown to the wolves. They had a job to do and they were very good at it. At the end of the day they would receive a handshake and a thank you.....not an indictment and a screw you.
As we train in effective forms of self defense, there is nothing more important than the ability to articulate why you needed to defend yourself. Just because you identified the threat early, just because you got into the fight early, just because you used the most effective form of self defense that was available.....does not mean that you deserved to have your life ruined.
You must be able to articulate why you acted as you did.....education is the key to good articulation.
Last edited by Scott; November 11th, 2007 at 02:10 PM.
Reason: language work around (couple spelling errors while I was at it)
November 11th, 2007 03:10 AM
Absolutely you can change who you are.
A survived real world experience will change your mindset in a huge hurry.
It will do a real nice job of changing your outlook on life in general.
Without really getting into it...way back in my younger years when I caught/blocked an icepick that went all the way my right wrist and that was intended for my heart...well, that event sure gave me some instant grand realizations. It was my personal evening of near instantanious enlightenment.
It was a street robbery attempt and an ambush scenario by multiple attackers.
I'll be the first to admit that it was only luck (Thanks! Lady Luck!) back then (and a lucky instinctive defensive reaction on my part) that kept me from frothing blood out of my chest and mouth that fateful evening but, I was never the same person after that.
It's a mind bending realization that there are very bad people in this world who will attempt to kill you for no good reason at all.
But, mindset is nothing without a good skills set so practice and training are a must.
That being said - save for the really tough road of getting my right hand back to 100% again (which took years due to nerve damage) I'm actually glad that it happened - and so "early on" in my life. My "formative" years.
Without delving too far into my brain (in pubic) I'll only say that I'm confident that (to the best of my ability) I'll not allow anything like that ever happen to me again and these days I'll be counting much less on just being lucky.
November 11th, 2007 11:24 AM
Some people do change, but I really believe that most don't for some reason. They all have a reason about why they are a criminal, and I keep hearing a new one pop up too often. Good guys have a reason too about how they are.
Les Baer 45
N.R.A. Patron Life Member
November 13th, 2007 07:21 AM
Although I agree that you are who you are. Experience, environment, training and mindset are serious influencer's.
Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. You make you own luck.
November 13th, 2007 09:24 AM
Then you are in total agreement with what I wrote in the first post.
Originally Posted by Manan
November 13th, 2007 09:09 PM
Roger poses the essential question of survival. Thank you, Roger for making us take another look into the mirror. What will you do in a crisis? How can you train to survive? I think the warrior mindset may benefit from some kind of epiphany, like that of QKShooter. Mine came as a college student when I was mugged at gunpoint. The horror of the experience helped to open my eyes to the fact that evil cannot be ignored on the physical plane, or for that matter, any other.
Like the yin and yang, we all have a balance of the pacifist and warrior within. Depending on the circumstance, there is a time to reap and a time to sow. While keeping a calm vigilance as a pacifist maintaining all options of avoidance and flight, the warrior within each of us needs to be ready in an instant to spring into devastating, aggressive, decisive, no holds barred fight to the finish. Each one of us needs to find the motivation to train and flip that switch without hesitation.
Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
-Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 95
November 14th, 2007 11:52 AM
To have a beer, no wait, to have Tequila. At my age I have had those "changes" . If weapon needs to be pulled it will be fired. Taking someone down was not life changing to me. His life was changed. I go on. He did not cherish his life as I cherish mine and of my family and friends. I don't care about his life. Cold? maybe, but he made the chose for my action to take his life.
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