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Discussion Starter #1
What is "The Mental Aspect of the Fight?"

As Gabe Suarez pointed out in his book "The Combative Perspective" the term "mindset" is very vague and does not do justice to the necessary mental aspect of the fight. People think that mindset is just awareness and willingness. In my opinion that is less that 10% of the true combative perspective.

Gabe sets out the combative perspective into four catagories. Inside of each of these four catagories are subcatagories.

The mental aspect of the fight that people refer to as mindset is much more than just awareness and willingness. Gabes book is 97 pages. Over 75% of my "Point Shooting Progressions" book is about the mental aspect of the fight.


Gabe's book is set up as;

Desire for Victory

Elimination of Uncertainty

Situational Awareness

Willingness to act

While most of this is covered in Gabe's book we can also consider;

Know yourself
Know the enemy
Know the dynamics of a fight
Know the correct context of a fight
Know avoidance, deterence, and de-escalation
Know that the situation is the dictating factor
Know the best strategies for your very personal mission
Know where and when to apply your wide range of tactics
Know which skill sets facilitate the best use of your tactics

Your tactics are worthless without having your head straight.

Your skill sets are worthless without having your head straight.

Your equipment is worthless without having your head straight.

It is the focus on the mental aspect of the fight that makes Suarez International what it is. It is what makes us stand out. It is what makes the student of the art understand that they are at the right place, at the right time.

Mindset (The Mental Aspect of the Fight)
Tactics
Skill sets
Equipment

The brain is the ultimate weapon....everything else is just a tool.

Being the very best that you can be inside of the mental aspect of the fight will allow you to be the very best you can be inside of the fight. Get your head screwed on right, that will allow you to know (as in "know" as a "fact") where you need to be physically and technically. Where you need to be will show you what you need to work on. No waste, no BS!

It will become very clear that disjointed niche techniques will not get the job done. The need for the whole continuum approach will become very apparent.
 

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You should read On Killing by Lt. Col Dave Grossman. He stresses conditioning as mental preparedness.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You should read On Killing by Lt. Col Dave Grossman. He stresses conditioning as mental preparedness.
Read it!

The physical part is covered here,

Being the very best that you can be inside of the mental aspect of the fight will allow you to be the very best you can be inside of the fight. Get your head screwed on right, that will allow you to know (as in "know" as a "fact") where you need to be physically and technically. Where you need to be will show you what you need to work on. No waste, no BS!
here,

Elimination of Uncertainty
and here,

Know which skill sets facilitate the best use of your tactics
Skill sets with out the physical ability to employ them efficiently and effectively lead to uncertainty.
 

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While I agree with what all you posted about the mental aspect of the fight . Does anyone really know what they will do as far as their action when the ball drops? One can think and train for the day but when the stress of the fight actually hits how do they know they wont freeze up. My thought is you need to train with FOF before real SHTF time. Seeing the monkey before your eyes in FOF will help to utilize your other training when you do face the BG.

I think I know what and how to do what is needed in that I could and will pull the trigger if need be. But have know other who thought the same thing and froze up. So that is why FOF is in my plans for 2010
 

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Bill MO - No, you won't. Your right on that. You will have to wait until SHTF before you will truely know what you will do.

You do your duty, you pray if that's your thing that if the time comes you'll be able to fulfill your duties, you train for all of it. You set your mind to do what you must.. You train your mind that if this or that happens, this is what you will do, you do scenario training and you continue training until it becomes second nature to you. Then you hope and pray that the day never comes that you have to put into practice that which you have trained and practiced for.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
While I agree with what all you posted about the mental aspect of the fight . Does anyone really know what they will do as far as their action when the ball drops? One can think and train for the day but when the stress of the fight actually hits how do they know they wont freeze up. My thought is you need to train with FOF before real SHTF time. Seeing the monkey before your eyes in FOF will help to utilize your other training when you do face the BG.

I think I know what and how to do what is needed in that I could and will pull the trigger if need be. But have know other who thought the same thing and froze up. So that is why FOF is in my plans for 2010
When it comes to the mental aspect of the fight, there does have to be some study and some experience.

When I first started learning The Modern Techniques I knew that I would never fight in this manner, because it went against "the reallity of the fight" that I had experience throughout my life. It was clear that this was a competition base target shooting methodology and had very little to do with "the fight."

The "LEO only" controlled Simunition FOF that I went through inside of the Modern Techniques was "manipulated" for non realistic distances. Every confrontation was improperly structured to be outside of seven yards. It was clear to me that this was done intentionally because they were hiding something. In all of my past experiences things happened much closer than that. This is the point that I began researching every gunfight video (dozens early on....has turned into hundreds by now) that I could find. The difference between reality and what was being taught was astounding. There was zero regard for the true dynamics of a fight. The video evidence led me to try to find something that actually took reality into consideration.

Then came Airsoft! Airsoft allowed FOF to be conducted by everyone. FOF could no longer be manipulated and controlled by those that had a finacial agenda.....the cat was out of the bag. This began an era of properly structured FOF. FOF where there was no agenda....only the truth. This is where the "reality of the fight" busted free from the supression of the past. This is where the "combat shooting" fundamentals was shown to be a necessity and far superior to the competition based training of the recent past.....at logical distances......within the logical context of the reality of the fight.

Study involves reading about gunfights, reading about crime, reading about mindset, studying every gun fight video that you can find, taking properly structured FOF, and hopefully integrating this with your own experiences . This will make you better inside of the mental aspect to the fight......which will make you better inside of the reality of the fight.

But, there are no guarantees on how you are going to respond when your life is on the line. All you can do is look back on your past experiences (if you have any) and see how you responded before and get your head as straight as you can possibly get it.

When you train it should not be "target shooting." Everything that you do must be attached to the mental aspect of the fight. There must be the mental connection of the fight to every physical skill set that you work on. FOF is great for this, but "mental imagery" can also be applied when you are training in live fire.

Bill, you remember in my course when I paint that ugly picture in my "perspective" course of fire. You know the one that starts off with "you are not shooting at a piece of paper! This guy is going to kill you! Then he is going to........your loved one!"

That is done so that you can see the mindset that you need to be training with. This mental imagery is very important in preparing you for what you really need to be.

I work off of the concept of "Rightous Indignation." Look it up if you do not know what it means. It is basically a "How friggen dare you!" mindset. Any attack on me is an attack on my family......"how friggen dare you!"

Properly structured FOF is very important. It will show you what you need to know. It will also give you an idea how you will act. FOF is an absolutely necessary component to understanding the dynamics of the fight and the subsequent mindset that is necessary to deal with that reality.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bill MO - No, you won't. Your right on that. You will have to wait until SHTF before you will truely know what you will do.

You do your duty, you pray if that's your thing that if the time comes you'll be able to fulfill your duties, you train for all of it. You set your mind to do what you must.. You train your mind that if this or that happens, this is what you will do, you do scenario training and you continue training until it becomes second nature to you. Then you hope and pray that the day never comes that you have to put into practice that which you have trained and practiced for.
Nice post!
 

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First of all hope I am never put in that postion.If I am, I pray that my mind stays calm and clear,breathing stays normal,steady hands that allow me to engage threat or threats quickly and I shoot to kill.As there maybe more BG I can't have a wounded one capping me while I busy with HIS buddies.Every
day we see on the local t.v. this one been killed by so and so because they were
fighting over drugs or a woman. or something in the past ! This is Maine !!
 

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I completely agree here; an attack on me is not just an attack on me, but an attack on my daughters (for I am thier beloved father and an income-producing parent) and an attack on my wife (for I am her beloved husband, fellow parent, and produce half of our income in supporting our family). What happens to them if I die from some maggot criminal who wants my wallet and doesn't care? The reality is they suffer. Extraordinarily so. And the very idea pisses me off.

So an attack on me *is* an attack on my loved ones as the outcome just as surely affects them as it does me. I personally hope and pray to die an old man in my bed surrounded by my girls, but should I ever have to defend myself or my loved ones while on this Earth, I go forward knowing that because my mindset is more solid of what's really at stake, I can more effectively employ my learned abilities. It's a completely symbiotic relationship-mindset and trained abilities, as one cannot be depended on to be effectively employed without a goodly and rightly amount of the other.

(All that said, having taken Roger's (Sweatnbullets) Point Shooting Progressions course myself last year, I can highly recommend not just the "meat and potatoes" of the course itself-1800 rounds in two days when I took it!-but the mindset he tries to instill in his students as well as a part of it, only a little of which is posted here. Roger is a fantastic and natural 'teacher' that really gets the best out of his students.

Next to my first FoF class that really blew me away several years ago (along with much of my pre-determined and wrong assumptions...and not a single bullet was fired), Roger's PSP class is the best I've ever come across by any instructor, and I look forward to take it again.)

C-
 

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While I agree with what all you posted about the mental aspect of the fight . Does anyone really know what they will do as far as their action when the ball drops? One can think and train for the day but when the stress of the fight actually hits how do they know they wont freeze up. My thought is you need to train with FOF before real SHTF time. Seeing the monkey before your eyes in FOF will help to utilize your other training when you do face the BG.

I think I know what and how to do what is needed in that I could and will pull the trigger if need be. But have know other who thought the same thing and froze up. So that is why FOF is in my plans for 2010
Freezing up is more likely if one is totally unprepared for the situation.
Realistic training helps and will kick in before you even have any chance of fear or conscious thought,
Bill Jordan mentions this in his book No Second Place Winner.
It also helps to visualize certain situations and to play responses to them in your head--with you the winner, of course.
A ruthless win at all costs attitude helps too, as well as ignoring pain, fear, doubt and any other negatives and just doing it, regardless of the outcome.
Quite a few WW2 vets told me that they never expected to make it home alive and accepted their eventual deaths with indifference, which freed them to concentrate on the job at hand.
 

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Quite a few WW2 vets told me that they never expected to make it home alive and accepted their eventual deaths with indifference, which freed them to concentrate on the job at hand.

While I with to Nam I saw no action, I was a SeaBee and was behind the line if there was such a thing there. I went with the thought that I would come home in a body bag when I left that States and had no fear of death. While I feel I can react in the way I have trained I also know that one never knows until the actual time comes.

I hope to train in a manner that will eliminate a freeze up when meeting the BG for the first time. I try to set my mindset to a cold hearted destroy the emeny at all costs and do it as fast as possible. With no thought to pain or death to myself while doing so.
 

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Nice post!
Thank you my friend.

I spent 12 years of my 20 years training and scenario training and then unfortunately had to put that training to use a few times. So while I have no problem with following through, I pray I don't have to.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I completely agree here; an attack on me is not just an attack on me, but an attack on my daughters (for I am thier beloved father and an income-producing parent) and an attack on my wife (for I am her beloved husband, fellow parent, and produce half of our income in supporting our family). What happens to them if I die from some maggot criminal who wants my wallet and doesn't care? The reality is they suffer. Extraordinarily so. And the very idea pisses me off.
How important a father is to his family can not forgotten. Being the authority figure can be enough to keep the children from making decisions that could cost them their life. Both my sister and sister in law died before they were 24 due to decisions that they made at 12-13 years old......because there was nobody there to keep them on the straight and narrow.

A good dad is a very important thing.....life and death important.
 

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Face it, the majority of people reading this have never and will hopefully never be in a gunfight, but most have or will be in a fist fight.

As a field trainer I was complaining to the chief about the caliber of recruits were were getting. He made the mistake of asking me what we should do.

I said that when applicants show up the first thing we should do is punch them in the face. I they fight back they continue selection. You cannot put or train fight into a person. - George
 

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Thanks for the thread, Roger. I remember my first deer hunt. Would I be able to shoot? Would I be able to overcome a pounding heart and cold hands to shoot straight. Do I take the aspirin before or after "buck fever?" Her dad brought out a box of cartridges. Only seven remained. "I've had these thirteen years and got thirteen deer." he said. How could I possibly measure up? I felt it was my duty. Besides, my new wife had just bought me a 12" Bowie for the gutting. It was time to man up.

First comes the mindset. I am going to win. I am going to study all there is to know about the enemy. I am going to choose the best tools for the purpose. Thirty dollars was a lot of money back then for a surplus 303 Brit. I am going to learn how to use that tool. I played rifle aerobics until it felt part of me. I worked on trigger management. I hand loaded several hundred rounds and set up targets on a power line. Then I practiced snap shooting, all the while visualizing a trophy buck to make any father-in-law proud.

When the ball sudenly dropped, and time slowed, I didn't have time to worry about breathing or heartbeat. The mindset was "You are mine." The shot was perfect, as if made by some highly efficient killing machine. My father-in-law said that young forked buck was the tastiest he'd ever had.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
When it comes to "the mental aspect of the fight" think simple concepts.....not numerous techniques. Then apply common sense.

The Constants

Time
Distance
Urgency
Position in the reactionary curve
Necessary marksmanship

Known Variables, who are you?

Mission
Duty
Combative Perspective
Mindset
Knowledge
Genetics
Instincts
Training
Skill Level
Limitations
Strengths
Weaknesses
Physical ability
Morality
Legality

Unknown Variables

The rest of the situation....."the fight will be what the fight will be."

Get "the mental aspect of the fight" down and then train in what allows you to be the very best that you can be inside of the correct context of the fight.

This is going to require fluidity.

"Be like water."
 

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It's about been beaten to death on here and elsewhere, but
1. You never know how you will react WTSHTF until it happens.
2. How you train is how you fight.

Pretty sure I've mentioned this before. Going into combat, I was worried about how I would react the first time things went south. During my deployment I found that in the situations I had trained for, I reacted calmly and according to my training. My actions were automatic and saved my life and the life of my fellow Marines.

In the situations where I was unfamiliar and either hadn't trained, or things weren't addressed in our TTPs, I felt an internal sense of loss of control, and extreme fear. You want to act/react, but don't know what to do. Fortunately I had good small-unit leaders in the field to issue orders.

Application: When you're getting mugged, if you freeze up or don't know what to do, there won't be a salty Sgt there to give commands. Train now with FOF, get used to things NOT going as planned and vary the methods of attack and defense. Don't let your partner only come at you one way repeatedly. Get creative.

After we train hand-to-hand and CQB weapons techniques, we like to throw the students in the ring with an instructor who doesn't follow the "rules". They've mastered the techniques slow-motion and even up to full-speed, but that's with a compliant training partner who knows where they're supposed to strike and how they're supposed to fall. When we get them in the ring, we're teaching improvisation. The best way to learn a new defensive technique sometimes is to have to think up a solution on your own. If it doesn't work, don't keep trying to get it right. You'll only end up with technique-tunnel-vision, frustrated, tired, and eventually "killed" by the instructor. Transition to something else. Find something that works.

Mental preparation goes hand-in-hand with physical preparation and training.
You can read a whole libray on construction. But you might want to build a saw-horse and a work-bench before you try to frame up a house. You'll learn to use your tools, and in the process will produce more tools for your ultimate goal. In our case, going home to our families.

Semper Fi
 
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