Guest Week: The Fighter Mindset

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Hey guys!  Guest post number two comes from our own Gilver, and it’s based around the mindset of a successful fighter!  Enjoy!  Also, remember our current t-shirt campaign is still running!

More than once around here, Dan advocates avoiding fighting whenever possible, with which I strongly agree, but also gives some good pointers for when shit gets real. I thought I’d take some time to do the same- not with specific techniques or tactics, but good all-around thought patterns that will greatly increase anyone’s chances of survival and success if applied. While reading this, bear in mind that my orientation is Fighter-Weapons Master. In no particular order-

1. Unarmed combat is a matter of dodging

Time and again, I see evasion get the better of unarmed fighters who utilize either blocks or counters. Blocks should be a last resort, because you’re still getting hit, and even forehead/hands/forearms/whatever will feel the pain after a few good blows. Counters can open a path to a solid win, but outside of a demonstration or whatever, I notice they don’t go as planned more often than not- in a life or death encounter, it’s harder to remain cool and precise, and for moves that really need precision, this can get you. Evasion, on the other hand, doesn’t involve you getting hit, has a smaller chance of backfiring, and might result in the opponent overextending and giving you an opening to capitalize on. In a legit unarmed encounter, dodging has a good record of ensuring your survival. If you’re facing a gun, statistics show that you are likeliest to live by getting behind cover rather than thinking offensively.

2. Keep things in perspective

It can be easy to let doubt creep in if you have a second to assess the situation. You might be outnumbered or facing superior weapons, not feeling your best while the opponent seems to, or any other number of things that can throw off your confidence. Take things in stride. You’re going to have to survive, and can consider how badly the odds were against you later. If you’re outnumbered, do your best to satellite your opponents and face as few as possible at a time until they’re no longer a threat or you can fall back. If you’re outmatched for weapons, try to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the weapons you’re facing. Clubs are vulnerable to catches, as are whips. Blades need a decent arc to slash, though stabbing will still prove troublesome. Guns can only attack in a straight line, and it’s likely your opponent is going to have shaky hands- getting distance between the barrel and yourself is likelier to ensure they miss. Hunting cover and concealment should be your top priority against a gunman, whatever you’re armed with. If you’re sick, already injured, low on energy, you might be better served to try to end a fight fast and brutally- break noses, joints, teeth (not with your fist, please…), go for testicle, throat, and temple attacks, and do everything you can to avoid allowing your opponent to exploit your vulnerability by ending the fight aggressively. Retreating while you’re messed up might do nothing more than allow your attacker to get a good shot in at your six. Do whatever it takes to ensure your survival. Whatever’s gnawing at your confidence, understand that just because the odds aren’t good doesn’t mean it’s all over. Be intelligent and take actions that maximize your ability to survive. Leading into…

3. Comparing the strengths of one man against another is pointless

A lot of online threads are devoted to something like ‘could x beat y?’ Could Batman defeat Darth Sidious? Can Flash and Reverse-Flash defeat Dante and Vergil? Can Alucard beat Sebastian Michaelis? While at times an interesting intellectual exercise, the truth is that if these fights were to really take place, any of these people could beat anyone else. In virtually any conditions, Sidious would murderrape Batman. If Batman hid his presence with a taozin nodule amulet or whatever and stuck a Batarang in Sidious’ throat, Batman would win. DMC3 Sons of Sparda against normal Flash and Reverse Flash depends on what point of the game it is.Initial Dante and Vergil would have a hard fight- Vergil can teleport to offset the Flashes’ abilities, but Dante would be nothing more than another guy to soak up damage. Fully powered Dante and Vergil from the same game would paint the walls with Flash and Reverse Flash- Dante can now slow time and teleport, Vergil still teleports. Dante after DMC1 could defeat both Flashes himself with the Bangle of Time. DMC3 manga Sons of Sparda would lose. Alucard in almost any situation would overcome Sebastian. However, if he was in Level 0, having disengaged his familiars, making him only very durable instead of invincible, Sebastian would have at least a fair fight. And it’s the same way with anyone against anyone else. In the correct situation, a crippled 12 year old could kill a US Army Infantry platoon. Don’t get caught up in what another guy can do on paper- his strength, speed, knowledge of technique, and even weapons can only be weighed against you in a purely theoretical basis, and in live combat, any number of conditions can tip the scale. Don’t even let your thoughts turn to why your opponent has the upper hand. He has advantages and disadvantages, as do you.

4. Fights are won in the mind by positive thinking and envisioning victory over defeat before the battle begins

Someone who sees his escape routes cut off and figures he’s in for a beating or being killed will probably find his calculations fulfilled- he has, in a very real sense, given up. The man who sees an impending crisis, but has the confidence that he can deal with it, and foresees his victory, has a fighting chance and is likelier to find and seize an opportunity to be victorious.

5. Options are everywhere

This is becoming a more widely known fact, but everything in your environment has value in a fight. Floors and the ground determine your footwork. Walls and natural wall or pillar-like objects are cover and concealment. Ceilings determine how agile you can get, and a possible escape if there’s a vertical path. Any object you can pick up is a shield or a weapon, from a notebook to a bag of marbles to a wheelchair to a sword. Unless you’re stuck in an empty concrete square room for the duration of the fight, there’s almost always something available that can help you turn the fight in your favor. Hell, even then you’ve got walls to beat the other guy into. Be aware that you have choices.

6. Accept you won’t be at your best

I grew up as a weird guy in a crappy neighborhood, and I got into a lot of fights. Some I picked, most I didn’t. No one ever started a fight with me when I was at my A game. I always ached, had a headache, was stiff, hungry, whatever. Despite that, I very rarely lose a fight because I have a good mindset and it makes up for whatever’s wrong that day. Don’t worry about having the flu. Worry about kicking someone’s ass.

7. If it’s called for, hit first

On the scale of blood knight to total pussy, laws push hard for you to be a total pussy about everything. If it comes to it, they’d rather have you dead than a killer not under their control. I firmly believe it’s better to be judged by twelve men than carried by six, however. In no way am I advocating that you break the jaw of whoever looks at you sideways, but if you smell trouble coming, and you don’t have some nonviolent way to end it at your disposal, do what you think you need to in order to defend yourself. There’s a really good chance you’ll be arrested, and a fair chance you’ll be convicted of something, but if it’s that or your life, I strongly urge you to choose your life. Don’t let a fear of some chickenshit law send you to your grave. It’s why I don’t have a twin brother anymore. He saw danger coming, had no way out, but was more worried about the legal system than the threat directly in front of him. I’d rather have had my brother living in prison than dead with no criminal record. What would your family and friends prefer?

8. Your voice is a weapon too

If you’ve found yourself in a situation where fighting is the best option, probably it’s not very likely you can get aid by shouting for it. Might be worth a try, though. If it doesn’t get results, by either talking things out or calling for help, you can still use your words to rattle your opponent. Call him a bitch whose whore mother should have aborted him. Tell him you’ll rip his eyes out and eat them. Say anything that might shake him up, lower his guard for a second, and give you a shot at beating him or escaping. In life or death stakes, anything goes.

9. Whatever happens, don’t lose your head

It’s easy to turn your brain off in a fight and run on instinct, but it’s also when you’ll make bad decisions. When things are tense, breathe deeply, not allowing your oxygen levels to deplete. Pay attention to what’s happening around you. Panic, rage, shock, don’t let them dictate your actions. Unfortunately, this is something you master best by experience, but if you keep this tip in mind, you’re still going to have a strong mental advantage.

10. Do anything except die

These tips presume that you’re not a kid and that any fight you’re applying these to might end in your death or someone else’s. If you think that there’s no way that’s going to happen, think again. If you tried talking things out, leaving, getting help, all reasonable elements, and you’re still in a fight, the situation is bad and bad things can happen. If you’re getting into a fight, whether it’s one you picked or one that found you, understand that things might be going all the way to their extreme conclusion. You need to do whatever it’s going to take not to die. You might get hurt, might hurt someone else, might say some nasty stuff, might even kill someone else, you’re probably going to spend some time in jail at the very least, but your life is the most precious thing you have. As long as you’re alive, anything else can be dealt with. If you’re dead, nothing has any importance or meaning to you anymore. Live.



That’s it for our first ever guest week!  I’ll see you again on Monday, where we return to business as usual.  Live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

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