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Do You Have Bad Intentions?

Welcome Back!

Jim West was recently at our studio to provide some expert instruction on a few new weapon projects. As expected, we had a great time. Jim has a way of tossing out nuggets of combat wisdom in passing that really stick with you. Here’s one thing he brought up that many of us don’t give enough thought to:

“Bad Intentions”

Jim pointed out that in a life or death self-defense situation, you MUST have bad intentions. If you aren’t mentally prepared to hurt your attacker, you are much less likely to survive. The survival mindset is an aggressive one.

For Jim, it’s about flipping the switch from polite citizen to “ass kicking” mode as quickly as possible. How fast can you make the switch? Seriously, think about that for a minute…

Most of us grew up being told we have to be kind to others… and we should. Most of us were scolded for hitting others at a young age… also a good thing. Because of our parent’s strong values and guidance we developed into kind and respectful citizens.

Here’s the Problem…

If kindness and respect are your norms, how do you “flip the switch?” For some, it’s very difficult and can take a second or two. For others, they just can’t seem to make the switch. Why is it so difficult for us? We are conditioned to be non-violent. Criminals expect good victims, and for the most part, people are. The criminal’s instinct is to take what they want through intimidation, deception, and violence. Ours is to earn what we want through honest, hard work.

In the critical few moments leading up to physical contact, most of us are looking for ways to de-escalate the situation, or are simply paralyzed by fear (or an ingrained hesitancy to hurt another human being). All this works to the criminal’s advantage.

So You MUST Be Proactive

If you wait for a life-threatening situation to decide what to do, you are leaving too much up to chance. You must decide ahead of time where your “line in the sand” is. And if it’s crossed, how far will you go?

Ask yourself the following questions:

    1. How dirty will you fight?
    2. Are you out for blood?
    3. Will you wait to be hit first?

Don’t Get Me Wrong

I’m not suggesting you fly off the handle at the slightest chance of a conflict. But when trouble comes knocking, you’d better be mentally prepared to take care of the problem and resolve yourself to do what you think is necessary.

Keep in mind hundreds, if not thousands of people have been killed with just one punch. So, as far as I’m concerned, there are no “little scuffles” in the street. This isn’t the playground. A grown man trying to hit me IS life threatening, every time. When you engage you must truly intend on hurting the person. You can’t fake it.

Aggression and self-preservation are basic animal instincts. Use them. If you are simply defending (as in, only using defensive moves) your attacker will likely keep at it, until he has worn you down. Your defense has to hurt him. It must have those bad intentions.

The Reality Is This

With the exception of a skilled counter-fighter, aggressors control the encounter. If you willingly let the attacker maintain his role as the leader in the encounter you are leaving too much up to chance. Hoping he’ll give up, hoping somebody will come to the rescue, hoping he won’t hurt you too bad, or hoping he’ll leave your family alone.

Don’t hope… ACT. We’ve talked about mindset before and this won’t be the last time we talk about it. But I think Jim West has a unique and valuable way of looking at this issue, that may resonate in a different way than some of our previous articles.

What Do You Think?

When trouble comes, will you have the strength to flip the switch? Let me know in the comments below!

For a safe life…

Dean Horine, Special Projects

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494 thoughts on “Do You Have Bad Intentions?”

  1. It’s a valuable lesson, which means a change of thought, and a decision made in advance.
    In my mind, it’s like being on the borderline of defensive and offensive (ready with an action plan, if needed).

  2. Being a lover rather than a fighter kind of rubs me the wrong way however those who know me(I pity those who don’t) know not to back me in a corner.I will fight if it comes down to it without any mercy with back grounds in martial arts,street fighting in Chicago along with various other tactics such as boxing,kick boxing,wing chun,JKD with a little MMA and BJJ thrown in for good measure.I may be a senior but still remember everything taught me.

  3. Please, more of this. Ability has never been the issue for me, it has always been the will. Deciding where the line is is difficult because where I live it isn’t considered assault until aggressive contact has been made, so by striking first you set yourself up for a very expensive lawsuit and/or jail time, so you almost have to let the aggressor strike first. So far I’ve been lucky, but I’d rather be intentional.

  4. I enjoy the hell out of this fight fast site with the free vids. No expendable income keeps me out of bars and clubs but…You never know when a quick move or two….

  5. Enjoyable reading. Long, long ago, I weighed 98 lbs at 5′ 10″ my freshmen year in high school and quickly develop a dislike for bullies. By my senior year, 1 weighed 260, had 18 ” arms and a 50″ chest and actively took on people bullying the weaker kids. I even became a part time bouncer after I left the military, but never let my size determine how I fought. Much of what you show in your videos I used back then naturally and at 70, I still will use them today. I can still take down someone 40 years younger than me with no problem using much of what you show. I look forward to seeing more videos to see if there is something new to add to my bag of skills.

  6. I don’t and have never liked to flip the switch on someone but have already done so on a couple occasions. First time it messed with my head afterwards. It got a little easier after that but still does a little bit. Afterwards though, not before or during. I can and will do anything I have to for survival.

  7. Recently got into a fight with my roommate, who kept trying to intimidate me. His abusive behavior towards the children upstairs whom I was mentoring brought on the fight. He had me arrested for allegedly trying to kill him. He was, by the way, tweaking on meth. I was a bloody mess, not my blood either, he filed an order of protection against me. He claimed he wasn’t afraid of me till we got into it, the police kept my clothes as evidence. In Minneapolis, the first one to call police is the victim. I didn’t have a phone, so I got arrested, how stupid is that. He knew this because of my research, and manipulated the courts to protect him. Then with police protection, he robbed me to the tune of over $6,000. When I informed the police of a missing pistol and property, they exclaimed that they didn’t care. Go figure. I’m not a fighter normally, I’m 60 and try to avoid fighting as a rule. If confronted with the same situation again, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, even as costly as it was. As we were fighting, I was yelling at him to stop abusing the children. Thank God I have morals. Now I’ve got to get him put in jail for lying to the judge, for his own good. Hopefully he sobers up. Thanx for assisting in fine tuning my mindset

  8. When I was a younger version I could flip the switch in a split second half of the time I try to be ready now that I am old as my children call it but reading this article I realized I still have the ability to do what needs to be done

  9. If aggression and self preservation are basic animal insticts, then it’s true. I MUST be an alien. Haha. Unless I get truly pissed off, or am protecting someone else, I lack aggression. And again, if I’m protecting someone else, my thought process is “I can die as long as they are safe”.

  10. My intensions are good and have been put in that situation before, and talked myself out of it unless something made me use my pistol. I am 65 and dont want to hurt anyone. My ingtainrd senses tell me to be good to people. My heart is way too big, so I dont know what I would do.

  11. I have not practiced what I have read, but am a senior widow living alone and am determined that no one is going to take what is mine. My son is currently a soldier with combat experience and next time he is home, I will be having him practice with me. I am also signing up for a concealed weapon permit. I am learning alot from you.

  12. im a 53 year old female living in the u.k. thank you for your inspirational videos. im very cautious every time i go out and not a particularly tough bitch!. id love to buy some of the items you have on offer but i think uk customs would freak out!

  13. I’ve always gotten mad at people for bullying me. I’ve been taught to just yell at them to go away. Im only a 5ft man. Been bullied my whole life. Haven’t had a date in 15yrs. Maybe it’s time i flipped that switch. Thank you for this.

  14. I like your blog. I am a 61 year old lady but ready to “kick ass” if I need to. I am a Security Guard in Pa. and ready to die for the people that I am protecting, so I love reading your stuff . It motivates me to be prepared. Thanks. I will check out your weapons of protection too. -Marie

  15. Granted its true that a lot of people either freeze or just aren’t sure of the best approach when confronted , the best thing I can say is to ask yourself one thing.”would I give my life for my family?” If the answer is yes then strike first and make sure you’ve become the aggressor before allowing someone else to control when you’ll get to feel safe again.

  16. I’m a 49 yr old woman and have always been streetwise but thanks to your training and mindset video etc iv learned so much more. Thankyou Bob. Rachel from Southampton u.k.

  17. I think for a lot of people, it’s a matter of not recognizing a threat soon enough. I’ve seen (and helped carry out) a few guys who, even with all the training we had, couldn’t see the danger soon enough and froze. If you hesitate in a bad situation, it can get you killed.

  18. Sociopaths, 99% of aggressors are sociopaths, so it’s really that simple, understand how they think and be able to be the same with that aggressor. Bruce Lee called it Jeet kune Do, or my style is your style, instant on, instant off, like when the Sensei says haghi may, begin, or mate’ end.

  19. I hope I never have to use it, but my default defense setting seems to be aggression and, oddly enough, a clear head.

  20. I will have no problem flipping the switch I’m a Marine Veteran who has never forgotten any of the training. And as far as I’m concerned the only unfair fight is the one you lose.

  21. Reading Jeff Belden’s comments brings me to the legal aspect of “flipping the switch”. You react to defend yourself, family or another good citizen and the “the law” turns your life into a nightmare…..sometimes I wonder what side are they taking, the criminals or the good law abiding citizen…

  22. Hi! I did not cone here too fight but when it attacks my immediate family I will flight to the bitter end I’m sick of being the nice guy.

  23. I’m 61 years old, with military service and 14 years of martial arts training. We were always taught the best defense is a very good offense. Luckily, I’ve only had a few experiences since my training, the first I got hurt because I waited for a de-escalation.
    Since then, I’ve never had a serious injury.
    Train to fight, not talk. I find myself always thinking of scenarios while at work or in the street, to the point of it being second nature.
    Looking forward to obtaining new information from this series. Molon Labe.

  24. Biggest problem I have is when sensei yells halt, my body obeys, but my sparring partner doesn’t stop his punch. As a result I often end up with sprained knuckles or other injuries. This is a problem that I must overcome by mentally toughening up. Same response is pulling your punch just before impact as your subconscious gives the message, do not hurt another human. Not sure how to overcome this.

  25. Never ever let someone put you in a compromised position. I have said this before. What action you should take varies wildly. I took my last ass kicking many years ago. When I decided that was it, not one more, I’ve not been beat since. It’s 5 percent skill 95 percent mindset. That’s how it is for me. I turn into a wild animal. Ever see the damage a 4 pound house cat can do?

  26. Hi I live in eastern suburbs Sydney Australia is there anyone teaching down under you could recommend thanks Brandon

  27. This article makes me rethink about how to handle certain situations. Very good article,and it does make me address situations differently now. Thank you
    RAY P

  28. Hey yall. Great blog and ideas. For me flippin the switch happens in a blinks time. As soon as my brain registers conflict coming my way it flips and stays flipped until im sure the conflict is past. So far it has kept me from actually having to hurt anyone. Because i bring the same aggression immediately, people typically back off realizing im not about to ball up and take it. But thats my experience.

  29. I consider myself a kind and gentle person, but sometimes you need to stand up for yourself.
    When I was about 15 I was walking home in the dark and a half dozen older (taller anyway) guys were walking towards me

    As we passed each other one in the group threw a punch at me. I had figured it was coming so it just got me in the shoulder.
    In that 10th of a second after I was hit I put everything I had into a head shot of the perp. Definitely one shot was all I was going to get.

    Not sure where I hit him in the face, not sure what damage it did, I just kept walking and nobody followed.
    Sometimes you have to be able to “Snap On” or you’re sunk.

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