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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:

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“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?

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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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590 thoughts on “Do You Have Bad Intentions?”

  1. Such great advice from a obviously skilled individual. I have always been able somehow de-escalate the situation. But I know something will pop off that my clever tongue won’t be enough. I hope to learn enough from you guys that I will be able to handle the situation violently if I have to. Thank you for the knowledge

  2. I don’t walk in fear or worry about it coming.I am not only mentally prepared for trouble, I don’t want it to come, don’t worry about it. I am prepared to do what it takes to win, not just let blood, but to win. If I get to a point that there is no aggression towards me I, I stop. I will not think about losing and I will not allow it, I will go as far as I need to, to protect me, my wife and what I have at all cost. You have to believe that it is you against the problem and forget everything else you must concentrate with everything. I am not a great fighter and I know I will take a few hits, I just have to be sure they are small hits and prepare to strike back. You have to have confidence in yourself, the first fight is mental you must be sure in your mind that you will or be willing to give all to win the fight. A lot of people who are out causing trouble are not willing to go the distance, if you out last or are meaner than them you win.You must react swiftly and strike fast and have a target in mind, and a second target if the first moves

  3. Being a woman means that you have to be more ready, after all we are the weaker sex. This sounds like I worry constantly but I dont, I do think about what could happen any time I’m walking to my car, leaving the grocery store, or anytime I could be surprised. I just pay attention to my surroundings and tell my self to expect something to happen, it keeps my guard up and I dont have to flip the switch, I’m just ready

  4. I am enjoying your articles and blogs. I decided months ago to start preparing for what I believe is coming. Your articles and blogs for helping me find tune my preparedness for when someone comes to hurt my self or my family. Yes I think I can flip the switch

  5. It’s good to be kind to rational people who are oriented to human life and its requirements inhuman relations. Being kind to all others is an act of possibly unwarranted charity, although charity is usually warranted. When charity isn’t warranted, flip the switch at once and kick ass. It’s not hard to flip the switch.

  6. I am a nam vet disable but if confronted I will come with blood in eyes. It is kinda hard at times with all my disabled body parts. My mother a southern woman taught me to fight at a very young age and being special forces helped.

  7. Being a Marine it is easy to have the mind set. I really pity the person that wants some of me because he will get all of me.

  8. It’s always been my life before anyone else.. at a young age I was boxing.. kickboxing and several mixed martial arts. Hell I was born to fight. I’m only 160 lbs 5’10” and never been scared of anyone. Thought that would be the death of me but I’m still breathing and kicking ass.!!Jerry Robertson

  9. I agree with the matter; the victim is the criminal’s prey, reverting to counter attack is the attitude that wins the aggressor. 👊🇧🇷🕵️ SELVA

  10. In today’s world, one cannot be “overprepared” things happen fast and usually without rhyme or reason. I am working hard to always aware, and in the event it is needed, capable.

  11. That’s a great philosophy well spoken. Being really skinny at the time, I used to be bullied in elementary school, until I learned just what you’ve said. I learned to hit the agreesor as hard as I could. That worked just about every single time. Of course, that was in the school yard, so it was a little difficult for me to run home. The key is, that guy or those guys never bothered me again because I hit too hard. In another instance, I was doing some clean up work in the church parking lot. This stranger kid walked up to me, being all nice. All of a sudden, he hit me and ran. I instinctively picked up a nearby stick and threw it at him, hitting him upside his head. He screamed bloody murder. He didn’t bother me again either. My switch flipped. I truly had bad intentions. I just got tired of being picked on. And that’s stayed with me ever since. Yet, at the same time, most people know me as a heck of a nice guy…who you don’t want to mess with. A big guy now, I’m no longer skinny either. Thanks for that great advice!!!!!!!

  12. Your right,40 years ago. I was in a life or death scenario. Lucky for me ,I came out with a 6 inch scar on my
    right arm. I was in my early 20s. That’s when I started Martial Arts. But, your advice is really important. Cause ,
    If you can’t talk them down, you’ll have to put them down! WAITING: can and will get you hurt or killed!

  13. I have a very quick switch from good to bad and am prepared to do what ever is necessary to put an end to whatever is thrown my way.

  14. I will immediately open up a can of whupass on someone if they put their hands on me or come at me in a threatening manner. I will never hesitate when it comes down to being violent to protect myself or family.

  15. I really appreciate all you offer to members. I’m impressed with the wide variety of people to instruct us average people out here. The variety of weapons offered is awesome.
    Thank you

  16. I ABSOLUTELY agree with the necessity of having BAD INTENTIONS when being forced to use them.
    Unfortunately, I spent a couple decades in new Jersey’s worst prison’s and can’t seem to turn the switch off. I’m working on it, but its definitely a tough process.

  17. A coward dies a thousand deaths and we all know God hates a coward.

    So, part of facing your mortality is preparing way ahead of time to condition your mind and train your bpdy to respond to a threat without conscious thought. 10,000 hours of drils for muscle memory to be acquired.

    Or, take the road of the coward and just lie down and hand your destiny to a complete stranger.

    I wonder which path would be more fulfilling?

  18. Yes, I can and will be able to flip the switch as you call it. I have no illusions of what is out there and I am a target. I am a white female and a senior citizen, and I am prepared. I am also a retired Navy Master-at-Arms. I also carry a CWP and three knives. I have also been know to intimidate men more than twice my size. At my age that may not work now, but I have other options. I have never been considered a sweet little old lady.

  19. Thank you for helping me straighten up my thoughts on this! I cannot afford to wait too long to take the bull by the horns. I am small, so I need to be ready and trained to be aggressive quicker than an assailant expects it. I can’t wait until they hit me first or it just might be “game over”.

  20. Hey it’s James, I love all the advice that you offer and make mental notes of everything that you have to say. I’m not a big guy I am only 5’6″.and I’ve always tried to to display myself as happy person,but also one who would stand his ground. Therefore I have been in more fights than I can count. I am not combat trained. Over the years I have learned to strike first and inflict as much damage as I possibly can to end the threat. Later in years I seemed to find myself in situations where I had to fight two individuals at the same time.
    I would like to ask for your advice on one particular incident. One night I was involved in a fight with two trouble makers at a local tavern. At one point I was shoved against a pool table. I grabbed a pool ball of the table with all intentions of inflicting some serious damage on the larger aggressor, hoping to end the fight. In the last moment when I had the poolball in my hand and while pinned to the pool table,I throgh it down in fear of it being taken away and being used on me.
    What do you believe I should have done in this situation? It still bothers me to this day.
    I would really appreciate your input. Your advice will play a major part of the way I continue to defend myself and my loved ones.
    Thank you
    A loyal follower

  21. This is my first time on a blog. I joined the Air Force because the Army recruiter thought I was too meek. I was! I was whipped for doing wrong, and whipped for doing right, but my dad wanted me to always be afraid of him. Got into some mobility movements for setting up ATHs, and having Army and Marines on site for protection most of the time. I got some defensive and concealment training from a few of the old timers. Had to use some training on a few people. They never bothered me again. Neither did my dad. Got some great equipment since I found fight fast. I surprised my wife and some friends who were visiting, prior to Covid. I got comfortable, at home and surprised everyone when I removed my throwing knives from my arm, my 9mm from my leg, my 40 from my other leg. I pulled my knife from my waistband. I was asked if I was going to war. I told them, No, but I can take it to them if I need to. Nice goes only so far. Get nasty mad at the first sign of trouble. Then they know you mean business when you bark out your orders.

  22. Me personally? I am in it to win it! I will do what ever it takes to come out #1 or on top! Some one wants to harm me or my family? Only fear I would have is how far am I going to go before stopping? I have always looked at it like this if you are wanting to do bodily harm to my self or one of my family members? Then I am wanting to do the same to that person 10 times more. I am no bad ass by no means. But I will stand my ground and not run. God said fear no man but fear the Lord. So fearing a man is not an option.

  23. I have an internal rage that I’ve fought to keep in check for as far back as I can remember.
    Seems like it had something to do with a step-dad that hated me growing up. But, I
    don’t know, as he came along when I was about 4yrs old.
    But, thankfully I’m a fairly big guy and most a##holes don’t pick on me, but there were
    a few times they did. I remember going for blood, all the way..

  24. As im from South Africa , thing are not looking good , self defence went into the next level here. Im so glad i found this site , this is goin to put me in the beter position, thanks !

  25. I’m older, and by no means strong like in my 20’s, but my mindset is different now, with all of these black helmet, pads and clothing clad antifa lib thugs thinking they’ve got the upper hand. I NEVER leave home without a weapon, and will do (I pray) what I need to for my wife and myself. This is a great blog for old guys like me to take a stand . Thanks for the info and confidence…keep it up!

  26. The best defense is a good offense. That was my gym teacher/coach and fathers advice as I was growing up but that was the 60’s now yo have to worry about going to jail if you use that approach

  27. Former martial artist/ gang banger/ ex-felon. Today’s uncontrolled chaos has started to bring my mindset back to a place of darkness no experience in over 20 year. But unfortunately I’m mindset ready for things to come.

  28. Learned to control rage in the pugil stick pit fighting guys much larger then I. 30 sec kill tech and dog killing tech really appealed to me during raid training. My philosophy is simple. I will survive!

  29. I been playing that game All my ,life I was a self employdgenerl contractor for 0ver 30 years and the last 15 years I ran three mid size copanys with about 30 to 40 men I was a working super intendent / lead capenter, I have been kind of wacky, to survive , I am not kiding…. I can go wacky any time I need to/ any time, Dale…………

  30. Mentally I have been trying to prepare myself to respond to an attack with deadly violence or at least disable the threat. I’ve always heard that you will know when it happens, if you will follow through. What is good mental and physical training?

  31. This article is so on point. Whenever I’m teaching anyone about self-defense (I’m not a professional trainer but have over 30 years of training in self-defense behind me and occasionally teach family members and close friends how to defend themselves) I ALWAYS try to drive this point home to them before I teach them anything. I tell them that they have to be willing to seriously hurt or even kill their attacker because their attacker will most certainly do the same to them if given the chance. I tell them not to be afraid of putting someone’s eye out, ripping off an ear, breaking a bone or crushing their larynx. The point is to inflict the most damage possible in as few moves as possible and if they haven’t reconciled in their mind that they could do that to another human being then anything I teach them is a waste time. Deescalate first but if the aggressor is still intent on attacking and it becomes go-time, go hard.

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