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Developing a Fight Winning Attitude

In my years of training and fighting, I have discovered that most fights are lost for one very simple reason: hesitation. The person being attacked either does not react fast enough or is less willing to use violent force than the attacker. A bad guy who attacks you has no problem hurting you… but are you willing to protect yourself by hurting him or her?

This even happens in law enforcement. Some officers end up getting killed because they are so worried about the legal and public ramifications of their actions and decisions, instead of worrying about the situation at hand.

The Importance of Developing a Fighting Attitude

Learning self defense and street fighting skills is a huge part of ensuring that you are victorious in a fight, but let me tell you, your attitude and mindset are even more important.

You see, when most of you law abiding and courteous citizens are attacked, you don’t know how to react. This is because you don’t use violence in your daily lives, it is foreign to you. In fact, most people are downright uncomfortable with violence (as they should be). I am not advocating that people should have a natural violent streak. Where would this world be if THAT was the case? But you have to learn how to turn it on if needed and be willing to be violent also. I can tell you that it is not easy to hurt someone that you do not even know unless you have a good reason to of course.

As far as violence is concerned, this is where criminals have a huge advantage. They are used to being violent because they survive off of violence and they are very good at scaring you into giving them what they want at the threat or use of a little violence.

I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, and I knew people like this. Hell, I was like this at one time. When you see violence on almost a daily basis, and that is all you know, it is easy to inflict it upon others. Most of you don’t live like that. Because of my upbringing, a law enforcement and military career only made sense to me. They became legal outlets for the violence I was used to. I thrived on it.

So, when it is easy for someone used to violence to use it, it is hesitation on the “normal” person’s part that causes someone to lose a street fight. This is even a problem for those of us who are comfortable with the thought of using violence to protect ourselves and our families.

This is why your simply knowing self defense and how to use violence will not save your ass in a real street fight. Knowing how to poke someone’s eye out with your finger and really doing it is very different. I even shared with you the story about the time I dislocated a guy’s finger so fast and easy that it made me shout out in surprise.

There are really two kinds of hesitation. The first kind is that you simply don’t act soon enough. For example, you will probably think to yourself “I’m not going to hit first.” And get knocked out when the person used to being violent sucker punches you. Some of you will simply refuse to accept the fact that a fight is coming until you get hit, ending with the same result: YOU GET KNOCKED THE HELL OUT!

Don’t be that guy (or girl). Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting that you turn into a loose cannon, but if you feel threatened or you get that little twinge in your stomach (I call this my spider sense tingling) that is telling you “somethin’ ain’t right” you must act immediately, without hesitation.

Let me take a moment to explain a little life lesson to you. Patience is only a virtue when you are dealing with your spouse, your child, or the DMV. Patience, which is often hesitation in disguise, will not serve you well in most areas of life, especially not in a fight. Your taking action puts you in control of the situation. Control is good, especially when you are talking about control over your life to SAVE YOUR LIFE.

My advice to you is to act…don’t react.

Practical Applications of a Fighting Attitude

Okay enough with the philosophical stuff. Let’s get practical.

If you are in a situation and you know you are going to have to fight, you MUST be the first to hit because by doing so you are statistically much more likely to win the fight. Enough said!

The second type of hesitation is more common for people who have martial arts or self defense training. This kind of hesitation causes people who ‘know better’ to get hurt and killed in street fights every year.

I’m talking about the scale of violence. Many trained martial artists will lose street fights because they fail to bring enough violence into the fight. They know what to do, but they just can’t bring themselves to do it.

They are comfortable with the thought of using vicious moves, and if you asked them if they would eye gouge someone who was threatening their life they would say ‘hell yeah’. But as I mentioned before…easier said than done. You see, reality sets in when these martial artists have to put that thought into action. The thought of doing an eye gouge is a lot different than the act of plunging your thumb into the eye socket of someone threatening your family.

When it comes down to it, they are afraid to hurt someone who is trying to hurt them. This is the absolute worst reason to lose a fight. If you don’t know how to fight and you get your butt kicked in a street fight you can’t really be criticized. But, if you do know how to fight and you just failed to be mean and nasty enough to win you will get no sympathy from anyone who is experienced with street fighting or self defense.

The key is that once you engage a person who you know has no regard for your health and safety, you must return the favor. As the old cliché goes, you must fight fire with fire. In a fight, I will do whatever it takes to win and survive, and that includes biting your ear off if I have to. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to win. The only thing that will stop the bad guy is his realization that you are willing to do terrible things to him (stuff like snapping all the ligaments in his knee, blowing out his ear drum with an ear slap, or biting out a chunk of flesh) to win as well.

Showing him that you are willing to use nasty street fighting moves will make your wallet suddenly much less valuable to him. Criminals may be mean, cruel, and heartless but they aren’t stupid enough to lose an eye over a wallet. It all comes back to that fight winning attitude. What are you willing to do to protect yourself?

I am willing to use whatever means necessary. I hope you feel the same way.

If you do feel this way, your fighting mindset should be as follows:

If someone tries to hurt me, I am going to immediately use the most savage and violent force I know to eliminate the threat to my life. It’s as simple as that. A fighting mindset doesn’t require meditation or hours of training. It requires you making a conscious decision and promise to yourself that you will take the necessary action to save your skin.

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55 thoughts on “Developing a Fight Winning Attitude”

  1. Thats the best advise you can give by telling people not to hesitate in a life or death situation. One has to be like a mongoose when fighting a cobra. Go for the kill on the first strike.

  2. You have touched on something that is important. Mindset is very important as the mind is your best weapon. People will hesitate they recognize their humanity of their attacker. Those who would attack you,to rob you,rape you,hurt you badly.or kill you have lost their humanity! You have to make them a thing in your mind. People are more likely to destroy a thing than a person. All people are blessed with intuition,i.e.,a “spider sense” which must be listened to always. It is your best part of situational awareness. If something doesn’t feel right it is not right. The thing may attack you.Destroy it.

  3. The Best article I have seen in a while. I agree that the “willingness” to do damage (not just moves) is the way to win a fight. You can train all day in the dojo to punch here, kick there, etc. But if a real fight comes along it is the determination to actually follow through to cause damage that wins the fight. Not the snapping of kicks and punches to earn points. The real fight is about survival, and not about winning the match. Well done and well said.

  4. Precisely my thoughts and attitude.
    I’ve bitten a bear-hugging bastard on one occasion; he let go pretty bloody fast and then got a punch on the crown jewels. End of fight. Left him on his knees, swearing and clutching the twins.