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Embracing the Warrior Spirit Within

“Let us set for ourselves a standard so high that it will be a glory to live up to it, and then let us live up to it and add a new laurel to the crown of America.” — Woodrow Wilson

If you are not thinking, acting, and training like a warrior, you are setting yourself up for failure! Most people today are not practicing one of the most critical and fundamental elements of survival and that is living the life of a warrior and embracing the warrior spirit that is present within all of us. In today’s fast-paced society living the warrior lifestyle is quite difficult, especially considering the demands of the job and the ever-increasing pace of our personal lives.

It is not until we are faced with some life-threatening event that we realize the importance of thinking, acting and training like a warrior. However, if we do not acknowledge the fact that we need to think like a warrior to survive, then we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Look around you. There is evidence everywhere demonstrating the decreasing warrior spirit. It is evident in people’s complacency. It is evident in people’s lack of focus, discipline and proper attitude to challenge themselves with fitness and combat training. It is evident in the shocking amount of unfit and obese people all around us. The tragedy is many people, even those who call themselves warriors, don’t give this much thought until they are facing a focused opponent who wants to take their life. Do not wait for disaster to strike. Make up your mind right here and now that you will embrace your warrior spirit today and, in this article, I am going to tell you how.

The 5% Rule:

Have you heard of the 5% rule? For us, this reference is directed toward the estimated five percent of people who walk the warrior’s path, people who actually embrace their warrior spirit. These are the warriors like myself who seek additional training, who continuously work on honing their skills and who immerse themselves in all aspects of warrior science. These focused warriors never let their guard down and they have made up their mind to survive no matter what they face. Are you able to think of a few people whose life typifies this spirit, who distinguish themselves as warriors?

Let’s flip this around. If 5% of our population embraces their warrior spirit, then we can surmise that 95% of the people in this country have either outright denied or only minimally embraced this lifesaving mind-set. In my experience, even those who have chosen the path of a warrior are often hoping for the best while only grudgingly doing the minimum to prepare for the worst. For most, combat training like martial arts is simply a hobby, not a lifestyle.

As a former use of force instructor for special agents and a martial artist, I have seen this lack of motivation and commitment with the vast majority of warriors I have trained. While I can provide a dynamic atmosphere in my training environment that supports the learner’s motivation, the truth is motivation must come from within; it must come from the heart. More importantly, this motivation to cultivate the warrior spirit must become a part of your life.

Years ago, I trained with and received one of my black belts from a Hapkido Grand Master, who is also a police officer. As part of his daily routine he spent the first hour of his day doing bodyweight calisthenics and conditioning exercises, much like how the prisoners in our country exercise every day. The second hour of his day was spent practicing his martial arts. After this daily training, he would then hit the streets focused, alert and ready to face any challenge!

Now that is an excellent example of a police officer who has embraced the warrior spirit. In China, a majority of its citizens train in the martial arts and other health improving, warrior-oriented disciplines daily. These are people who can take care of themselves when trouble arises. This level of training has become an accepted and expected part of their culture. My hope for you is that you will do what it takes for you to be fit and able to defend yourself. Does this sound reasonable to you! Imagine yourself as an elite and fit warrior with the ability to deal with whatever crisis or natural disaster that comes your way, not to mention the other life-altering benefits that this lifestyle would bring.

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As a defensive tactics instructor for special agents, I would do my best to instill in these people that they were no longer civilians, and to teach them that 1% of bad guys out there will do everything they can to kill them, so I needed to prepare them for that fight, not the other 99% who just wanted to get away. I saw understanding in a few faces and fear in others. However, in working with thousands of agents, few of them understand battle like I do, who wish and desire to be cold-blooded when need be, merciful when called upon, and absolutely willing to do whatever it takes to win the fight.

Do you understand what I am telling you? You must have the total conviction and absolute belief of not just surviving but winning the fight? That is the warrior spirit. That is the attitude you need to cultivate and embrace. That’s what will make you one of the 5%. You cannot push the harsh reality of how dangerous life can be from your minds. You cannot live in denial that it won’t happen to you. It’s time for you to do some honest introspection.

Now, think about it. Where would you rank yourself as a warrior? Are you truly one of the 5%, continually striving to improve yourself through mental and physical training? Could you be doing more? Are you somewhere in the middle, or are you one of the 95% who muddles along hoping for the best?

The fact of the matter is each of you have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to change your own mindset by changing your own behavior. It is up to you. Make a vow right now to begin to work toward this ideal. It is merely a matter of shifting your priorities.

Getting Started on the Warrior Lifestyle:

So, where can you begin? My advice is to start slow and set reasonable goals. Here are just a few examples of how you can start to travel the path of a warrior.

  • The next time you attend any training, attend it with total focus and full intensity.
  • Try your best at everything you attempt.
  • Learn from your mistakes, and strive to challenge yourself!
  • Meet with people who instruct others in the warrior sciences. Tell them your concerns. Ask them where you can improve. I guarantee if they are good trainers, they will be excited to help you get started.
  • Join a gym, begin a fitness program. Hire a personal trainer to get you started. They are worth the money.
  • Read this blog regularly and books on survival and tactics and apply them to your personal life.
  • Practice mental conditioning to prepare your mind in times of crisis.
  • Study a reality-based martial art. Every city has a variety of arts to choose from. Find one that suits your needs.
  • Acknowledge you are a warrior and embrace this with all your spirit!

This list is only limited by your imagination. The trick is to acknowledge that making any changes is up to you. No one is going to do this for you. Commit and change yourself.

For those of you who already count yourselves among those 5% of dedicated warriors who have wholly embraced their warrior spirit, you have an increased obligation. You must be ever vigilant in your growth. I challenge you to continue working to improve and embrace your warrior spirit. It is paramount that you continue to develop and grow as a warrior.

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