Now we come to the last of John Kary’s “6 Principles of Combat” and, like the 5 preceding this one, it is essential. Actually, if any one of these 6 principles are absent, your self-defense plan is likely to crumble but what makes this one so important is that it has nothing to do with anything but what is between your two ears. What is also so important is that this one is the FUNDAMENTAL difference between effective and ineffective Wing Chun training.
Ready for it? Here it is:
Principle #6 : Be CONFIDENT and DETERMINED.
As the saying by Tony Blauer (that I quote at least once every other blog post) goes, “if you are facing one opponent and you doubt yourself, you’re outnumbered.”
If today’s streets can be compared to a concrete jungle, criminals are the predatory animals that stalk it. If you show hesitation or fear, they will pounce; If you attack halfheartedly, it will only serve to anger them and raise their aggression towards you while simultaneously demoralizing yourself. Make up your mind that if you must ATTACK, you will ATTACK WITH EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT. It is very difficult if not impossible to stop someone who puts absolutely everything into a set course of action.
A Ballsy Move That Paid Off Big-Time
One of my favorite inspirational stories is that of the Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes in 1519. Upon arriving in Mexico he gave the order to burn the ships which had just carried them over. Why did he do this? The answer gets clearer and clearer to me the older I get and the more I seek to refine my study and practice of Wing Chun for simple, effective and practical self-defense. Cortes ordered the ships to be burned so that he and his men would have no other options than to either succeed in their mission or die.
If today’s streets can be compared to a concrete jungle, criminals are the predatory animals that stalk it. If you show hesitation or fear, they will pounce; If you attack halfheartedly, it will only serve to anger them and raise their aggression towards you while simultaneously demoralizing yourself.Make up your mind that if you must ATTACK, you will ATTACK WITH EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT. It is very difficult if not impossible to stop someone who puts absolutely everything into a set course of action.
Paraphrasing a quote from Bruce Lee, if you are fighting a man determined to bite off your nose, if you don’t kill him there is an almost certain probability that he will succeed in doing just that.
One Trick Ponies (In The Best Sense of The Word)
I have always said this about Wing Chun’s structure and game plan: a good Wing Chun fighter should always strive to be a “one-trick pony” in the best sense of the word. What this means is that the body structure of a Wing Chun guy/gal should reflect the core principles of the art they study.
Classic self-empowerment books like Thick Face, Black Heart by the late Chin Ning Chu address this concept for purposes of personal achievement (for a detailed review on this book as well as others I feel have been integral to my development as a martial artist geared towards self-defense, click HERE). We are seeking to apply the same lesson taught by Chu for use in an all-out brawl to steamroll the prick who makes it clear he is out to hurt you or your loved ones. Different uses, same concept.
Confidence and determination are the straw that stirs the proverbial cocktail of these combat principles-without them, all of the other ingredients cannot fully bind together to form one cohesive unit.
110% ? Try Giving 99%
One phrase I hear all the time that just rubs me the wrong way is when I hear a coach tell their team that they need to give 110%. I can’t stand it.
Now we all know that giving 110% is impossible so it’s not the logistics that upset me. What I don’t like is the mentality. To me, 110% says that you are more than completely committed to “X.” I say screw that, give me 99%, and here’s why:
My mentality in anything is if I am totally committed to something, I am 99% all-in…the last 1% couldn’t give a shit if the world exploded today.
That last 1% is a built-in pressure switch against overcommitting, either in mentality or action. I know why people like coaches, trainers, etc. say “give 100% percent!” or shit like that, but the message carries with it an inherent flaw, that of overcommitment. When you tell someone to”give 100% percent” or something similar, the mind tends to focus too much on the objective at the risk of everything else – which is NO BUENO.
Clubber Lang, JAWS & Michael Meyers
As a die-hard Rocky fan, Mr. T’s character Clubber Lang is always one of my favorite bad guys from those movies. As a kid, he looked so mean and rough! He was an ass-beater in that flick for sure and I still watch any of the Rocky films if they are on TV even thought I have the box set of DVD’s at home. As I grew older, though, I realized that the scariest opponents are not the ones who grunt, scream and stomp around like bulls in china shops. Their anger betrays them; their aggression can be very easily overcommitted into a mistake.
Guys who show zero emotion, who stalk their opponents dispassionately, who honestly don’t give a shit, period…those guys scare me. They are the Michael Meyers from Halloween, the shark from JAWS, a C.I.A hitman and the forces of nature all rolled into one.
I don’t think we will ever see a better fighting example of this than Fedor Emilianenko. His demeanor oozes confidence and determination but in a very different way than most of today’s pimp-strut, peacock feather, chest puffing behavior most combat athletes display. Win or lose, hitting or being hit, he looks like he is waiting for a bus or getting a haircut.
He is confident in his abilities yet at the same time is not attached to any outcome. That almost Zen monk-like detachment is both his built-in pressure switch and clearing mechanism against mind clutter.
Watch the following classic fight between Fedor and the late Kevin Randleman and just see how both his confidence and sense of detachment to the outcome are so strong you can almost see it swirling around his head.
Self discipline and the mentality of complete confidence and determination in attacks you launch will not only boost your morale but also crush your opponent’s. In an alley or a dark parking lot, you really have nothing to lose by being all-in on your retaliation to an attack.
Attacking your opponent in a simple, direct and efficient way with FULL CONFIDENCE and TOTAL DETERMINATION in your protective course of action
Find Your Line In The Sand
We have always heard the expression “drawing a line in the sand.” Everyone has a point not to be pushed past. Too often, folks don’t introspect enough to understand what that point is so when they reach that point, it manifests as “snapping” and self-destructive or harmful actions take place.
The employee who has trouble in expressing himself finally snaps, the teen who is bullied finally snaps, and so on.
As is too often the case, these folks were so consumed by one thing it took over their mind and when the point of no return was reached, it was too late.
Looking inside, deciding what your breaking point is and reinforcing that with the “Law of 99%” you will safeguard against going too far in any direction and in doing so avoid many pitfalls.
So too is it with protecting yourself. Train your mind, hone your killer instinct like a blade and use the techniques of mental imagery and mental rehearsal found in classic resources like Psycho-Cybernetics (whose benefits I detail among others in my review HERE) to place yourself in situations to elicit a biological response and do so until your mentality shifts to one of total confidence with a dash of detachment.
You can only improve your odds of success.
Train Smart, Stay Safe