Software is your mindset. Optimizing your mindset means getting your head right so that you can overcome your situation and get to safety without allowing fear or panic to set in and take the reins.
Hardware is your physical capacity. How well you move, how hard you hit, how effectively you can access and utilize a weapon, etc.
A lot of defense training focuses exclusively on the hardware. This is a mistake. Good hardware is rendered useless without capable software; the mindset and willingness to take action. Self-defense skills, power, and technical proficiency are secondary.
Reprogramming your software:
My main goal in conducting my self-defense seminars is reprogramming the victim mindset to that of an attacker’s mindset, prioritizing being active, not reactive.
I can’t give you amazing ninja skills in a one-time session. That requires enormous software and hardware upgrades that develop over time with dedicated training and willingness to improve.
What I can do in a short amount of time is help reframe the way you think about violence and how you perceive a threat, as well as introduce you to concepts to help you access your inner rage. Even if you never end up in a physical altercation or violent situation, recognizing a threat from a distance and getting out of danger is a useful non-physical skill anyone can adopt, regardless of physical capacity.
The obstacles of downloading new software:
So we just reprogram ourselves! Easy, right?! Unfortunately, there are some common hurdles to achieving an active, positive mindset.
1) Give yourself permission:
The first obstacle to attaining a sound, self-defense mindset is getting you to give yourself permission to fight and win. Since we could first throw a block as toddlers, our social programming has ingrained nonviolence into our software. It is socially unacceptable to hurt another person. Many people struggle to overcome all of the mental and emotional barriers decades of social acculturation have placed between us and the extreme circumstances where it is necessary to utilize violence as a tool in order to protect ourselves.
2) Fear or doubt leading to hesitation:
In a recent session, a student who serves as part of an unarmed security team for a DC area church asked, “What if it’s in the moment of an attack and I am not taking action because of fear or doubt? What are some positive things I can think of to get motivated?”
I told him that in this situation, you are part of something bigger than yourself. Your obligation is your personal safety and the protection of your congregation. Your close-knit team has your back, and you have their back. If it helps you get motivated, think about protecting innocent people in your congregation.
3) But what if…?
If you are in the moment, what choice do you have? You have to accept what is going on and take action immediately!
Rebooting/updating this software to a more positive, active outlook takes some thought. An introduction to some useful concepts at one of our self-defense seminars can help lay the groundwork for you, but it is worth investing time and thought into it, as it can be an empowering and useful concept.
If you are interested in learning more about this and receiving this training hands-on, check out our 4-session fast track course in January 2015.
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NOVA Self Defense