From our Forum: Combative Mindset

Posted on Posted in Science

What are you missing on our forum? Great postings like this:

….It is.
One of the things I learned in executive protection is that EP is 90% mental, 5% physical, 5% fighting.
If you do the 90% right (prep, advance work, team work, communication with the client) your 5% is the grind of doing the job – and you never see the other 5%.

Fighting is no different – a combative mindset is not developed by exercises. That develops strength and spirit, tenacity, self-confidence, as you stated.

A combative mindset is a decision – a switch – that must be properly trained.

I will give you an example. On my screen saver is a picture of a female fighter who is very, um, attractive, from a website called ‘’. MMA fighters develop a combative mindset to an extent, but in general they develop a combat sport mindset – a mindset that is focused on the combat they face in the ring, and the lifestyle they lead around it. But is it truly a combative mindset?

A combative mindset is completely different – it is how you look at your environment, how you look at your enemy. In a true combative mindset you do not have an opponent, you have an enemy – and there is a psychological difference between the two. One is someone you shake hands with after the fight, you don’t train to destroy them completely on a physical – mental – spiritual level. He is there to test your skill and your ability to regurgitate that skill in a controlled environment.

The other is not there to shake hands – you do not train to shake hands or hold back blows that would cripple them, you do not apologize if you hit them in the groin, there is no referee who pulls you off if you are winning.

The recognition of the difference between the two is the first part of developing a combative mindset. One is a sportsman you respect because he may win, one is someone you respect because he too is fighting for his survival.

This is why ‘the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle’ is a fallacy. If you are training to pull guard and an armbar on a guy who has mugged 100 people, your arm bar will not last when he does his move he’s done in combat 1000 times to eat. It’s silly to think someone can go to the gym and practice twice a week, and go up against an guy who is nightly stalking to live and survive for a habit that will force him to do things that are beyond what most people are willing to do except when at the moment of possible death.

True combative mindset is trained the moment someone walks into a training room. An example – in our classes, girls are conditioned that the moment a guy grabs on to them in anyway – they automatically put their hand up and begin moving it to the face of the other person and prepare to attack, then decide. Anytime, it does not matter – like a child being taught ‘no one can touch your privates’ a woman has to be conditioned to make the decision on who she will and will not allow to touch them. Once you can touch a person, you have an advantage – touch turns to push, turns to grab, turns to strikes – and while guys are different, women must have the first strike once physical contact is made to prevent the attacker from gaining mechanical control of them (choking them, wrapping them up, punching them, grabbing their hard, etc).

Now, I know people will say, ‘Oh, so you’re just creating women students who will just hit anyone who comes up to them, that’s unreasonable, dangerous.’ First, stop it. That’s what people say when they can’t defend a position that is a fallacy. A woman has precious little time to make decisions (as we will discuss in a second). Thus, a woman has to be ready to employ her weapons immediately. Men rarely walk up to women and push them like they do guys – women are grabbed, beaten, and raped. So, I will always train women to be ready the moment they are touched so that they can then decide and shave off reaction time that is so vital.

Shaun sat through me discussing this in Ontario – so Shaun jump in. A combative mindset looks at every situation as a problem that must be analyzed and solved quickly, either long before it happens (which is one type of problem solving); right before it happens (another type); or as it happens (another type of decision making). An example of long before it happens is walking into a room and taking 20 seconds to look at the exits, then looking at the people in the room and the psychology – taking snap shot, etc.

An MMA fighter will simply walk into a room and start walking around – a Pramek student should pause and snap shot, decide the threat level (a corporate meeting is different than a club) and attempt to position themselves accordingly and then work from them. Position to an exit point and then work all interactions in relation to that exit point. You can get a drink at the end of the bar – if something happens, you are close to the exit. If you decide to rush and not wait on the bar tender, and move to the middle of the bar – you have placed yourself in a different position.

In an BJJ class for girls, someone walks up and touches them and they decide which technique to use to start working in a sport manner. That is a sport mindset where every man who touches you is ok, he is friendly, he is an opponent – so the woman is conditioned from day one to accept physical contact by men and will thus act the same in the first moments of being touched by an enemy – they will freeze, battle their emotional intelligence, and then move – it’s too late.

A Pramek female student when unwillingly touched will position herself to defend herself, and then if it’s a threat she can act using her first strike to take initiative and decide the initial tempo of the situation.

This is why, as people will see as our videos on combat come out – teaching people to fight like sportsmen, take and absorb multiple blows – conditions them to fight the other man’s game and will lead to a student who will willingly take shots because ‘they can.’ Instead of attacking to get to equilibrium, they will let shots get in while they ‘pick their opening.’ When you fight in a sport like manner, yes, you can do that. When you are fighting for your life, you create openings or overwhelm until there is one. If an altercation begins – if one person who posturing, talking smack, pushing, and getting ready for the fight – a Pramek student should make one thing their focus and that is what will be attacked. If I only focus on getting to the side and grabbing your ear and ripping on it, while you are posturing – with a focus on intention and violence of action, my strategy will work because it is a goal – while the other person has no goal other than posturing or threatening. A muay thai fighter can train to take kicks and shots because they have a ring, times, ref’s. True combat is quick, dirty, and governed by focus of intention and violence of action – teaching people who are doing combatives to sit back and absorb hits as part of their fighting style does them a disservice if they want to learn how to truly win in a violent street confrontation.

The other thing to remember is – women’s self-defense is not a fight. It is war. A fight is for dominance – war is about survival. A man who loses is beaten badly and possibly killed. Statistically, a woman who loses is physically beaten, and psychologically beaten through rape or murder. A woman is mechanical disadvantaged, disadvantaged in speed and strength. She is psychologically conditioned that when a man yells at her or touches her that her father yelled at her or spanked her (which is why I would never spank my God willing future-daughter) and thus she has a psychological lag time on defending herself. She has the makings of an inferior combatant, and while a man can swing wildly and use speed, strength, and mass against another man – a woman is quickly overwhelmed. Boys grow up fighting boys – girls grow up being treated nicely and always being beat up by the guys – picked on, or waiting on someone to defend them.

This is why most women’s self-defense classes are a fallacy – it’s not real, because it views self-defense as combat like men, versus a highly disadvantaged combatant fighting a superior enemy. So, strategy, tactics, and methods, like a war or field engagement have to be implemented for women’s self-defense training. Any women’s self-defense that teaches a woman to overwhelm an enemy using strikes that do not hit vital areas (eyes, nose, throat, groin, clawing, skin grabs, ear attacks) is not women’s self-defense – it is simply a martial art class for women that is a little more realistic than kickboxing.

That’s a combative mindset.

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