It is not as much as a " fighting mindset " , but a survival mindset we are looking for ! Articles I have read , and discussions I have had with the lethal force instructors , highlight some interesting variations on a theme !
Think back when you were training with a gun under the guidance of an expert instructor ; I bet he asked the famous question " Could you really pull the trigger and kill someone?" I bet you and the others answered almost in unison " yes we can" !! This "resolve" ,of course, for most of us will remain untested ! And the "tested" few almost always fail miserably because they hesitate !
Then there are documented stories of "untrained" individuals using guns very effectively under life or death conditions ; one such person , a shopkeeper , was the victim of four robbery attempts , he was shot once himself , but he did shoot and kill five armed robbers and survived! When debriefed , he was found to be a very intense man with a very strong will to live and mired deeply in self respect and refusal to be a victim of punks ! He was determined to see the next sunrise at all cost and had made up his mind that in less than ¾ of a second he would have to explode and fire even as he would take a hit !
Natural selection process at work here again ! The truth of the matter is that most of us really do not have what it takes to survive in spite of the fantasies of karate prowess and cultivated mind set ,i.e., some mindsets are more resolute than others !
It has to do with force of personality , no two ways about it ! Cecil has written of "alpha" black belts and "beta" black belts who shall forever remain "beta" no matter how many times they have been to Okinawa and how many boards they can break with their toes ! The best survivors possess certain personal qualities including determination , self reliance , confidence, great strength and skills and a positive point of view ! They cultivate intensity in every aspect of their lives !
You write about emotions to be experienced as opposed to "motions" ---you are correct ! The emotions you are up against are , fear , nervousness and anger as well as denial ! These should be experience to some extent so they can be understood and made to work for you instead of against you ! We talked about visualization before ! It has been written in so many ways that we must visualize prevailing against every attack , visualize your training and how your hard work must somehow prevail in the face of a strong but 'untrained ' adversary !
But here is the rub ! When you leave the dojo , you take your self doubt with you because you know that your workout was lacking somehow , that you did not really practice with the most intensity ---pushing to the edge , as David puts it !
For example , you will know subconsciously that any fight is really exchanging blows , you are dreaming if you don't think you will get hit, and getting hit can destroy you psychologically if you do not steel yourself against body punishment ! And yet look at the typical classes ….lots of endless katas , not nearly enough conditioning , no shin / toes conditioning , no sparring , no hits taking you to the edge ! No wonder the Okinawans laugh at most Americans …We show up on the Island fat and soft looking for our next promotion ! The dojos or instructors who run "tough " schools , are disdained and vilified by the pompous elitists !
David writes "And each experience
deepens the mindset (and in some cases increase the doubts)."
one has to train at the "edge" periodically."
"It is about learning to do what one has to in a confrontation including
going from a variety of distances and tactics. One will always have
a "favorite" set of techniques and tactics."
"In this type of training (for self-defense), it's important to
remember it's not about looking good or that rank (about that EGO)
but summoning the will to take on the challenge even when one
looks foolish. This wide open approach will prepare you better than
"Know this -- fighting/combat is not about style.
It's about winning/surviving. This is about doing anything and
Wise words ! David has also written before that in order to cultivate a determined mindset and gain control over fears , you must remove the concepts of losing or winning and replace them with thoughts of "doing" until it stops one way or the other ! If you loose but survive , you are ahead of the game !
Allen , you wrote "my experience is that non-thinking reflex predominantly
gains control to do the job."
True ! It is always going down so quickly that it's really a matter of reaction/survival rather than a deliberate thought process ! The problem is what have you programmed yourself with that becomes your reaction !
I just read an article about the concept of "force continuum" which refocuses the principles I have expounded on this forum previously in a very succinct manner ! The essence of the article will be the subject of future posts !