Mindset 101: The Defender
Updated: Jul 8, 2019
Your training sessions will be your first step in personal development and real-world conflict readiness Both scenarios require a certain type of mindset to be successful.
When talking about defence, it shouldn’t necessarily be seen as passive. The word may promote that idea but preemptive strikes are part and parcel of the game, turning up your aggression and drive to survive takes will and focus. The common maxim “a good defence is a good offence” rings true when talking about real life scenarios and Krav Maga training at Saint Fury.
When presented with a technique, you should always be thinking; how you got to this point, what has happened beforehand, when would I use this or even when would an attacker use this. Try and focus on real world environments familiar to you; your walk home from work, approaching your front door or a local establishment you frequent.
It makes sense to say these techniques will be made manifest not in a dojo or gym but in places you go to. Classes are well lit, spacious and with friendly people. Compare this to being on a (busy) street where pavements are narrow - how many steps before you’re in a road? How dark is it, how much can I see?
It’s an advantage to start each session with this attitude; an attitude of visualisation while increasing and decreasing stress levels all to enhance your calmness of thought. At all times have in your mind where your strikes are landing, the intent, being sure of your thought process while in a safe environment. What you do in training becomes manifest in real life situations.
On the street you want to be relaxed, it’s not advised to be walking around with your dukes up while scanning 360 degrees all the time! Basic observations do go a long way. You’ll be walking with you hands by your side if you’re not carrying something. Headphones may be worn, which can isolate you or even be wearing restrictive clothing. Pay attention to what’s in front of you (and not just a few metres) - look down the entire road. Remember if something is in your hand, that’s a common object and that you may be somewhere or at some time of day where visibility isn’t great.
Basic awareness or your environment and yourself is one of the strongest components to self-defence and must never be overlooked.
As above ask yourself, how did it get to this stage - how did the surprise attack happen. Unfortunately sometimes it does without awareness being part of it and it’s not your fault. Understanding the attacker's intent is also key (see article Mindset 101: The Attacker).
What needs to be considered - Keeping your distance, vocal warning, calling for help, escape routes, scanning for other attackers, common object usage, natural reactions, self-defence modes, fighting skills, pure aggression, escape. Which ones?! It seems like a long list but the key isn’t to freeze but to react, including the ‘fight or flight’ response. Through training theses steps become seamless and intertwined becoming reactionary rather than an overlong assessment.
Not all conflicts are physical but all are mental. As stated the first steps are; try to diffuse, dissuade or escape. If those aren’t viable, using reasonable force. An attacker has planned and envisaged victory and there may be more than one... there may be weapons! In training you have determination drills designed to push your limits; multiple attackers, restrictions, limited movement or vision - all designed to improve grit, resourcefulness and willingness to succeed.
As a Krav Maga practitioner you need to understand that at the edge, the point of imminent conflict, you will have to become something ‘bigger’ - becoming something mentally or physically larger than the threat in order to conquer it and get home safely.
The way the Saint Fury team presents its training isn’t about invincibility but a system that gives you the best fighting chance to overcome these scenarios. The correct mindset during training and while out will help you stay focussed for a positive outcome.
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Saint Fury is based out of Hackney and operates across the Greater London area.
Krav Maga self defence, kickboxing, fitness and mental health coaching for the individual or company are offered.
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