What is a DEFENSIVE MINDSET? How do I develop it?
by James Banks, Owner / Instructor
Your mindset is the totality of your knowledge and view of the world around you. You take in information and you process this into your core belief systems and thus you build your mindset. Your mindset determines how you collect and process information. We all know that developing the right mindset for your own personal self-defense is categorically paramount. To do this is absolutely impossible without effective learning and training on the subjects of self-defense. Trust me when I tell you, you absolutely lack a defensive mindset if you are not schooling and testing yourself in the subject matter related to self-defense! I know, this sounds harsh and your initial reaction to this statement that I’ve made may be to immediately argue and make excuses, but I am unquestionably right on this. You must be actively pursuing knowledge and training otherwise you will never develop your defensive mindset. So, let’s get you on the path of change with these steps.
1. You must get the best information out there. You must pursue the best information in this field. There are a lot of effective Instructors in this arena as well as completely ineffective. Find those Instructors whom are also pursuing knowledge of the craft. You must narrow down the information input to the most effective available. It is critical to not only find information, but to select the best information and avoid the rest. Unfortunately, in this industry, bad information is more prevalent than good information. Forums, blog posts and Facebook postings and comments are bad places to seek information. Trust me when I tell you, those people usually lack any real formal training and are just operating from opinion and not actual data.
2. You need to align yourself and imitate the best people. Who are the people in the industry whom are defense minded? What are their actions? What are their training regimens? Who do they seek for their learning? These are all questions that you should be asking. There’s always someone ahead of you. Seek them out and learn from them.
3. You must examine your own self and be honest with your current state. Look at your current belief system. Are you limiting yourself with thoughts like, “I can’t do that, I’m too out of shape” or “That looks hard and I don’t want to show any weakness in front of others”. These are defeatist attitudes and they will prevent you from seeking information. You will never develop a defensive mindset with these types of thoughts. You’re defeated before you have even encountered your first fight. This is a truly sad place to find yourself. Break free from these thoughts and do what you know that you need to do. These thoughts can and may get you hurt or killed.
4. You need to have a vision for yourself and set goals. You must be proactive, and you must envision what you need to do and what you want to accomplish. Set goals, breaking them down like stepping stones. Learn to adapt to new challenges and use these to form and shape your mindset. Look to find what is really you and being critical about all information that you consume should be part of your defensive mindset. Today, you should be closer to your goals than you were just a month ago. Work on, fix and fill in the gaps on what you need to learn. Be BETTER! Your life may very well depend on it.
5. As you develop your defensive mindset through learning, protect what you have accomplished. I always tell my students, “It’s your fight. Fight it as you see fit”. Do not listen to the naysayers that will tell you things like, “I learned everything I needed to know while I was in the military” or “I’ve been shooting since I was a kid” or “My dad was a ‘Delta SEAL Ranger’ and he taught me really well…”. These are people whom are making excuses for their shortcomings and laziness. Put them under a little duress and they’ll melt. I’ve seen it. They believe they are at the pinnacle of their performance and trust me when I tell you….they are right. They will never improve from where they stand right now. You, on the other hand, know that you must improve. Don’t ever allow someone to convince you that you should postpone your own personal development. You have a responsibility to uphold. You’re walking around with a concealed handgun. You have a family to protect. “It’s your fight. Fight it as you see fit”. Please, allow us to personally assist you with that. We will see you soon. You have a defensive mindset to cultivate.
"Avoiding battle is advantageous. Avoiding knowledge of battle is dangerous" James Banks