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Focus on 3 areas to win any fight

Combat is made up of multiple elements; the more you expose yourself to, the more you stand a better chance of winning in any scenario

Combat is made up of multiple elements. There are two that we have some limited control over, physical attributes that one possesses, and a mental, intellectual aspect.

Then there are a collection of conditions that we are not in control of. There’s an entire host of environmental conditions that we are unable to change. With potential bystanders, there is no telling how onlookers may react to witnessing a physical confrontation. They may call for help, intervene, assist one party, or sit and watch. Other factors include your opponent’s knowledge, abilities and numbers.

So, self-defense is made up of much more than taking classes and practicing. It’s made up of varying conditions that will favor the person more adaptable.

It will favor the individual who has taken time to prepare for many different scenarios.

Physical attributes
Physically, you have to realize that your overall fitness level demands attention. It doesn’t matter how you look, it matters how ready your body is to use your knowledge.

You must have stamina; a fit cardiovascular system that can last under duress. If you get winded in the first five seconds, you’re in trouble.

Then you need muscle tone and muscle memory. No matter how well you know your training, if your muscles are not properly conditioned and trained, you will be battling yourself as well. Your muscular system needs to have regular exercise to keep it tone and fit.

Your exercises should also follow the path of strikes and kicks as much as you can. This will help increase muscle memory which is vital when find yourself in a fight.

We learn many different punches, kicks, and holds in our training; hundreds of defense techniques, and dozens of ways to accomplish the same thing. You don’t have to master all of this. You just master the elements that appeal to you the most, or the things that come to you more naturally. These basics, techniques, and strategies comprise your “toolbox.”

These are things you work to keep razor sharp for when they are needed. Too many times, people worry that they must try to eliminate their weak points. While you always want to improve on them, it’s better to make your strong points so effective that your weaknesses rarely ever come in to play.

Mental attributes
Mentally, you need to have confidence in yourself. There is no room to doubt your abilities. Doubt leads to hesitation, which ensures defeat. Do not mistake arrogance for confidence; arrogance is the opposite end of doubt. With arrogance, you will underestimate your opponent, which gives that person an advantage as you do not expect to meet his actual level skill until it’s too late.

Know what works for you. You have to know your strengths and why they are your strengths. It’s not enough to know this punch works perfectly for you; you need to know why.

This will lead better proficiency with other techniques. Knowing why this particular move works will give you insight into how to better use that skill.

Learning from experience
Learn from the things that you deal with. Win, lose, or draw, examine why that fight ended the way it did. What did you do right, what could you have done it better? What were your mistakes?

Also, spar. Sparring will give you experience in a relatively safe zone. It will allow you to develop your strengths and improve your weaknesses. While it’s not the same as a street fight by any means, it does afford you chance to gain experience to enhance your knowledge.

Practice in different environments. Practice without moving the furniture out of your way. Wear what you wear in real life instead of your workout clothes. Practice outside in the weather, even if it’s really bad weather.

The more you expose yourself to, the more prepared you be for what fate hands you. Chance favors the prepared mind.

Charles Morgan started his career as a corrections officer at MECC, a level 3 facility, and then transferred to ERDCC, a level 5 facility. He eventually evened out at FCC, a level 3/4 facility. He works for the Missouri Department of Corrections and is currently a trainer.

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