Posted by AG_Admin

Violence of Action

There is a buzzword in the tactical training world: Mindset.  It isn’t new, but as of late it seems to be gaining momentum.  People throw it around like it is a verb, as if mindset in itself will accomplish a task.  They quote, often out of context, ancient samurai and say things like  “…the mind is the weapon; all else is supplemental”.  Frankly, I don’t agree.

Make no mistake about it, mindset is important.  Having mentally prepared to win and visualized success is a proven successful aid in winning.  It’s utilized by professional athletes and combatants alike.  It certainly enhances ability.  It is not, and never will be, a substitute for technical or tactical ability.

I can sit here at my desk and visualize running an El Prez for hours.  I can “Bullet Proof” my mind and remove any notion of failure, convince myself with absolute certainty that I am the fastest worker of a plate rack on Earth, only to step onto a range with Jerry Barnhart and get burned down.  Conversely, I am fairly certain Jerry could have spent most of the night before in a bar, be dumped out of a cab at the range, have a pistol thrust into his hand and shoot cold and still beat me in-spite of his lack of mental preparedness.  You see, at the end of the day mindset does not replace technical ability.

Another example, and one I saw often in combat, was the performance of Jihadis in ambushes.  The Jihadi is a zealot…he believes he is waging a war on God’s behest.  He may have attended a Madrasa in Pakistan where he didn’t learn to read or write anything about science or art, instead just a Jihadist Wahhabist interpretation of the Koran.  In his mind he is the Right Arm of God.  That is a pretty stout mindset.  He can’t imagine losing.  When he encounters American or NATO Forces he exhibits magnificent volume of fire and violence of action, at times willing to blow himself up to kill his enemy or create a breach.  And most often he fails.  Violence of action isn’t enough.  By itself it isn’t the answer.  Without technical and tactical ability, mindset really doesn’t accomplish very much.

Unfortunately, mindset has become the Lazy Keyboard Commando’s way of convincing himself he doesn’t need to put in work on building competence.  He feels he is better off buying a new widget than taking a class or buying a case of ammo to train with.  After all, he has read everything his gurus have ever written, studied the works of Musashi, he has several thousand post on several gun forums, and he has visualized exactly what he will do when that day comes and he is required to use force to protect himself or a loved one. He has mindset! What he lacks, unfortunately, is the technical ability and competence to perform under stress.  He lacks the tactical ability to know what techniques he read on the net will actually work for him and which are mostly just good for selling DVDs.

Simply put, he will likely fail not because he hasn’t prepared his psyche, but because he has failed to prepare physically and failed to learn.  Mindset is not a verb. It will not get an attacker off your chest. It will not protect you from his knife, club, or bullet. It will not teach you how to reload under pressure or clear a malfunction under fire.  I believe in the power of violence of action.  That shit works.  Unfortunately, when it isn’t coupled with an equivalent amount of ability it doesn’t work nearly as well.

Train. Learn to be a competent combatant.  Match your skills to your mindset.


“Luck is the last dying wish of those who wanna believe that winning can happen by accident, sweat on the other hand is for those who know its a choice so decide now because destiny waits for no man. When your time comes and a thousand different voices are trying to tell you you’re not ready for it listen instead to that lone voice of dissent, the one that says you are ready, you are prepared, it’s all up to you now.” – The Grind

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