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On Mental Attitude

by Peyton Quinn


Someone recently asked me to cite the 12 things I thought were most important in understanding the correct mental attitude to have in a self-defense situation. Here's my answer.

1) "Trust your gut." If you have any doubt, then there is no doubt - something ain't right.

2) Perfect intention is more powerful than perfect technique. If you have the perfect intention to defeat the enemy, then it is at least possible to defeat any enemy. But if not, then not.

3) Resolve that you are worth fighting for. You are also too valuable a person to allow yourself to die, or to be injured or crippled stupidly. Either you are in control of yourself or someone else is.

4) Do not deny the enemy's presence, nor his posturing or threats. Your denial will not make him go away, but will encourage him that he has found his proper victim. He searches not for a fight, but only for a victim. Therefore, do not appear to be his "game species.

5) Never pause in combat for any reason, neither to judge your injuries or your enemy's. Never stop fighting except to effect a sure escape or because the enemy is clearly no longer any possible danger to you.

6) Never allow yourself to be provoked or to accept the challenge to fight. To do so is to allow the enemy to choose the time and place of the battle.

7) Man is the "tool user" and thus weapons are the first choice for combat. Weapons are always available to the alert "martial mind," even if they are not carried on your person. Your best weapon is always your brain and correct mindset. But a tire iron, flashlight, knife or gun, sometimes the hard steel of a, parked car, your car keys themselves Or even a broomstick can be the" tool at hand." Yet, first You must put that tool in your hand. But before you can even do that, you must put it in your mind.

8) Your first and often greatest enemy always lies within yourself. In any of life's activities this is true, but in combat it is the world. There is seldom time to recognize and dissolve this inner enemy in combat. Hence, you must do so before you first meet the external enemy. Face your fear and let it go, if you can. Then, when and if you meet the external enemy, you may see that he himself has failed to do this. Thus, he still carries his most formidable enemy within him; thus, you have almost already won.

9) The essence of clarity is found in doing just one thing at a time and only that thing at that time. This is why combat can be so enlightening to the mind, since it absolutely forces this condition upon us. it also purges our subconscious denial of our own mortality. If we learn the ways of fighting, then we can learn the ways of mankind. In this way, the world itself is dearer to us. "You can't beat the river and the mountain don't care''

10) When facing the enemy show no fear, except as a deception in ambushing him. Showing no fear is easier than feeling no fear. You do not want to "feel no fear" any- way because you must make your fear work for you once the battle commences.

I 1) Realize that any physical conflict between two or more human beings always has the potential for homicide. Decide beforehand what values are worth killing or dying for. Then try hard to avoid fighting for anything less than these values. Your car or even your Harley is not truly worth Your killing or dying for. You and your loved ones are.

12) The essence of real world, effective self-defense is simply learning to deal effectively with aggressive and discordant people in a way that avoids violence. To do this we must first understand ourselves and our own internal discords, so that we can recognize them and even exploit them in our enemies. Awareness and avoidance are thus the true arts, and they must and can be perfected almost daily. What one needs in terms of learning physical fighting skills is generally really less important than these arts of Awareness and Avoidance. The few physical skills needed are also much more quickly and easily learned for most.

Colorado's Peyton Quinn is an author, a multi-art black belt and the founder of RMCAT-,,, Mountain Combat Applications Training (RMCAT). He has become internationally renowned as a teacher of teachers for his unique self-defense program, which is based on adrenal stress conditioning and scenario- based training.