No styles, no systems, no rituals, no lineages, no masters, no labels, no belts, no katas, no uniforms, no dogmas;

Only the process of self actualization & personal expression of truth through functional combative movement and fitness.

On a purely physical level, we share how to individually and collectively use all of our natural tools as well as extended ones, offensively and defensively in a strategic and tactical manner and in all ranges of combat.

We're put through functional physical fitness training where we learn to push ourselves through our own perceived limitations. We also have much to offer on nutrition, health and optimum performance.

On a more cerebral level we learn about the psychology of violence, fear, stress & confrontation management skills, deescalation strategies and holistic survival tactics.

As the mind navigates the body; by challenging personal self defense dogmas and individual & core belief systems, personal growth and evolution occurs.

On a human level, we learn about the ripple effect and the moral, legal, and ethical consequences of our chosen actions while self examining our darkest emotions. We are encouraged to question everything, to learn to think for ourselves, to be more accountable and research everything we learn and to be open and responsive to life without judgment.

On a personal level, the training can make you face and slay your own demons.

Everything shared here is highly encouraged to be individually researched, to “absorb what is useful, add what is specifically of your own and disregard the rest.”

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Condition Black: Fear it. Love it!

The professional ( Law Enforcement, Military and related fields ) and highly trained readers can skip the next four paragraphs.  You've heard this before.  For everyone else, I'd like to discuss an extremely important, but often overlooked ( by 'self defense' instructors ) aspect of personal protection: your mindset.

    Lt. Colonel Jeff Cooper ( veteran of two wars and a legend in the tactical pistol world ) assigned color codes to the different conditions your mind can be in.  Condition white is where, sadly, most people spend way too much time.  'White' is defined as unaware.  Completely oblivious to the surroundings.  Being in condition white allows you to be surprised by a predator, and thus an easy mark. Make no mistake, two legged predators can spot someone in condition white a mile away.  Unless you're asleep you shouldn't be in condition white.  Instead........

    Your waking hours should be spent in condition yellow.  When you are in 'yellow' you are aware of what's going on around in you immediate environment.  Your eyes are up and scanning, not glued to your smart phone.  Your ears are listening for sounds that are JNR ( Just Not Right ), not ready to bleed due to the volume of your music.  'Yellow' is not paranoid, it's just aware.  The mind is actively seeking, and willing to accept information that may indicate a threat to your safety.  If a possible threat is detected......

    Now the mind should shift into condition orange.  In 'orange' you acknowledge you most likely have a problem on your hands, and now it's time to gather more information to solve it, preferably by avoidance.  It really shouldn't take too much to force the switch from 'yellow' to 'orange'.  You just returned home and you find your front door closed but not locked, and you know you locked it.  That same car has been following you for miles, despite several turns.  The snap of a twig coming from the woods twenty feet from where you parked.  The motion light by the garage keeps going on, and your little dog is pacing, looking at the door.  You can smell cigarette smoke as you approach your car in the deserted parking garage, but don't see anyone.  All these little things, that you might have missed in condition white, can indicate a problem and warrant switching to 'orange', and then perhaps........

    Red.  Condition red.  It's ON!  Fight or flight.  It's time to go primal.  Despite your best efforts to solve the problem by avoidance, a predator made his intent clear.  You're been grabbed, struck, stabbed..... it doesn't matter.  Stay in condition red until you've subdued the attacker or ran to safety.  In 'red' you stay mentally aggressive and willing to do whatever you need to.   This will help you avoid.......

    Condition bla..........wait.  Are the professionals back with us?  Yes?  Good.  Condition black.  This a state that is seldom discussed, but it should be.  'Black' is panic.  'Black' is brain freeze.  'Black' prevents any usable or meaningful action due to sensory overload.  The overload could be from surprise, fear, pain, trauma (even the perception of trauma, whether or not it's actually happened ) or a combination of all these factors.  If you fall into condition black you're going to lose.  Period.

    So how do we avoid condition black.  First and foremost, by living in condition yellow.  Doing so greatly reduces you risk of being surprised by an attacker.  Surprise breeds panic.  Another way to avoid 'black' is to focus on the task at hand.  If you're fighting for your life concentrate on delivering trauma to your attacker.  This will help you ignore any damage you may be receiving.

    I titled this post 'Condition Black: Fear it. Love it.'  So where's the love?  Here's the good news; putting your attacker in condition black is relatively easy. All you need to do is apply the shred.  Attacking the primary targets causes the brain to slip into panic mode.  The attacker will not be able to focus on you anymore.  His only goal will be to protect those primaries.  Human psychology and physiology ensure that.  The predator just became the prey, and it happened in a fraction of a second.  It happened by surprise, which as previously discussed, adds to his panic.  He is now lost in condition black and he's lost the fight.  Do what you must, then flee to safety ( or in the case of LEOs: control and arrest ). Easy to love condition black when you're the one exploiting it, no?

    Never in white.  Live in yellow.  Understand orange.  Use red if need be.  Avoid black for yourself, but be sure to introduce it to your attacker.

Remember: when in red, use the shred!!

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