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Do You Have Bad Intentions?

Jim West was recently at our studio to provide some expert instruction on a few new weapon projects. As expected we had a great time. Jim has a way of tossing out nuggets of combat wisdom in passing that really stick with you. Here’s one thing he brought up that many of us don’t give enough thought to:

“Bad Intentions”

Jim pointed out that in a life or death self-defense situation, you MUST have bad intentions. If you aren’t mentally prepared to hurt your attacker, you are much less likely to survive. The survival mindset is an aggressive one.

For Jim, it’s about flipping the switch from polite citizen to “ass kicking” mode as quickly as possible.

How fast can you make the switch? Seriously, think about that for a minute…

Most of us grew up being told we have to be kind to others… and we should. Most of us were scolded for hitting others at a young age… also a good thing. Because of our parent’s strong values and guidance we developed into respectful, and kind citizens.

Here’s where the problem comes in. If kindness and respect are your norm, how do you “flip the switch?”

For some, it’s very difficult and can take a second or two. For others, they never can make the switch.

Why is it so difficult for us? We are conditioned to be non-violent. Criminals expect good victims, and for the most part, people are. The criminal’s instinct is to take what they want through intimidation, deception, and violence. Ours is to earn what we want through honest hard work.

In the critical few moments leading up to physical contact, most of us are looking for ways to de-escalate the situation, or are simply paralyzed by fear (or an ingrained hesitancy to hurt another human being). All this works to the criminal’s advantage.

You must be proactive.

If you wait for a life threatening situation to decide what to do, you are leaving too much up to chance.

You must decide ahead of time where your “line in the sand” is. And if it’s crossed, how far will you go?

  • How dirty will you fight?
  • Are you out for blood?
  • Will you wait to be hit first?

Those are questions only you can answer.

I’m not suggesting you fly off the handle at the slightest chance of a conflict. But when trouble comes knocking, you’d better be mentally prepared to take care of the problem and resolve yourself to do what you think is necessary.

Keep in mind hundreds, if not thousands of people have been killed with just one punch. So for me, in the street, there are no “little scuffles.” This isn’t the play ground. A grown man trying to hit me IS life threatening, every time.

When you engage you must truly intend on hurting the person. You can’t fake it.

Aggression and self-preservation are basic animal instincts. Use them.

If you are simply defending (as in, only using defensive moves) your attacker will likely keep at it, until he has worn you down. Your “defense” has to hurt him. It must have those bad intentions.

With the exception of a skilled counter-fighter, aggressors control the encounter. If you willingly let the attacker maintain his role as leader in the encounter you are leaving too much up to chance. Hoping he’ll give up, hoping somebody will come to the rescue, hoping he won’t hurt you too bad, or hoping he’ll leave your family alone.

Don’t hope… ACT.

We’ve talked about mindset before and this won’t be the last time we talk about it. But I think Jim West has a unique and valuable way of looking at this issue, that may resonate in a different way than some of our previous articles.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts.

For a safe life…

Dean Horine, Special Projects
FightFast/TRS

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417 thoughts on “Do You Have Bad Intentions?”

  1. Having a mind-set before any thing can happen to me or to loved ones is a mind-set I do every where I go. I must be aware of my surroundings, the people I walk by, the mobile traffic – both directions, and people coming out of alley ways plus on the street corner, yet I still want to glance backwards. This is my every day! Hello, I’m in full agreement. Best, always, Marvin Maddess.

  2. I agree completely,when in law enforcement years ago,in a large county jail,having this mind set saved me from being hurt numerous times,getting mad,losing my temper,getting off first and faster is a mind set you have to decide on before your in the “shit”.

  3. Love seeing that someone else out there understands about being polite and being professional and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
    I started self defense when I was 8 years old after 3 of my class mates bullied me and my friend down at the swimming hole that all us country kids went to. They were smoking cigarettes and acting big and trying to burn me when I was going to jump 10 feet into the 6 foot deep creek.
    They did that to make me jump and not letting me back over the railing. (You where a man if you couldn’t jump into the 6 foot deep water off of Michael Bridge dairy farm).
    My friend stood up for me and he got a bloody nose, from one of them then we jumped our bikes to ride the one mile home.
    I’ll never forgot that and 8 years later a POS bullied him when he was sick and going to his grandmas house after basketball practice
    My father showed me how to break wrists, ankles, forearms, knew cap, and legs from a WWII hand to hand combat.
    I was enlisted into wrestling at that time and spent 11 years in that combative form. Since that time I trained in many MMA.

  4. When I am threatened I naturally become aggressive. Even though I’m not a large person I will respond with all I am capable of and with any tool at my disposal. Good information for for survival.

  5. It tends to make me nervous I’ve seen a side of me that was like that at a very young age and didn’t want myself to be that person anymore now I have fear gripped around me not only because I have no fighting experience but because of what I did long ago I know the fight is coming soon but not only me but people there at that time are afraid I may not know what I am doing and seriously hurt that person beyond what was necessary and that other side of me well that time was enjoyed and I fear that the most.

  6. I have always been a person who goes out of my way to respect and help people and I am a person of small stature. As such my mindset flips to the extreme when my attempts to neutralize are ignored and I am confronted with unrelenting danger because I then view that opponent as pure evil. (I am a Vietnam Vet and trained in Karate while stationed in Okinawa)

  7. I have never been in a “fair” fight!!!Everyone wants an advantage over an opponent. I am not a big person, but will fight with every means available to protect myself, and if you don’t, you will not survive!!!

  8. I don’t think any of us wants to look like the aggressor. However, neither do we want to get our asses kicked, so unless we know the guy is probably going to try and hurt us we have to go on the offensive before he can do that. So part of us has to make a judgement call in possibly
    no time at all. I 5think the training Fight Fast is sharing with us is giving us a very good advantage. I’ve learned prior to F.F. by having been in a few fights, but none of them life threatening. F.F. has helped me in changing my thinking and taught me how to handle myself better.
    I,m 79 now and will probably never have to use it, but the training has given me a higher degree of confidence if I am in that kind of situation.

    Keep up the good work.

    BW

  9. I agree 100%. Those of us with a Martial Arts background will be a little better prepared than someone possessing no skills or experience. However, just as it is recommended that one never presents a weapon that they are not prepared to use, anyone possessing skills involving hands and feet must be prepared to use them in defence of their safety or the safety of others. Fortunately, the average potential attacker didn’t bother to learn any skills – so his aggressive attitude should be his undoing.

    Great stuff, Bob! Keep up the good work!

  10. I’ve waited a long time for someone to come out and say that ! Fighting,any fight is never nice,it’s dirty,and people ARE trying to hurt you,so this is refreshing,keep up the good work my friend,let people know !

  11. If and when it comes down to it I will fight with the mind set as to hurt or kill so I can protect myself and my family I will not play fair and will do what ever it takes

  12. I think this is key in surviving a confrontation that mite become deadly. I am not a large scary man 5foot 5 165 pounds i must hurt someone in order to get them to stop it has never bin hard to do this for me but we are not taught to act this way. A person must commit , violance of action has to be your mind set

  13. Awesome advice. I love this app
    At 73 yet healthy I reall appreciate the articles
    Any advice for armed alert senior citizens would be good.

  14. Very insightful.

    In the few confrontations I have had I recall hesitating, in one instance another driver who came out of his car bla bla bla, in the end I was wanting him to leave but it got physical. Once he knocked me on the head I grabbed both wrists and he could not get away (I have some limited martial arts). At this point a wide range of techniques came to mind and as he was struggling I was ready to break bones and put him down… here’s the kicker: I worried whether he had kids and would be prevented from earning a living because of me… Ta Daaaah!!! end of fight… I let him go and he left right away and so did I… we were in the middle of the street, many witnesses, and I would of course been seen as the aggressor because this idiot was trying to get away and I would have hurt him severely…

    In hindsight, a) I won’t get out of the vehicle, b) if I am being pursued/stalked, I need to not think once I have the upper hand or think I do, I need to put them down immediately … then I can think of consequences.

    Those moments of thought could have been fatal if the other guy had that intent and not in front of witnesses.

    I am afraid of being hurt, but I’ll be damned when I recall instances where my greatest fear is harming someone else…

    (gotta learn how to take out a whole limb without a weapon… :o) …)

  15. Good comments, Dean… I agree with most of what you’re saying. I’ve had enough training to know that street assault is no game. I’m kind of an old guy, so I am aware that allowing an adult male to strike me might mean curtains. I am perfectly willing to strike first, and “neutralize” my assailant.., whatever that may entail. I still feel some religious/ethical reluctance to get wrapped up in the negative energy of constantly preparing to really f*ck someone up. I want to be able to deal with the situation, but I don’t really want to become the “steely-eyed killer” of some of your advertising. On a practical level I wouldn’t want the cops/court to see me as some kind of ninja assassin.

  16. Do you just give them what they want to deescalate the confrontation, be it a wallet or your recent purchase in a bag? Do you refuse to give them what they want? Do you just jump right in and kick ass? I have fortuantlly not been in a situation like this. I am a pretty lg person and I guess I look rather intimidating but a gun or a knife ginda evens all that out. How do you evaluate a situation?

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