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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

Leave A Reply:

467 thoughts on “Do You Have Bad Intentions?”

  1. If aggression and self preservation are basic animal insticts, then it’s true. I MUST be an alien. Haha. Unless I get truly pissed off, or am protecting someone else, I lack aggression. And again, if I’m protecting someone else, my thought process is “I can die as long as they are safe”.

  2. When I was a younger version I could flip the switch in a split second half of the time I try to be ready now that I am old as my children call it but reading this article I realized I still have the ability to do what needs to be done

  3. Thanks again Bob. It really is that way. With most people….me being one of them. It’s hard to switch it on.

  4. Recently got into a fight with my roommate, who kept trying to intimidate me. His abusive behavior towards the children upstairs whom I was mentoring brought on the fight. He had me arrested for allegedly trying to kill him. He was, by the way, tweaking on meth. I was a bloody mess, not my blood either, he filed an order of protection against me. He claimed he wasn’t afraid of me till we got into it, the police kept my clothes as evidence. In Minneapolis, the first one to call police is the victim. I didn’t have a phone, so I got arrested, how stupid is that. He knew this because of my research, and manipulated the courts to protect him. Then with police protection, he robbed me to the tune of over $6,000. When I informed the police of a missing pistol and property, they exclaimed that they didn’t care. Go figure. I’m not a fighter normally, I’m 60 and try to avoid fighting as a rule. If confronted with the same situation again, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, even as costly as it was. As we were fighting, I was yelling at him to stop abusing the children. Thank God I have morals. Now I’ve got to get him put in jail for lying to the judge, for his own good. Hopefully he sobers up. Thanx for assisting in fine tuning my mindset

  5. I don’t and have never liked to flip the switch on someone but have already done so on a couple occasions. First time it messed with my head afterwards. It got a little easier after that but still does a little bit. Afterwards though, not before or during. I can and will do anything I have to for survival.

  6. Enjoyable reading. Long, long ago, I weighed 98 lbs at 5′ 10″ my freshmen year in high school and quickly develop a dislike for bullies. By my senior year, 1 weighed 260, had 18 ” arms and a 50″ chest and actively took on people bullying the weaker kids. I even became a part time bouncer after I left the military, but never let my size determine how I fought. Much of what you show in your videos I used back then naturally and at 70, I still will use them today. I can still take down someone 40 years younger than me with no problem using much of what you show. I look forward to seeing more videos to see if there is something new to add to my bag of skills.

  7. I enjoy the hell out of this fight fast site with the free vids. No expendable income keeps me out of bars and clubs but…You never know when a quick move or two….

  8. Please, more of this. Ability has never been the issue for me, it has always been the will. Deciding where the line is is difficult because where I live it isn’t considered assault until aggressive contact has been made, so by striking first you set yourself up for a very expensive lawsuit and/or jail time, so you almost have to let the aggressor strike first. So far I’ve been lucky, but I’d rather be intentional.

  9. Being a lover rather than a fighter kind of rubs me the wrong way however those who know me(I pity those who don’t) know not to back me in a corner.I will fight if it comes down to it without any mercy with back grounds in martial arts,street fighting in Chicago along with various other tactics such as boxing,kick boxing,wing chun,JKD with a little MMA and BJJ thrown in for good measure.I may be a senior but still remember everything taught me.

  10. It’s a valuable lesson, which means a change of thought, and a decision made in advance.
    In my mind, it’s like being on the borderline of defensive and offensive (ready with an action plan, if needed).

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