Internal Conflict – the fight before the fight

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It’s time to get into a very scary place – inside your own mind.

Because that’s where the real fight takes place. It’s time to clear away some of the cobwebs hanging around in your cranium and take a fresh perspective.

Now I don’t want to get too technical, but my research uncovered something extremely important – a thing called “cognitive dissonance”. This is nothing but a fancy way to say that a person’s actual beliefs don’t match up with their actions.

This can cause extreme discomfort and indecision – something you don’t want rattling around in your head during a fight. To win, you must be clear-headed, know exactly what to do, and then do it with decisive action. You can’t afford to be “working things out” inside your head while facing down an adversary.

Internal Conflicts:

Let’s begin to change some beliefs that you may be hanging onto – and may ultimately hurt you. Some of these beliefs are nothing but simplistic myths instilled in us as young boys – yet we still hang onto them as grown men.

Here are four of the most common examples — although I’m sure as you examine your beliefs, you’ll come up with plenty more. I’m avoiding the sugar coating here – and you should do the same with yourself. Because hanging onto baggage and childish notions will result in deadly hesitation in the heat of battle. Let’s take a look:

1.John Wayne Syndrome – a “real man” never backs down.

Now, there are people who actually live to fight. In my 18-years of research I’ve met plenty of them – and I can positively say that spending any kind of time with them means that they’ll be continually looking to you for “back-up”. If you want to be friends with this type of guy then you’d better be prepared to take many trips to the hospital and jail. They will break into their own version of “West Side Story” at the slightest indication of insult or reproach. These guys actually believe that a real man never backs down — and his actions match his belief. I may not happen to agree with his notions, but the man acts on his beliefs. There is NO internal conflict here.

On the other hand, if you’re not one of these “fight-at-the-drop-of-a-hat” guys, and yet you still believe that a “real man” never backs down – then you’ve got a problem. You must try to match up your beliefs with your actions.

That doesn’t mean I’m suggesting you start fighting more. No. It means I’m suggesting that you re-evaluate your beliefs.

Here’s something that may help. Do mental exercises of situations in which you would and would not fight. For example, a freeway driver flips you the bird. Now, if you subscribe to the John Wayne Syndrome, you’d pull your car off of the road and fight – no matter if the guy is twice your size and wearing a “Hell’s Angels” jacket. You’re belief system demands that you duke it out right there on the side of the freeway.

If this is what you’d really do, then fine, your actions really do match your beliefs. Like I said, no internal conflict here. But, if your actions would be different, then you must be honest with yourself up front – before that scene plays itself out – and come to grips that maybe you really don’t believe that a real man “never” backs down.

The key here is an honest mental evaluation of the differences in your fantasies versus what you’d really do down here on planet earth. It will save you a lot of mental torture.

Here’s a real life example. I personally received a call from one Fight-Fast customer who suffered mental anguish because he backed down from a fight, despite watching many self-defense Fight-Fast videos and feeling that he was a well trained fighter.

Now, I personally believe he did the right thing – and I told him that. Nobody went to jail, the hospital, or the morgue. His opponent was a stranger and there was almost certainly no chance he’d ever see him again. The outcome of that confrontation turned out better than he could expect.

But, because somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind he hung onto this foolish notion that “real men don’t back down” – this guy suffered a lot of grief and sleepless nights. He simply never had done an honest evaluation of his own personal beliefs.

Here’s another way to think about this. Let’s say that the President of the United States– while whizzing by in his motorcade — is insulted and challenged by an angry citizen. Should the president really get out of his car and fight this guy? Should he feel ashamed for not doing so? According to the John Wayne Syndrome believer, the answer should be a resounding “yes”.

Now this example is obviously ridiculous only to make a point. Sit down and come to grips with your own beliefs beforehand – it’ll save you from making a stupid decision or the agony of dealing with internal conflict.

2.Never Hit First – Another notion from childhood – because what’s the first thing that your dad or a teacher asked you after a fight? Wasn’t it “who hit who first?”

Well research proves that hitting first means you’ve got a damn good chance to win the fight. You’ve initiated surprise, dismay, got the guy back on his heels, and have an excellent opportunity to keep up the pressure until you can end the threat. Everything you want.

Oh… but wait… that’s right… you can’t hit first. Teacher said so.

It’s time to grow up and get away from this kind of thinking – it’s just plain dangerous.

Let’s forget fist-fighting for a second and think about it as a gun fight. Would you allow an armed opponent the first shot? I sure hope not. Same goes with hand-to-hand combat. Do NOT freely give away your main advantage because of some misguided idea.

3.Fair Fight – This is more common than you’d imagine. Stuff like don’t hit a guy with glasses… no hair pulling… no biting… no eye gouging… and so on. If you actually believe this, you need to add one more to the list… no fighting.

It’s like the British officers who were so disgusted with the way “unchivalrous” American colonials fought. Those savages actually “unfairly” shot at them from behind trees and bushes. How uncouth.

Let me be clear… in a fight you want an unfair advantage. You never want to purposely give away anything that may give your adversary the edge.

In one of the videotaped street fights I researched, there was a young man who had his face nearly bit off in a vicious attack. He kept screaming out “no fair… he’s biting… he’s biting…”

I still get shivers thinking about that poor kid.

I only hope you will not be as naïve. You must assume that your adversary will do anything – and that he plays by NO rules. I know it’s an ugly thought, but you must treat every fight like it’s a life or death battle. The idea that you can somehow remain a “gentleman” puts you in an extremely vulnerable position.

4.Fight Your Fear – Fear is information; it’s not to be controlled or eliminated and is certainly not your enemy. Acting in spite of your fear is something called “courage”.

I’ve see too many “fight systems” that talk about “getting rid of fear”. Wrong-o. Understand that fear itself is a healthy emotion that’s protecting you.

You’d probably agree that being fearful of walking on the edge of a cliff is a fairly natural emotion to have – especially knowing that the “Bob Peirce’s One-Touch Death Move” is out there. It’s simply your body’s way of protecting you.

The idea that you need to get rid of it is foolish, and will either result in “brain freeze” or will simply put you in greater danger. The key is to “listen” to fear rather than deny it or attempt to suppress it.

Use fear as a way to trigger “external focus” – the key to avoiding “brain freeze” or the deer in headlights phenomena. You can’t afford to stand there drooling while waiting to “snap out of it”. I’ve got a whole section on this external focus technique in an upcoming chapter. It’s one of the most powerful ways to taking the fight to your adversary, and winning.

Okay… let’s conclude this “internal conflict” stuff for now. Use what you’ve learned to do some serious self-analyzing. Discover “gray areas” and where your indecision lies. Because with just 3-8 seconds to win a fight, indecision and hesitation can mean the difference between prevailing (and walking away), or taking that losers ride to the hospital… or worse… the morgue.

How’s that for positive ending?

Learn how to settle your internal conflicts and get yourself in the right mental attitude to defend yourself by enrolling at Tring Krav Maga now or call 0845 094 8805

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