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Self Defence NJ: Developing The Survival Mindset To Protect Yourself In A Violent Encounter

In a world where unexpected dangers can arise, developing a survival mindset is crucial to ensuring your safety in violent encounters. Whether it's a potential threat on the street or an unforeseen crisis, having the mental tools to react effectively can make all the difference.

Self Defence NJ: Developing The Survival Mindset To Protect Yourself In A Violent Encounter
Self Defence NJ: Developing The Survival Mindset To Protect Yourself In A Violent Encounter

The survival mindset involves a combination of awareness, preparation, and decisive action that empowers individuals to protect themselves and those around them. In this article, we will explore the key components of developing a survival mindset to navigate violent encounters.

There is a great deal of education centered around self-defense training about skillsets however without the right Mindset you may not have an opportunity to use your resources and assets.

Mindset is the single most important element of self-preservation.

How Important is Self Defense Mindset

Across the fragmented self-defense industry, unilaterally instructors find mindset the number 1 element to survive violence.

Mindset is the foundation we build all of our skills on. You can possess the best techniques and be armed to the teeth, but without the correct mindset, they may be useless.

History is littered with the conflicts between more technologically advanced armies losing to barbaric hordes because of the disparity of mindset.

Proper intent is more important than proper technique. Your belief in what you are doing and why you doing it is more important than how you are going to get it done.

We spend so much time training and tooling up. Some of that time must be dedicated to calibrating our mindset.

What is a Proper Self Defense Mindset?

A proper self-defense mindset is best described by the thoughts that are centered around the emotions that are flowing during a violent encounter.

The definition of mindset is the establishment of a set of attitudes held by someone. In the context, we are using it also includes the readiness to take action and win at any cost.

Joe Saunder does a nice job describing as:

  • The indignant rage that fills you when you realize that someone is trying to hurt you.

  • This is the fury that engulfs a mother when she finds someone attempting to harm her child.

  • The outright refusal to be a victim that empowers an 80lb high school girl to kick a 200lb male off her.

  • It is the terror and animalistic ferocity that lets a 6-year-old bite the face of a kidnapper and run for help.

Without the proper mindset, all of our elements will be missing a necessary ingredient. The proper mindset will be the fuel for your engine that drives your motivation.

You must train yourself to allow you to tap into your killer instinct. You need push-button access to a controlled explosion of rage so you can use neutralize the threat.

If you attempted to escape, evade, de-escalating, and you have no more choices. You must have complete commitment and intention on your part.

In self-defense of violent encounters, half measures do not give you half, they give you nothing.

"Self defense is not just a set of techniques; it’s a state of mind, and it begins with the belief that you are worth defending." - Rorion Gracie

How Big Is Your Why?

To put up the fight of your life you need to believe that you are of value. Some individuals have no problem with this concept.

For others, ask them to hurt someone else is unnatural. They would rather allow themselves to be hurt than hurt their attacker.

Even when they are being attacked by a violent predator. For them, simply defending themselves is not enough.

They can bear the idea of hurting someone. Perhaps they see this as a sense of sacrifice without seeing the complete picture.

Why should you attack the person that is attacking you? Finding a big enough why will enable you to do things you never thought you could or would.

  • I am important to my loved ones!

  • I am worth protecting!

  • There are people that depend on me!

  • I am too important to lose. Too many people depend on me!

This may be the hardest step for some. Too many people give it lip service. You must believe it in your gut. You must have no reservations so you can intellectualize what you need to do next. Here is some prominent figures' view on self-defense.

  • "The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • "The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals." - James Monroe

  • "Self-defense is not only our right; it is our duty." - Ronald Reagan

  • "For every idealistic peacemaker willing to renounce his self-defense in favour of a weapons-free world, there is at least one warmaker anxious to exploit the other’s good intentions." - Margaret Thatcher

  • "There’s only one basic principle of self-defense. You must apply the most effective weapon, as soon as possible, to the most vulnerable target.” - Bruce Lee


Develop Emotional Control

The above quote has an important dual meaning. Control is defined as a means or power to influence or direct behavior or the course of events.

Loss of emotional control can lead to overreacted or underreacting and both have harsh consequences.

You must remain objective and not let people anger you. If someone can anger you they control you and draw you into situations of their choosing.

Worse, in your day to day life, you will suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you.

True power is sitting back and observing things with magic. True power is restraint. If words control you that means everyone else can control you.

The overlooked meaning is the ability to direct or emotions. In the context, we are discussing is the ability to unleash the bad wolf at a particular moment and reign it back in when needed.

Develop GRIT

Angela Lee Duckworth Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania groundbreaking research on the discovery of her theory of "grit" as a predictor of success.

An element of GRIT is the ability to psychology manage fear. Gritty people manage fear and manage it as part of a process. They recognize that the vulnerability of determination is imperative for victory. No matter you survive.

We need to anticipate unrestrained brutality without remorse Ed Calderon

A technique to manage fear used by people in the underworld, one they themselves do not know their practicing, is desensitization through exposure. Being around violence develops the thick skin to manage fear.

Exposure can range from spending time with hoodrats all the way to exposure to violence and brutality in online videos. Both will bring various degrees of fear resilience.

Using Preparation and An Adaptation To Change To Adrenalinize Your Mindset

Preparation and adaptation to change are powerful antidotes to fear. When we prepare ourselves by gathering knowledge, honing skills, and formulating well-structured plans, we arm ourselves with a sense of control and confidence. This readiness diminishes the fear of the unknown, as we feel equipped to tackle challenges head-on.

Additionally, the art of adaptation instills in us a mindset of resilience and flexibility. By embracing change as an opportunity for growth, we shift our perspective from apprehension to excitement. The more we engage with change, learn from it, and creatively adapt, the more we build a track record of successful navigation through uncertainty.

As a result, fear gradually gives way to a sense of empowerment, where we perceive change not as a threat, but as a catalyst for personal and collective progress.

Adaptation is the dynamic process of adjusting to change in real-time. It involves flexibility, open-mindedness, and the willingness to embrace new approaches. Effective adaptation enables individuals and organizations to turn change into an opportunity for growth and innovation.

Preparation lays the groundwork for effectively managing change. It involves acquiring knowledge, developing skills, and creating plans that provide a solid framework for tackling challenges. A well-prepared individual or organization is equipped to handle unforeseen circumstances, making the process of adaptation smoother and more effective.

Developing a survival mindset is an ongoing process that requires dedication, practice, and a commitment to personal safety. By prioritizing situational awareness, preparedness, training, and decisive action, you can enhance your ability to protect yourself and those around you in violent encounters.

Remember that a survival mindset is not about living in fear, but about empowering yourself with the skills and mindset needed to navigate dangerous situations with confidence and resilience.

Violence Prevention and Conflict Management Resources

The Center for Violence Prevention and Self-Defense Training (CVPSD) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing evidence-based training in violence prevention and self-defense. With a focus on unbiased program development, CVPSD offers customized programs to individuals and organizations, equipping them with the tools to enhance personal safety and contribute to violence prevention in their communities. The Center reaches individuals and communities through partnerships with schools and other nonprofits, community groups, as well as classes for the public.


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