PURPOSE, FEAR AND MINDSET
Black Belt|August/September 2021
WHEN THE SUBJECT OF SELF-DEFENSE COMES UP, THE AVERAGE PERSON GENERALLY THINKS OF THE PHYSICAL TECHNIQUES AND TACTICS THAT ARE INVOLVED. WHEN I COME ACROSS SUCH A PERSON AND GET AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE SOME KNOWLEDGE ABOUT REAL SELF-DEFENSE, I USUALLY START BY INFORMING HIM OR HER THAT SOME IMPORTANT PREREQUISITES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED BEFORE DELVING INTO THE PHYSICAL ARENA.
LITO ANGELES

That said, there are many aspects in this realm, but as the saying goes, “The best way to teach someone nothing is to show him everything” — especially at the beginning of the person’s journey. So instead of bombarding you with a ton of nuanced knowledge at the get-go, which likely would discourage you from wanting to learn more about self-defense, it will be more productive to begin with a few core concepts and explain them as clearly as possible.

In keeping with that theme, I’ll cover the first three elements that form the foundation of real self-defense, which is mental preparation. Without this crucial component firmly in place, everything else you learn will be prone to failure. Those three elements are purpose, fear and mindset.

What’s meant by “purpose” in the context of self-defense? For the answer, consider why you became interested in studying self-defense in the first place, the factor that motivated you to pursue this challenging endeavor. To illustrate the potential depth of this line of inquiry, I’ll use myself as an example.

My passion for self-defense emanates from 1) having a strong drive to develop exceptional capabilities and constantly improve them so I’m prepared at all times to verbally and physically defend myself and/or others from criminal actions that could cause injury or death; 2) being my favorite way to physically express myself in movement and exercise for the purposes of physical fitness and well-being; and 3) enjoying the pursuit of mastery of this subject matter as a vehicle for self-development.

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