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Israeli Tactical Krav Maga

What is mental training all about? Why is it so important in combat?

? It takes more than a well-prepared body and a proper technique to survive a direct physical confrontation – a real, brutal fight. I’ll say even more – more important than physics and technique is mental preparation—an appropriate level of aggression and determination, the release of the beast mode – unlimited but controlled.

? When undertaking a fight, we must be ready not only for failure and taking the pain that accompanies it – but also for giving pain. In direct, brutal combat, there can only be one winner – that is, the one who stands on his feet at the end of the battle.

I will use Rocky Balboa’s words to illustrate this:
“To beat me up, he’s gonna have to kill me. And to kill me, he’ll have to have the heart to stand in front of me. And to do that, he has to want to die himself. I don’t know if he’s ready for this. I do not know.”

The aggression I’m talking about is not the will to fight. This is not wanting to hurt others for no reason – it is not an outright provocation. Fighting is not the result of our aggression – the aggression is the result of the fight into which we are drawn. For our purposes, let’s define aggression as a desire to return to home and family, as the wish to defend ourselves through fighting, fighting until we are safe.

Aggression is a tool that cannot be seen. ?

It will only appear when there is a physical confrontation.
Aggression is hardly ever accidental – aggressors usually choose weaker victims, many do not expect their target to fight. They think that they outweigh their victims in aggression and determination – and that is why you need to show through your actions, movements, screams and words that you are more “crazy” than your oppressor. Also, do not underestimate the effect of shouting, growling, grunting, or giving loud commands. Learn to apply them, find instructors who introduce such elements of mental training into hand-to-hand combat or self-defense training. It will allow you to increase your aggression and determination. Aggression and determination are the driving forces of your defense, i.e. physical actions aimed at defending against an unjustified attack.

? How to train to be more aggressive in combat?
First of all, find an instructor who knows how to use exercises for determination, exercises that increase the level of aggression, and training visualization. Contrary to appearances, these are not simple elements.

When talking to hand-to-hand combat or self-defense instructors, most assure me that – of course, they know what visualization is – but when we go into details, it turns out that their level of knowledge is limited to the word “visualization” itself. So they just create an image of the threat in your head. And it is not only about the image – but about the use of all senses – taste, smell and hearing. Imagine the taste of blood in the mouth after hitting the teeth. Think of the smell of blood or the aggressor. Focus on the sound that accompanies the fight, the sound of the environment, and the emotions of fear. Ask the instructor a question and listen to the answer – will you know if he knows what he is doing? Is he just improvising?

Is it possible to train combat or self-defense without these elements? You can. But the effectiveness of training is much lower, and the time we have to spend on training is much longer. And isn’t time precisely what we all lack today?

? In addition to purely physical training, alertness and situational awareness are also very important. If you don’t like something, if you are concerned about a guy, you need to:
✔ walk away (create distance),
✔ stay vigilant and start recreating scenarios in your head. Example? “If that guy makes a move towards me, I’m going to x-y-z and looking for a way out.”

Be prepared! And when it comes to fighting – be ruthless, aggressive and determined until you solve the situation. But don’t do more harm than necessary!

? Also remember that being aggressive in training requires your partner to have the same training goal, the same determination. Because your partner also needs to be ready to receive and inflict pain (in a sensible and controlled manner). He has to be ready to yell at him, insult him and humiliate him sometimes because that’s the price of good training – training that can save your life.

Ask yourself, do you want to recreate self-defense training with a team that does it for fun and losing your beer belly, or do you want to take it seriously? There are no bad choices. Everyone has the right to do what they like. But make sure the people you train with are on the same deck as you and are going in the same direction. Otherwise, you are wasting your time and money. Hopefully not your life when danger will apear.

Good luck! ?

Mateusz Orczykowski

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