I get asked a lot of questions, both in person and email, about life skills and survival skills in the course of everyday life. Since I’m kind of known for the premise of “fighting with what you carry” I am going to start a thread here and contribute every couple of weeks to skills and abilities that support my belief when it comes to fighting. Today’s is important because it is fundamental in your approach to conflict: fight or die.
Not fight or lose, or fight or be disappointed, or fight or go get coffee. Fight or die. That may seem a little strong to most of you but that’s as honest as I can be about it….fight, or die. This foundation is predicated upon a number of things that I will take the time to outline here.
1. Every man and woman is entitled to their freedom, regardless of race, sex, religion, political affiliation, choice of NFL team, etc.
2. No man or woman should take, or attempt to take, another’s freedom.
3. My individual freedom, and that of my family, my loved ones, and those in my care, is worth protecting and defending…even if it means I fight for it. And ultimately if I do choose to fight for it,
4. Fight or die.
Fight or die.
When I train, and more importantly when I teach, I approach the prospect of fighting with a fight or die attitude because I know what is on the line. A lot of training courses, and therefore a lot of trained people, train to an electronic timer standard, or a 5-box score standard, or to a steel plate standard, and they labor under a belief system that it is reinforcing their fighting skills. Fighting reinforces your fighting skills. Shooting steel reinforces your shooting steel skills. I’m not saying there’s not a time or a place for these types of training because what they reinforce, if kept within context, is valid; what I am saying is your mind, which is your greatest single weapon, better be conditioned to know the difference in meeting a PAR score and fighting for your life.
Fight or die.
Firstly, I didn’t choose this fight. In my opinion the single most important fighting skill is the ability to recognize when, where, how and why a fight develops and then make a concerted effort to not be there. Learning to recognized pre-attack indicators, and having the ability to create distance, is key. Recognizing that based upon your current circumstances there exists a possibility, no matter how remote, that a fight may play itself out is your first key to dominating your environment. If there’s no exigent circumstance forcing you to stay and fight, then leave.
But if you stay, and you choose to fight, fight or die. There is no half-way point. Recognize the difference in picking a fight and being picked on. We don’t pick fights, we respond to them, and the most appropriate response is to leave. This may be news to some of you, but normal people don’t get in fights. There is always a back story. Limit your ability through life’s interactions to place yourself in a situation that can, on any level, become violent. I tell myself each and every day that I will keep my head up and on a swivel so I can recognize the situations unfolding around me so I can be better prepared to respond to them…but I do not initiate contact. I do not pick fights. I’ll give a friendly nod and wave, I’ll back out and create distance, and I’ll go my separate way…but if it comes for me, and I cannot go, I will fight or die. I hope you are preparing to do the same.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be discussing some of skill sets that I use to prepare students during the Graham Combat Personal Defense training course, such as: recognizing and avoiding, movement, communication, contact, restraints, fighting with what you carry, and medical skills.
Bookmark this page or subscribe to the RSS feed to the right; I look forward to covering this information with each of you. Shoot fast, hit first. -Matt