The mental aspect of doing bad things to bad people – The Self Defense Company

The mental aspect of doing bad things to bad people

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    • #10604

      The mental aspects of combat. Overcoming fear. The things normal ethical people have to do in brutal situations.

      Phil this topic is a very normal question – how do you bring yourself to harm another human being.

      The thought by itself should cause discomfort. That’s because you’re in a relaxed state, intellectualizing about the violence. As a rational person you should not enjoy the thought of real violence. But when properly motivated good people are capable of some pretty nasty things.

      Before I post more, there are two books you need to get: On Killing and On Combat. You can get them here at

      They’re written by LtCol David Grossman, a psychologist and the foremost authority on violence in the world today.

      The short, short version is we get people to do what is needed to be done through inoperative conditioning. In the SDTS you train to go as hard and as fast as you can once you’ve reached a specific distance and position. We train on “life-like” training dummies to condition ourselves to the sensation of a real fight.

      Then we prepare ourselves Mentally – through a protector mindset.

      I wrote an article called “Killer Instinct” and I’ll probably re-publish it here tomorrow.

      The gist of it is your not a “killer” you’re a “protector”. Same result, completely different attitude.


    • #12690

      Thanks for posting this [Damian Ross] I was just doing some reading on this very subject. We always think about what to do and when to do it. However we really don’t spend much time on the mental aspect of self defense. Btw that is a great way to think “protector mode” and not “killer instinct”

    • #12697
      James Goolsby

      I’m with Archie on this one, [Damian Ross]. It’s much easier when your mindset is that of protector. At the police academy they taught us the we are the “sheepdogs protecting the flock from the wolves.” I’ve really taken that to heart and it makes all the difference when dealing with the public. It really keeps you humble. But it’s also the most exciting part of the job… kinda make you feel like a super hero. LOL

    • #12701
      Young Wang

      Agreed, but to add a more pessimistic outlook to all of this, I say take the time to imagine in graphic detail the consequences of what would happen if you chose to NOT defend yourself and the aftermath that would have on your family and friends that could not only be with you when you are attacked but also whom would be getting THE phone call about the tragedy that had just occurred to their son, boyfriend, husband, friend, etc. Now TASTE that feeling and use THAT for your training. It’ll keep you from simply half-assing and going through the motions and will have you actually training with some “liveliness” which is all the psychological conditioning you’ll need when that time does come.

    • #12702
      James Goolsby


      Well said!

      If you’re going to half-ass your training you may as well not bother. In the heat of “battle”, people will fall into muscle memory; you literally WILL fight the way you train. That’s a scary thought if you’re not giving 100% each and every time.

      Additionally, you would not believe how many people I see who carry some “magic bullet” like a pocket knife or pepper spray but have never even trained one time on how they might deploy it in an actual situation. They treat it more like a talisman than a weapon. “Oh, I’m safe… I have spray.” Yeah, in the bottom of your purse under six pounds of makeup… good luck with that.

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