• What might happen to you?
• What he’s doing?
• What you’re doing to him?
Whatever you worry about most will most likely happen.
And, no, I’m not talking metaphysics here, but rather about the simple idea that you will act on your preoccupation.
If you’re worried about getting hurt, you’ll hesitate and go defensive, making that outcome more likely. If you worry about what he’s doing, you’ll get to find out just what that is while he’s doing it. If you focus on what you’re doing to him, then that’s where you’ll put all your effort—into a target to cause injury.
Anything else actually helps him.
Think about it— if he’s worried about hurting you and you’re worried about him hurting you, well, then there are two people focusing their efforts on hurting you. You’re suddenly outnumbered because you’ve gone over to the other side—there are now two brains aimed in the same direction. We can assume he’s focused on taking you out; that’s why you’re in this situation in the first place. Don’t focus on the things that are going to make a difference for him, or set yourself up for self-fulfilling prophecies.
Worrying about getting hurt laces your psychological endurance with invisible fracture lines, causing you to buckle under the strain and plunge into an avalanche of panic when he does, indeed, hurt you.
Getting hit is a given. Getting hurt is a given. But debilitating injury is another thing entirely, and is up for grabs for the first one to seize it. Needing to get stitches later is very different from not being able to think or move. Take his ability to function now and get yourself taken care of later.
Remove your “self” from the equation—you want all of your effort to be outward-directed through a target, not collapsing inward into what-ifs, buts & maybes. Replace prognostication of a future that may or may not be, with the certainty of a crushed throat, a gouged eye, a broken knee. The self should vanish, replaced by the work right in front of you.
But even this is not enough. Ideally you should strive to remove everyone from the equation—concern for yourself and concern for his actions—reducing all thought and effort into a single target and a single injury. The entire world in one square inch, shattered in one movement.
Just in case this is sounding a little too Zen, remember that this is simply about focus, about where you put your efforts. When your life is at stake you need to get it right or die; scattering yourself and trying to pay attention to a thousand things that don’t matter should be an obvious path to disaster.
Gathering your wits, your intellect, everything you are into a laser-like focal point to do the one thing that will change everything—getting that injury—is the only rational action when so much is on the line.
It’s a nice idea… and one that is only realized through practice. It’s one thing to decide you want this for yourself and another to actually be able to do it. Or, better yet, have it become habit. The only way to build this skill is, as Tim says, to “do it until it’s boring.”
We see this progression in the two-day seminars, where clients begin filled with worry about what might happen to them, what the other guy might do, about what failure might mean. They are naturally afraid and externalize their fear by being chatty, hesitating, going too fast to actually get the work done.
As the weekend progresses they become more comfortable breaking the human machine and slowly, slowly, more focused on that singular task of causing an injury. The result is a final free practice session that is silent, methodical and deliberate.
They’ve quieted the internal voices of dissent and put them to work pulling in the same direction—through a single square inch to break an important piece of anatomy and thereby make it back to the place where they can afford the luxury of doubt, wonder and what-ifs…
…back home, where everyone can safely juggle those thousand things that don’t matter.
TFT Master Instructor
P.S. TFT live training classes are the place to, “…quiet the internal voices of dissent…” as Chris notes above.
These sessions are very different from anything you’ve imagined or perhaps experienced before. This isn’t martial arts. There’s no sparring or fighting. Everything’s practiced at slow speed so no one is injured. Yet through an amazing transformation, you leave Sunday evening with a deeply engrained, instantly-on-call, forever-there process to handle true street violence should it unexpected occur.
The special 25% discount for 2013, 2-day events ends February 15. That’s not far away. Several of the classes are full; others close. So you may want to use this link to select one with available space or chose the ‘No Location’ option… remembering that violence waits for no one.