31 July 2015

Fit to fight...the body vs the mind

The other day a friend of mine posted something asking people to define what “fit to fight” meant to them.  I read the various responses and then would try to guess the age of the person posting it.  It’s funny how the young hard charging barrel chested freedom fighters assume they will always be to quote Toby Keith “as good as I once was."  One fella defined it as fit to deploy.

Though I realize from interaction with MCS followers that some fans are active duty military and police, more and more they are just plain Joe Citizen.  In addition to that, the average MCS follower is 35-45 years old. 

What these demographics tell me is that there is a good chance you have been at your chosen profession for a few years, likely married, and have a few kids.  There is also a good chance that you have some old and new sports or work related injuries.  Maybe you have some aches and pains.  Maybe some of them limit your ability to train and even worse your ability to fight.

What I can say is that personally speaking, in a few months I will be 43.  I work 2-3 jobs, not including MCS, and I have three kids.  My 6’2 300 lb. body has aches and pains from lifting, football, wrestling, Judo, Ju Jitsu, police work, and getting smashed up against walls and the grounds during fights.  This is in addition to having to have my ankle reconstructed from a motorcycle wreck a few years ago.

If I still have your attention, here is where I am going with all this.  My age, physical condition, and lack of money and time for training, etc will not get me a pass when it comes to protecting myself and my family.  As a matter of fact, based on my experience with my luck, it greatly increases my odds of something bad happening.
Mindset is the buzzword of all buzzwords in the tactical world.  But many only talk about it in reference to fighting. 

The other day I was having a conversation about this with Art Dorst who is a close friend and an MCS instructor.  Unbeknownst to both of us, we have both been rededicating ourselves to meditation and mindfulness.  In my opinion, above all else the mind is the most important tool you have, and learning to be mindful is a skill that is harder than any kata or course of fire because the goal is to maintain it every waking moment.

Most people’s minds are either thinking about what is going to happen or what has happened, not what is happening.  As my buddy Jay Johnson, AKA Sgt Rock, used to say, “You need your head and ass wired together.”

My Sensei used to say “calm in mind, swift in action,” meaning if your mind was somewhere else at the time of an attack you would be slow to respond.
All the physical skills are worthless without the mind to decide when and how to use those skill sets.  The habit of mindfulness is very calming.  The calmer you are, the more you are aware of your surroundings. 

So, regardless of the physical realities of your life, you can always hone your mindset by practicing mindfulness.  If I get any feedback on this post, I will dig a little deeper and provide some info on getting started.

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