Shin, Gi, Tai – Mind, Technique (Tactics), Body…
The more I practice, the more it comes down to these things known for centuries: That preparation is all about cultivating one’s mind to the fighting mindset, and to anticipation of what could occur; That one trains both tactical and technical skills in a well rounded way, what Paul Howe calls the “layered fighting system.”(You really should read all of Paul’s books and articles, some of which are here) and with realism in mind. And training the body. Combat is the ultimate athletic event. While weapons and tactics can very much be an equalizer, all things are improved when the body is made as strong and resilient in a functional way.
Teaching another Active Threat (active shooter) class tomorrow, and with everything we ask our students to do it really boils down to this: if these things are in order, things will go as well as can be expected. People who practice a few times a year won’t remember tactics and technicalities and terminology…but they just might recall that when the mind is right, and the tactics realistic, and the body is prepared, they can be confident that they will prevail.
When these things are not in order, when there is little or no mental preparation or it is misguided; when there is little technical and tactical acumen under realistic conditions; and when the body is weak; it’s but a throw of the dice.
Chance always plays a role. But there is a saying, as far as Google tells us is from the movie The 13th Warrior, that “luck often enough will save a man if his courage holds.” On more than one occasion I’ve (thankfully) found this to be true.