The Other Three Corners…

What we really should be building toward is not so much being multi-disciplinary, but multi-dimensional tacticians.

Ever notice that most teaching and writing in the tactical and self defense fields is far more about the training itself than about the utilization of that training?  Often this revolves around building physical and technical skills, and a mental attitude geared more to self development and personal fulfillment rather than personal protection.

It’s modern pop-sport-psychology. Kind of the Tactical Tony Robbins approach…

Of course, being committed to being skilled, being fit, and being mentally resilient are necessary fundamentals, and it is important to have quality teachers across these multiple disciplines as we endeavor to achieve a comprehensive approach.

But each is really only one or two dimensions when it comes to actual field or street application and performance, leading to being one (or two-) dimensional tacticians. We cannot define comprehensive performance via measures predicated on things like A-zone hits and how fast they are achieved, to who throws or taps who, or punches thrown and punches landed. Those are metrics for closed, highly regulated systems not reflective of the open, kinetic environments which present with an array of very different psychological stressors. I’ve known technically skilled people to perform poorly under uncertain, rapidly evolving, and highly stressful tactical situations, and I’ve known people with lesser mat and range skills perform brilliantly under the same.

So don’t be one dimensional. And don’t expect that courses that teach or measure solely physical and technical performance are teaching anything more than just that, a critical evaluation of but a single dimension.

We have to go beyond that, and do so early in our training trajectory.

Confucius said:

“I never try to make people open up [to the world of learning] unless they already have a pent up excitement about it. Then if I give them one corner [of a problem or point of study], if they do not come back to me with the other three corners I will not involve myself with them again.”

(In Analects)

It’s up to us to bring the other Three Corners back…




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