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Combat Mindset

I first came across the term "combat mindset" during firearms training when a former Delta Force member addressed the class. Jim personified the quiet professional and his remarks left a lasting impression upon me. In essence, combat mindset is nothing more than your will to win--no matter what. Jim relayed a vignette about two police officers: one was shot with a non-life threatening wound but died anyway, as in his mind he could not get over the fact that he had been shot. He gave up mentally. In a different case, an officer received multiple gunshots that were definitely life-threatening and he was so determined to live, that ultimately, he did. There is no real scientific way to quantify what your attitude brings to the fight. But consider the boxer who tells himself, "I can't take another hit" or the marathon runner who tells himself, "I'm tired...I don't know if I can continue." More often than not, these become self-fulfilling prophecies. Survivors never quit.

How can we cultivate this within ourselves. Training is a vital component for the mechanical skills, for inculcating the muscle memory into our actions. Mentally, we can visualize and repeat the mantra that once engaged, you will never give up, no matter what and then incorporate that attitude in your everyday life. Easier said than done, you ask? Yup. But without that positive attitude, the outcome is almost always certain.

The video below came to my attention this week. It shows a Daytona police officer who embodies the "never give up" attitude. It teaches us about the "fatal funnel" effect of doorways for both the officer and the perp. But most importantly, this video teaches what combat mindset is all about.

Again, these videos are not meant to second guess "how the strong man stumbled or the doer of deeds could have done them better" or anything else, but they are useful for studying what works in violence to better prepare you for the "worst 15 seconds of the worst day of your life" should that day ever come.

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