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Intent Trumps All in Violence

Updated: Jun 13

This week the tragic story of Jiu Jitsu champion Leandro Lo came out. Leandro Lo was an eight time world champion and eight time Pan-American champion. It was said he was one of the best all time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners. Given that even the best news reports get about 20 percent of a story wrong (in my experience) what we know is that Leandro and another man got into a confrontation at a social function, either a bar or live music event. The other man appears to have been the aggressor. Leandro quickly took him down and put him into some kind of submission. People broke them up and when the aggressor stood up, he took out a hand gun and shot Leandro in the head.

This tragic story highlights the differences in intent these two men had. Leandro went for a submission--something he has done a million times in practice and in competition. It is something he was supremely confident in doing. The other man's intent was more sinister and he had the means to carry it out. He followed through with his intent.

Intent trumps all in violence. Never assume you understand another person's intent (and if they are trying to violently end your life, you won't have to assume). We can avoid social encounters. It may mean your ego gets bruised, but so what? And when you have to fight, you cannot assume the other person will "play" by society's rules. Only fight when everything is at stake--and then fight with intent. Go for the injury that takes something away from the other person: the ability to use an eye and therefore see; the ability to breathe; the ability to walk; the ability to think (unconsciousness) etc. Then go for serial injury. Don't turn your back until you are satisfied that person is no longer a threat. Don't be the typical victim in a Friday the 13th movie (yes, I am unbearable to watch one of those movies with).

It isn't easy for most of us to imagine ourselves in a no-holds barred encounter with another human being. Train yourself to turn on that deep instinct in an instant. Practice slowly to make every strike count; to make every strike cause a real injury (not just pain.) Envision exactly what you would do and work it out on the mats with a training partner, or if you don't have a training partner, shadow box the sequence. Slowly, and with intent.

Finally, if you would like some excellent medical instruction for a child, or review for yourself, check out our new medical videos. They feature instruction by my good friend Roddy, a fellow retired CIA Ops officer with decades of experience in hard places. But more importantly he knows how to teach. You can find the videos for a nominal fee at the site.

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