"Everyone has a plan until they're punched in the mouth" - Mike Tyson.
It doesn't matter how many times you physically train a technique, the cold reality of self defence is when (god forbid) the time comes when you are threatened, your natural response is fight, flight or freeze.
Everything you think you know will dissipate and you'll begin to capitulate. Now you're faced with two battles, yourself and your attacker.
In that moment, it's how you can cope mentally not physically which will determine the result of any real-life situation.
Pyschology is something traditional Martial Arts, even other Krav Maga associations often either ignore or brush past. Perhaps the reality of violent situations deters custom and diminishes the efficiency of pretty techniques that are taught, or just the instructors lack the experience and knowledge.
In our own Krav Maga lessons, we have a strong focus on the subject and it's subtely rooted in everything we train.
Recently our club was fortunate enough to attend a seminar held by the infamous Lee Morrison.
For the unititiated, Lee Morrison is a legimiate veteran in real-world violence. From football gangs to working the doors, he boasts endless tales of violent encounters.
Lee is a huge advocate on the importance of pyschology and from personal experiences, understands how criminals and predators think & behave and it was truely enlightening to learn from him some of the fundamentals that aren't often discussed.
There is so many different important levels of pyschology.
To be able to succeed, it's paramount to reverse the role, become the predator and understand the pyschological makeup of a criminal (in your mind of course!).
The current state of todays social climate is an ever-growing 'victim mentality'. Although fashionable, unfortunately this way of thinking does not cut the mustard and this mentality is what predators pray on as food.
By evaluating the general pyschological outlook of a 'criminal', it's obvious they have one thing on their mind.
Success...by any means possible.
A predators victim is not randomly selected.
Their victims are carefully selected by analysing peoples physiological makeup & presence, then weighing up the odds of success.
Once a victim has been chosen, they will approach with absolute conviction and certainty that they're desired outcome will play out in their favour.
As humans, we are excpetionally good at sensing fear. If a predator was to approach you sheepishly, quivering voice with zero conviction - would you feel intimidated? Unlikely.
Therefore, by tweaking our own mental attitude we could even avoid an encounter altogether by not being shortlisted by predators. Once we improve our Mental Attitude, naturally the physiological with follow, such as walking with confidence and intent.
If you think for a second you will lose a conflict or even doubt your own abilities...you've already lost. You need to win the first battle with yourself and destroy any limiting beliefs you have.
To overwhelm an attacher, you need to trump their level of effort - both physically and mentally.
A great scenario Lee gave was this...
Someone menacing or intimidating gets into a lift, it's just you and them, you may think to yourself such things as "Oh no, I hope I'm not alone with this person", "if he causes trouble I'm done for"... that's a losing mentality, such thinking is detriment to your survival.
Now reverse that and believe "You're stuck in here with me, if you start anything I get to practise my skills". Hey, a negative has now turned into a positive!
Even when Connor McGreggor's approaching a fight he will always tell himself that he's already won the fight and he generally does.
Pyschology has always had a large emphasis within the training of our Krav Maga but it was invaluable getting a different perspective from someone such as Lee Morrison. This level of thinking is valuable within all areas of life, not just self protection.
Sometimes without you even realising, our training drills are designed to combat limiting beliefs and push with mind over matter to persist moving forward to a goal - even when you're completely fatigued or feel like you can't continue.
Just remember, an attacker doesn't care if you're having an off day.
If you're interested in learning more of the subject from Lee Morrison, this is a great video by Lee on the subject.