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Fighter Psychology and Mentality

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  • Fighter Psychology and Mentality

    Does anyone have any notes to share on fighter psychology and mentality? This is often one of the under addressed issues of training. We spend hours sweating in the gym, popping the pads, working on defense, sparring etc. but what about maintaining a winning attitude?

    One thing that a few professional fighters have told me is to understand fear. The fear before a bout or match. I've done a little research on this from shows, websites and talking to some fighters.

    Mark Kerr: Before his first NHB match in Brazil (which earned him the title of "Smashing Machine"). Kerr tried to drink a dixie paper cup of water. "I couldn't hold it down" he said. "I was so nervous, I threw it all up." "When I tried to drink another one, I threw it up again."

    He took the other guy down, real quick and head butted the guy from the mount until his eyes were covered in blood.

    Cus D'mato: Tysons legendary coach said that fear is important. A fighter will get nervous before a fight, but the other guy is nervous too.

    One could argue whether Tyson ever got nervous before a fight, but once he was in the ring, it dissapeared.

  • #2

    The guy has written books on confronting his deepest fears. He is also regarded asa top authority on self defence.


    • #3
      Bri's suggestion was a good one. Also look at Gavin DeBecker's work.


      • #4
        try a book called the seven rings i think that is the name of it.


        • #5
          Isn't that what Snow White sees when the dwarves are tying their shoe laces?

          I think you mean the Book of Five Rings by Myamoto Musashi (sp). Personally I hardly understood a word of it.


          • #6
            That is hardly surprising.

            I would have to travel to Manchester, then to Kansas and Missouri finishing at West Point to have successfully faced my fears.

            I guess I'll always be a homophobe.


            • #7
              yes that is the book that i was talkin about and also does anyone in here practice mind arts such as in silat some claim to beable to freeze the person that they are fighting. and attack @ will with the other person unable to stop it. does anyone know of or do such things>???

              not only am i better then you but ULIKEIT>???


              • #8
                Many may know of such mysterious and wonderful things.

                No one can do them.


                • #9

                  Back to fighter psychology (this stuff mainly focus's on street stuff) check out particularly the Darren Laur articles. A lot to think about if you envisage yourself devastating multiple attackers in a street fight.


                  • #10
                    warning long pointless story ahead!

                    gom great site..."The Way Of The Street "Street 101" was a good read. (i have a little story which fits in exactly with that article, so here it is)

                    some of that stuff was dead on with a little confrontation my friend had about a week ago.....the amateur street predator....major ego, pointing, staring, closing the didn't have much clothes on. Right in the middle of average hight andabout 180-190 lbs.... i think my friends help to escalate the situation by drawing so much attention to the fight...the whole party stoped (not a big party, but around 10 teenagers) most of which where 'his' friends. my buddy tried to stop the fight, wich in turn got my friend a bloody nose/mouth and a black eye because his hands where tied up. My friend of course had a hand in his own fate...he sprayed the guy with a hose trying to be funny... (the "street predator" was in the pool at the time though....It was still an attack, my friend didn't really want to fight, lol he tried running to the basement, but the door had no nob or lock)

                    The ritualized combative signs where shown by the attacker.

                    lol my friend has NO situational awarness. He seemed to have no idea spraying a guy he doesn't know with a hose mite piss him off a bit.

                    If your wondering where i was during this...well, quitly watching....i was close to trying to keep the guy off my friend, but when i was called over, my other buddy was in the middle of them, all 3 guys on the ground, crowded beside a pool table...with a girl screeming at them to stop just like "well this is gay." It wasn't much of a fight either, none of them go really go at it with my buddy trying to push both of them back saying "Mike! STOP!" and "MIKE STOP IT MAN!" everytime one of them tried to throw a punch. (they where both named mike by the way)

                    me and my friends desided that the only way to handle this was to we get out on to the front lawn, this guy comes around the side of the house...same old story as the last 5 still in his swimsuit, no shoes..follows us on the the street, my friend just keeps guiding 'our mike' along the road and the other mike just keeps on following us (at a distance of about 10 yards) all the while hes screaming "Im gunna kick your ass!" "Your dead you F*cking ch*nk" (my friend is asian).

                    it wasn't that bad, but i was surprised by the attackers aggression...ignoring everyone....every now and then screaming at the top of his lungs "IM GUNNA BREAK YOUR F*CKING FACE!" he never stoped trying to close the gap....was kinda big....

                    as he follows us out on the street (my friends being 1 a gimp no offence by the way 2. Mike the 'victim' 3. andrea a scholar not a fighter 4. me) im thinking "damn, I mite have to seriously hurt this kid" lol not being pridefull, this guy was totaly focused on my friend....he left his friends to fight mike being about 30-40 lbs heavier then i was....i wasn't sure how i could beat this guy without the risk of seriously hurting him. (i was sober, he was drunk, another + for me)

                    anyway some girls came by and 'street pred' mike got went up and started talking to them! In his swimsuit in the middle of the street half a block away from the party.

                    lol, looking back it was more funny then a serious threat to my friends health. It was a lesson i think my friend needed to learn anyway.

                    lol thanks again for the link Gom.....the amateur street predator was like a live play by play from that It put a smile on my face....especialy when i read down to how friends trying to help can accualy make it the great thing about it was they truly thought they where helping the situation. It got my friend punched in the face about 5 times...

                    P.S. my friend cant fight anyway...he would have probably got allot more if people wheren't trying to break it up....still funny though.


                    • #11
                      cool stuff

                      thats right im back. I love Goms link.....

                      Its amazing the similarities between how we train in Systema and the the part of training in the article "Survival stress reaction and combative performance"

                      Systema had everything......yet im sure neither my teacher Vlad, or Darren Laur have ever heard of each other, or each others systems....only thing Systema doesn't have (to my knowledge) was the was almost like reading a guide book to the system!

                      This is freaking me out man!! Some of the stuff vlad would talk about in class, i didn't quite understand why he did it the way he did, hes more like "just do it, you'll feel good" lol.....i feel it was just explained to me..... and by someone who has probably never taken a systema class. I have to say that those RBSD places come at it at a much more direct and clear manner right from the start...allows you to understand why it works before getting into fights....

                      I just started some Senshido classes with an affiliate instructor here in Toronto (only 1 class every 3 weeks) Im hoping it will give me the acedemic view point to what goes well as the de-escalation aspects are MUCH clearer with RBSD....not that systema wont help you in that aspect...

                      That link seriously made my night...err morning. Thanks again!


                      • #12
                        Thank You

                        I'm glad you enjoyed my information

                        Strength and Honor

                        Darren Laur


                        • #13
                          Combat Mind Set

                          Tom Yum,

                          I don't know if you ever found what your looking for in your pursuit to understand the fighter psychology and mentality but you, and anyone else interested in this neglected aspect of MA, might want to check this sight out as well:


                          It's a Non-Profit Orginization dedicated to the study of the Combat Mind Set. IMO the website is a bit low-tech but you may be able to find something on the site or in their recommended readings as far as mental attidute goes...


                          • #14
                            Kingston. .You have much to learn my friend . Just noticed you thought it was a positive that the guy was drunk. You know what. That could be the worst possible thing for you. Means he can't feel anything. Just one bit to think about.


                            • #15
                              Gavin DeBecker and Tony Blauer both have theories worth looking into in my opinion...however i am sure there are other worthy ones out there to look into.