Big Rocks – Setting the Stage

After my last blog post, I received a lot of questions asking me what Big Rocks people should be focusing on. First off, I am going to concentrate on the H2H aspect in answer. While I could pontificate about the other categories (shooting, strength and conditioning, pre-fight threat containment, diet, etc.), I prefer to stay in my lane where I have the most experience. I am blessed to have a bunch of friends and peers that are much better at those other things. If someone wants to know about Big Rocks in those categories, I would be happy to let you know you to go listen to. For now, we will look at H2H.

We will start at the very beginning and look at the problem, and then we will look at the mindset I believe you need to deal with the problem. Once we establish those parameters, we will be able to analyze just what exactly we need to do. Technique, methodology, drills, concepts, and all similar items must wait until we have defined the problem. Otherwise, we may be in danger of designing an answer to a non-existent problem merely to prove that we are bad asses or some sort of Yoda, just to feed our ego.

The primary problem in a fight is staying in the fight. In other words, staying conscious and physically capable of fighting back is the first thing we need to concentrate on. If we ignore that, we risk losing the fight (and possibly our lives or well being, or the lives of our loved ones) before we ever get to unleash our awesome offensive arsenal. Furthermore, we need to first focus on staying in the fight when we are caught unaware that a fight or assault is about to happen.

Yes, yes, I know that we all need to be “switched on” and tactically aware at all times. I also know that not one human being on the planet can do that 100% of the time 24/7/365. It is flat out impossible, especially in our modern urban society that places such a huge demand of our attention in so many different ways.

The simple fact is that all of us can get caught flat footed by a surprise assault. The sooner that we accept that, the sooner we can start building the best responses to that shock attack, but we must at all costs not delude ourselves that it can happen.

And defining that problem leads us to building the appropriate training mindset. Being attacked when you are not ready for it is a worst case scenario. Therefore, in my opinion, we need to make sure our fundamental training is oriented towards dealing with a worst case scenario. It is the height of stupidity to spend all of your training on techniques that only work when you know what is going on. For example, take a look at this technique. It looks really cool, and if it works the way it is intended, would be totally functional. However, there is one huge flaw:

That flaw is that the technique will only work if you are aware that an attack is imminent. Watch at about 1:03. The good guy is not even processing that the assault is happening. He has already launched his counter. Guys, if you are that physically gifted, you should not be reading this. You should be making millions of dollars playing professional sports because your physical attributes are in the elite 1% of people in the entire world. If you are instead merely mortal, and if you are not able to be completely aware of everything all the time, than counting on that technique is worse than useless, because you will never be able to fire off the technique, regardless of how deadly it is, and regardless of how many repetitions you have spent practicing it. Period.

So, therefore, our mindset in training should be to cover the worst case stuff first. Let’s dig the hole really, really deep, and work on getting out of that. If we have that dialed in, then anytime we deal with a less than worst case scenario, we are already in a good place to deal with it. The converse (spending the bulk of your time practicing when the problem is not as terrible) is absolutely not true.

To sum up our setting for H2H Big Rocks – we need to focus on methods that allow us to stay in the fight, no matter what and no matter how bad the situation is, and we need to start our training dealing with the worst case scenarios we might find ourselves in. We start our work there.

3 thoughts on “Big Rocks – Setting the Stage”

  1. Cecil,

    This blog post made me think about what happens in a real world scenario. An attacker can ambush you & if this occurs you probably need to be able to defend from a worse case scenario instead of a best case scenario.

    One good sucker strike and a law enforcement officer, private security, or prison guard could be caught off guard. People that work in security fields like loss prevention, armed guard services, bodyguards, military police, military contractors could all benefit from this worse can scenario type of preparation! Bouncers could also benefit from this since in a night club environment strikes ala sucker punch or bear hug, wrestling or football tackle can happen and then the question is how does one stay in the fight in a riot or bar brawl situation if you are starting from a near knockout, clinch, or ground fighting positional disadvantage if surprised in a street fight altercation? Real world Self Defense never really looks like the reality based self-defense seminars , videos or website resources being presented out there. What you are doing is really great by making the private citizen or law enforcement or private security or military police officer think about worst case self defense scenario first.

    Women’s self-defense, rape prevention, sometimes this type of training starts with the person being attacked having to defend from a real world reality based worse case scenario, however the majority of self defense resources taught currently in 2014 are assuming not being ambushed or sucker attacked by a violent criminal.

    Firearm retention, defense against a blade or other type of sharp object or bladed weapon, survival skills to have effective defense, basic boxing skills, elbows, knees, headbutts, wrestling / grappling skills ( Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu) all of these skills and being proficient with firing a gun are of no use if we can not survive the first brutal moments of a violent assault where our awareness is distracted or we are tired, lighting is poor, no one really focuses on surviving from an everything that can go wrong in the first 5 seconds of a lethal survival scenario.

    I look forward to the next blog post on how to stay in the fight. I thought about MMA, Judo, Boxing, various Grappling arts like Greco Roman, Freestyle, Sambo, BJJ, etc., how many are really prepared if we are caught off guard?

    I’m assuming the tactic to use is to prevent further damage & being knocked out, stabbed, or losing control of one’s firearm whether a pistol or a rifle.

    I would think that prison guards, police officers, security guards, any law enforcement profession including even hospital workers should have this type of self-defense training.

    Are you thinking this type of surviving the initial attack can be learned by people who don’t have time like a professional MMA fighter or boxer / kickboxer type?

    1. Are you thinking this type of surviving the initial attack can be learned by people who don’t have time like a professional MMA fighter or boxer / kickboxer type?

      Absolutely. That is the entire point. I think there is a reasonable way of doing so that is pretty effective. I, along with a number of people like Craig Douglas and Paul Sharp, have taught this to a lot of people, most of whom are definitely not pro athletes.

  2. Cecil, this article is very good, have you thought about taking your content and writing an article for Black Belt or Journal of Asian Martial Arts , some Law Enforcement or Military or Private Security Industry Journals or Publications?

    I think that this would be a great article for the Arizona Republic newspaper, so basically local, regional, national, and also for a variety of cross over spectrum of audiences, Private Security, Military, Private Contractors, Law Enforcement, Martial Arts, Self Defense, and various martial arts practitioners or school owners or martial art instructors could benefit from this educational knowledge base approach.

    I think that MMA is great, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu is a great way to train, however awareness and knowing what to do when you are on the ropes or are caught off guard is very important for surviving a violent street attack, street fight, or any type of self defense altercation.

Comments are closed.