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Overkill Training Mentality

By On February 21, 2009 · 2 Comments · In Articles

The overkill mind set is probably the most critical concept we embrace in our training. “Overkill” means to do more than necessary. For your purpose, it is not meant to be taken literally. We don’t want to burn out or injure ourselves, etc. So think of overkill as doing more than your opponent; don’t settle for less than you deserve, challenge your limits.

My favorite story that exemplifies the totality of this mind set is this: Mike Tyson, when training for his Larry Holmes fight was being interviewed while running at 4:32 A.M. in sub zero weather. On his very early morning run the interviewer asked him something to the effect of, “Mike, why are you running at this ungodly hour?” Tyson smiled and replied confidently, “Because I know my opponent is still asleep.”

The message in the story is “overkill” It epitomizes the way I train, read, study, research and govern myself. Embrace it. It’ll add a new dimension to your “warrior” attitude. Though there are so many aspects of this mind set that can be discussed, I’ve created some doctrines and included some fundamental points that should get you started.

1 Do more than your opponent does
2 Know more than your opponent does
3 Think more than your opponent does
4 Have more than your opponent does
5 Want more than your opponent does

How can you embody these rules? Remember, on judgment day, you will not be asked what you have read, but, rather, what you have done.
1. Procedure/Purpose
2. Mechanics
3. Mind-Set
4. Fear
5. Pain
6. Stamina/Endurance

For every technique and tactic you practice you must be “the scientist”, you must start with a theory and then create an experiment and then you must refine. I use the G.A.R acronym to create action. G.A.R. stands for Goal Action Result. Set a goal, take action, and analyze the result. Redo it, move on, store it, and so on. But stop theorizing. Talking never translated into experience. And theorizing is not true knowledge. G.A.R. every challenge.

Mind Body Spirit

Remember to use your whole being when you train. For every physical action there should be an accompanying, congruous, strategy; a reason to take this action. And for every plan there should be an emotional essence; what was your motivation for taking this action? This is synergy. This is training with integrity. The result of this type of training is unshakable faith. Too often we simply imitate movements and parrot philosophies. In the end there is little substance. For “overkill” confidence you must be able to answer the “why” question for every action. Why should I move my leg like this? (Biomechanics body). Why would I do this technique and when? (Strategy mind). What would be my motive for employing this technique? (Emotional fuel spirit)

• Pain: Work on pain tolerance for nerves and strikes.
• Fear: Getting Hit Drills (watch the shot: how does it enter? what does it feel like? Start real slow and build in speed and impact.)
• The Sucker Punch: Learn how to read every type of sucker punch.

By working the techniques, the pain element and the fear element you develop the confidence to approach any situation with faith in your process.








* This article is an excerpt from Tony Blauer’s “Personal Defense Readiness: Survival Philosophy and Psychology/Advanced Street Defense Fundamentals.” 


2 Responses to Overkill Training Mentality

  1. The thing I like about this approach is that it is a nice clear embodiment the concept of active learning: “learning how to learn” more effectively through deliberate study. This is the approach that great strategists endorse (always have a reason *why* you choose particular tactics based on your assessment of the situation), and the approach endorsed by most psychologists who study the aquisition of expertise. People often seem to neglect this in order to favor “repetition.” Repeating something wrong (or useless) a million times doesn’t make it work better. The SPEAR system seems to encourage a good balance between fast application of tactics and intelligent use of strategy. Strategy without tactics is too slow, and tactics without strategy fights you unwittingly into a corner. Kudos on finding a good balance in your system.

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