Attitude

One of the first lessons that a novice learns when encountering the Manosphere is the concept of "masculine frame". It is not a difficult idea to understand, at least in theory- you stand, walk, and talk with confidence and strength, you give off an air of masculinity, charisma, and power. These are manly concepts which, in a sensible world, wouldn't have to be described to men- we'd just know it in our bones.

Theory is one thing. Putting into practice is something entirely different.

That attitude is something you have to show in every physical aspect of your being. You can't fake this- if you want to project the image of a badass, you have to absolutely believe that you're a badass. If you don't, for even a second, it will show up in your body language.

This could not have been made more clear to me than it was the other day in one of my Krav Maga classes. Practically the very first thing that you learn in the art is the concept of the basic stance. Put simply, it is a combat stance that involves the minimal amount of effort and energy expenditure required to make you ready to fight. When executed properly, it looks like the picture on the right. (I have some issues with her form- she's not leaning forward correctly, her pivot sucks, and her attitude is way too passive- but the basic stance is more or less correct.)

After the usual hard warmup, the master instructor told us to get into a basic stance so that we could start throwing punches. So I did, just as I've done a thousand times before by now.

The master instructor took one look at the way I got into a basic stance and said, "that's terrible". I looked at my feet, my hands, and my posture, and I couldn't see anything wrong, so I raised a quizzical eyebrow, wondering what minor detail I'd missed. He proceeded to explain why, in front of the entire class of 11 other people, and made me feel about two inches tall in the process.

The mistake that I had made was to take a step backwards with my right foot, instead of taking a step forward with my left. And I don't think I'll ever forget what the master instructor told us that day:
When you get into a fight with someone, I PROMISE you that if you go into the fight with the attitude, "you're going down, motherf***er, I'm gonna take you apart and destroy you", you'll WIN the fight. You can't start a fight by taking a step back- you're betraying weakness and fear. You go into a fight with the intent to absolutely overwhelm your opponent. It's the same philosophy that the IDF- the Israeli Defence Force- uses. We call it "Shock and Awe"- you remember that idea? It's the same concept- overwhelming, irresistible, overpowering force applied to a specific target.
He was completely right to call me out for having the wrong attitude. And ever since then, every time I've gotten into a basic stance, I act with that voice in my head telling me to take the initiative, to stand firm, to attack.

When you take a step forward to get into a basic stance and start throwing strikes, you feel different than when you step back. When you lean forward in such a stance with your hands up, ready to beat the ever-loving crap out of someone, you feel very different than when you stand straight or, worse, lean back with your weight on your back foot- because your attitude tells your opponent, "I'm going to beat you like a drum, and then I'm going to display your corpse for the entire world to see".

When you get into a fight, you're going to WAR. You don't go into war half-assed- well, modern Western militaries do, but they've lost touch with the true Laws of War. You go into a war with the attitude that YOU, and ONLY you, are going to be left standing afterwards. You fight with everything at your disposal, and you aim to completely destroy your opponent.

The same attitude issue applies to everything else in life. The master instructor said as much when someone asked a question about releases from bear hugs- the question was something along the lines of, "is that release applicable to other situations as well?" The answer, once again, was pure unfiltered wisdom:
If you stay with us long enough, you're going to realise- most people figure this out sometime around, roughly, brown belt- that everything you learn here applies always and everywhere. The knowledge that you pick up can be tweaked and modified and optimised to your specific needs, so that if you find yourself in a chokehold, you can still use the same pre-choke stab to the throat if you want. It's all part of the process of learning that knowledge.
It doesn't matter what you're looking to achieve. If your attitude is one of trepidation or hesitation, you'll fail. If you propose to a girl and you're worried that she'll say no, well, you've dramatically increased the odds of that precise outcome. If you go into a job interview without confidence or charisma, you've cost yourself that job- trust me, I know, I've done plenty of interviews, both as the candidate and the screener. If you approach a business deal worried about not closing the sale, then chances are, you won't. If you approach a girl at a bar thinking that she might reject you, it will show in your body language.

No matter what you do, no matter where you go, your attitude defines the outcome. A passive attitude will all but guarantee failure. An active attitude, one that commands, indeed demands, respect, will get results.

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