Several years ago I had the honor of hosting and attending a two-week tactical intensive with two high profile instructors. Our training covered everything from individual stealth and camouflage, team movement, mental discipline and endurance, to name just a few. Through it all our instructor, a highly accomplished special forces operator, drilled into us a single key concept which I have successfully applied to paintball sniper training, along with many other areas of my life.
He chose one of the students to come up for a demonstration. He said, “In combat, everyone has a move. You’ve got a move. And I’ve got a move. Combat is a series of moves.” He threw a light and slow punch at the student and said “What do you do?”. Reflexively, the student raised his arm to block the punch. “My move was to punch. Your move was to block. Now who’s move is it?” Reflexively, the student said “Yours.”.
Now, think this through. How does that feel to say “It’s your move.” It’s virtually a surrender. It becomes a futile chess game with your move at the whim of your opponent. Our instructor took it a step further. He requested that the student throw a light and slow punch. Now follow me here. As the punch came, the instructor rapidly stung the student’s forearm with a quick little backfist. The student recoiled his hand. “Your move was the punch. My move was the stinger to your forearm. Even though you’d like to think you’ve got another move, you used your move to recoil your arm. It’s now my move again. That is the ‘Offensive Mindset’.”
The offensive mindset is one of awareness and action. It is NOT charging in guns blazing. That is an offensive tactic but not necessarily an offensive mindset. This mindset is one that keeps us one step ahead of the game. It is a level of clarity and decisiveness that moves us to the most appropriate and effective action. That action ranges from instantaneous and unstoppable force to the discipline to lay low, stay hidden and let the threat pass for a more opportune engagement. But the key is the awareness and the choice to engage in a time and manner that ensures victory. The key is being fully present to the moment, ready to interrupt, engage, withdraw or move. When practiced, not only do you stay one step ahead of your opponents but you will look at your situation and begin to read three, four and five moves ahead.
The offensive mindset will turn your world around, from paintball sniper training to loving and protecting your family to doing what you love in your career or business.
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