What You Need to Know about Home Defense Mindset

This is a guest post by Scott Sylvesterhome defense mindset

Pre-battle Home Defense Mindset

When I founded my firearms training company I set out to educate my students in the principle that the mind itself is the ultimate weapon. As a long time practitioner of martial arts, a defensive tactics instructor, a firearms trainer, and a deputy sheriff; self-defense and personal protection is something I take very seriously.

I recognized that no matter where I was, either armed or unarmed I was capable of defending myself and those I love. I was capable of doing so because I had trained my mind, thought about situations, analyzed my surroundings, run through scenarios, watched and remained aware, looked for cover and concealment and I knew that I was ready to use violence to overwhelm any threat I may come across. Yes, I was ready to physically harm or kill another human being to ensure I go home safely… and my partner or family member goes home with me.

I also realize that I am not the world’s greatest kick boxer, knife wielder or gun fighter. There is always someone out there that is better than me… and should I meet that person, I’ve thought about how to extract, fall back and fight a different fight, or escape. If your life is in danger and you or your family escapes the lethal threat, that is a win. You can call me a coward if you like, but any lethal encounter you survive unscathed is a victory.

Sometimes the better part of valor is to egress. I don’t care how badass you think you are, or how much training you have had, there is someone out there better trained, and better prepared than you. Being a warrior also means knowing the limits of your ability.

Know Your Limitations

Knowing your limitations gives you a place to start when you undertake training. You should seek out people who have skillsets superior to yours and strive to achieve their level of proficiency. During my basic pistol courses while I’m teaching new shooters the fundamentals of marksmanship, they always marvel at how fast or accurate I can shoot. I use these demonstrations as teachable moments to explain to them that the only difference between us, is the number of repetitions.

What a new shooter is doing on the range for the first time, I’ve done 10,000. They are striving to achieve my level of skill, have sought training and are working towards success. I continue to do the same things except I compare myself to Max Michel and strive towards his level of proficiency. Max Michel is sponsored by Sig Sauer and is a multiple time world champion shooter. What I have practiced 10,000 times Max has practiced 150,000 times. (Check him out at www.maxmichel.com)

As you develop your warrior mindset you also need to remain humble. You have to be open to learning new techniques, willing to change your mind about how and why you do things, and realize there is always room for improvement. As much as I hate to acknowledge this fact… as an instructor, you should take multiple training classes from different instructors.

Not one instructor has all the knowledge or answers or methods to help you achieve unconscious competence. While I admire loyal students, after three or more classes, I’ve nearly exhausted the amount of knowledge I can impart. You need to branch out, seek new techniques and tactics and find what works for you. If one person tells you they have all the answers… run away! Look for instructors who are constantly trying to evolve, learn and ones that are even willing to change their mind about equipment, techniques and training. I’ve had a several training concepts I’ve had to question and change over the last 14 years. I expect there will be many more changes in the future.

Winning Mindset

Part of your pre-battle mentality is having a winning mindset.

Warriors expect to win. This is a fine balance between confidence and cockiness, but every fighter that trains and prepares for battle, has an expectation that they will win the conflict. They trust their training and know they put in the sweat and blood equity and have a plan to emerge victorious. When they face a lethal threat and the confrontation begins, the stronger will usually prevails. When working patrol and the jail, when I got into a fight I would subconsciously tell myself, “It’s time to win.”

While every  physical conflict I got into was not an overwhelming victory… it was a victory. I knew I was going to win, that was an unshakeable belief deep inside me. My unbending will coupled with training was too much for an opponent who lacked sufficient will. The suspects wanted a quick, easy fight not one with a determined opponent. Criminals, like most predators prefer easy prey. If you look like a potential threat, if you look aware, if you appear confident, the criminal will move on.

Part of having an iron will is also harboring the desire to use violence to enforce your will if the situation dictates. In our “civilized” society the practitioner of violence is shunned and looked at with wary or disdain by the “civilized” people. (Often referred to as the sheep of society). You have to decide now, that you are willing and capable to physically harming or potentially killing another human being if your life or the life of a loved one is faced with an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury. You have to make that decision prior to being faced with that event. If you wait until something bad happens you will freeze or hesitate. If you freeze or hesitate rather than act, then you will be forced to live with regret over your indecision. One of my favorite quotes is from a fellow warrior and American Hero, Chris Kyle. He simply states, “Despite what your momma told you, violence does solve problems.”

Everyone… yes, every single person on this earth is capable of killing given the right set of circumstances. We are not as civilized as we like to believe. We still have human nature and eons of hardwired conditioning locked in our brains which has helped us thrive and survive so long. Humans are built to adapt, solve problems and survive. Fighting and killing is one of the ways we do that.

It comes down to this series of very simple rhetorical questions:

Who are the most important people in your life?

Who are you willing to die for?

Are you willing to kill to protect the people in your first two answers?

All of this is a required part of your Pre-Battle Mentality. To awaken your inner warrior, start looking at the world around you. Identify the places you go, the potential threats you may find there and start playing out scenarios in your mind about how you would deal with them. Is it best to fight or retreat?

Do you have an expectation of winning? Are you willing to use violence and the tools you carry with you to solve the problems you may face? Is the training you have sufficient to meet those threats?

Think hard, prepare your mind for where your body has to go. As always, stay safe, train hard!


Scott S – One Weapon, Any Tool

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