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Thread: Psychological warfare article (mental game)

  1. #1
    Guest 9chambers's Avatar

    Yes | No


    The dirty trick, the ruse, the psych out! Psychology is an element of warfare that has given advantage to the crafty throughout history.

    One famous example is when George Rogers Clark paraded flags and troops in circles just behind a hill top to fool the British at Fort Harrison (in Indiana) into surrender, thinking the Americans had an
    army that vastly outnumbered them.

    Another famous example is the battle of Troy. After failing at attempt after attempt to breach the large wall surrounding Troy, ancient Greek armies feigned surrender. Halting their siege, they set sail for
    Greece, leaving a large wooden statue of a horse behind as a peace offering. The Trojans took the horse into their city as a trophy. When the Trojans were drunk and sleepy after a long victory celebration,
    Greek spies hiding within the wooden horse snuck out and opened the gates for their own forces waiting outside. Hence the saying, "beware of Greeks bearing gifts."

    What's true in large scale warfare is often also true in individual combat. A trick can definitely give you an edge over your enemy. Feigns and fakes are common practice in boxing. Baiting an opponent is a
    standard sparring technique. Yelling at the right moment can rattle your enemy. Fancy hand gestures can confuse him or impair his vision. Pretending to be slow, tired, scared or injured can give him false
    confidence. A show of courage or aggression can make him take caution. Keeping the light to your back can hinder his vision. Whether it be a sly little trick, a plan, a trap or all out psychological warfare,
    using your head can definitely tip the scales in your favor.

    Being such an important aspect of warfare and personal combat, it is sad that many modern schools teaching the martial arts, combat or self-defense barely scratch the surface of the mental game. Boxing is
    perhaps most famous for stressing the "chess match" type mindset. Bruce Lee used Western boxing techniques that he learned from watching the greats (Muhammad Ali, Jersey Joe Walcott and Jack Dempsy: according to Dan Inosanto in the video documentary "Top Fighters") and reading books on boxing while he was developing Jeet Kune Do. Ninjutsu teaches the art of "deception" as theory and tradition but rarely ventures into the specific applications for it in unarmed combat. Other than that there are few examples of practical psychological warfare training in the dojo.

    Sure, everyone who takes wrestling, Judo or boxing (or any sport really) learns that intimidating the enemy can help. We all see the guys in the movies say that acting crazy helps. Everyone who is a boxing fan knows how to fake high and punch low and things like that. Keep moving. Bob and weave. We all know the basics. But complex things like selling your fakes (acting) and pretending to be unaware of
    your open target or pretending to retreat .. those things take some work. The no-look pass isn't something Larry Bird could have pulled off all of those years without being a good actor. Deception, being
    sneaky and learning how to manipulate your foe. That stuff doesn't teach itself. You have to give your students some ideas to try out. You have to give them more than the very basics.

    Some may call it "street fighting" or being "streetwise" or "street savvy" but the dirty trick has been around for centuries. The sucker punch wasn't invented on the mean streets of New York. Its as old as
    combat. There have been thieves, spies and criminals since there have been cities. There have also been shrewd generals like Hannibal, Sun Tzu and Alexander The Great who took advantage of psychology when planning their battles. Reading about their tactics can profit any student of combat.

    There are quite a few old books that one can read to learn strategy. It doesn't take much work to convert these ideas on warfare into practical teaching for personal combat. One of the most famous books on
    strategy is of course, Sun Tzu's "The art of War." But there are many other texts on strategy that you can find in your libraries. Look into Herodetus and his history of the Greek war with Persia. Theucydides wrote about the Peleponesian War between Athens and Sparta. Alexander The Great developed tactics that our military leaders still study today in the classroom.

    One book in particular that has more of a focus on personal combat is The Book of Five rings by Miyamoto Musashi. I recommend it for anyone serious about learning strategy.

    If these books don't seem to make sense to you then look up textbooks on military strategy and history.

    You might also study acting a little bit. It will do more than improve your ability as an espionage agent or a spy. It will help you sell those fakes, feigns and baits. Another thing you might do is study boxers and wrestlers. Watch what they do. Try to spot the mental game plan they have. Watch professional sports teams as well. Football, basketball .. etc. These are mental games as well.

    I know reading and studying seems like work. As athletes, we are more interested in the physical side of combat. But trust me, that is much less important than the mental game. Being smart is even more
    important than good conditioning or strength. Being educated about how to get someone open for that big punch and how to get them in that arm bar .. that may come natural to some degree .. it may be due to good coaching .. it may come with experience .. it may be something you learn from the greats who wrote about it and showed it to you in the ring .. personally I think all of those are things we should look into. It may eventually come to you after years of trial and error in sparring. Then again you could make the same mistakes over and over for the rest of your life if you don't have a good coach/teacher. Reading a little bit about what the greatest military minds in history thought about strategy and combat can't hurt.

    "To forget the past is to remain a child." - Cicero

    This is my campaign for literacy in the martial arts. Read a book! Its not going to kill ya! :P s

    >> Perhaps it was because I had an inherent skill for the science and never deviated from natural principles. - Miyamoto Musashi 1643

  2. #2
    Registered Member I Give BJJs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002

    Yes | No


    did anyone actually read that whole thing?

    for fuck's sake you have a lot of pointless things to say......
    *Everyone that does TKD likes to have their fudge packed deeper than Jerry Springer's Final Thought*

  3. #3
    Guest CrimsonTiger's Avatar

    Yes | No


    You're kidding right? I can't even read!


    "You sure talk a lot. Are you going to train at all tonight, or just stand there the whole time?" -Sempai Dale

  4. #4
    Guest 9chambers's Avatar

    Yes | No


    I was bored one nightd

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