Archive for the Self Defense Category

Reality Check Part II…Mindset.

Posted in Self Defense on November 7, 2013 by Echo Lima Bravo


Mindset, an interesting word. I think one often over thought ironically enough. Very few times in our lovely language, so we get a word who’s definition is so succinct. Set your mind. Plug and play. Set it and forget it. Pretty straightforward. The work on mindset doesn’t happen any time but prior…to anything. It is the work you do before you venture out into the world. Your number one tool for survival, for living.

I think most people don’t realize that they all ready have one. It is a product of how you spend your time, who you associate with, what you accept, your morality, and your strengths and weaknesses. All decision making you will ever do in your life is based in your mindset. You have to decide who you are, what you value, and what you are willing to do to live those priorities. As it relates to self defense, you must start with what you value.

What has Value in My Life?

The answer to this will be different for all of us, but I will share my own answers for reference, to help you decide. I value three things above all else. My faith in the Trinity, my family, and my tribe. I live a comfortable life professionally, and financially, but those things are accessories to my life, not definitions, even though a lot of hard work and time is spent in nurturing and developing them. I do that for my real priorities, to provide an environment that my faith, family and friends are protected, propped up, and loved from a position of security. That is it. No chasing money, or stuff, just opportunity for things down the road…for all of us.

They are why I get up in the morning. This is what I live my life for. The love intertwined in my GFT.

God, Family, Tribe.

I have a very specific belief in my life that guides my mindset. Not everyone shares it, but it is essential to my mindset. My faith in God is the center of all I value, and that brings responsibility, commitment, and peace. To the best of my ability, I know who I am, and what is important. I work on my life and soul in earnest for the Kingdom of God. That preparation is important to my mindset.

I do not fear death. Big statement, with big implications. No one wants to die, we are programmed to avoid it. Similarly, I don’t want to leave my family and friends behind, nor do I want them to leave me. The difference is, I know it is going to happen at some point, because it does for all of us. I am prepared today. If my life is taken, what I value will not be taken away…it cannot. What I value is beyond temporal, and there is a huge peace and freedom in that. My life is not my own, it belongs to God, and through love, to those I love in return, and who love me.

I also know what God values in mankind. Love the Lord your God with all you are, and love your tribe as you love yourself the way God loves you (paraphrased of course). The meat and potatoes of the Gospel. Love, service, sacrifice.

I am prepared to take life, or give my own to do those things I just mentioned, and I know my actions will find favor with the Lord. It is that simple, and yet that profound. My faith, my family, and my tribe are worth protecting.


I have spent a lot of time reading, studying, and training for the time the rubber meets the road. I am a deadly man. I have made myself this way out of love, and I will continue to better my self, and become more deadly. I have gotten over the stigma that comes from being a Christian and a Warrior, because it is one based in fear and ignorance of our purpose. Can you love yourself and allow an evil man to take your life? The life of your wife? Your children? Your Friend? An innocent person? I believe it would haunt you the rest of your days. It would me, so I train…I prepare myself.

The best thing about being deadly, is the removal of fear. My preparation has had the awesome benefit of enhancing my happiness and joy. I know I can handle myself against evil men, and that security has strengthened my resolve to enjoy my life.

I protect it to live it!



The world has different standards than I do…fact of life. There is a chance that a jury of my “peers”, will not come to the same conclusion I did when protecting what I value. I’m OK with that too. I have an attorney who understands me and is prepared to help me should the need arise. Part of the package in our day and age. I’m not Rambo, or a super hero, or a police officer, so my interactions in life must pass the reasonable man test. I have a line in the sand that I have drawn, and it is very clear to me. If it is crossed, I will act without hesitation. The results of that will be the results, no matter how difficult they are to deal with. Love requires that resignation.

I will not be stricken with grief. I will not hate myself. I will not be afraid. I will simply be. I will not leave in fear of the repercussions of defending my life lest I lose it. “Better tobacco in prison, than flowers on the grave”, as the old saying goes.

Evil does not care about anything but serving itself. At the moment I must protect myself or anything else I value from Evil, I will be a deadly and skilled force of rage.

Because I love.

That is my mindset.

Recommended DVD

This video is one of the best on mindset for anyone who has taken up the mantle. It is geared towards firearms and carrying a pistol, but the concept is universal. I highly recommend it:

Reality Check…

Posted in Self Defense on October 17, 2013 by Echo Lima Bravo

Is the world a good place, or a bad place?

Lets forget the underlying philosophical debate that is constantly tied up in intentions and minutia for second, and focus on something a little less general. Lets make it simple. Are there good people in the world? Are their bad people?

Much easier now to decide, isn’t it? The answer to both is YES. Now what? Most people just shrug their shoulders, put their heads in the sand and move on. I’m not saying getting on with your life in spite of the evil in the world is a bad thing, everyone should do this. I do believe there is an inherent danger in the motivation, however. Do you move on from a position of helplessness or apathy, or acknowledgement with action? They are two very different things.

Head in the Sand


There is a certain self-righteousness that comes with acceptance of information, and disregarding it. On this issue in particular, most people adopt one of two passive mindsets in dealing with the obvious. While they accept the fact that there are bad, even evil people in the world, they will assume they are immune because of a multitude of factors, or that someone else will protect them. The other group chooses to focus on the good people, and resigns themselves to focus on only that, with utopian expectations and dreams…the misguided hope that everyone will eventually embrace the goodness in themselves and turn over a new leaf when they see how wonderful peace is.


Goodness wins battles within oneself, certainly, but out there the rules are different. Only a fool doesn’t see beyond his own nose. Moral superiority does not safety make, and it does nothing to secure goodness for posterity. The parable of the ostrich with his head in the sand is beyond old, but for some reason, its wisdom is embraced by very few.


It will never happen to me”…said everyone who has ever been a victim of violence.


Let that sink in for a minute. No one expected to be mugged, armed at gunpoint, raped, molested, shot, stabbed, beaten senseless, or killed. Does that make you uncomfortable? Good! My hope is that it will make you uncomfortable enough to change some things about the way you live your life.

I am not going to waste my time with statistics. People hear them all the time. They watch the news, read the paper, hear the arguments. The data is out there for anyone who can’t see the obvious. No, I am going to tell you why it happens, and what you can do to change the odds. For you, and those you hold dear.

In this post, I am going to focus on the why, and cover the solutions later. There is simply too much to put in one entry, and each step deserves undivided attention.

Why share this with you? Because I am a good guy who knows the difference, and I have a duty to share it with you. I want your goodness and morality to endure for the future. I want you alive, unshaken, and unafraid to share your light with the rest of the world. That is how we can make a difference.

The Bad People

Violent people, who are predominately men, are really good at some things that you are not. Being good at these things is how they operate with such high success rates, and are tough to stop.

guy with knife

1. They understand human inclination to certain behaviors.

Bad guys are experts at human behavior. They can tell things about you by your body language, your level of distraction, the way you dress, where you go, how you behave in public spaces, how you carry yourself, and what you notice. They use this information to know how you will likely react when confronted, when and where to confront you, and their likelihood of success to make you a victim.

2. They are not afraid of operating outside of social norms, and can use them deceptively.

They understand that most people shrink at confrontation rather than fight back. They know that approaching you while asking for the time, or appearing in distress, will trigger a benign or emotional response from you that removes your instinctual guard. They are not afraid to do things to you or others that a normal, rational person would never do…and it is easy for them.

3. They are fit.

How many thugs have you seen that look out of shape? Odds are they work out and know how to fight. They can also run, and will if they want what you have bad enough. They prepare to be stronger than you, because they have to.

4. They don’t follow the rules.

They will do whatever it takes to prevail. They will hurt you even if you don’t “deserve” it. They don’t obey laws, or gun free zones. They will hurt kids and old ladies. The rules are for you, not them.

5. They have done it before.

You are very unlikely to be their first victim. They are well practiced, and skilled in their endeavors.

6. They are comfortable with risk.

They are not afraid to fail, or get hurt. Risk is inherent in everything they do. Their whole life is risk.

7. They choose their targets carefully.

They pick targets with the highest rates of success, both from past experience, and from what they observe about you when you don’t know they are looking.

8. They are focused.

When they attack, they have one goal. Get what they want and go. They aren’t worrying about anything else.

9. They don’t fear the things that you do.

They will initiate the conflict giving them the upper hand. After sizing you up, they feel they have all ready won before they begin. They don’t fear the dark, or knives, or guns, or the police because they are familiar with them. Yelling at them is useless, and they aren’t going to succumb to your pleading. You are an object to them, not a person.

10. They work in groups with increasing regularity.

More and more now, this is becoming a reality, making defending yourself all the more difficult.

What you can do

Accept the facts. Adjust your mindset. Prepare yourself, and be willing to act. Become dangerous.


To be continued…..

What is a Warrior?

Posted in Faith, Random Thoughts, Self Defense on October 11, 2013 by Echo Lima Bravo



noun, often attributive \ˈwr-yər, ˈwr-ē-ər, ˈwär-ē- also ˈwär-yər\

: a person who fights in battles and is known for having courage and skill

That is how Webster’s defines it, but I find that seriously lacking in substance. Warriors are subset of a cultural identity within a society. One that serves many roles and wears many hats, depending on which culture you study. For my purposes, I am going to discuss a “self-identified” description from many men that I have come to know over the past year on Warrior Talk, with my obvious bias as a Christian, husband, and father. I hope you find it informative, provoking, and motivating.

Self Identity

The first quality of a warrior is his definition of self. For me this is something much broader than today’s commonplace underpinnings of ego. A warrior’s sense of self revolves around the idea of honing his personal being into one of excellence in service of his tribe. His tribe can be many things, but for me it is family, friends, and the Church. A warrior’s work is set upon and graded in his usefulness to those ends. His personal fulfillment is in knowing that he is striving to be the best tool possible to provide, protect, and lift up his chosen people. It is reflected in their lives and his role in them.


Good is not good enough. A warrior never stops striving. Always forward is his direction.

He believes that his first duty is his ability to preform when called upon, no matter the challenge, and everything else falls second. He never ceases to push himself in the quest for wisdom, strength, love, charity, and skill. This is his life’s work.

sun tzu


He has a purpose in life for all he takes on. He does not commit when he cannot fulfill, but he will die trying. When something is beyond his skill, he will seek the help of others in humility. He will not sacrifice his bearing for the winds of the day, but rather act as benchmark for others to find their way. He is unrelenting in the strength of his will, so that others may lean on him in their time of weakness. When he is weak, he asks for help, but never shows the enemy. The only time he takes a knee, is at the altar.


A warrior never gives up. He pushes on when others have faltered. His defeats are lessons on how to do better. His introspection serves only to better himself. Self-pity is not productive. He always moves forward.


Who is a warrior?

I submit to you that it is anyone who picks up the mantle. It is you. If you are a Christian, a husband, or a father, there is a call on your life to excellence.

Answer it.


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