For most of you reading this, when you read the title, "FINDING THE DRAGON WITHIN YOURSELF" you probably imagine thoughts of mystical powers where someone, in one of your favorite martial arts movies, has arrived at a point in their training that they have reached that final level and now can conjure up super powers that they never knew they had inside themselves.
In a theatrical way, that is kind of it. In reality though, you don't have to spend a lifetime of training to reach down and find your Dragon Spirit. It's always been there, the thing is that most people have not learned how to trigger it. It's the spot in your mind you have to discover that allows you to separate yourself from your doubts and fears in order to deal with something overwhelming in a moment of perceived chaos. This is not anger, berserking or "just going for it". It's a point of controlled separation from your superficial self in an instant when you know you need to focus, draw on your training and knowledge and bring it all together in one moment.
Some of you might be thinking that this is what athletes call finding their zone. It's close, but not the same. Finding your zone comes from training to a point that your confidence, concentration, rhythm, timing, distance and accuracy all come together at once. The "zone" is where you are at the top of your game. You've prepared for the moment and know you own it. That's an awesome feeling to experience. It's not quite what I am talking about though.
Think of a soldier, let's say a Navy Seal for imagery. A Navy Seal has been trained to use his Dragon from within. When a Navy Seal is engaged by an enemy or an attacker he must separate himself instantly from his surface thoughts, his fears doubts and distractions the instant that he goes into combat. He needs to be able to switch from that person he is at the moment and engage his soldier side immediately or he, his team and/or the people he is responsible for protecting could be dead in a blink of an eye. That Navy Seal can't be focusing on the fact that he might get shot. He needs to switch his mind over to, that which he was trained to do and concentrate on that 100% to get the job done. He's not thinking about who he might upset, who started the argument, whether he should run and hide from the bullets flying by his head or any other possible superficial thoughts. He's converted himself into a concentrated and controlled mindset and knows that he has to do what he's been trained for and have the confidence in his self to "Do it Now". There is no time for doubt, reconsideration, or any internal dialogue. This is the Dragon from within I am talking about that many people don't seem to understand when I talk of Real Self Defense. Self Defense is a state of mind. The martial arts are simply the tools you use. The most difficult thing I have to explain in Self Defense training is changing your mindset. Women's Self Defense is the perfect example. There are so many martial artists, MMA and sport fighters out there that are teaching martial arts moves and calling them Self Defense but not really teaching Real Self Defense. I can teach you a bunch of different Karate, BJJ, Boxing, Muay Thay, MMA and other martial arts moves that really can work if you can apply them in quite a few situations, but the question is what will you do when you become overwhelmed?How will you react or respond to the moment when it's real and it's there? Most people think there are only 2 options. Fight or Flight. The fight option often sounds like the self defense option, but usually is just another street fight scenario and luckily, that will get many people out of many situations, because a predator often wants to prey on the weak and will think twice against a challenger. For those of you that have dealt with Rape Prevention, many of you will have heard of the third option, which is to Freeze. This is when someone's response to being overwhelmed puts them into a catatonic state and their body essentially shuts down on them from fear. The 4th option though is the Real Self Defense option which is drawing on your Dragon from Within. This is where you find your calmness, and like the Navy Seal, do what it takes to get the job done and over with in the most efficient and effective method possible.
So what is the difference between the Fight Response and the Dragon Within?
The FightResponse is first and foremost an emotional reaction. These people tend to fight like sport fighters, trying to punch, kick, beat up and beat down your opponent using that berserker mentality... being crazed and fierce. That's fine in a bar brawl, but it's usually just a "peacocking" pride kind of fight. This style is not so great though, when you have to deal with multiple attackers with weapons, or when someone much stronger and larger than you is trying to take your life.
The difference with the Dragon Within mindset, is that here you are simply trying to survive the assault and get away as unharmed as possible. This mindset is not based on beating someone up, it's set on finishing the threat as quick as possible. This means creating injury, controlling the situation and your environment and using whatever force is necessary, with whatever tools are available to get you out alive. (Please understand the concept of necessary force by the law of your State or Country). In a life threatening attack a pen into the throat, keys in the eyes, stabbing, shooting and maybe even killing someone is a state of mind you must come to grips with in order to survive. Being able to do what you need to in the moment is what makes the difference in this state of mind. People who can draw on their dragon within without emotion are Real Self Defense practitioners.
The difference in mindset between the Fight Response and being able to use the Dragon Within is that the Fight Response is reactive to a threat, where as the Dragon Within is responsive. Reaction, is purely emotional and protective and uses emotion (fear, pride, anger) causing you to use actions that are primal and animalistic. Response, on the other hand is cognitive and comes from being prepared. To be able to Respond to a situation, the mind has to have been trained to see the cues and preempt a potential threat rather than react to it.
One last concept to add to this, is again be to return to the concept of Women's Self Defense and to give you an example of how the Dragon Within might be drawn on by a female with no self defense experience, but rather by instinct.
Imagine a young 23 year old woman who has been asked to look after her sisters 7 month old newborn daughter for the evening. She is happy to do so and loves the opportunity to spend auntie time with her new niece. She's only 5'2" and weighs 112lbs and just got settled in for a relaxed evening, when unexpectedly two large men break into her house. The fist man is ,desperate looking, very violent 6'3", 230 pounds and his friend is this enormous 6'6" 280 pound monster who looks like a pro lineman for an NFL team. The two men had thought the house was empty when they broke in but found this frightened little girl cowering in the corner near a baby pleading for them to take whatever they like and please leave. She could see that both the men were under the influence of drugs and alcohol and realized that their attention was now turning towards her. The two men joked between each other on how she said that they could take anything, so now she's become a part of that "anything". As the largest man approached her she tries her best to negotiate her way out with words, then the crazy guy grabbed hold of her. Her fear was so great, what could she do? She was becoming overwhelmed by anxiety... it was obvious what their intent was......
So what could she have done?
1) Flight: She could have made an attempt to escape from the spot where she was cornered, but that would have meant leaving her niece behind and they were already in reach of her and trying beginning to touch her
2) Fight: She could have tried to take on these two with screams, kicks to the groin, a bunch of "Fire" "Help" cries and all that junk they teach in those outdated self defense classes (that probably most of the females reading this may have attended at one time or another) and likely been raped, beaten to death, or suffered some sort of severe assault.
3) Froze: She might have frozen and just locked up in a catatonic or paralyzed state and been raped and assaulted by the two men.
or 4) She could have Brought out her Dragon from Within: ****So, you may be asking yourself why the 7 month old niece was included in my story. It was to illustrate the mindset of the Dragon Within Oneself.
You see, if it had just been her by herself, even if she was a black belt in Brazilian Jujitsu, competed in Muay Thai or a pro MMA Fighter, her Fight Response would likely have done very little to stop them from doing anything they wanted to her because she was out numbered and the men were so much bigger and stronger than her. Those combat systems are not designed to deal with this kind of situation and would very likely just have excited the situation in the eyes of the attackers.,,,, On the other hand if either one or both of those brutal monsters had made even the slightest action toward grabbing or hurting her sisters daughter, her FEMALE INSTINCT would have kicked in and there would be nothing she would not use or do to stop them from touching her niece. She would stab them, kill them, and likely give up her own life to protect her. Thats the Dragon Within that I am talking about.
The problem lays in the fact that most people won't find themselves important enough in the moment to protect themselves the way they would protect that baby. That is why people end up more mentally damaged than physically damaged after an attack or rape. They end up in the "would have.... should have" state of mind wondering why the self defense course they took didn't work and their black belts never paid off. They simply reacted to the situation. I teach my Women's Self Defense clients to be able to protect themselves the way they would for that 7 month old niece. As I said earlier. Self Defense is a Mental State of Mind. Martial Arts and guns are just tools. Learn to train your Dragon within.
If you are looking for REAL SELF DEFENSE training contact me by text at 619-379-4265
Grand Master Greg Fraser
I hope you look for my next related blog on "What makes someone a Dragon?: There are Dragons in this world, just not the way you may have seen in mythology." This article will help you understand entrepreneurs, great athletes, and people that change the world for good or bad. I hope you check it out.