I was watching my daughter play volleyball the other day, and it occurred to me that in order to be successful at ANYTHING, one has to be 100% committed. Whether it be playing a sport aggressively, achievements in the workplace, and in defending your life if the situation arises. In sports, if one member of the team is tentative in that play, either the other players have to make up for that players lack of action, or the play is lost immediately. If someone in the workplace drops the ball in some way, other team members have to pick up the slack, and/or that person faces disciplinary action. It is the same for self-defense. If an attack happens and you do not give it 100% aggression and attack your attacker, the chances of bodily injury or even death are almost certain.

So what holds us back from putting in 100%? The common denominator is FEAR. If you wait too long to act, or overthink something, and all of the possible outcomes are flooding into your brain, your hesitation to act is reinforced. When a professional fight is advertised and the fighters meet for press a month or two before the fight and hurl insults at each other, it is a prime example of trying to intimidate the other and breed hesitation that could transfer into the ring.

In learning self-defense, the ultimate lesson is the same. You are either 100% in, or you are 100% out. If you are tentative or try to think, you will not be 100% in the moment, and the outcome is a potential disaster. The way to be 100% in? Performing over and over until it’s not something thought about, it’s done before your brain catches up. Then add new drills that constantly test skills learned in different ways. What should your mindset be? I train every day thinking that anyone who attacks me will know more than me, so I intensify my training and I attack my training 100%. A wise man said to me, “Train to be a machine. If you are woken up in the middle of the night, you can perform out of a dead sleep.”

In whatever you do, go 100%.