“Defensive vs Protective: A Matter of Mindset” by Brian Kagen pick: by Hunter Armstrong

“The word mindset is often bandied about in combative training, though it doesn’t seem to be easily defined nor well applied in practice. We prefer the term combative intent. While most people who use the term mindset seem to be referring to a “correct” mindset, inherently the word itself is basically neutral: one can either a positive mindset or a negative mindset. Combative intent, however, implies the will or volition to carry out a combative action. Nevertheless, whether using the word mindset or intent, a rose by another name is just as sweet… The problem is not in the term itself, but in understanding what it means. And the meaning and learning the appropriate use of mindset can literally be a matter of life-or-death. In all training for real combat, the ultimate aim is to train the most effective combative intent (or mindset) possible. What that intent should be often is not clear. And a lack of clear combative intent is reflected in and by combative performance (and behavior).

And common misconception that relates directly to the lack of clarity in combative intent is seen in the common lack of a clear understanding the distinction between “defensive: and “protective.” In common use, there doesn’t appear to be much difference between “defend” and “protect,” however, in hoplological terms when speaking about combat and combative intent (mindset) there is a substantial distinction. ”

Please click here to read entire article.


  1. What seems to have worked for me is to transcend either and simply work the 4-dimensional puzzle. There seems to be some sort of mental switch that boosts you out of the day-to-day, beyond the contention of fighting or defending.

Speak Your Mind