The Ultimate Hack for Achieving Mastery

by Stephen Spivey
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Reality-Based Self-Defense (RBSD)

In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. 10,000 hours equals two hundred and fifty 40-hour work weeks. That is five years of studying (with two weeks of vacation and sick time per year) before you master an area. Can we afford that investment of time in being able to successfully defend ourselves?
In Reality-Based Self-Defense (RBSD), there is an essential life-hack that allows us to achieve mastery in self-defense much quicker – mock scenario training. When training in mock scenarios with a live aggressor, utilizing fear adrenaline, we circumvent the timely process in traditional self-defense training. People do not need to train years to become black belt to protect themselves.
RBSD allows you to train just as you would need to respond in real life. In training, it is a necessity to be able to strike full force on a live, moving target. The mind-muscle connection is quite amazing. If you train so that you are familiar with shocking scenarios, your body will step up in a real time of need.
Striking full force trains your muscles while dealing with a live aggressor. This is paramount in your training. RBSD instructors often wear padded protective gear so students can strike full-force and find out what it really takes to incapacitate a moving aggressor. This allows students to experience and execute the required response to an attack. Remember that the thinking part of your brain is offline. So the only way to react effectively is to train the body and mind to respond instinctively, automatically, and without analyzing and deciding what move to do next.
Just as important, if not more so, is that students practice their verbal and awareness skills in realistic role-playing scenarios. There is nothing quite like having a guy in street clothes with sunglasses and a skullcap, put his finger in your face and yell at you to hand him your wallet. In these training scenarios your heart starts to race and you have the same reactions as you would in the street. This training is truly what keeps you out of harm’s way.
Whether training in physical or verbal scenarios, remember this: Train with stimuli that trigger in you the same feelings and challenges as would a real-world confrontation or attack. This will give you the proper tools to withstand the adrenaline jolt that hits like a hammer when confronted by an aggressor.

Driving a Top Fuel Dragster

If you haven’t seen top fuel dragsters race down the strip, you should. In the world of racing there is no exhibit of power that even comes close to top fuel dragsters. It is truly incredible.
Let’s imagine that you were able to take your everyday, common car – a six cylinder, 140 horse-powered vehicle – and line it up on a drag strip.  Suppose you fervently practiced dragging your car down the strip, much in the way the dragsters do. On race day, you would don the cool-looking helmet and uniform. You would walk calmly to your car (possibly in slow motion with your favorite soundtrack playing in your head.) You would get in, buckle up, and rev up the RPMs, waiting for the light to turn green. As soon as you had the signal, you would hit the gas and race down the strip until you cross the finish line…just like you had practiced a million times.  Pretty simple, right?
Now, consider you have the opportunity to race in a powerful vehicle, a top fuel dragster. On race day you walk towards the 7500 horsepower race car.  The ground quakes beneath you as you approach the beast. The engine is so powerful that you actually have difficulty breathing in and out. The sound of the engine is so loud that, even though you have ear plugs in, it hurts.
As you get in the dragster and buckle up, every cell in your body is shaking violently, and you are sweating profusely from the power of the engine. Before you even hit the accelerator, you are overwhelmed. You have a serious question about whether you can handle this monster of a car but, before you can sort it out, you see you have a green light. You step on the gas and…what happens? You will probably not escape with your life. At best, you will end up in the hospital.
Even though the basic function of racing the six cylinder car and the top fuel dragster are similar, the actual act of taking control of the dragster is overwhelming. You would need extensive training to understand the dynamics of top fuel racing and to manage a dragster as you would your own vehicle in a comparable simulation.
Training in mock scenarios will give you the ability to “drive the top fuel dragster.” Having a real live aggressor taunt and yell at you and then physically attack you can be overwhelming and, to say the least, it gets your adrenaline pumping and heart racing. This training puts you into a position to understand what a real attack is like; bridging the gap from theoretical training to real life scenario training that will save your life. It is the ultimate life-hack.


Stephen Spivey
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