The Killer Instinct

The Killer Instinct is defined as a cold, primal mentality that surges to your consciousness and turns you into a vicious self-defense practitioner. Do you have a killer instinct? Do you know how to tap into your killer instinct? Read this article and learn more about this fascinating subject.

Self defense tools and techniques alone won’t prepare you for the violence and other horrors of street fighting. A self defense technician must have a combative mentality to channel a destructiveness exceeding that of a deadly and evil criminal aggressor. He must be a cold and vicious animal free of fear, anger, apprehension, and ego. This mentality results from mastery of the killer instinctContemporary Fighting Arts (CFA) strives to develop the killer instinct in the self defense technician.

Unfortunately, some martial arts overlook this combative mentality. Many find it to be an unsavory concept unworthy of their civilized dojo or studios. In some martial art schools, the combative mentality violates their religious and philosophical beliefs. Other systems make the mistake of replacing the combative mentality with a “competitive” mentality. This sport-oriented mind set simply lacks the brutal and aggressive characteristics necessary to neutralize a crazed criminal attacker.

“Everyone has a killer instinct!”

Everyone has a killer instinct. That’s just the way it is; it’s how we’re made. In some it may be stronger than in others. Some manifest this instinct in gross abominations. Some never call upon it at all, but it’s there. Most people manifest the killer instinct in blind rage and haphazard fury. Self-defense practitioners driven by a raw killer instinct are inferior and undisciplined warriors. Their energies are poisoned by emotion, resulting in poor body mechanics and tactical errors.

On the other hand, the self-defense practitioner who has tapped into the deep reservoir of emotional calm and mental clarity of the killer instinct can open the gates of deadly destructiveness at will. Guided by virtue and courage, one can release a most destructive energy, free of emotions. This may sound paradoxical and extreme to some. But there is, in fact, no inherent incompatibility. The advanced combat warrior must be virtuous and yet altogether capable of unleashing a controlled explosion of viciousness and brutality.

The killer instinct is predicated on being emotionless. A warrior must not experience emotions while engaged with his adversary. He must temporarily eliminate fear, anger, remorse, and ego from his conscious. Molding the average person into an emotionless warrior is not an easy task. We are, in fact, emotional creatures who, from childhood, are conditioned to feel for ourselves and others. Humans are expressive beings, crying when hurt, laughing when happy, yelling when angry. Emotional expressions are integral to our growth and development. They are , in part, the essence of humanity. It’s against our nature to be otherwise. However, it’s essential that the warrior remain emotionless during a violent confrontation because emotions create indecisiveness and dangerous tactical vulnerabilities.

The modern warrior must not fear death or physical disfigurement. Interestingly enough, some see fear as a positive self-defense attribute, believing the so-called “fight or flight” syndrome will help defeat the enemy. They site superhuman feats performed out of fear or panic. Perhaps the most popular one is the story of a mother who lifts a car to free her trapped child. This may or may not be possible. Frankly, I doubt it, but in any event there is no reliable correlation between rare paranormal phenomena and the deep psychological realms of unarmed combat.

Control of the emotions also prevents anger from poisoning the warrior. Anger is a useless emotion that only taxes energy and creates numerous vulnerabilities. The famous satirist Pietro Aretino put it best when he said, “Angry men are blind and foolish, for reason at such time takes flight and, in her absence, wrath plunders all the riches of the intellect, while the judgment remains the prisoner of its own pride.”

Viciousness is another critical characteristic of the killer instinct. By viciousness I mean dangerously aggressive behavior or extreme violence. Many people will consider this the most revolting aspect of the controlled killer instinct. However, if a self-defense practitioner is to prevail in combat, he must be more vicious than his adversary. His tools and techniques must be brutal, explosive, and conclusive. At the same time, his attack must be strategically calculated to maximize efficiency, effectiveness and safety.

The killer instinct also requires a unified mind. A unified mind is one that is free from distractions and fully focused on the enemy. Distractions are derived from two sources. The first is internal, wherein your mind wanders off or panics prior to or during actual combat. The second is external, when your adversary attempts to verbally “psych you out,” for example. Environmental conditions such as weather, lighting, terrain, and noise can also create external distractions. Regardless of the source, distractions must be ignored and eliminated from your consciousness.

There are various other characteristics of the killer instinct that must not be overlooked. They include: lucid thinking, heightened situational awareness, adrenaline manipulation, physical mobilization, psychomotor control, tunnel vision, courage, tactical implementation, breath control, ability to pseudospeciate, pain tolerance and habituation to violence.

The bottom line is when harnessed, disciplined, and forged, the killer instinct is a tremendous source of power. Developing and refining this essential combative mentality is not an easy task. It requires the application of specific cognitive exercise provided by a competent “reality based” combat instructor. If you would like to learn more about the Killer Instinct, see my book Killer Instinct: Unarmed Combat for Street Survival