The Psychology of Confrontation — 11 Comments

  1. I too am looking forward to you being back! What Val said on survival, “With patience the weakness always shows and by surviving you eventually are given the opportunity to win.” really struck a cord with me. I have noticed the same mentality with my Chinese inlaws. They approach playing games, especially Mah-jong, the same way. They also seem to have the same view on life as well. Good stuff Jack!!

  2. Great stuff Jack.
    Val is a wise man.
    I have spent the last couple years on email trying to lead my brother and one of my sisters to a more libertarian way of thinking. It has almost worked. One point I was stressing with them last week was that we can’t focus on “winning” the presidency in 2012 or on any specific candidate on any level. What we have to focus on is surviving so we can keep fighting. Libertarians are used to losing, but by surviving each battle we will win. I used North Vietnam as an example. North Vietnam didn’t need to win the battles. They just needed to keep fighting and survive. And they won.
    Its odd how many times I talk to someone about something and then I see you just covered it.
    Keep up the great work, Jack.

  3. That explains why the current undisputed heavyweight MMA champion of the world, Fedor Emelinanenko, fights the way he does – calmly waiting for an opening, and then explosively seizing that opening, often taking damage up to that point…but it usually only takes him landing that one well-aimed strike, and the fight is over.

  4. Wow, quite a quote to think on. Thanks for the update on things. Can’t wait to hear your next episode… you’ve totally gotten me hooked!

  5. Hope you got a lot of work done Jack. I\’m looking forward to hearing the podcasts about these ideas on confrontation. I went back and listened to the podcast about systema that you did about a year ago or so and it was pretty fascinating. Take care until then!

  6. I wanted to say the quote kind of stems the accepted national identity. Americans generally strive toward a goal knocking barriers out of the way, aka fight to win; whereas the russians are very stoic, persevere inspite of barriers and conditions, aka fight to survive. While I think it admirable to be stoic it is also admirable to strive toward a goal, and both systems of thought are simultaneoulsy promoted with your show, are in now way mutually exclusive, and often widely overlap. Anyway, food for thought.

  7. Interesting difference in American vs. Soviet paradigms. In my mind, survival is winning. Wonder if Soviet’s lack of resources compared to US has a bearing on this mindset?

  8. @The Equalizer

    I think like many you are not taking the concept in the right context.

    Of course the Russians wanted to win, this philosophy came from Val’s time with the Soviet Olympic Squad it is about individual confrontations. It is about not committing to early, being patient and observing your opponents responses and using their commitment against them when they make an error. It is also about with drawing when they made a solid commitment that would be to their advantage and then moving back into position again and again, and again until they make a mistake.

    It is not survival as opposed to winning, it is winning through survival and patience. Does it work? Try looking up the number of medals won by Soviet Olympians.