Ending a “Fight” in 3 Moves is Not What You Think – Marc MacYoung


I was asked by someone “what do you think could allow someone to achieve the ability to end a confrontation in 3 moves”.

Here’s my response:


In this case it’s not what I think, it’s what I know allows for it.

Think of a pyramid. Now make it three sided instead of four (although technically a pyramid has five sides if you count the bottom). This new three sided shape is common to what are called 4 sided die (you can Google these weird looking dice)

The ability to get it done in three relies on three things working together.

1) Mental – the knowledge and awareness of the difference between social and asocial violence and how to shift gears between the two.

(Ending it in three is NOT social in nature, it is asocialhttp://www.conflictcommunications.com/Socialviolence.htm

Although it very much can be using asocial strategies [resource protection/predation] in social situations, it is not a social violence mindset. MOST importantly, is being able to shift into what my fried Kasey calls a ‘werewolf’



2) Strategy and tactics — There is a difference. The way I define them, strategy is ‘overview’ for achieving goals. Tactics are short term manifestations of strategy given the exact circumstances.

There are certain conditions that HAVE to be met in order to end it in three. Your strategies and tactics are aimed at meeting these conditions — and not much else. If you don’t meet them you end up with failed Mountain Man Rabbit Stew. (Actual quote from an 1850s cookbook — “Step one: Catch a rabbit.”  If you don’t catch a rabbit, you got vegetarian stew)  If you don’t achieve those conditions then ‘over in three’ ain’t gonna work.

3) Effective movement — This is a bitch to explain in writing, but:

EVERY move you make must meet three standards

1) It ‘secures your perimeter’– blocks and guards you (defense as you normally think it)

2) Interrupts your opponents ability to attack

3) Sets up your next move

Not every technique, EVERY move in a technique meets these standards.

But let’s look at the last two points closely. Two is that it destroys his balance, jacks his structure, turns his orientation, etc., etc. Basically making it so he has to do something else BEFORE he can attack again — like get his balance back.

Three is once this off balanced, hopping on one foot, in a screwed up pose  is right in front of you your next move is obvious. I mean the dude is wrapped up like a Christmas present right in front of you and the only decision you have to make is how much force to use. A little and he goes home (after you’ve quietly talked to him about why his behavior was out of line). A lot and — if he’s lucky — he’s going to the hospital, if not the morgue.

Read Kasey’s werewolf blogs because I really like his discussion about the predator mindset to ‘live trap.’ That is very much a key element about getting out of the Monkey Brain ‘fighting’ mindset. It’s how you’re thinking about violence that makes ‘over in three’ difficult, not actually doing it.

In other words, developing the ‘ability’ is more about what you need to stop doing than what you actually do. And the biggest, hardest and most challenging part of that is stop thinking and fighting like a pissed off monkey.

In conclusion, I’d like to point out that I’ve read Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Basil Lidell Hart, Patton, Musahi, et all. I like to add Larry the Cable Guy to the list of the great martial philosophers — GIT R DONE!


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