Warrior’s Mindset III – Focus

We tell our Krav Maga students to “focus on the mission” all the time. It is important for students to focus on the outcome in various situations, not just because it sounds cool or because it comes from Krav Maga’s military history.

You must concentrate on your ultimate goal and make decisions in light of that goal, i.e. your mission. You must ensure that your decisions before, during, and after the fight support your mission. If you are not able to stay focused, you start to feel anxiety and self-doubt can creep in, which can affect your performance. Staying focused also means disregarding emotional distraction. If our mental state becomes frazzled, we flush our system with stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. This can result in focus shifting to things to worry about rather than the mission. Below we will lightly discuss the different types of attention.

The first is known as selective attention. This type focuses on a single target while ignoring everything else. Selective attention has obvious survival value; in a dangerous situation, it allows you to focus on what is most dangerous and then figure out how to deal with it. The second type of attention is known as open attention, also known as divided attention. This allows you to absorb information from the environment and within yourself, as well as pick up on subtle cues that you would otherwise miss.

Warriors must be able to identify which opponent is the most dangerous, whether in the boardroom or on the battlefield and then deal with that threat first. To do so, you must concentrate on the threat as quickly as possible and with intent. When the threat is dealt with, the focus quickly shifts to the next potential threat. The ability to shift focus is an important skill. Combat sharpens this skill because it forces you to focus in ways that nothing else can.

A warrior must be able to control his or her mind under any circumstances. Over time, a warrior should be able to transition from a relaxed state of mind and body to be completely focused on the task or threat at hand.

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