"In the fell clutch of circumstances, I have not winced or cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed. It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my ship." ---Sir William Ernest Henley
In this, our fourteenth edition of Street Fighter, we will examine why a Street Fighter willingly moves to the sound of the guns? Why in a gun battle does a Street Fighter act counter to the natural survival instinct that is so ingrained in all of mankind? What motivates a Street Fighter to triumph over fear? What are the qualities a servant leader must possess to enable him to inculcate Street Fighters with passion and self-confidence?
Many LEOs wrongly assume servant leaders must be exceedingly humble, docile and self-effacing. To the contra, servant leaders can be as bold and daring as a pit bull in accomplishing their mission and holding team members accountable.
As servant leaders, Street Fighters know they must forswear their vanity, their lust for dominance, their self-approbations for the greater good of their team. When Street Fighters serve others, they must disarm their desire to always have the right solutions, to always be right. Instead, they listen to opposing points of view, content in knowing who and what they are. The servant leader's style is "allowed opposition," closeness not aloofness.
The servant leader counsels his Street Fighters that plans will change; however, they must stick with the mission and not the plan. Always, first the mission, the plans can, and sometimes must, change.
During fast paced enforcement operations there will come a time when the servant leader will have to decide whether or not to substantially deviate from the pre-approved operational plan. Remember, Lucifer always has a say in the battle.
This is always a vexing command question. The servant leader must decide how much does he stick to the plan and how much does he act in accordance with the spirit of the plan? Can the servant leader broadly interpret the plan? Would he even go as far as to institute a counteraction?
There are subjective tensions in captainship and the art of bridging is a critical skill the servant leader must master.
The Suit is the antithesis of the servant leader. While the Suits gain their power from rules and regulations found in moldy, behind the time manuals; servant leaders earn the loyalty and respect from their Street Fighters by infusing courage, plain speaking and vision.
The Street Fighter learns early on how to distinguish the man of words from the man of deeds. Suits talk the talk, but don't walk the walk.
An open rupture often develops between the Suits and the Street Fighters they hope to lead due to the Suits self-centeredness, unrestrained treachery, careerism and sparsity of real-world experience. The Suits talk about going into battle; however, only Street Fighters buckle on armor.
The servant leader knows where he's going and has planned on how to get there. He is not rooted to old commitments. Instead, he updates his plans periodically and adjusts his goals to meet the change in himself, in his opportunities, and in the world around him.
Servant leaders embolden their Street Fighters to be the best they can be by sharing know how and experience. However, there are times the servant leader must forge ahead and exhort his Street Fighters to give maximum effort.
While it is possible to fly into a rage and issue an order compelling Street Fighters to comply, servant leaders prefer looking their men in the eye and calmly say "Follow Me."
The servant leader not only instructs and trains his Street Fighters how to face perilous situations fraught with danger; the servant leader boldly moves ahead of his men, setting a standard of daring and devotion. The servant leader's moral values, self-motivation and unorthodox style have strongly influenced the Street Fighter who deems no mission is unachievable.
In times of high stress, the servant leader's tone of voice has great influence on his Street Fighters. Sometimes soothing and affirmative, sometimes exacting and unyielding, and sometimes critical and scorching.
The servant leader must be sincere because his team can spot a hypocrite a mile away.
What is the most difficult moment the servant leader will face on the battlefield? Most would think death, the fear of being wounded or the dreadful images of comrades killed or wounded. With the gunfire raging the servant leader blocks out the violence, the cruelty and focuses on the mission, the task at hand. It is the moment just before making a decision. This is when the servant leader must leave his comfort zone, his safe house and push through the door of uncertainty, take the risk and make fateful decisions, placing the lives of his Street Fighters in jeopardy.
When this occurs, the servant leader's mind will be filled with many turbulent thoughts: lonely, accepting, trusting, anxious, scared, poised, praying. The surrounding atmosphere will be hushed and tense as he monitors radio chatter.
The servant leader can rest easy for the Street Fighters he has personally selected and educated will perform well. His Street Fighters will demonstrate visionary ways to overcome challenges.
The Street Fighters professionalism allows the servant leader the latitude to stay constantly engaged in planning and evaluating. The servant leader will be able to stay a couple of steps ahead of events, shaping his plans rather than reacting to matters as they evolve.
The servant leader battles against cruelty and corruption. Standing as a single, unmoved will of stone, armed with the Street Fighters immemorial oath: never yield, never fail, lead from the front.
Martin Luther King Jr.: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?"
During her interview with CBS "This Morning," Sarah Zorn, The Citadel's Regimental Commander, told the journalist that she viewed herself as a servant leader. Sarah eloquently explained as a servant leader she puts the needs of others before her own needs, believing "it is not about what I am, it is about what I do." Sarah willingly accepted awesome responsibility knowing full well the trust and stewardship The Citadel, my alma mater, had placed in her.
During her four years at The Citadel Sarah embraced the values of the fighting spirit and acquired the skills necessary to prevail as a Street Fighter. To many Americans mediocrity is too often prevalent and way too often accepted. The Citadel attracts men and women into its ranks who shun mediocrity, who always finish the task to the best of their ability.
Sarah acquired mental toughness so as to be able to vanquish those nagging voices in her mind that would urge her to quit. Remaining calm in the face of adversity, staying focused on the mission and never buckling under pressure.
The Citadel provided Sarah the professional tools to lead men in combat. To understand their excitement and how they may possibly react in extreme moments of peril. From her martial arts training, two black belts, Sarah knows sometimes to win a war; she may have to steel her nerves to lose an engagement.
The Citadel taught Sarah to control her emotions as she skirts along the ragged fringes of chaos, all the while learning how to battle the swift gush of adrenaline and incomprehensible fears she will inevitably have to face in her future endeavors. She will be running day and night with little sleep relying on her sense of responsibility to keep her in the fight.
Sarah learned determination is an important quality that a servant leader must possess. A servant leader cannot say, "I'm really tired, I'll come back and try again tomorrow." On the battlefield there is no tomorrow. Servant leaders live for today. They give their all, now.
Sarah is strict, hardworking, open to suggestions, but utterly intolerant of bungling, sloppiness and inefficiency. Sarah takes risks but not foolhardy ones. Before she makes a decision, she calculates the odds realistically. Sarah has the capacity for learning, an ability to assess complicated situations, a facility to strike at the heart of a problem. In sum, Sarah's judgment is sound, her balance excellent.
Sarah's personal commitment to patriotism, honesty, loyalty and faith in God defines who she is as a leader. The Citadel taught Sarah that faith is absolutely essential for a Street Fighter. It has been said that faith is not the absence of fear or doubt, but the verve that gets you safely through the long, dark moments of the searing reality of kill or be killed.
From the various leadership positions Sarah held at The Citadel she learned the value of independent thinking, of performing in accordance with her personal values and not merely going along to get along even if it entails a confrontation.
The Citadel provided Sarah the freedom to innovate, to take risks, to reason. They also provided Sarah freedom from complacency, fear and lethargy.
The Citadel inculcated in Sarah to place the mission and her men before herself; to convert every negative into a positive and when everything turns to shambles, to step into the breach, pick up the guidon and lead from the front.
In Street Fighter-Part Thirteen we learned of the 27 November 1934 deaths of FBI Agents Sam Cowley and Herman Hollis. On the afternoon of Herman's death his wife, Genevieve, and young son, Edward, had stopped by the Chicago FBI office to go Christmas shopping, to be followed later by family diner. There, at the FBI office, they were told the shattering, life altering news of Herman's death. After Sam Cowley's death his wife, Lavon, had no other source of income. J. Edgar Hoover secured Lavon a job as a clerk in the Los Angeles FBI office.
Street Fighters know they have lived their lives with honor, valor and integrity; a life they can take pride in and are at peace with.
Street Fighters can lighten their family's burden by making sure they have put their affairs in order. If they haven't taken the time to provide for their family everything will be left in disarray. Street Fighters are men of character and will be astounded at how much peace of mind will come to them knowing they have provided for their family.
A Street Fighter has two choices in estate analysis: with a will, i.e., "testate", or without a will, "intestate." Dying testate is more desirable because the Street Fighter's express wishes and purposes are fulfilled by a legal document called a will. In effect, a Street Fighter who writes a will is essentially ruling from the grave.
By having a will, he determines how assets will be distributed and decides which individuals will receive specific items of personal property or other bequests. A properly drafted will reduces taxes and provide care for minors, allowing the Street Fighter to select a fiduciary who will administer his estate and trust.
Street Fighters should also have a Living Will which is a document letting people know your wishes for end-of-life medical care in case you become unable to communicate your decisions. This document gives invaluable guidance to family members and health care providers. Without a Living Will family members are left with painful decisions as they attempt to guess your preferred treatment
"When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes, they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home." ---Tecumseh
On 9 June 1990 twilight had released its hold on the City of Angels and the chilliness of the night had settled in. LAPD Officer Stacy Lim was returning home after a late-night softball game. As she drove, Stacy smelt the noxious stench from poorly combusted exhaust fumes that fouled the air over her city. She hadn't yet picked up on the five gangbangers who had followed her for thirty miles with the intent to carjack and murder her.
It was 0145 hours when Stacy pulled up in front of her home. Before she got out of her car, she moved her pistol from below her right thigh and tucked it under her left arm. Feeling a presence behind her, Stacey quickly turned as a slouch shouldered reprobate, who had snuck up from her blindside, fired one shot from his .357 Magnum revolver. This bullet inflicted a devastating wound: nicking Stacy's heart, tearing through her diaphragm, liver, intestine and spleen finally blowing out her back. Her return shot hit the goon in his shoulder.
Remaining heedful of the dangers a wounded predator with the fortitude of a second wind poses, Stacy summoned all her strength, stayed on her feet and starred into his callous eyes and pockmarked face. A face whose angular features were harsh and cruel. She whacked three more rounds into the hellion as he unloaded and missed with his remaining five rounds.
As Stacy's bullets slammed into her attacker, she heard his head crack onto the sidewalk. With legs crossed, eyes wide open in dread, his chest contracted and he gurgled his last death rattle. Stacy watched the crimson spray of his blood visible from the street lights drain into the gutter as a gentle breeze scattered paper trash across the asphalt. He never knew that he was dying; he just plainly ceased being alive.
The surrealism of the gun battle held Stacy in a daze and weeks later the force of the occurrence would traumatically intrude on Stacy's thoughts. The pain, the madness of that night would continue to echo in Stacy's mind. Visions would return in the darkness of the night until Stacy was finally able to come to grips, to process its barbarity and get on with her life.
Between her many hours of excruciating pain, which clouded over her entire body, and having to contend with agonizing rehabilitation, Stacy set an azimuth toward the direction of vitality and her return to the LAPD. Stacy was now back in the fight, realizing it is kill or be killed.
There were three ways Stacy dealt with her combat trauma. Once she understood that there wasn't anything wrong with her, that everything was all right, that she was in control, it gave her the confidence to heal. The next stage was to come to grips with the reasons behind her trauma. How did it develop? The final stage was not to feel ashamed but to seek professional help like she would with any other malady.
Stacy remained on duty with the LAPD for thirty years, honorably retiring in 2018.
Street Fighters can come away with lessons learned from Stacy's gun battle. Although seeing danger around every corner and conjecturing possible harm that might befall you at any moment may be a viable strategy when working an enforcement mission, it could be unwise for daily living. However, due to the nature of our chosen profession, whenever a Street Fighter feels a buzz of alarm that something doesn't seem right, pay heed to your gut instincts. When your field sixth sense screams inside your head immediately take a second look around. Don't be sheepish when the hairs on the back of your neck stand up; scan your surroundings looking for an abnormality, something, anything out of the ordinary.
In Stacy's case her attackers had a huge advantage because she failed to pick up the gang had followed her for thirty miles. The gangbangers possessed the element of surprise. Stacy's best option was to identify their surveillance, show them she would not be an easy victim and make them move on to another dupe.
Street Fighters lead a life of danger so they know there are no straight lines. They have not lasted this long in life by being either foolhardy or simply hoping for the best outcome. Harrowing experiences have taught Street Fighters that nothing in life is ever as it seems.
Just looking in your rear-view mirror might not be enough. Try to get make, model, color and last two digits of the license plate. To confirm a tail head to a familiar residential area and drive into a cul-de-sac that has a sharp turn going into it. The type of turn that surprises you when you enter it. When you exit make three right turns noting the car behind you.
The naysayers will call this paranoia until something dreadful like Stacy's gun battle happens then they will call it a canny, sensible course of action. Noted firearms instructor Clint Smith said it best: "If you look like food, you will be eaten."
This should always be the Street Fighter's normal routine when heading home. A Street Fighter must never bring death to his family's doorstep.
The dangerous road Street Fighters have chosen to walk down takes an emotional and physical toll. Those who cannot learn to cope with these rigors eventually fall by the wayside. Street Fighters know they must control their emotions for if they fail their emotions will control them. They will be blown like a leaf in the fall wind, always responding to whatever the prevailing storm brings their way.
During training Street Fighters choose the hard way which results in their developing boundless tenacity. This spills over to Street Fighters understanding that there is no mission that they cannot undertake and that mission accomplishment depends solely on their perseverance, stubbornness and unyielding desire to be the best.
Street Fighters avoid doing something stupid because they are temporarily unnerved. They control their minds, emotions and actions; always thinking rationally, not emotionally. Street Fighters do not allow themselves to become agitated or ruffled which is akin to walking on a razor's edge, and could result in injury, death or jail time.
Having been a Street Fighter for any length of time they learn it is often thankless. If Street Fighters were to seek out gratitude every time they performed a bold and heroic deed they would lead a life full of dashed hopes.
Street Fighters learn early on it is good to occasionally look back in time, to figure out where they have been, so they can get a better sense of how best to get where they should be going. It is beneficial to purge any morose or sullen thoughts as they travel down memory lane.
At times things may not make sense. Now and then life is mussed up that way. Street Fighters press on, displaying their scars: some with pride, some with contrition. The only thing Street Fighters know with certainty is that in the end, nobody gets out alive.
Street Fighters come to realize having lived through many horrifying, hair-raising adventures, success is never owned, it is rented and the rent is due every day. This is why Street Fighters are so passionate about seeking tough, realistic training; realizing that if they do not occasionally fail then they are not reaching high enough. Their best teacher is their last mistake. Street Fighters know that their lives depend on being better trained than their adversaries.
After WW2, an aging Winston Churchill was asked to give a commencement address to a graduating class. He slowly made his way to the podium, looked across the auditorium at the bright young faces and said "Never give up. Never give up." He then sat down. Churchill's words can most certainly become the Street Fighter's beacon, his call to arms.
You are ensconced behind a substantial piece of cover: an inferno of explosions, smoke, bloodcurdling screams and a fusillade of whizzing 7.62x39 bullets buzz close by your head. Your teammates are depending on you to return accurate fire. You know by exposing yourself there is a good chance the next burst of fire will hit you. As you start to roll around cover a snapshot of your loved ones appears in your mind. You freeze.
The Street Fighter must thrust aside this picture. Think of your mind as an old, out of date slide projector. You must insert a fresh slide into your thought process; a completely different image.
In the seventh volume of the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Judges: "He should place his soul in his hands, and not fear or worry, or think about his wife or children. Instead, he should erase their memory from his mind and focus completely on the battle."
When you are frightened you are substituting a negative into your brain housing group. Not good. Suck it up, roll out from behind cover, acquire a sight picture and get on the trigger.
Many drug barons have been born into a hopeless den of poverty, a festering squalor of human waste and rot that few escape from. The only door open to their success is to peddle drugs. They morph triumphantly by employing a combination of cruelty, savagery, cunning, stealth and treachery.
The cocaine cowboy's precarious and hazardous lifestyle, so fraught with danger, is totally alien to America's Beau Brummell's and Pollyanna's.
Drug barons surround themselves with sycophants. Blood is their bond, betrayal means death. With just the least amount of incitement they are prone to frenzied outbursts of slaughter. Once the smoke has been cleared and the gore hosed off the sidewalks, they rise like scuzz to the top of a fetid pond. Wielding absolute power, they now bear the ignoble title, "El Diablo."
"Los Diablos" pride themselves on providing one stop shopping: gun running, sham goods, murder for hire, drugs, slave trade, harlotry. Anything for money, anything to advance their empire.
The "Adam 12 School of Gunfighting" certainly is not the answer. Instead, to defeat these demonic fiends Street Fighters must strategically prepare both defensive and offensive measures.
Defensive measures must be kept tight. Forces outside the Street Fighter's control may intrude so nothing can be taken for granted. Offensively, the Street Fighter must remain aware as new pieces of intelligence are developed that could help with the mission and the efficacy of his operational plans. However, Street Fighters are wary of dealing with unknowns. They have learned through harrowing experience that a plan concocted in a hurry is oftentimes worse than no plan at all.
In order to remain relevant, the Street Fighter must keep one foot planted in the future. To soundly defeat "El Diablo" the Street Fighter must shift his perspective because today's operating methods "ain't" getting the job done.
The Street Fighter must develop another component, a different blueprint, a totally different way to self-educate. Just because something has been written or preached by the Suits doesn't mean it is letter-perfect.
The Street Fighter must study "El Diablo" frame by frame and arrive with new findings and understandings. He must then convert over to the planning and implementation phase. Naturally, his new perceptions will call for constant tweaking and streamlining in order to conform with changing fact patterns. This is absolutely critical since "El Diablo" operates in a decentralized manner and adapts quickly and violently.
Being asymmetrical, the drug baron's empire does not collapse when its leader is killed or incarcerated. As long as the drug baron's empire is motivated, manned with ruthless Sicarios (cold blooded assassins) and resourced with greenbacks and product it will relentlessly re-invent itself.
The Street Fighter's plan of action should call for widescale, multifarious enforcement operations. Sadly, the indecisive, headline grabbing, amateurish clashing, self-loving officeholders have left our enforcement operations in shambles.
Despite encountering ignorance and dissent the Street Fighter must lead the train of change.
"There's a man who leads a life of danger. To everyone he meets he stays a stranger. With every move he makes, another chance he takes, odds are he won't live to see tomorrow. Swinging on the Riviera one day and then laying in the Bombay alley the next day." ---Johnny Rivers January 1966
The Street Fighter comes to realize early on when working an undercover assignment, everyone lies. He understands the significance is not the words that are being spoken, but what is tacitly implied. A shrug of the shoulders, a forlorn glance, a blink, a nervous twitch. Picking up on these telltale illusions could be the difference between the Street Fighter remaining alive or his being zipped into a body bag.
Undercover Street Fighters must be able to readily switch gears. At times negotiating for a multi kilo delivery of narcotics from a drug baron in a plush, elegant beach front hotel to cultivating an end-stage boozehound stoolie with double-crossing eyes and a collage of ruptured blood vessels on his snoot. The stoolie's clothes reeking from stale cigarette smoke, yellowed teeth from lighting one cigarette butt off another and an unwashed body.
Approaching the meet spot, the undercover Street Fighter practices his tradecraft. Staying near the shadows, moving slowly, antenna on alert, paying close attention to parked cars while keeping a warry eye so as not to be jumped by the toughs in the hood. Walking under outlawed wire drawing purloined juice from the electrical company, the Street Fighter instinctively goes to gun when he is momentarily startled by a scrawny feral cat, missing an ear, pounce on its kill. The Street Fighter settles down by taking slow breaths, lowering his heart rate back to its accustomed sixty beats per minute.
So as not to silhouette himself, the Street Fighter moves quickly through the frame of the door into a gloomy tavern. Half the bulbs advertising the tavern's logo are burnt out. The lone barkeep: bald-headed, wearing a soiled t-shirt, coke bottles for eye glasses, cauliflower ears and a protruding Adam's apple. A thirty-three-ounce Louisville slugger within easy arms reach. The only women in the dive are worn out streetwalkers on their last leg.
The hard case drunkards, drifters, flimflammers and thugs who don't have two shekels rubbing together in their pocket pay him scant attention as he spots the stool pigeon hanging out alone at the end of the bar. As he approaches, the snitch bends over and carefully snuffs out his cigarette on the heel of his sneaker, positioning the butt behind his right ear for a later smoke.
In this bucket of blood gin mill the Street Fighter notices the lighting fixtures sputter due to faulty wiring, peeling lead-based paint on the walls, an out of balance fan hanging from a rafter, nicotine stained ceiling tiles, cigarette burned Formica tabletops, worn out linoleum floors stained with globs of who knows what. From previous visits he knows the john smells of pee and puke with clogged pipes, used needles in the waste bin and toilets lacking seats.
Tactically, to infiltrate this den of tyrants the undercover Street Fighter must integrate. He must coalesce. He must be skeptical, forceful and discriminating but at the same time these attributes must be accompanied by genteelness, mercifulness and politeness. He must adopt the persona of whoever he wants to be, whenever he wants to be.
Mindful of Nietzsche's warning "He who fights monsters might take care lest he thereby becomes a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." Street Fighters are honorable warriors who would never jeopardize their integrity for a role. Although, at times, they may feel the squeeze to take the easy way it is the Street Fighters moral compass that separates hero from villain. Street Fighters scrupulously holds fast to their core beliefs and values never to dishonor their family name.
In the summer of 1953, my Dad and I left the stifling heat of our NYC apartment and strolled over to our air-cooled neighborhood theater on 107th Street in Spanish Harlem. Harry J. Anslinger, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), had twisted Hollywood's arm into making a classic film noir, "To the Ends of the Earth." [ref. #1] The movie highlighted drug trafficking on a global scale. Dick Powell played the dark and gritty role of an FBN narc. I was smitten.
Fourteen years later, having graduated from The Citadel and just returned from Vietnam, I walked unannounced into the NY FBN office at 90 Church Street. I was able to wrangle an interview with Jim Hunt, Frank Waters and Clarence Cooke. Without any fanfare two weeks later, I had a gun and a badge and was running the mean streets of NY. At this period of time a narc. spent a few months OJT before attending a five-week academy class. Different time. Different era.
In the dense jungles of Vietnam's Central Highlands, we fought for weeks on end soldiering through torrential monsoons. On a later assignment, some of Operation Snowcap's best jungle raids were carried out in drenching rain.
One afternoon in South Florida a stoolie gave us the whereabouts of a long sought-after fugitive. The tactical problem, the outlaw was hiding on a remote ranch with a couple of his Sicarios. If the felon saw us coming, he would high-tail it into the everglades, get his bearings and disappear back to Cuba. We knew not to obsess over conditions outside our control for hope is never a viable option. As we brainstormed an operational plan, Florida radio stations were warning residents to hunker down because a severe tropical storm was forecasted to hit the area.
Weather solved our problem. About 2300 hours we were standing a few hundred yards from the desperado's ranch. Thunder claps sounded in the sky followed by lightening and a deluge of rain which was absorbed quickly into the ground. The downpour sponged out any hope of solid footing as the muck underfoot sucked on our brogans. Visibility was nil. Dripping wet, we pushed our way through dense brush as the rainstorm intensified. Soaked to the skin, wind gusts hurled streams of rain into our faces as we navigated by a government issue lensatic compass and paid close attention to our pace count.
Our efforts were successful. The rain that lashed against the fugitive's windows muffled whatever noise we made. We arrested the fugitive and seized a duffel bag filled with greenbacks.
Street Fighters must learn to use inclement weather to their advantage and not become known as strictly fair-weather warriors. Servant leaders must expose and train their Street Fighters to war in all types of nasty weather. Obviously in a cloudburst steel targets would replace paper. Before securing from the range the servant leader should inspect all Street Fighters' weapons after they have been field-striped, cleaned and lubricated. It would not bode well for the good guys if there wasn't a bang when the trigger was pulled.
Tail gunners are essentially the fire support element for a predator whether he is doing a straight up drug deal or has targeted the undercover Street Fighter for a rip off. Tail gunners oftentimes are not readily apparent for their goal is it blend in with the innocents in a crowd. During a gun battle harmless folks may get in your way and you will either have to push through them or else shoot around them. All the while trying to determine who possess a threat.
Situational awareness isn't like a crystal ball that can accurately predict the future; therefore, an arrest team responding to the bust or rip off signal must not overzealously fixate on the known threat and get blindside by the tail gunner. Do not shrug off even the smallest of anomalies. Things can quickly turn nasty in a gun battle and perceptions can be misleading.
Undercover Street Fighters must be alert and ready to immediately engage with gunfire any lookouts who pose a lethal threat. The tail gunner's rashness and cock-sureness usually proves to be his undoing.
Street Fighters must not discount the possibility the tail gunner being either a female or a 14-year-old pint size Sicario. Both are fully capable of punching out your running lights. Many of our narcotic deals are set up in public places. Our misconception is we often perceive men as potentially more threatening than women or juveniles.
The tail gunner will be intensely focused on you, ready to thwack multiple rounds into your head and body. The undercover Street Fighter may be successful in taking out his primary threat but leave himself totally vulnerable to shooter number two.
After your last piece of spent brass has bounced off the pavement check yourself for wounds. Oftentimes Street Fighters are not immediately aware they have taken a hit from the golden BB. Their mind and body play a chemical hoax on them mitigating pain until the adrenaline surge has waned.
When the tail gunner moves from trying to escape to trying to hurt you, the Street Fighter needs to dial up the intensity of his response. Street Fighters need to keep their head on a swivel, to stay safe, to stay lethal.
A while back I attended Tom Givens Rangemaster class. Tom explained to us in the wild predators chose waterholes to attack unsuspecting prey. Today's waterholes where two legged predators lurk are gas stations and convenience stores.
On 28 May 1992 this danger was brought home to our DEA family when four gangbangers attempted to carjack S/A Douglas Althouse while he sat in his Z-28 Camaro at a service station in Jefferson County, Alabama. Doug returned fire but in the ensuing gun battle was shot dead.
As the sun sets welcoming the untamed night that follows the Street Fighter must be extra vigilant. Before entering the gas station's lot first pause looking for any abnormalities. When questioned, most victims say the predator came out of nowhere. He suddenly was just in front of me. I never saw the attack coming. The predator could be either on foot or bicycle prowling along the fence line or lurking in a dank alley concealed by darkness.
Be aware the predator may be patiently looking around picking his prey. He knows from past experience who he can rob without either getting beat up or busted by the police.
If the street lights are inoperative, the station poorly lit and smeared with graffiti or your suspicions are aroused by the rundown neighborhood drive away and choose another station. Every shadow cast by overgrown brush could cloak a threat. Add into the mix a twosome of rusting jalopies from a bygone era and your lightbulb should click, with tongue in cheek, this isn't Mayberry R.F.D. In order to stay mobile, try not to let your gas tank fall below a quarter full.
When you pull up to the pump, scan the area, close your windows, remove the keys from the ignition and lock your doors. Obviously if your family is present you will have to adjust your tactics accordingly. In a cold climate, as you step out of your car check your footing: is the ground slippery? If attacked, you want to minimize risk beforehand. Wouldn't do you any good if you fell on your ass.
You may never be able to stay out of harm's way but at times you will have to forego creature comforts. In frigid temperatures keep your jacket unzipped and never have more than one cover garment concealing your blaster. Hit by a blitz attack you only have scant nanoseconds to bring your blaster into play.
Although combative training might not be your schtick, every morning, prior to saddling up, petting the pooch and heading out your door, practice a couple of presentations from your IWBH. The material and fit of your cover garments vary. You want to know of any impediments that might hinder your draw stroke before the fight so you can make any necessary adjustments to your wardrobe.
As you get out of your vehicle hold your OC cannister in your off hand. You may need this less lethal tool to respond to non-deadly threats. Many assaults do not rise to the level requiring the use of deadly force. Being able to employ a defensive tool between hands and pistol is astonishingly important. Most folks do not possess empty hand combative skills so it is vitally important to carry your OC. The legal threshold to use OC is much less than using your pistol. Your OC is not intended to be used when facing a deadly threat but only when facing a physical threat of immediate harm.
The difference between a professional and an amateur, the professional always stacks the odds in his favor. Street Fighters do not leave their blaster in the glove box, in a brief case, under the car's seat, or in the trunk. Your blaster belongs positioned either AIWB or OWB.
Pay at the pump. Do not become so fixated on pumping gas that you remain oblivious as to what is happening around you. If you must enter the store, be careful. The predator may casually walk in front of you, abruptly stop, turn and attack.
As soon as you begin to pump gas walk to the rear of your vehicle. With your back to your vehicle continue to scan for threats. You don't want to position yourself between the pump and your vehicle. Your movement will be severely restricted and you will be trapped by the extended gas hose.
Probably the hardest attack to defend against is with brakes squealing, predators unexpectedly stop alongside you, jump out and charge. Their vehicle windows could be heavily tinted, screening them from view. These predators are not your common garden variety punks, but are cruel, bestial, completely remorseless desperados. The Street Fighter's only counter in this situation is to create distance, then go to gun.
Those Street Fighters fortunate enough to have served multiple tours of duty south of the board, where most folks live in abject poverty in little more than tumble down shanties, are familiar with Sicario's. These trigger men ride in tandem on a stolen motorcycle, faces hidden behind their helmet's tinted visor. Even an exhaustive police investigation will not furnish any clues as to their identity. Their shock and awe tactics are perfectly suited for a bold blitz attack at the pumps.
Street Fighters try to prepare for the worst tactical nightmare they might face. If you engage in a gun battle around Lucifer's car; after firing your last shot, pause, get a grip on yourself, think about your angles of exposure and will your respiration back to its normal shallow rate. Don't forget to peek under Lucifer's car for the telltale giveaway of another shooter's feet.
Be aware of a ruse employed by muggers to get close to their victims. Our mind often blocks out a threat from folks who are smiling and laughing. Many strongarm men have successfully used this ploy, causing us to lower our guard. The mark's first inkling of danger will be the reflection coming off Lucifer's moonlit stiletto's blade, leaving the mark little or no time time to defend or react.
The Street Fighter must have three strategies in place ready to implement before, during and after the attack.
Before the attack try to evade, thwart or de-escalate. Try to tactically maneuver to break loose or create distance to get yourself out of the kill zone. Change your orientation, positioning yourself where you can face all your attackers. Avoid being encircled or trapped.
Use voice commands directing the predators to either stop or back off from you. Do not allow yourself to be lulled into falsely thinking these guys are simply troublemakers looking to punk you out, they are not. They are there to put you in the hurt locker.
It was well after midnight; both the moon and the stars had disappeared behind a screen of a cloud-covered sky. My Miami group of Street Fighters had just taken off the street a half million Quaaludes in an undercover delivery out towards the everglades. Paul Sennett and I, on our way home to Coral Springs, pulled into a filling station and saw a couple of young toughs menacing a well-dressed gentleman. We watched the gentleman bend over, drawing a shiny revolver from an ankle holster.
In a voice with a deep base that would do a Paris Island Drill Instructor proud, unequivocally ordered: "Get back mother fuckers or I'll bust a cap in your ass." The hoodlums, arms raised, tucked tail and slinked off into the night.
After he re-holstered, we walked over and chatted with this straight shooter. Turns out he was a minister from a nearby house of worship. Yep! Gutter language, forcefully delivered, can bring about the desired outcome.
The minister certainly was decisive. From participating in countless force on force training exercises Street Fighters have learned indecisiveness most often leads to irresolution. Oftentimes in the middle of a scenario one of the greenhorn trainees freeze, unable to process what is occurring. There is also the novice's fluctuating between implementing Plan A or Plan B? When he finally gets around to doing something, anything, it is usually halfhearted and too late.
Cookie cutter decisions made beforehand usually do not work because there must be flexibility as new, more relevant information is developed. The Street Fighter must be able, on the fly, to adapt and overcome. This is why the minister's actions were so praiseworthy.
Be careful if the predator just stares at you capturing your return gaze, allowing his henchmen to attack you from a flank. Several predators may approach you and then fan out to divide your attention. This will inhibit your ability to react as they close the distance on you. One predator might try to herd you by aggressively shouting at you, causing you to back up unawares into the feet and fists of other gang members.
Watch out for hidden hands: behind his back, in his pocket or inside a bag. If his hands are down by his side, he may be holding a weapon. Before he attacks, he may carry out a witness check. He may also perform a target glance, confirming where he is going to punch, stab or shoot you. Major attack indicator: predator ignores your verbal challenge and continues to close the distance on you.
If your attacker is armed with a knife held in his right hand and you are a right-hand shooter move in an arc to your right. This will make it harder for him to slash or stab you.
When a bunch of predators start to approach keep a wary eye on their body language. This might tip you off as to when they are going to launch their attack. Watch their eyes as they look to their leader awaiting his go signal.
Having positioned yourself in an advantageous position at the rear of your vehicle observe what is happening around you. Look for nearby cover. Consider how you can use obstacles: your car, the pumps, trash cans to channel your attackers. Keep in mind obstacles may also impede your movements; both ingress and egress.
A gang of predators fuel their belligerence based solely on their numbers. Cowards are emboldened when they run with a pack and must not be underestimated. Additionally, their addiction to booze and drugs boosts their confidence. The fact you have a gun may mean jack to them.
Follow Tom Givens' words of advice: "always know who is around you and what they are doing."
During the attack you don't want to fight the whole gang of predators. You must violently destroy their will to fight. Your first blow, delivered by OC or gun, must have the greatest psychological impact on the individual gang member causing him to turn tail and run.
Quickly identify the gang's leader. He is your most dangerous adversary and must be immediately taken out of the fight.
The predators attack will be confused, jumbled and life threatening. The Street Fighter must be of the mindset he may possibly come out of the fight injured, but alive.
During the fight the Street Fighter must be constantly assessing, while I am engaging predator number one what are predators two and three doing? Do not fool yourself into thinking along the lines of Hollywood fiction where the hero fights in serial one attacker at a time. In real life the gang will surround you and attack en masse.
Movement is your savior. Avoid moving backwards, instead move on an arc to either your 3 or 9 o'clock position. This helps to disrupt the gang's initiative, allowing the Street Fighter to stay focused on the main threat. Moving also permits you to pick up in your peripheral vision any potential predator who's at your 6 o'clock.
When attacked by multiple predators shielding may stave off their numerical superiority. You can't eliminate the group's threat all at once but you can repel them one at a time.
By shielding you pick out one predator, positioning him between you and the other threats. Once you have neutralized him as a threat re-position yourself to take out the next most dangerous.
If you haven't killed before you may feel your pulse's drum beat throbbing behind your eyes as a bitter trickle of bile burns down your throat. Keep it all in check, re-acquire your front sight. Search for the second Lucifer.
You probably have an advantage since it is highly unlikely the predators have trained as a team and should not be able to coordinate their attack.
In the event one of the predators gets to your 6 o'clock take him out and either escape or turn back into the gang and fight.
Always keep an eye out for an escape route. If you can move quickly from a well-lit area to a darkened area do so. You can then float through space, phantomlike. Try to channel their attack and limit their firepower for fear of their shooting each other.
Heavily weigh the pros and cons of attempting to run away. If you were able to eye ball where they left their ride, two or four wheels, move away from their clunker. The longer the confrontation lasts the more worried they become about fleeing before the inevitable police response.
Turning your back to a threat may not be the best of options. Unless you can either go around a corner or place a piece of cover or concealment between yourself and the attackers, trying to outrun a bullet will hurt.
The longer it takes you to shut down the attack the greater probability you will be maimed or killed.
"Fear is not real; it is a product of thoughts you create. Danger is very real; fear is a choice ---Chinese Proverb.
When the gray of dusk transitions into the black of night and the Street Fighter is confronted by a gang of predators using deadly force his waiting to receive more information, because of an internal fear to make a decision, when an abounding amount of information has already been taken in, leads to irresolution. Such capriciousness will allow predators the opportunity to press their advantage.
Street Fighters may not be able to control a particular happening, but they darn well can control their response. By remaining calm in the face of a possible stinging injury, they gain the upper hand over Lucifer and live another day.
As a well-conditioned Street Fighter goes to gun, he will feel and hear his heart slow to just a handful of beats per minute. Sounds will become deep-toned and harsh as if they were coming from cell phone voices inside a glass jar.
It may suck but after beaucoup operations the Street Fighter has learned to play the hand he was dealt, knowing it is foolish to bemoan the absence of ideal circumstances. Hoping for the best is rarely, if ever, a sound strategy. The Street Fighter quickly applies the proper tactics he has spent countless hours practicing and confidentially engages Lucifer.
A quick review Street Fighter-Part Seven: "If your tactical situation dictates ready access while in the appendix carry, tuck your shirt behind your pistol. Take your seat belt and come behind your pistol. This technique pushes the pistol away from your body allowing a faster draw. It also allows you to quickly clear your seat belt."
Street Fighters should consider wearing a t-shirt under their dress shirt, even in hot weather. The t-shirt will keep your pistol and holster from irritating your skin. Choose a dark t-shirt, a black belt, black holster and a blued pistol for covert carry. Your outer shirt should not have tails where the front and the back are longer than the sides. The shirt's hem should be even all around. Your dress shirt should have snaps not buttons. To facilitate a fast draw, leave the bottom snap of your dress shirt unsnapped. Do not wear a jacket with a draw string because it may hang up on your blaster.
Suggest when drawing your blaster from AIWB give this a try. Simply hook the fingers of your support hand under your cover garment. Pull it high up to your strong side shoulder. This is extremely fast and gets your cover garment quickly out of the way. Another option, drawing with only your strong hand, tuck your shirt behind your blaster's butt.
The undercover Street Fighter should not wear cool ninja stuff when training. He must practice his tradecraft and blend in as the "gray man." The Street Fighter must train for the environs of his mission. Michael Collins, the man hunter, left us with this sensible advice, "our uniform will be that of the man on the street and the peasant in the field."
The question often arises as to when the Street Fighter should begin his draw stroke when caught in a blitz attack? Obviously when Lucifer is distracted and looks in a different direction. Another more subtle ploy; ask Lucifer a question that will require him to think of a response. "What do you want from me? Relax, I am going to give you my wallet." As you go for your blaster Lucifer has to pick up on your movement, stop yacking, figure out what you are doing and then determine his response. If you have mastered a sub two second draw as Marie did in our vignette you should be able to put your bullet into Lucifer's brain bucket; thus, ending the fight.
For the Street Fighter to be able to engage multiple attackers at warp speed he must cut fractions of time from his transitions. After firing shots into Lucifer your sight picture will tell you the accuracy of your shot placement.
On a short transition, first drive your eyes to the next threat quickly followed by your blaster. The deceleration zone is where your muzzle goes from maximum movement to breaking an X ring shot. Decelerate too soon and you waste time, too late and your will miss.
About 20% of the total transition angle should be allotted for the deceleration zone. For instance, if you are transitioning 80 degrees from left to right, accelerate your blaster as fast as you can the first 60 degrees of rotation and decelerate the last 20 degrees of transition.
Punch the gas pedal for most of the transition and ease down on the brakes the last 20 degrees of transition. Move your focus from threat to front sight.
If the target transition is wide first bring your blaster back to ready gun, rotate your hips and knees, punch your blaster back to full presentation and break your shot.
In summary, remember to maintain a stable platform by only pivoting with your lower body, legs and knees, while at the same time leading with your eyes. This permits the Street Fighter to quickly pivot and stop precisely without overswinging past the threat. Do not move your blaster until you have identified the threat.
To confront a flanking attack step forward rather than stepping back into the unknown.
Turning 90 degrees to the right, first step with your left foot, knees slightly bent, pivoting on the ball of your right foot. Your left foot then moves into your shooting stance.
Before beginning your turn first pivot your head and eyes to the threat.
Turning 90 degrees to the left the same rules apply. Step aggressively with your right foot, pivoting on the ball of your left foot.
Turning 180 degrees to the right step aggressively with your left foot. Your momentum will spin you into your shooting stance.
Turning left 180 degrees step with your right foot.
For a Street Fighter to improve as a marksman he must set a goal for himself. If one were to look at the average LEO's range card over the years his firearm proficiency may slightly fluctuate; going up or down a mere couple of points. How can the Street Fighter break out of his habitual rut?
The Street Fighter must set a goal which for most of us is not easy to accomplish. There are two ways most often used in setting goals: realistic goals and unobtainable goals.
Some Street Fighters realistically believe they should always be able to easily achieve whatever goal they set. They simply bump up the score or ranking they want to achieve for the year a notch or two. They keep their expectations too low with the result they make no discernable headway.
Then there are those Street Fighters who set unobtainable goals. They beat themselves up unnecessarily and usually quit.
These two schemes of goal setting will always be found wanting for they are outcome oriented and not performance based.
The Street Fighter must take his mind off the score and concentrate on performing skillfully. Because a Street Fighter can control himself; he can predict his performance.
He can control the effort he puts forth. He controls the quality of training he receives. He controls his selection of instructors whose classes he attends as well as his training regime. The Street Fighter measures his training success on how well he controls what is ahead of him and does not get bent around the axel worrying about the outcome.
Street Fighters know when their attitude is performance driven: they become skilled, they become poised, they become masters who are unconquerable. The Street Fighter's mindset must be: "I'm in it to win it."
A Street Fighter's self-image is the gist of his temperament and his way of thinking. His temperament influences whether he feels positively or negatively about a particular event. His way of thinking decides how he will act. The Street Fighter's performance is congruent with his self-image.
Street Fighter's usually function within a certain comfort zone; therefore, when he shifts his self-image, he changes his performance.
If he is shooting below par his self-image will make him antsy and overly anxious. He will force himself to shoot better in order to get back within the confines of his comfort zone.
On the other hand, if he is shooting above par, his self-image will force him to choke on a couple of shots kicking him back into the box that is his comfort zone.
To achieve combat accuracy, he must change his self-image and break out of the restrictive comfort zone he has imposed on himself.
Street Fighter's know their performance and self-image should always be on par. Through visualization the Street Fighter can imagine hitting the K-5 zone with 100% accuracy, no misses. This imagined strike of the bullet will be ineradicably imprinted in his subconscious.
Besides seeing the K-5 shot the Street Fighter has to feel the accurate placement of the bullet. He experiences what his body feels like when making the K-5 shot. This intensifies the non-visual components of marksmanship.
Street Fighters know they cannot approach this change half-heartedly. By intently focusing visualization on maximizing performance and by avoiding self-defeatist negative imprints the Street Fighters self-image will be enhanced.
This ensures success because the Street Fighter has traded his old self-image for his wishful one by imprinting his new performance and eschewing his old ones. An added side benefit; his renewed self-confidence will reduce his apprehension and fear of being in a gun battle. He now becomes a force to be reckoned.
When practicing shoot with a buddy who is a better marksman than you. This will help you improve. Likewise, when you practice with shooters who are poor marksmen, they will pull you down to their level.
Do not be afraid to fail. The telltale clue is to perceive what lessons you can take away from this experience. The greatest mistake a sharpshooter can make is living in constant dread of screwing up. When all he thinks about is steering clear of a screw up then this is what he will imprint in his subconscious.
There are three factors a Street Fighter must master in order to become a sharpshooter: accuracy mode, speed mode and shot calling mode.
In accuracy mode your total focus is on firing an accurate shot, time is not important. Your goal is absolute accuracy, no misses.
In speed mode your goal is to make solid gains against your average times. Fire six shots in three seconds, feeling what it is like to shoot fast. Keep repeating, forcing yourself to break free of your comfort zone.
In shot calling mode you call every shot. Do not break your shot until you have a perfect sight picture. Since you are intently focused on your sights when you break your shot you will know exactly where your bullet will strike.
Street Fighters must master the ability to fire fast accurate shots under extreme stress, under a wide awry of circumstances and in a dynamic, fluid environment. Street Fighter have hard wired themselves to maintain their cool, to decisively react to the threat and shoot with one hundred percent accuracy. As opposed to the unskilled shooter who spasmodically fires multiple shots that miss his attacker under the mistaken belief that simply squeezing the trigger will save his life.
Any neophyte can quickly squeeze the trigger but the Street Fighter knows it is where the bullets hit that is most critical in stopping the threat. Nothing works in a gun battle like you think it ought to but a Street Fighter knows what to anticipate beforehand and pisses ice water.
The faster you finish the fight, the fewer your wounds.
As the darkened clouds began to form, Marie, a Brazilian police officer, walked warily, without hurry, down a narrow, twisting sidewalk. The street was devoid of pedestrian traffic and many of the structures were run down. The building lights were either broken or not turned on. There was scant illumination from the occasional light stanchion
Crossing a side street next to a vacant lot Marie caught a glimpse over her shoulder of a slow-moving car behind her. The car was maintaining a steady pace. An inner alarm bell tolled. Outwardly, she remained unexcited and coolheaded. Marie appeared innocent as she stopped, as if to check a building's address; confirming this was not a figment of her imagination. Marie had held out hope that it was just her nerves but nay, the car began to creep forward. The driver was definitely stalking her.
In this bleak and Godforsaken neighborhood Marie turned right, hopped over a puddle and strode down the middle of the street. Lucifer, having driven past her, jumped out of his car and bum rushed her. Marie's cool, soft spoken behavior hid nerves of steel as she faced into the attack, never wavering in her commitment to fight to the death.
Many of Marie's female co-workers, for convenience sake, carried their pistols in a handbag. Marie knew this mode of carry was foolhardy so she opted to carry her blaster strong side, inside a waistband holster.
Being agile and athletic, Marie was able to brush alongside and slide her body down the length of a parked car, performing a sub two second draw from concealment. As soon as her thumb indexed onto her pectoral muscle, she fired one shot from her blaster.
Lucifer had intended to wrap his arms around Marie, placing her in a bear hug. As Lucifer stared into Marie's eyes, he felt pain howl throughout his body. The muzzle blast singed his shirt and the 9mm hollow point buried itself deep within his chest. Lucifer's scream was faint sounded, his vision flickered and his think tank was overwhelmed with suffocating pain.
Lucifer wheezed as his lungs collapsed. He tumbled onto his back, twitched once and was dead before his head bounced off the pavement.
Marie thought it odd as Lucifer laid lifeless before her; his feet were not crossed. Marie looked down at the dead guy, concentrated on controlling her breathing and lowering her heart rate.
She transitioned her blaster to her left hand and retrieved her cell phone from a side pocket of her shoulder bag. Marie protected her 6 o'clock by positioning herself against a parked car, unhurriedly checking her flanks: both left and right.
Marie had never doubted her abilities to "fight the tiger." She knew that a lack of self-confidence would be like venom coursing through her body, cunning and deadly. Pragmatic logic would be her strength. Marie never vapor locked nor confused herself with negativity, "this can't be happening to me." Instead, the thought that flashed through her subconscious was "the fight is on." Marie changed the dynamics of her fight, going from prey to hunter by ending the fight with a single, well placed round.
Many folks have a fallacy that heroes feel no fear. This is not true. Everyone feels fear to one degree or another. Marie felt fear but was able to remain relentlessly undeterred. She did not freeze because she embraced a sense of purpose that did not allow her to be held in check by fear.
Marie knows that every day is a test of her stamina and guts and she has the fortitude to face any challenge. At the end of each day, Marie has the confidence she will be able to get up and do it again tomorrow.
In Street Fighter Part One we learned the three pillars of gunfighting: Mindset, Skills and Tools. Marie showed absolute mastery of these three pillars and has now entered the varsity Street Fighter ranks. Teddy Roosevelt once so aptly said, "having shot for blood."
BEAT THE FLINCH
Chuck Taylor taught me an excellent drill to help beat the flinch.
Many Street Fighters have been taught the "ball and dummy drill." The shooter randomly loads his magazines with live and dummy rounds. By mixing up the rounds it was presumed this would help the shooter overcome his flinch. However, it was found this did not help and in fact kept reproducing the flinch.
Instead, load your magazines with alternating live and dummy rounds. After firing the live round the shooter tells himself the next round is the dummy. You therefore concentrate on not blinking or pushing the pistol away from yourself in anticipation of the muzzle blast.
With the dummy round the shooter is able to consciously follow through by concentrating on trigger press and sight alignment.
Eventually the shooter's mind signals that it doesn't care if it is a live or dummy round. The shooter will work the trigger and see his sights the same way every time. The Street Fighter has now trained his subconscious mind on how to deal with the muzzle blast without flinching.
Always focus on making yourself better, not in thinking you are better…Bohdi Sanders
Street Fighters need to think beyond range drills and determine how they can apply skills they have picked up at the range to prevail in tomorrow's gun battle.
Range drills occur in controlled safe environs. Gun battels differ because both the predator and the terrain dictate appropriate courses of action. Gun battles are fluid, calling for problem solving at high speed.
I have attended John Krupa's Spartan Tactical Training Group [ref. #3] courses. John sets forth in his mission statement: "My goal is to present a firearms training program combined with tactical concepts that prepares armed professionals to survive and win deadly force confrontations." John's courses run the gamut from a one-day defensive pistol shooting skills course to his ultimate pistol skills challenge, speed on steel handgun course. Street Fighters would be well advised to avail themselves of John's expertise.
Recently Clint Eastwood was asked how at his age he is able to continue acting and directing in the entertainment industry? Clint responded: "Don't Let the Old Man In."
Naturally getting old is a given. We know of a few key factors that help maintain a healthy life style: hydrate to keep our body functioning optimally, exercise regularly, get a sufficient amount of sleep and get periodic medical checkups. Clint meant a lot more than the mere obvious.
As a Street Fighter continues on his life's journey, he comes to realize that being successful is not the end all; failures need not be calamitous. What counts is the courage to endure, to persist. The future belongs to stouthearted, stalwart Street Fighters.
Success is at most temporary. When a Street Fighter surmounts one obstacle, he knows there will be many more obstacle coming his way. Prominence and achievements are not perpetual. The Street Fighter must put his accomplishments behind him and keep pushing on, to keep bettering himself, to never stagnate. Look in the mirror, there is your competition.
Coincidentally, failure need not be fatal. From failure the Street Fighter gains sagacity and knowledge. Do not allow timidity and pessimism stifle your dreams. Defeats are simply an aspect of life, learn from it, suck it up and drive on.
The Street Fighter defines success as living life his way, remaining true to his core values, to his personal honor. These can never be taken away.
Life is measured in episodes, not years. Street Fighters who note and appreciate life's important moments are truly blessed, because they have lived decidedly rich lives.
Street Fighters are never beaten until they give up and stop trying. Street Fighters do not allow a drubbing to imbue their mind, to consume their expectations.
Street Fighters should consider foregoing an evening of watching shoot-em-up flicks and substitute in its place the 2018 Walt Disney Movie, "Christopher Robin," [ref. #4] easily viewed on Neflix.
Christopher becomes so bogged down by grown-up priorities and anxieties, he's at risk of losing his family. It's now, when he needs a reminder of who he is at heart, before adult life hardens and blinds him to what really matters.
Through Pooh, the philosopher, we hear maxims like "doing nothing often leads to the very best of something" and "I always get to where I'm going by walking away from where I've been."
The idea of stopping-of doing "nothing" is very important to "Don't Let the Old Man In." Street Fighters rarely hear about the value of rest. The film encourages the Street Fighter to rest and do "nothing" for a while. That it is good to not always have a plan for every minute of the day.
Additionally, Street Fighters can derive a lot of healing through "play." "Play" can increase our self-esteem. It invites access to states of well-being and calm, increasing the Street Fighters capacity for empathy and intimacy.
Watching Christopher Robin, the Street Fighter will learn new perspectives that will help him develop deeper insights, social connections and personal growth. Recognizing and understanding personal feelings can be challenging for the Street Fighter, but very helpful on his path to emotional well-being.
Street Fighters must remember to nourish their inner child-to be a little kinder to themselves for passion is energy and they can feel the power that comes in focusing on what excites them. Being happy doesn't mean that everything is flawless, it just means the Street Fighter has decided to see life beyond the imperfections.
Success and checkmates are only short-lived. Life is always in a state of flux. Street Fighters possess the courage to drive forward, to live their lives with excitement, with passion, with love.
The spirituality of courage, the rare inspiration of warring for a just cause is for the Street Fighter his essence of meaning, his religion.