T Nation

The Tactical Life


It’s basically Canada with fewer laws for you to enforce, more rednecks and substandard hockey. The Origin camp has been on my radar too, looks like a lot of fun.

Definitely tag me if you’re ever headed down. Come train with me and my instructor or we can make the pilgrimage to The Academy. Or both. Bring cop questions, it is always great fun to explore specific scenarios.


@twojarslave Cool beans. Job security aside, I’m all for fewer laws, personally. I’m not a huge fan of enforcing the stupid ones anyway.

I’ll definitely tag you when I can manage a trip.


Also, the boys speak highly of the Origin camp. Can’t recommend it firsthand, but I expect it’s worth it.


@idaho and any other guys that train martial arts
Is there any way to train/learn aggression? Maybe it’s just inexperience (freshman wrestler) but I really am not agressive during live rolling


2 notes on this

  1. If you are inexperienced, it may not be lack of aggression, it may be fear. You could be nervous about getting taken down, and it is causing you to act cautious as a strategy. Get more comfortable on the mat, and you should get more comfortable taking chances and being a bit bolder. Wrestling is a sport, you are not in a real fight. Don’t be reckless, but remember you are in a controlled environment. Things can only go so bad.

  2. In terms of developing a more aggressive personality, I don’t know if you can train that. Sounds bad, but growing up in a less than ideal home often made fantastic wrestlers, angry kids who are used to being knocked around have a drive that isn’t easy to replicate. But, aggression alone won’t win anything more than some small local tournaments, if that. Wrestle smart, not angry. A smart wrestler will beat an angry wrestler 90% of the time. A smart angry wrestler is a dangerous dude.


atlas13 had an excellent response. Can you develop aggression, especially when your profession doesn’t require you to be aggressive? I really don’t know. However, if you have ever been humiliated like I was in my previous post, then you either change or get out. If I was wrestling, regardless of the sport aspect or not, you have to decide whether you want to win or lose. Although is is easier said that done, fuck losing.


Thought for the day: Shootouts in the movies are really laughable, since most of the time the good guy can put a bullet in the bad guy from a dead run at 100 yards. This video of a sheriff’s deputy shows an actual gunfight and you will notice multiple rounds fired with no hits. In military combat or domestic combat, hitting an bad guy that is cranking off multiple rounds is not an easy thing to do.

LEO’s: When the bad guy has any type of plan, cops usually die. This deputy was very lucky. Notice the speed of the attack and put yourself there. How would you have done?



Watching that video, I seriously thought for a moment that the guy in the SUV was going to ram into the shooter. Didn’t happen, but man that would have been a hell of an ending.


@atlas13 had great advice. I’ve seen what he describes on the mats. Don’t be afraid to lose in training. If you improve at any aspect of your game, you are winning in training no matter how badly you get smashed.

I never wrestled as a sport, just wresting as it exists in jiu jitsu. Aggression isn’t emphasized like it is in wrestling but it’s still important. You’re going to get smashed. It’s part of the game. Accept that temporary discomfort and focus on developing yourself every time you get on the mat. Listen to your coaches and focus on developing technique in the face of “losing” in training. Don’t just flail about, try to move with a purpose and put the techniques you learn into practice.

You can. I wasn’t very aggressive when I was younger. I was once a 330 lb sedentary office creature who spent his entire 20’s moving from one chair to another. Now I’m a less sedentary office creature who spent about four years getting to a 600+ deadlift and dropping about 60 pounds, followed by about two years of jiu jitsu.

@alex_yu I assure you my friend, aggression can be cultivated. As your physical capabilities expand (which they will, you’re a freshman) and your skill set expands (which it will, you’re a beginner), the animal that’s inside of you will start coming out.


Thanks for the insight. I had the opposite issue, very aggressive but had to take a couple tough losses to humble me enough to cool it, wrestle smarter. I have done some BJJ, a couple months a few years back but dropped it when I took up Rugby. Liked it a lot, hoping to get back into it down the road. It seems to me that in respect to a lot of combat sports (boxing, wrestling, Bjj, MMA, whatever floats your boat) the really experienced guys are not crazy aggressive, nor passive. The ones I have met with years under their belt always excluded a confidence, know what I mean? Never seemed like total hot-heads, most were really nice in general, just kind of an air that said “I can flip that switch in 0 seconds flat.”

For what its worth, all the best SEAL/s and Marines I have met had the same quality.


Ha! I was on the math team in high school! Took third at states. I could also roll the best joints in the township.

Aggressiveness wasn’t like, very cool, man.


Hey, I was captain of the Spanish club in high school!

Granted, I took four years of french, but I was also captain of the football team and a varsity wrestler, so democratic elections went well for me. Also why there is now an official rule in that school that you must be taking a language in order to be president of its club…

Never once smoked a joint, and certainly not for any moral reasons. Had some goals in high school that getting busted could have screwed up big time. Still can’t due to mandatory drug testing, but if it is ever legalized I am on board! I’m a pretty curious dude, I hate just not knowing what it feels like haha.


I loved it back in the 90’s. Not so much now. It’s legal where I live but it’s been quite a while since I’ve partaken. It was fun but not something that got me ahead in life at all.

This is pretty accurate. Jits against jits is sort of taking what your opponent presents and using it against them, passing through whatever doors they open for you. Of course, using it against drunk chumps you need to remove from a bar is inherently more aggressive.

The wrestlers I’ve rolled with who didn’t have a lot of jits were super-aggressive, but in a game of submission grappling that aggression can be used against you as soon as that gas tank starts to empty. Different games, though.

My last class was all wrestling stuff. I’m really working on my shot and sprawl right now. Double-and single-leg takedowns are something I really want to improve on.


Atlas13 gave some excellent advice. I tend to be naturally aggressive and got into martial arts/contact sports to keep out of trouble (mostly successful).

That said, I think you can definitely cultivate controlled aggression. Control is the key here. People are different. For some violence is a switch that you flip. For others it’s more of a pump that you prime. I’m more of a switch flipper myself, but both can work. The trick is that it needs to be your decision to turn it on and you need to be able to stay in the driver’s seat when it gets going.

The key is control. If someone else controls your anger, they control you. This is unacceptable. If your anger takes control you get in trouble in life and make stupid mistakes in competition. Also unacceptable. If you are no longer able to process information and make rational, strategic decisions (even if those decisions are being made very fast) you have already lost the fight. Unacceptable.

Jits is actually really good for this, I’ve found.
If you try to “Hulk Out” against someone with any game at all, you will get embarrassed 10 times out of 10 unless you grossly outclass them in every other way. Wrestling, on the other hand, seems to put more of a premium on pure aggression due to the ruleset.

As far as where the aggression comes from, I think it’s a question of knowing your “why”. What are you fighting for? In sports, for most of us, I think it comes down to pride. Personal pride, team pride, family pride. Whatever your hot button is.

Speaking for myself, I just HATE to lose, period. I especially hate to lose knowing there was something more I could have given. I will go over around or through anybody or anything to avoid feeling how I know I’ll feel if I quit with something left in the tank.

Being physically dominated by another person in the way you are when you lose in a combat sport also makes me particularly wild. The guy who is trying to inflict that on me is, in that moment, my enemy. We may high five and hug it out after, but in that moment he is the white hot focus of my calculating rage.

Know yourself. Know your “why”. Understand and own your fear. Give yourself permission to be not nice. It takes work, but it’s doable.


Thought for the day:

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

I have a week off and am going south for a feral hog hunt. I would like to take a moment and wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

LEO’s: When I was working a patrol unit, I found the time period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day to be the most dangerous. IMO, people become absolutely insane over the holidays. Jack up your awareness, be safe, watch your 6.



You need to practice the way you expect to perform. That means that your drilling partner needs to go at you as hard as he would in a match, and you need to do the same. Our method for learning this was simple. When the coach yelled “LIVE!” you go hard or he would kick you across the mat.

Don’t let your partner down. If he starts slacking, manhandle him. If you start slacking, expect the same.


Get wrekt once or twice. Have someone just destroy you (trust me it’ll happen on its own). Now hold on to that feeling of disgust and failure forever. Use it in training and remember it when you step on the mat against any opponent.

Whenever you step on the mat have the WILL that you’re going to compete and do everything you can to win.




Podcast - The Eat, Sweat, Thrive Protocol for Tactical Athletes

Apologies if this is not appropriate for this thread but I couldn’t think of where else it would fit in. This may appeal to those of you who do this type of work.

Also I found what this guy is doing with his ‘One Summit’ company helping kids with cancer through mentoring with Seals very inspiring.


I think people need to define more clearly what they mean by aggression. In many BJJ schools if you go at training partners (who are just that, not opponents) aggressively/over competitively, you will not have a good time. I believe it’s not about learning aggression as much as it’s about learning how to control aggression (which is not the same as stifling aggression). Aggression can be a product of fear or a way to mask fear. If every time you step on the mat it’s life and death you will never learn anything and you will never overcome the fear of “death.” It’s training, it’s OK to “lose.” If you aren’t tapping, you aren’t learning. Once you no longer fear tapping and don’t feel the need to panic or fight for your life, you will see things more clearly. I’ve seen too many guys use aggression to make up for lack of technique or the confidence to use technique. They fear “losing” so they don’t focus on what is going on at a more subtle level and thus lose the proper timing for a move.


It’s proactive aggression rather than reactive.