EPISODE #143: Keeping Them in Check

Greetings my friends and fellow guardians.

This week and for the next few weeks, I want to touch and build on one of the primary concepts of focus in Volume 3 of our 3 SECONDS FROM NOW series, and that is: pre-positioning.

But today, I want to introduce a new analogy to help newer students understand this concept of pre-positioning, and this analogy draws from the game of chess: it is, the idea of keeping everyone around you in a constant state of check.

And I mean this very literally: the goal of pre-positioning is to position your resources, aka your body and gun and mind and awareness, in the most favorable way possible so that you can respond most immediately and most effectively to a sudden, violent attack.

You keep people in check. Again: With effective pre-positioning strategies and habits, you can keep the people around you in check. You make it so that, should you need to, you can act against them very quickly and with minimal risk to yourself.

Remember that quote from General Mad Dog Mattis: “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” It sounds extreme on the surface, but, this really is a clear way to define this concept of “keeping them in check” through the use of pre-positioning. And while the politician within us should not make a habit of talking like this in public or on public forums, what General Mattis says is the truth, and every effective fighter, or every wise person who values personal protection, already does this, whether they are aware of it or not.

Well, how do we follow General Mattis’s advice and “have a plan to kill everyone we meet?” Well, the good news is that this isn’t an active process. Meaning, Mattis doesn’t actually spend the first two minutes of any conversation distracted, as he decides the most effective way to kill the person he’s talking to: the reality is that keeping the people around us in a state of check is an automatic, habitual process that the effective individuals do, without even realizing it.

Let me explain.

So, we can’t properly use chess as any kind of analogy unless we understand exactly what chess is. You see, chess isn’t a game of slaughter. It’s certainly not a brawl. Brawlers charge into a fight and try to do as much damage as they can without much thought to strategy or tactics. They attack until they are spent, hoping that the other guy goes down first. Chess is not a brawl. It’s not a game of destruction or of attrition. At least, it’s not meant to be, and if you play this way, you will lose against any opponent who has any sort of grasp on the game. In fact, Chess isn’t even meant to be a game of tactics.

Does that make sense? If chess were played at the tactical level, the outcome of a contest, a clash between two pieces, would be uncertain. It would depend on how well-trained or equipped the individual pieces were. A knight swooping in wouldn’t always take a pawn, because tactically, sometimes Knights’ horses step in holes, or sometimes pawns get lucky with their spears. But the game designer tried hard to protect us from having to consider tactics, because he knew that we got enough of that in every other element of life. He created Chess the way he did because he wanted to drive home a much more important lesson.

You see: chess, like war itself, is best viewed as a game of strategic maneuvering. We’ll just call it maneuvering. We can define maneuvering within this context as the strategic positioning and movement of available resources for the purpose of potential, imminent, or immediate offensive or defensive action for maximum advantage.

And the most skillful chess players – and the most skillful generals in war – the ones who win, are the ones who maneuver the best.

Well, maneuvering is another word for, what? Pre-positioning. It’s another word for Pre-positioning. And the grand thesis in our discussions over these next few weeks, as you faithful students progress through and mull over the concepts laid out within Volume 3 of our 3 SECONDS FROM NOW series, is that if you learn to understand what pre-positioning is well enough, and if you learn to apply its principles to your own life and day to day, and if you build body language, awareness, and habits that leave you effectively pre-positioned most of the time in your life…. Then using your gun to save your life against a violent threat will be vastly easier than you can imagine. You will be able to 5 or even 10x your chances of surviving violence – if only you can begin the engagement from a strategically wise and tactically advantageous pre-position.

But that’s all for this week. Next week, we will continue.

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