Now that you have survived the previous articles in The Warrior Series, one question should burn in your mind: How do we become, survive, and thrive as warriors in the Modern Era? If you are asking yourself this question, you quite rightly understand that modernity presents all manner of obstacles and threats that our ancient forebears did not face, let alone foresee.
Let us examine some of the factors which contribute to making modernity extremely challenging so we can gain a bit more insight into what it will take for a modern man to become a warrior.
In societal terms, how would you describe the state of things and the environment in which we live? Free and non-intrusive? Oppressive and tyrannical? Watchful and suspicious? I suspect a true and accurate response includes elements of all of these descriptors, and probably more.
We are certainly free to do a lot, especially compared to other people around the world and in different eras. Yet in some ways, we live in an intrusive society where not only government – town, city, county, state, and federal – agencies pry apart privacy protections under the guise of “security.” Some would consider this oppressive and tyrannical, but they seem to forget what true tyranny and oppression is.
Modern society certainly is watchful and suspicious. Not only do government and corporate organizations look to learn as much about us as they can, but even our neighbors pry into our lives. Their motivations run the gamut: security, protection, profit, and power for the government and the “Nanny State” it has created; and, curiosity, nosiness, and rule/law enforcement for our friendly neighborhood Karens with their “concern” for public decency and safety.
Any way you cut it, we are under observation – visual, audio, technical, and technological – by any number of benign or nefarious actors. It is because of this that modern man must shape not only how he becomes a warrior, but also how he projects his warriordom. He must be alert and aware at all times, watchful and observant for current situational and environmental changes, ready to adjust to the unknown. He must also be conscious of his behavior and how others might perceive his actions, words, and deeds. In today’s world, his intentions count for little; it is others’ perceptions that could spell trouble for him.
Culturally, modern man faces other challenges to his becoming a warrior and serving his people. Not only do we live in a very litigious society, but litigation has seeped into the very soul of our culture. Frivolous lawsuits about and lawsuits can be initiated over seemingly minor slights. We have become a very sensitive and “offended” culture, a shadow of our hard-living and –working progenitors. Lawsuits and litigations do much damage to men and warriors when the courts deem their actions damaging and their words hurtful. In the area of the law, lawyers are king. Warriors are generally not adept at maneuvering over this landmine-infested ground.
Hand-in-glove with the litigious aspect of modernity is the advent of what people call “cancel culture.” Under this monstrosity, men are “doxed” and their livelihoods threatened. Offenses which presently warrant such economic damage and financial exile include saying/posting/emailing politically incorrect statements and even believing something that the hysterical masses deem unacceptable. There are no hard and fast rules for how, when, and why the strong arm of “cancel culture” is wielded. In fact, its arbitrary use would seem to indicate a highly emotional and politically devastating weapon of opportunity.
The final general factor I want to address is conditioning or reprogramming. This factor is not new; it has been taking place over the course of decades if not longer. What makes this factor more important now than before is that the speed at which they are operating is increasing. They seem to be accelerating for one of two reasons. They may be speeding things along because they sense the end game is near and there is no recourse with which modern man can fight back. Conversely, they might realize that modernity is a two-edged sword; that is, while it gives them more means with which to atomize and divide modern civilization, it also gives modern man the means, and a variety of tools with which to resist.
No matter the reason for the acceleration, one thing is clear: it has been a huge success over time. To understand this, all we need to do is witness the mobs of “activists” protesting one form of “right” or another, shouting catchy slogans. If you corner one of them, you quickly realize they are nothing more than human parrots, endlessly repeating what has been drummed into their heads but offering no supporting evidence or logic-based reasoning.
Having briefly described some of the present-day challenges that we men-who-would-be-warriors will face, what do we do about it? What can we do?
There are several general recommendations that come to mind. Their implementation will remain incumbent on the individual man as his experience and training levels increase over time. They take practice to master, so there is no time like the present to get started.
1 – Increase your situational awareness. Learn to observe and remain receptive to outside stimuli. This will shape and expand your awareness. Catalogue what you see, hear, and smell, and compare that to what you sense and feel.
2 – Develop your situational understanding. Awareness is simply the ability to use your senses and recognize what they tell you about a particular situation or environment. To understand what these stimuli mean, you must learn to analyze the conditions which surround you and compare them to what they should be, depending on your purpose and intent. Understanding answers the question of “so what?”
3 – Mitigate modernity’s tools and the threats they represent. Know the systems and take measures to counter offensive tools and get around defensive roadblocks. Assume you are under observation and surveillance at all times and adopt a boring and non-threatening demeanor, behavior, and pattern of life.
4 – Learn to flow like water rather than sitting like the rock. Understand what you are able to control and influence, and do so in a measured way; likewise, understand what you are not able to control and influence, and temper your mindset accordingly.
5 – Learn to bend like the willow rather than standing like the oak. Be flexible and remain ready to adjust to changing conditions. Be mindful of potential and actual threats, and develop plans to deal with them.
6 – Work within the limits of the system. Use gaps to your advantage and avoid the systemic strong points. Know the terrain – physical and digital – and learn to exploit it to your advantage while taking measures to protect your vulnerabilities.
7 – Adhere strictly to your guiding principles, but remain flexible in implementing them and taking meaningful action. If changing conditions warrant reactive flexibility, remaining true to your principles will assist you in focusing on intent and the overarching goal rather than being stymied by the frustrating obstacles you face.
If we use our mind-body-soul connection as a template, I suggest to you that implementing these recommendations would look something like this:
- Question everything and everyone, including their actions, deeds, and words
- Verify claims to ascertain a man’s trustworthiness and the veracity of his words
- Attain flexibility of the mind/mental capacity to be able to overcome operational rigidity
- Train to attain physical mastery in fitness, health, and combatives, both lethal and non-lethal
- Develop soft skills that can be masked to present a publicly defensive posture, but keep an offensive mindset
- Adopt multi-use tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) that offer operational flexibility
- Understand that your focus must be forward; know who/what you are, and from where/when you originate, but keep an eye on what you are striving to become
- Temper your focus with historic understanding and context
- Avoid seeking instant gratification; the struggle is a long slog
As you contemplate these considerations, be mindful not to become mired too deeply in conspiracy theory. While they can be entertaining and fun to explore, focus more on your purpose, the intent of your being, and how you intend to accomplish your tasks according to your guiding principles. The opposition gets a vote; understanding that will enable you to remain wary of the minefield that he has laid in your path and in which you must operate.
Never underestimate the opposition’s ability to frustrate your work. You must overcome at all costs, and remaining flexible in an increasingly inflexible world is but the first and most basic step. Steady on, brothers; the struggle is real and we must have mental, physical, and spiritual endurance to persevere.
In closing, I would draw your attention to the general nature of the considerations and factors I find important to remember as modern man becomes a warrior. I kept them general for a few reasons. First, this is not the forum through which specific TTP should be addressed. Second, TTP tend to be specific to the man, his situation, the conditions in which he operates, and a host of other factors. This means there is no panacea or perfect solution. Third, training will provide men the basic skills they can employ and practice, thus creating a toolkit of TTP based on real-world experience.
But do not go away disheartened or frustrated. I will develop a sample case study to outline how some techniques might be appropriate for some men in certain situations. As with all things in this chaotic and nebulous world in which we live, your mileage may vary. Therefore, do not waste time. Learn now, train now, and build experience now.