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4 Primary Orientations

In combat sports and self-defense, having the right mental orientation is crucial for achieving your objectives. The four primary orientations - Avoid, Deter, Disable, and Terminate - describe the different ways in which a fighter can approach a confrontation. In this article, we will explore each of these orientations in detail.

  1. Avoid: The Avoid orientation involves recognizing a potentially dangerous situation and taking steps to avoid it. This may involve taking a different route to your destination, avoiding certain areas or people, or leaving a situation before it becomes dangerous. Fighters who use the Avoid orientation are able to recognize potential danger and take proactive steps to avoid it.

  2. Deter: The Deter orientation involves making it clear to your opponent that you are a force to be reckoned with. This may involve using verbal or non-verbal cues to communicate your strength and confidence. Fighters who use the Deter orientation are able to intimidate their opponents and deter them from attacking.

  3. Disable: The Disable orientation involves incapacitating your opponent to prevent them from causing harm. This may involve using techniques such as joint locks, chokeholds, or strikes to neutralize your opponent's ability to fight. Fighters who use the Disable orientation are able to quickly and efficiently end a confrontation.

  4. Terminate: The Terminate orientation involves using lethal force to end a confrontation. This may involve the use of firearms or other deadly weapons, or hand-to-hand techniques that are intended to cause permanent harm. Fighters who use the Terminate orientation are able to take extreme measures to protect themselves or others in a life-threatening situation.

It's important to note that each orientation has its own risks and benefits. The Avoid orientation may not be possible in all situations, while the Deter orientation may not work on a particularly determined opponent. The Disable and Terminate orientations may result in serious legal and moral consequences if used inappropriately. Fighters must carefully consider the risks and benefits of each orientation before deciding on a course of action.


In conclusion, the four primary orientations - Avoid, Deter, Disable, and Terminate - are important tools for fighters to use in self-defense. By understanding and using these orientations appropriately, fighters can protect themselves and others from harm and achieve their objectives in a confrontation.

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