From a tactical standpoint, surprise should be the first principle. However, surprise is generally afforded to the attacker and typically an offensive action. So, we are left with the time honored first principle of being prepared for a fight before any other principle is relevant. Proper preparation counters surprise.
Two thousand years ago, Chinese General Sun Tzu foresaw who would win or lose a conflict based on the preparation of each army. UFC champion Randy Couture noted that a fight is 90% mental and 10% physical. However, most fighters focus only on physical preparation.
University of South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin revealed his coaching philosophy in an interview. Martin told a reporter, "We've gotten to the place in society to where we think that we're supposed to make things easy for kids and then when they fail as men, we blame them." Martin believes kids haven't changed. Adults have changed and demand less of kids rather than preparing them for what life is truly about.
How you prepare for your fights depends on your individual abilities and the enemies that you will face. Also, understand that there are three ways to mentally foreshadow and survive violence:
1. Avoid it entirely
2. Escape if it can't be avoided
3. Devastate the attacker's ability to fight if escape is not possible
The first two methods of avoiding or escaping require presence of mind. So, two out of three methods to survive violence are mental preparation by having a plan to avoid or escape violence and being alert to execute that plan.
"Winning Fights: 12 proven principles for winning on the street, in the ring, at life"is the most heavily researched text on fighting principles since Sun Tzu wrote the inaugural text on warfare 2,000 years ago. Reviewers have called the book the modern-day Sun Tzu, Art of War outlining the foundations for winning and overcoming conflict.