Combat Mindset is a self defense and personal training studio that specializes in preparing you for the worst that life throws at you.

Combat Mindset is more than a self defense philosophy, it’s a way of life.

Developed over the last two decades by international security consultant Michael Saad, our studio eliminates distractions and provides a private, non-intimidating environment to work on your fitness and personal safety goals. We focus on practical, real world training that prepares people of all ages and backgrounds for confrontations or violent encounters.

Whether you’re a business professional taking on city streets or have a child who is regularly facing bullies, Combat Mindset is a functional system that prepares everyone for real world, violent (and nonviolent) threats. We offer the guidance necessary to ensure you’re developing proper technique while empowering you to discover your most confident self.

Located in Dothan Alabama, we provide one-on-one and small group training for self defense and fitness by certified instructors to create a unique experience. This enables you to achieve an optimal personal security posture, no matter where you are or the problem at hand. We’re a ‘meat and potatoes’ kind of training studio with proven techniques and a raw, workhorse approach.

Join us to improve yourself both mentally and physically, all without the distractions of a big box gym or traditional martial arts program. But trust us… just because we eliminate distractions doesn’t mean we skip the essentials.

You’re in the right place!

Unlike any other training center you’ve ever experienced, our studio gives you everything you need, none of what you don’t.

  • Focused Instruction: Our results-driven, high-energy, self defense and fitness programs are taught in small class sizes, ensuring you receive the attention necessary to execute techniques with skill and confidence.
  • Multiple Formats and Programs: We utilize motivation, accountability and performance-based training programs to foster a unique combination of skills that translate into real-world application.
  • Carefully Constructed Environment: We’ve designed our training to be both safe and fun, making it simple to nurture your growing arsenal of skills.
  • Success, No Matter Who You Are: Our innovative training program is designed for everyone, from the young adult, to the seasoned cop. Your success is guaranteed if you show up! Your only job is to put in the work—we do the rest.

The best part? You’ll not only develop the knowledge that will help keep you and your loved ones safe, you’ll get an awesome workout as well!

Whether you can drop by one of our studios or are located across the globe on another continent and want to take a trip to come train with us, you can take advantage of Combat Mindset. With certified instruction and a no-frills approach to self defense and fitness, you’ll always be prepared for whatever life throws at you.

Our Approach

We provide one-on-one and small group training for self defense and fitness by certified instructors to create a unique experience. This enables you to achieve an optimal personal security posture, no matter where you are or the problem at hand. More importantly, it gives our clients the confidence to take on their daily lives without safety being a concern.

Our Membership Base

With a name like Combat Mindset, most people think we are a male dominated studio.

But, in reality, our client base – and our staff- are mostly women. Our name simply refers to the mental and physical conditioning necessary to face life’s obstacles.

Your Combat Mindset

As with everything else in this world, the term is often up for interpretation on many levels. But, for the purposes of my site, my brand and why you’re here… Having a Combat Mindset, simply means that you have developed the ability to act effectively and ethically under adversity, stress or extreme pressure.

Being able to act effectively under stress, doesn’t mean you’re a sociopath wanting confrontation. It means that you have conditioned yourself to overcome emotional and involuntary instincts that might keep you from reacting to an attack.

There should also be no moral dilemma or question on whether countering an attack is ethical. I can think of nothing that defines ethics more than life-saving and life-protecting values in action.

An illusion of safety can be a dangerous thing

Gone are the days when our children can roam the neighborhood without care, when you can leave your doors unlocked at night, of absolute trust of the system and humanity. Gone are the days of being an innocent bystander. You can not trust anyone. If they are living, they are human and they are not worthy of absolute trust.

There will always be those that claim the belief above is false. There will be those who claim that, the people who subscribe to that belief, are cynical people that live a poor and unrewarding life.

My Belief: They are the problem. Not the solution.

A person can be good. People, as a whole, are evil. Just as a person can be intelligent. People, as a whole, are ignorant. Don’t believe me? Take a trip to Best Buy on Black Friday and see for yourself.

The 4 Legs of a Combat Mindset

There are four legs that make a solid mindset and should be constantly used and developed. If one of them fails, the entire foundation of your Combat Mindset will collapse. Each begins to work, even before a threat is realized.

Some things, like your situational awareness, play a big part in actually preventing trouble or creating a hard target for any would-be attacker. After all, the best way to survive an attack is to avoid one.

Technical

repeatedly practicing techniques equips you to respond with gross muscle memory under stress, when your fine motor skills are unavailable.

Tactical

what should you do when confronted with an attacker? should you flank them? hit left and dodge right? attack the weapon first, always, before worrying about the person holding it!

Mental

fight, flight or fright. are you gonna freeze up and cower when attacked? run? are you mentally strong enough to do what needs to be done in the situation?

Physical

are you in good enough shape to even handle an attack? do you have what it takes to put them down?

A gun is good. A knife is good. A stick is better than nothing at all, and your hands, arms, legs and muscles are to be relied on when nothing else can be. But, without your brain, without thinking and without cognizant awareness you are little more than an animal fighting for survival in a dangerous situation.

Situational Awareness​

Your situational awareness – a state of mind and capability in any given situation – plays a big part in actually preventing trouble and creating a hard target for any potential attack. To put this intangible necessity in perspective, I use a color code system that was created by United States Marine Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Cooper to explain the different levels of situational awareness.

The Cooper Color Code, originally introduced as White, Yellow, Orange and Red, had nothing to do with tactical situations or alertness levels, but rather with one’s state of mind. It’s not meant to give you an indication of how much danger is around you or apparent – it’s not a freakin Spidy Sense – but rather to help you to think through a difficult situation.

It directly relates to the degree of danger you are able to do something about. It allows you to move from one level of mindset to another to properly handle a tough situation. In short, the Color Code helps you “think” in a fight. As the level of danger increases, your willingness to take certain actions increases.

If you ever do go to Condition Red, the decision to use lethal force has already been made and your mental trigger has been tripped.

Condition White

You’re unaware of anything going on around you. Maybe you’re fatigued, distracted, or had a bit too much wine with dinner. Regardless of the excuse, you are not ready — for anything. You are unprepared and unready. If you are attacked in White you will probably die unless your attacker is totally inept.

Condition Yellow

You’re calm and relaxed, scanning your surroundings for potential threats. You know who’s in front of you, to your sides, and behind you. You don’t think anyone will make a hostile move, but you are mentally ready in case something sketchy happens. Honestly, yellow should be the “default” condition for most people in 2016.

Condition Orange

You recognize that something is sketchy and chances for violence are increasing. At this stage you see the positions of all potentially hostile individuals around you and any weapons they may be able to use, both in their hands or within their reach. You develop a plan for dealing with the potential hostiles, including identification of escape routes. You’re both mentally and physically ready.

Condition Red

You are engaged in combat. Someone is assaulting you and you are reacting to the attack and defending yourself. You are taking immediate and decisive action to stop your opponent, or evade and get help.

Condition Black

Catastrophic breakdown of mental and physical performance. Usually over 175 heartbeats per minute, increased heart rate becomes counter productive. May have stopped thinking correctly. This can happen when going from Condition White or Yellow immediately to Condition Red.

It’s Time to Get Started

Having a solid Combat Mindset, goes so much further than beating an assailant to a bloody pulp. In fact, a true Combat Mindset is more powerful than any weapon – it’s used well before, and after, any confrontation, violent encounter or potentially traumatizing experience.

In today’s rapidly changing climate, a Combat Mindset is a must-have trait, a prerequisite skill before leaving your home and an essential part of everyday life.

If you really want to develop your Combat Mindset, join Tribe or start reading one of my most recent articles. Seriously, I write this stuff to help you, so you might as well use it… 

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