I am James “Smokey” West. A little about myself. I am a retired Special Forces Operations Technician. I retired from 7th Special Forces Group. I am a combat veteran. I have been involved in martial arts and combat karate for the past 42 years. I have deployed on top secret missions, including work with the CIA and the Maritime Organization.

I am a 10th Dan (Grand Master) in the American Open Style Karate System, with a background in Boxing and Kung-Fu, Wrestling, American and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

I have trained American Special Forces, Delta Force, Navy Seals, CIA Operatives, Army Rangers and Foreign troops in hand to hand combat, hostage rescue and negotiations, Close Quarters Combat, and Sniper Training. I have been in numerous street fights and have trained two UFC fighters, professional boxers and kick-boxers as seen on the UFC, USA Tuesday Night Fights and HBO Heavy-Weight After Dark.

This article has an aspect that is very important to anyone looking for answers on why their knowledge and experience about fighting, and possibly other activities requiring specific training, doesn’t work. In part, this is an attempt to provide you with insight, the little secrets to make basic fundamentals work for you.

There may be a gap for most people between training and the reality of having a self-defense system work under fire. It can be confusing when you spend so much time learning and training, and yet the practical application just doesn’t work under fire. I want to fill this mystical gap between making your technical application work and the disappointment of failure.

There are many aspects to winning and surviving in a fight, whether in the ring, cage or street, when you are forced to defend yourself or protect friends and family from assaults and street attacks. Once you are forced to defend against criminals, crooks and crazies, you must do so with one thing in mind: “winning” surviving, just staying alive at any and all costs.

You must have a purposeful and deliberate strategy and action, much like a game of chess. Remember, he who hesitates loses.

There may be many different reasons you may have subjected yourself to attack or assaults by others. That’s right subjected yourself! It takes only a moment of complacency and you may be the victim. Some people don’t belong in a ring, cage or sporting event. I have heard, “I just want to try it once so I can say I did it,” and, “My friends talked me into it…” and so forth.