1on1 w/ Bravo - FR: The Ego vs. The Field

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1on1 w/ Bravo - FR: The Ego vs. The Field

Postby (Q) » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:52 pm

1on1 w Bravo... FR: The Ego vs. The Field


I didn't realize it before, but my short journey in pickup has always boiled down to one question:
do I listen to my ego or do I listen to what the field is telling me?

Like the cliche picture of having an angel on one shoulder and a demon on the other, my ego always protects me, giving me confidence but sometimes contorting reality to do so. On the other hand, the field is a giant mirror, showing me all my strengths AND weaknesses regardless of what I want to see.

This coaching session was me receiving feedback from the field, with Bravo helping clarify it. So for the past few days, I've slipped into an introspective state, analyzing the field's feedback not just from this weekend but from the entire time since I started. From this overload of information, I've gleaned four major lessons.
Last edited by (Q) on Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1on1 w/ Bravo. FR: The Ego vs. The Field

Postby (Q) » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:52 pm

LESSON 1: The field does not lie.

I've always let my ego have an unfair share in my decision-making process. One prime example was me making myself believe that I could jump into boxing with no fighting experience and figure out how to do it all by myself.

The huge flaw with this mentality was that it completely IGNORED the fact that other people had already spent their lives learning and mastering this skill.

Other people have lived before me, other people have thought what I thought, faced the problems I was experiencing, found solutions, etc., and by disregarding that collective knowledge and experience, I just ended up repeating all of their mistakes.

It showed every time I stepped into the ring. If I sparred with anyone who started around the same time I did, I was great. But against anyone who was technically sound, I rarely landed clean punches and usually spent the rest of the sparring session trying to figure out how to stop getting hit.

This was the field telling me, "you have some fancy, flashy punches, lots of power, and potential, but you have zero fundamental skills."

Up until a few years ago, I avoided or ignored that feedback...and anyone who echoed it.


When I got serious about pickup last summer, I promised myself that I was not going to repeat that. In a rare moment where my ego was silent, I told myself, "I'm going to act like I don't know anything, I'm going to shut my mouth, follow directions, and learn this the RIGHT way. I am going to be HUMBLE."

I signed up for phone coaching, and Bravo had me start with the 5 oceans. For a few weeks, results were barely mediocre, and I thought the opener was corny. But I trusted that he knew what he was doing and that this floundering period was temporary.

One day after practicing 5 oceans in the mall, I decided to go direct for the fuck of it. It worked. Tried again with another girl. Number closed. When I went back and listened to the recording, I saw that the interaction didn't even take two minutes.

Field: "Nice job."

Frustrated with the lukewarm results of 5 oceans, and pleasantly surprised by the dazzling results of going direct, I said, "Fuck the 5 oceans, I'm sticking with THIS shit!"

My ego somehow justified it: "Bravo WOULD tell you to do this, but he just can't see you over the phone. If he saw this in person, he'd recognize what was going on and would have you go direct anyway. AND...you're the one paying for it. Do what you want."

Makes NO sense whatsoever, but my ego can create a powerful 'reality distortion field' around me.


From that point on, I sifted through every field report by Bravo, Farmer, and Maestro for lines to build a direct approach stack. I then watched videos of Bravo, Sasha, and anyone else who had in-field footage and took any bits that sounded effective.

I practiced my stack mainly with day game at first, and during a trip to Atlanta, transposing the stack to night venues started clicking. When I got back, I focused on clubs and bars, again happy with the field's positive feedback.

Then I started noticing a disturbing pattern: When things hit, they REALLY hit. But when they didn't hit, I was dead in the water and couldn't recover.

Over the next few weeks, I tried switching back and forth between direct and indirect, and the field kept basically telling me, "NOT going direct is a big weakness for you."

I used different excuses to ignore it, but deep down It still bugged me. I told Bravo and he had me go one week opening people with NO canned material. Field: "this is still a big weakness for you." My ever-protective ego: "Fuck that shit. Stick to what you know," So back to direct game I went.

My girlfriend and I broke up for the final time in November, and within a few weeks, I had slept with 6 new girls, which of course sent my ego through the roof.

Ego: "Dude, fuck that indirect or improv shit. You got 6 lays pretty quickly. You obviously know what you're doing. You're a natural!"

"Matter of fact, you should meet Bravo and show him what you can do, you might even get a purple belt right then and there. Fuck, you didn't read about anyone else on the forum getting this good this fast, so you might even be a few steps away from a brown belt!"

So much for staying HUMBLE...

Round 1: Ego wins.




Then the big shocker came on New Years Eve. Good thing I was rational enough to force myself to go to Bourbon St. It was going to be packed, so it was a great opportunity for me to give it one more good try...just to be social without going direct.

I didn't keep count for long, but a realistic guess is that I opened 30+ sets. Responses were again mediocre at best. Every conversation kept stalling when I tried to be engaging WITHOUT flirting. For some reason, I couldn't just be a normal cool guy.

Again, retreating and just to make myself feel better, I went direct with two sets and number closed one girl within 20 seconds by stopping her, telling her she was gorgeous and that I wanted finish hitting on her later.

Felt a little better. She texted me later asking if I was still on Bourbon, but I went home, still fuming. That was the only real positive reaction I got all night.

This made no sense: I could number close a girl, make-out with her, or at least have her laughing and flattered by my flirting, but I couldn't even walk into a place alone and just make friends.

Once again, like in boxing, I had fucked myself. By trying to be Mr. "I don't need anyone to teach me," I ended up with a few fancy tricks and no fundamentals.

The ever-honest field presented a cold, undeniable fact: "you're NOWHERE near as good as you think you are. You're okay at going direct, but at everything else, you're lost."

I scheduled a 1-on-1 with Bravo and came out to Arizona to get back to the basics.

Round 2: Field wins.
Last edited by (Q) on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1on1 w/ Bravo. FR: The Ego vs. The Field

Postby (Q) » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:53 pm

LESSON 2: Only punch when there's an opening.

After watching Bravo in action, i realized that his style of pickup is analogous to the counterpuncher's style of boxing. Counterpunchers have a simple strategy: to hit and not get hit. They keep their defenses up, and only attack when the chance for success is the greatest.

I expected Bravo to come out Mike Tyson style: walk into a room, open every set in the building, number close and make-out with every attractive woman there, pick the two hottest ones and have a threesome on the bar, leave, walk into a new place, and do it all over again.

I did read about him working the room before, but in this session he chose to be more controlled: conserving his energy, waiting for openings, picking his shots carefully, not leaving himself vulnerable, and not trying to force openings.

In other words, the exact OPPOSITE of what I've been doing.

On our first night, Bravo demonstrated some finer points of calibration on our waitress. He didn't perform any routines and didn't try to get her attention; he only threw out open loops to see how she reacted.

With my untrained eyes, I could've SWORN that she gave every IOI in the book, but Bravo explained that I was missing the details.

"You see when I threw out x, y, z, she was laughing, talking about this, but she never brought it up again... She also never did, a, b, c, so those IOI's weren't IOI's. She's being nice to us because it's her job.

...When you're doing this with hired guns, always have to make sure you can tell the difference before you start wasting energy doing a bunch of routines on her."

For a fleeting moment, my ego interrupted my thoughts: "Show him what you can do! Go direct with the 3set behind you." I ignored it.

After Bravo pointed out some of the waitress's key behaviors (or lack of behaviors), I took a few minutes and watched how she acted with other customers.

He was right. She was in work mode, focused and in a different zone, and trying to make her snap out of that would've been like trying to stop someone on their way to the bathroom and get them into a long conversation.


I wanted to see more, because I didn't fly out to Arizona to watch Bravo NOT run game. So when we ended up at an oyster bar later, and I saw him start low-key with his target, then build his the interaction until the girl had shifted from being cold and distant to setting up a D2 with him.

Later on, when I asked her to clarify something she said earlier, she told me, "Honestly, I was dating four guys, but after him [Bravo], I think I'm cutting three out."

Watching him slowly reverse her attitude and basically pulling her social side out of her revealed to me that I had been making a huge fundamental mistake even in my direct approaches: instead of picking my shots carefully, I tried to hit my target with everything I had right away.

In each approach, I threw out every routine, every flirtatious remark, every kino gimmick back to back. If it hit, it was an immediate knockout. But if not, I had nothing left to show...all my "value" was pretty much demonstrated in the first few minutes.

Field: "the energy always fizzles out because you're always less exciting than you were at the beginning."

Again, thinking of the basics, it would've been more effective to wait for opportunities to show value, then constantly build the temperature, where each DHV is more or less a surprise, and essentially planting the thought in her mind, "hmm, what else am I going to find out about him?"

But that took patience, attentiveness, and tossing bait out without overcommitting myself. In other words...keeping my ego silent and carefully gauging the girl's reactions.

The concept was simple: if a fish doesn't take the bait, you don't dive into the water and try to shove it into its mouth.
Last edited by (Q) on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1on1 w/ Bravo. FR: The Ego vs. The Field

Postby (Q) » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:54 pm

LESSON 3: If she wants you, the close comes naturally.

Mike Ferry, real estate sales trainer, said that the close is a natural end to a GREAT presentation. Therefore, any difficulty closing a sale is a result of the presentation not being strong enough to make the customer WANT what was being sold.

This explained all of those direct approaches where I got numbers and make-outs quickly: the impression I set was strong and immediate...I was funny, likable, and unafraid to go after a girl I wanted.

Now I had to focus on how to have that same effect but with a more solidly built foundation of attraction.

On our final set of the weekend, at the same oyster bar as the night before, Bravo picked a 2-set of cute Latinas and told me to approach with a simple "hey what are you guys eating?"

Me: "Fuck, I never used that one. I don't know what to do after that."
Ego: "Fuck that, go direct."
Bravo: "Go."

I fumbled through my planned transitions but somehow managed to get both girls to show me the "proper technique" for eating oysters (I'm from Louisiana, I knew already but had to do SOMETHING other than sit silently).

Bravo came into the set and immediately spiked up the energy. At first we went back and forth with both girls, again NO direct game, just being friendly.

Both said they knew how to dance, so I made them stand up one by one and dance with me, so that I could gauge their true skill level. They were both hesitant, because we were in plain view of everyone, no one else was standing, and there was no loud music playing. But to their credit, they both did it and enjoyed it.

Funny thing is, this set almost turned boring, as I totally mangled the wingman rules. I didn't introduce Bravo at all when he sat down; I just started talking to him. Then later, I mentioned that he did magic and the girls requested an immediate demonstration. I encouraged them instead of building it up to give him time to prepare.

After the trick, I goofed again. The girls asked for more and I failed to follow up with anything. Without thinking, I said something along the lines of, "oh y'all have to see the other ones he's gonna teach me, they're awesome." So again Bravo was forced to play the dancing monkey role and spike the energy with two more magic tricks.

Even through all my mistakes, the first goal was accomplished: the girls were having fun and didn't want us to leave.

I later isolated my target by saying I was freezing and had to sit next to a nearby heat lamp. The whole time I fought the urge to hit on her and I'm glad I did. It forced me to find other qualities about her that I could point to as sincere reasons for her being attractive.

Funny enough, I used a few of Bravo's emotional connection tidbits on everything she said, but when we connected on the mentalities behind my salsa dancing and her tango dancing, she hooked completely. Same principle as earlier: toss out loops and followup with the one(s) that are working.

My number close came far too late, but I still accomplished my second goal: she gave me her number with no resistance or hesitation whatsoever, and we actually picked activities for when I come back to town.

Ego: "I should've done more, gone caveman, grabbed ass, etc. That was way too nice guy-ish."
Field: "By the end of the interaction, she liked you, so she WANTED to give you her number."
Last edited by (Q) on Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1on1 w/ Bravo. FR: The Ego vs. The Field

Postby (Q) » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:54 pm

LESSON 4: The field does not give you time to think.

I forgot to mention something earlier: I actually suck at counterpunching.

I only recently started practicing it. I can explain the method and strategy behind it. I can name fighters who personify it and show exact fights where it's demonstrated beautifully. But...ANYONE who reads up on it can eventually talk about it eloquently.

Being able to execute it is a whole different matter. It takes not only great physical conditioning but THOUSANDS of repetitions to replace natural reflexes with more effective ones. The amount of training to achieve that so high that very few people ever accomplish it.

Sugar Ray Robinson built a legendary, unmatched record of 128 wins and just 1 loss before his later years. He explained the dynamics of boxing best: "You don't think. It's all instinct. If you stop to think, you're gone."


Ego: "5 oceans, strawberry fields, ring routine, etc. I know them all backwards and forwards. I'M PAST ALL THAT."
Field: "The situations change every second, and you're always reacting to those changes too late and sometimes not at all."

After the sets in various places, I figured out I was only good under perfect circumstances.

Specifically with the 5 oceans, I wasn't fully prepared to readjust it to larger set, to maneuver around the crazy responses, like when a girl adamantly insists that there's only four oceans, or when people start naming seas instead of oceans, or to cut straight into a transition that spikes the energy when people weren't interested, or to incite laughter to snap a girl out of it when she's really trying hard to think of the answer.

Turns out this was the same for most of the routines I "knew," aside from my direct stack.

The field had spoken loud and clear: "You accumulated a whole bunch of guns, thinking you were ready for anything. But when it came time to shoot, you're busy trying to figure out how to load, turn off the safety, etc. By the time you figure out how to respond, the situation has already changed into something else."




I did see some good examples of how to do right, though. I saw that doing this enough times would enable someone to not only react quickly to certain changes, but to plan for them ahead of time.


Example: Bravo showing me the calibration on the waitress who was feigning interest, then later demonstrating the attracting building on a girl who really was interested.


Another example: he planned a basic cover story for us: he was teaching me how to use guns and how to do magic, and I was helping him with his business and teaching him how to dance. (His real response: no way I'm doing that shit.)

With the Latina girls, he kept tossing out subtle DHV open loops, and when they suddenly hooked onto his firearms DHV, he quickly transferred the spotlight over to me with my salsa dancing, after which I made each stand up and dance with me to "prove" their skill. Sounds like a lot of steps but the transition was seamless.


Another example: I wanted to leave the deck of cards in the hotel room.
Ego: "1) you need to practice it more or you'll fuck it up in the field , and 2) you're going to be the dork who walks around in the club with a deck of cards."
Bravo: Don't pussy out. Bring the deck.

Lo and behold, after one of his magic tricks, my target turned to me and said, VERBATIM: "Hey you got me with the salsa dance, but THAT [Bravo's magic trick] was just...wow, that was just awesome."

I thought to myself, "Fuck that! I'm doing a magic trick, too!!!" I pull out my deck, and pulled my target towards the corner of the table, so only she and I could see. Did the trick. She went wild.

Field: "Aren't you glad you brought that deck..."


Another example: with conversation threads, Bravo was intentionally ambiguous, triggering people's natural reaction to ask for explanations, either immediately or later.

With the two set from the previous night, several times I ended up taking too long to think of good convo threads to bring up. While i was thinking, the girls brought up topics on their own, and most of them were small loops that Bravo had tossed out earlier.

At random times, one of the girls would remember something and ask questions like "wait, what about this, you never finished telling me about x, y, z. What ever happened with that?" Then everything then led into DHV stories, all of which were planned as well.


Feedback from the field: "live situations will not stop to let you read a message, take 10 minutes to think of a witty line, send it, and maybe edit it later, practice a story, spice it up a little bit, etc. You'll only survive if you can react immediately."
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Re: 1on1 w/ Bravo. FR: The Ego vs. The Field

Postby (Q) » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:55 pm

LESSONS LEARNED...NOW WHAT?

Of course, there were a lot of little lessons and techniques that I learned in my 2 days of coaching, but it's not about specific techniques or nuggets. It's about whether I do anything with them from now on.


It's funny, because you'd THINK that it'd be easy to ignore the illogical ego and pay attention only to the field. You'd think it's a simple step by step process: pinpoint my problems, fix them, and viola, I'm good. After all, that's how you get good at anything, right?

The problem is when your desires come face-to-face with reality. Sometimes reality says, "you're not ready yet." And like most people, my ego often reacts with defiance or even dismissiveness.

It's natural to want to higher belt color, a title of being a coach, or anything else that's a "sign" of higher skill. What I wanted was the actual SKILL. I wanted to be a true social virtuoso in the FIELD.

I wanted to be able to approach a table of models at a club, a group of business people at a classy restaurant, a group of med students studying at a coffee shop, a group of meatheads at the gym, families in a waiting room, etc. and successfully fit myself into any set through my personality...and from that point pull any girl I want, if I decide to.

But again, the field says: "take care of these basic things first, that other stuff...you're not ready for that yet." Many times, that was too painful and/or infuriating for me to accept, because that's basically telling me that those results are not going to come when I want them to.

That's telling me that the journey might require much more than I'm willing to sacrifice, that I may have to change other things I don't want to change, and that it might be a very long time before I can walk around and honestly say, "Yeah I'm good at this."

But...that's better than looking back one day and saying, "I knew how to get better. I just chose not to."


Sometime ago I noticed that a lot of people in the community were grossly exaggerating their own skill level and the quality of women they were with, some even giving advice on things they had never done before, and labeling themselves as experts.

Reminded me a lot of the salsa dancing community, where people can come in, claim their expertise without having to prove it, and set up shop.

The thing is...whenever someone like that hits the dance floor / the boxing ring / the field...they're exposed for all to see.

And no matter what, I'm not going to be THAT guy.

So now it's back to the drawing board. And again, as with any skill, the basics may require A LOT of effort and time to TRULY master, but once that foundation is solid, I know it'll be smooth sailing from there. At that point, I'll start experimenting with the crazy shit I've read about, the wildness being lived out by Bravo, the brown belts, and the other guys with real skills.

It's no rush, though. Whether it's 6 months, 2 years, or however much time, I've made up my mind that I'm going to get there either way.





Oh I almost forgot...










LESSON 5:

Bravo's ego: "I just hate stupid drivers."
Field: "Bravo has road rage."






.
Last edited by (Q) on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:24 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: 1on1 w/ Bravo - FR: The Ego vs. The Field

Postby DJNinja » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:31 pm

Wow, that was inspired reading. Thanks for sharing, it's a great reminder about the importance of mastering the fundamentals first
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Re: 1on1 w/ Bravo - FR: The Ego vs. The Field

Postby Stephen » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:37 pm

That car drove right into my lane and if didn't slow down super fast he'd hit us!



I did yell cunt a few times...
Last edited by Stephen on Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Autocorrect typo
Respectfully,
Bravo


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WWBD™ = What Would Bravo Do
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Re: 1on1 w/ Bravo - FR: The Ego vs. The Field

Postby Stephen » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:38 pm

Awesome break down, very proud of you.



After hanging it was clear to see you earned a purple belt.


:D. Congrats
Respectfully,
Bravo


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WWBD™ = What Would Bravo Do
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Re: 1on1 w/ Bravo - FR: The Ego vs. The Field

Postby Rogue4Life » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:28 pm

Awesome and detailed post, man!

Congrats on the purple as well! Kicking ass out there and I can definitely see your inner game has been shooting up through the roof while reading your report.

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