It was that old Oriental Sage of the Warrior Caste, Sun Tzu who said:
“Know thy enemy and know thyself, and you will be victorious in every engagement.”
I have long thought about those words in relation to myself and my foes in every arena, from the Agon of Idea and the Jihad of the Heart, to the Agon of Utterance and the Jihad of the Tongue, and ultimately, to the Agon of Action and the Jihad of the Sword.
To answer this question, I came across a video entitled: “The Archetypes of Fighting” by Schyler Sootho.
When I saw it, I felt like I had been hit by a brick flying through a plate glass window.
God guided me to this video…for it answered many questions for me that I have been asking for four years…longer even.
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY
Seven years ago in 2016, I decided that I hated being weak and wanted to get tough to be able to fight like my heroes.
While health problems prevented me from going overseas to fight against the Radical Jihad, I figured I could get strong and learn how to strike and grapple over here, right?
Consequently, it’s been a seven year journey, and one-and-one-half year was spent with my younger brother and a friend at a hardcore MMA/BJJ gym with 25+ pro fighters fighting out of it.
I have described the bad times there, beyond the propaganda, quite frankly before. Likewise, I have examined the physical lessons learned from there in detail.
However, something else has gnawed at me, a question I have not been able to answer, though I have been working overtime on it silently night and day.
That question is the mental lessons learned.
And for four years I have not had a satisfactory answer.
INTROVERTS VS. EXTROVERTS
I have often observed in the gym that different people’s personalities are reflected in their physical fighting styles. I saw this in Speech and Debate with different verbal argumentative styles and personalities corresponding, and saw the same thing in BJJ.
What I witnessed was that people with Type B, introverted, squirrelier personalities loved all manner of Guard (or as I like to call it, Missionary), while Type A, extroverted, domineering personalities prefer a top-heavy, wrestling style of grappling.
Both my younger brother and I fell squarely in the latter camp.
However, this dichotomy did not explain everything, and I knew there had to be more.
That’s when “The Archetypes of Fighting” by Schyler Sootho flashed across my screen.
THE ARCHETYPE CONNECTION
I absolutely love Carl Jung’s Archetype System. I first heard about it eight years ago in July 2015 in Christopher Booker’s masterful book The Seven Basic Plots.
This book shaped my views on Pulp Fiction in a major way, and is the foundation of this website you are reading!
I became further interested in Archetypes in June 2019 through Jean Shinoda Bolen’s ground-breaking tomes, Gods in Everyman: Archetypes That Shape Men’s Life and Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women’s Lives.
Bolen’s work had such an influence on me, I even shot an interview explaining Gods in Everyman for my good friend filmmaker Daniel Knudsen’s podcast The Void in July 2019!
And for the record: the Archetypes were around long before Carl Jung, even inspiring the Pulp Fiction writers themselves…
They knew them as Platonic Forms!
As I have described before, Archetypes, along with Zodiacs and Genetics, have been a key element in helping me understand myself and everyone else in this world around me.
But I had yet to apply it to my fighting experiences…
Until I saw “The Archetypes of Fighting” by Schyler Sootho, that is.
FOUR FRIENDS TO VICTORY
After watching “The Archetypes of Fighting” by Schyler Sootho, I immediately knew what Fighting Archetype I am, and what Fighting Archetype all my friends and family are!
This explained so much…all our different fighting styles, our different training regimes, our different motivations for fighting…
And our personality clashes regarding all these things!
Fighters having personality clashes?
Say it ain’t so!
So without further ado, I give you my firsthand observations on four people and their Fighting Archetypes that have influenced my life.
- My Friend Chris
- My Mentor James Lafond
- My Brother Hayden
CHRIS: THE TRICKSTER
My friend Chris is a Third Generation Italian. And he is the Trickster to a T.
In fact, he openly refers to himself as such by this very name of Trickster, and discovered that he suddenly found great success on the mats and in tournaments when he embraced this.
For him, this Archetype is liberating, because it is who he is. He understands the Trickster Archetype very well at both the Subconscious and Conscious level. He is an astute student of comedy, and one of his biggest heroes is Don Rickles.
A Trickster’s power lay in Philosophical Irony.
Just what is Philosophical Irony, you ask?
Allow the Scholar Isaiah Berlin to explain:
“Irony was invented by Friedrich Schlegel:
“[It is] the idea that whenever you see honest citizens setting about their business, whenever you see a well-composed poem–a poem composed according to rules–whenever you see a peaceful institution which protects the lives and property of its citizens, laugh at it, mock at it, be ironical, blow it up, point out that the opposite is equally true.
“The only weapon there is against death, for him, against ossification and against any form of the stabilization and freezing of the life stream is what he calls Irony.” 
It is this Philosophical Irony that the Fighting Trickster Archetype brings to the Mats, the Cage, and Ring. They use this Philosophical Irony to become the Psychological Predator and make you the Psychological Prey.
They know the real fight lies in the Agon of Idea and the Jihad of the Heart, and they win it be taking our Identity and pride and as Berlin explained, “laugh[ing] at it, mock[ing] at it, be ironical, blow[ing] it up, point[ing] out that the opposite is equally true.”
This literal weaponization of Philosophical Irony is the perfect tool to “shoot fish in a barrel”, because not only does it damage the Prey, it prevents them from shooting back with the defense of “it’s only a joke! I’m not serious!”
Or as the GenZers of Reddit would say:
“It’s just a meme!”
JAMES LAFOND: THE BRAWLER
My good friend James Lafond is more than a friend to me. He is a mentor.
And not only is he a mentor…he is also the Brawler Archetype!
He loves to fight for the sake of fighting. To him, it’s like oxygen. His favorite fighter is that archetypal Brawler, Roberto Duran, and much of his fighting inspiration and lessons learned come from this guy.
He’s not about winning or losing. He doesn’t see his opponent as the enemy. In fact, he sees him as an equal, almost as a friend! He’s about respecting his opponent, and doing the thing no matter what. This gives him immense joy.
James Lafond has identified himself as the Brawler Archetype; however, he has done so using a different term. That term he uses is “Barbarian”.
I’ll let him explain it is his own words from his masterful fighting memoir, Letters From Planet Meathead: A Fighter’s View of Postmodern Physical Culture:
“I am not a martial artist. I just train with martial artists because some of them are willing to spar and fight, and I am curious about combat: not the theory, but the reality; not the details of perfection, but the nuances of the messy results.
“I seek chaos not order. I am a barbarian and care little for civilization and social structures beyond that compelled by my natural human curiosity…
“Any opponent I face in competition is not an enemy. I fight him to test myself and earn a temporary freedom from our stifling artificial existence.
“Winning is a nice bonus, and I have won over 500 fights with stick, steel and fist. I have enjoyed the 200+ fights I have lost just as much. Winning is not important…
“My spirit is only free when I fight, write, and wonder. I reject all faiths; all religions; all political ideologies; all economic models; all martial arts systems; all beliefs. If I have a religion it is combat. I am a barbarian.”
HAYDEN: THE WARRIOR
My brother Hayden is the picture perfect example of Schyler Sootho’s definition of the Warrior Archetype. He’s that “tough, goal-oriented,” blonde-haired blue-eyed All-American GI kinda guy.
He’s got that Captain America feel, the Blue Collar, Everyman Fighting Irishman. And when his big blue Irish eyes be smiling, you know he’s up to something!
He’s the ultimate example of what I call the Happy Warrior, as best embodied by H.R. McMaster, the hero of that famous tank showdown at 73 Easting in Desert Storm, the Surge in Iraq Freedom, and a leading National Security Advisor under Donald Trump.
With the Happy Warrior, there is very little darkness in him, and his opponents are just as much his friends as his own teammates! He’s the ideal America holds up for its soldiers and its officers. There is no cruelty, no darkness, no bitterness. Just a good guy doing a heckuva job!
That is Hayden to a T, and by embracing this Archetype, he has found great success on the Mats and in the Cage.
I love you, brother!
RICHARD BARRETT: THE BULLY
Finally, we get to me.
I am what Schyler Sootho defines as the Bully Archetype.
It’s sad, but true!
I greatly enjoy what he calls the “inflicting mental and physical pain” on the foe, and I have a “callous cruelty” and am “completely devoid of empathy to the opposition”.
With the Bully, there is a strong strain of Elitism. I don’t see my foes as my friends or as equals. I see them as inferiors and I am here to crush them. I want to destroy them utterly. And I gain great joy out of this.
As such, there is an emphasis on overwhelming force… both in the Spiritual Realm and the Physical Realm.
You’ve got to have the most strength, the best conditioning, and the most brutal and controlling technique. This is the thinking behind Mike Tyson’s brutal conditioning regime.
I have long called this “The Overkill Doctrine”.
At the core of it is the ideal Mike Tyson espoused so well: “I am here to eat your soul.” As the Bully Archetype, I understand that the true fight is in the Agon of Idea, the Jihad of the Heart.
I learned this early in my life in Speech and Debate. There in those spiritual forging grounds, I learned early on the wisdom that Jesus spoke in Matthew 10:28:
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body…”
We were killing each other’s souls.
My soul lived and others’ died.
THE COLONIAL CONNECTION
Bully is one heckuva a visceral word that gets a strong reaction. I prefer the term Strongman, and it was the inspiration for my book title and concept, All Men Follow the Strongman: The Forgotten History of the Iraq War.
But whatever you call it, this Archetype makes for an effective ruler of a Third World country, whether as an Indo-European Colonialist Counterinsurgent or an Third World Indigenous Insurgent Warlord.
As many people of all Colors and Creeds have learned through bitter experience, the Bully is the only Archetype respected in the Third World.
This is because the locals there live in a binary Predator-Prey dichotomy, whether you are either the Predator or the Prey. There is no in between.
Consequently, the locals have to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are the Prey, and you, the outsider a long way from home, are the Predator. Otherwise, you’ll be the subject of slavery, torture, and death.
But how exactly does this square with the Confrontational Indo-European Ethos?
CONFRONTATIONAL AND PREDATORY EXPRESSIONS
There are two expressions of this Archetype: Confrontational and Predatory.
The Confrontational expression of this Archetype comes out and says what it’s gonna do. The Predatory expression of this Archetype does not.
If I say: “I’m going to eat your soul”, I’m telling you. There is no doubt. This Archetype is up-front and straight-shooting.
But just because this Archetype is up-front doesn’t mean it’s not there to utterly defeat and break you.
Just because you are the toughest he could find to fight up-front and personal, well that doesn’t mean he doesn’t view you as a bug to be crushed underneath his boot heel.
In this sense the Confrontational Strongman is able to beat out the Predatory Strongman because he is up-front.
Being up-front makes him more brutal and therefore more effective than the stab-in-the-back Predatory expression of this Archetype.
As such, the Confrontational Strongman turns the Predatory Strongman into his Prey, out-Predating the Predator.
This is a very Black and White, Zero Sum view of power that suits my soul very nicely. It has since birth.
For me, the switch is either Off or On.
But there is one other Archetype that makes this all okay…
THE CRUSADER CONNECTION
In addition to the Bully Archetype, I am also the Crusader Archetype.
In this composite, I fight for God and the Good of all the People on the Earth, because they are made in His Image.
I come to utterly crush my foes like bugs in order to liberate the innocent people they oppress.
In the end, this Archetype Composite indeed can make a former foe into a friend. But only after they have utterly crushed the foe, and set the tone that they are the Eagle at the top of the Totem Pole.
This Archetype Composite is the spirit of Robert Clive, of “Chinese” Gordon, of Lord Kitchener, of Lawrence of Arabia, of “Mad Mitch” Mitchell.
This is the British Empire Ethos that “makes a garden of a desert”. It is the only ethos that has stopped Genocide and Tyranny in the Third World, and the only one that has ever brought peace and plenty to its long-suffering people.
And in the modern world of False Descartesian Dualism, where War and Humanitarianism are labelled as separate entities, it is nearly impossible to understand.
Because of that, this Bully-Crusader Composite Archetype is widely hated in today’s world, misunderstood and cast as the villain everywhere.
BE THE LEOPARD
As Schyler Sootho says, “In reality, your fighting style chooses YOU!”
It is true.
For much of my fighting experiences, I feared my Archetype. My time in the fight gym corresponded with a time in my life in which I desired to fit into society and dial back my extreme intensity.
I felt this was best to preserve the peace.
For me, this was the worst mentality to take on to the mats, the cage, and the ring.
This rejection of myself led to a string of terrible defeats on the mats that I have described before.
But those times when I did embrace myself and my Archetype in all its intensity and societally-despised darkness, I did very, very well, winning the wonderful lessons learned I have described too!
What’s more, not only was I happy, but my Trickster, Brawler, and Warrior compatriots were happy for me, too!
We were happy together, and it was wonderful.
So at the end of the day, whatever Archetype you are…Trickster, Brawler, Warrior, or Bully-Crusader…embrace it to the fullest.
You are who you are.
As my dearly beloved Mother always said:
“The Leopard can’t change its spots.”
Go be the Leopard God made you to be.
Written at 1:23 AM somewhere in the USA…
 Berlin, Isaiah. The Roots of Romanticism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999. Pgs. 135-137.
 Lafond, James. Letters From Planet Meathead: A Fighter’s View of Postmodern Physical Culture. James Lafond, 2014. Kindle Edition. Pgs. 424, 425-426, 431.