Last fall I happened be in Washington DC the weekend of the Roosh V Forum DC meetup and so nautrally took the opportunity to attend. In the midst of the capital city’s finest gamesters (and a few fools trying to pass themselves off as Manosphere bloggers), I got talking to a Georgetown law student about his game journey. We swapped the standard when-did-you-take-the-red-pill stories – he had been a debate geek and had been able to score some in the nerd-girl pool before moving up to the standard college-girl set – and he relayed an interesting analogy that tied the whole thing together:
“People think game is a bunch of mind-reading tricks and tactics to fool people, but for me, it’s really been about understanding what’s going on in social interactions, what women really want from guys, and how you can play to that once you recognize it.
I used to play poker for money when I was in college. People think winning at poker is all about ‘tells’ and signals people will give off that communicate if they’re bluffing or if they have good cards. I’ve always been able to beat my opponents not through magical tells but through carefully observing and understanding what type of player they are and what they tend to do with the cards that are on the table. People are pretty consistent, so if they start going against their own tendencies I can pretty much tell they’re trying to bullshit the table.
That’s what game is like for me.”
I really liked the way he linked the two things together. The critics of game always complain that it’s robotic and manipulative, but guys who try it and succeed overwhelming come back with a heightened sense of understanding of the women they’ve been interacting with. To run good game consistently, you can’t just spit a bunch of lines from a script you read on the Internet until a girl takes her pants off, or look for a bunch of “tells” that she’s into you – you need to understand the situation you are in and be able to re-calibrate on the fly as you are tested, rejected or otherwise buffeted off course.
I try to teach from a holistic perspective, but I don’t think it’s a contradiction that I also strongly believe in learning the fundamentals. The better you know your fundamentals, the better able you are to deal with novel situations that weren’t in the step-by-step playbook.
In poker that means knowing your odds, knowing your strategy, and knowing your opponents before you engage in a bidding war you’re not prepared for.
In the game, it means understanding the overall process, the scenario, the logistics and what frame you’re putting off, and then getting a feel for the type of woman you’re dealing with.
Danger&Play had a recent post about fundamentals in which he compared the process of attraction and seduction to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, whose fundamental progression is close the distance, clinch, takedown, submission. The details vary with each encounter, but an effective fighter needs tools and skills that address each of those steps.
Once you understand these fundamentals, you can always tell where you need to improve. Some guys are great grapplers once the fight is on the ground but they cannot take the fight to the ground. This means you train takedowns. Other guys are too afraid of getting hit. This means they need to focusing on learning how to close the distance…
If you’re not getting laid as often as you should, it’s not because you’re missing out on some zany opener. Your fundamentals are fucked up.
If you’re approaching often but not getting numbers, it’s because you’re not building attraction. (You don’t need to establish comfort in order to get a number.) If you’re getting a lot of make-outs but no bangs, it’s because you’re not creating comfort. She feels like things are “moving too fast.” Slow down and relax…
Even if your view of the fundamentals differ from my own, you need to have an idea of what the fundamentals are. Otherwise you will be randomly changing variables without any conception of what problem the change is supposed to address.
Likewise, flyfreshandyoung recently explored a similar theme – his use of the term “fundamentals” refers to a handful of basic items that one should concentrate most of his effort on. His analogy of choice is golf:
While golf is incredibly tough to get good at, if we just look at the components of being *decent* (scores less than 90) at golf it comes down to a few things- hitting the ball straight, staying in the fairway, and putting well. If you can do these things reliably, you will play decently well. Big surprise, these are the things you can work on every day on the practice greens or the driving range. They are your fundamentals, your 80% returns on the 20% big ticket items. They also aren’t sexy…
In weight lifting, your fundamentals are the squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, and eating shit loads of protein. Getting caught up in flashy Men’s Fitness bullshit, supplements, or spending too much effort on assistance lifts will mess with your gains. Get the big lifts on lock, then worry about all that other stuff.
Out of all the stuff out there to improve [a] dude’s dating life, if I could boil it down to the fundamentals it would be being in shape, not dressing like a slob, and biggest of all- Being interesting and fun.
One of the fun things about game, in my opinion, is that building the skills required to be interesting and cool – like getting in shape, upping your wardrobe and reading interesting books – add value to your life whether or not you employ them to get women. Indeed, lots of guys start on the path with the intention of getting better with women, but quickly find the process of improvement to be rewarding, even exhilarating in its own right. This internalization compounds the benefits to his game, as he now has more of a self-oriented mission driving him (having a mission is one the 16 Commandments).
The best thing about knowing the fundamentals is that it eliminates really stupid choices – you may not succeed, but at least you know it’s not going to be because you tried some pie-in-the-sky dumbass move that never would have worked even in a favorable situation. (One example of this in game is the advice to “be the brooding stranger sitting alone, girls dig the hardass loner.”)
The “Inner Game” rabbits who tell you you just need to cultivate internal confidence are the game equivalent of telling a freshman football player that he doesn’t need to learn blocking, tackling, the offsides rules or down and distance, he just needs to be really athletic and strong and success will happen – or a basketball player that practicing free throws is for suckers and that running set plays is square.
Danger&Play wrapped up his port with the following call to action:
Incidentally, BJJ and game have something else in common. Namely that you need to spend time actually applying it. Sitting around all day over what works and what doesn’t is of limited value.
There is no substitute for time on the mat and hours meeting women.
Know your fundamentals. Identify your biggest weaknesses and what aspect of the fundamentals they apply to. Then keep working to improve.