Certainly, putting only a portion of maximum position on is a form patience. But I am suspicious of scale in trades on the short side. since there is no theoretical cap on the rally if you keep increasing your position as the market moves against you, you can still be squeezed out.
Expressing your view via Short ETF which is the same as put option, limits the downside but also incurs option costs and a risk that your capital your drain out, because of bad timing
Having said that, if you are right you are right. People do make money on the short side. Just much less than on the long side.