Dreaming about Self Defense?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by girlbug2, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. girlbug2

    girlbug2 Master of Arts

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    So I wake up in the wee hours of the morning from a nightmare involving self defense techniques that just aren't working properly. My overall feeling is one of extreme frustration at how slow I am moving and how the attacker isn't reacting in the expected manner--it's all a mess. I have these dreams maybe a few times a year since I started martial arts. LOL, am I "normal"?

    Does anybody else here have dreams like this--nightmares to be more exact? What do you think they really mean?
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I used to have this very same dream. When I was less experienced, I often would fail miserably in my attempts to defend myself in the dreamland. As my experience and skills improved in my martial arts, I began to be more successful when I would dream about it. Often the dreams would be very graphic and even troubling, given what I've done to people in the dreams.
     
  3. Ironcrane

    Ironcrane Blue Belt

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    Well I've never had any nightmares about Self Defense, but I've had a couple of dreams involving Martial Arts. In one dream, I was doing some really weird Martial Arts moves. Don't remember that one very well, but it was stuff that even movies, or video games wouldn't do.

    Another dream I had, was where I was protecting some guy from a bully. But I got him, and the bully mixed up, and attacked him part way through. In that dream, they didn't even look anything like each other, but the logic of the dream demanded that they couldn't be told apart. Oops. Glad that one was just a dream.
     
  4. Joab

    Joab 2nd Black Belt

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    For some reason I always win in dreams where I am attacked. It could be because one of my teachers used hypnosis in his teaching, and that affected my subconscious, I don't know. Interestingly, I know consciously that there are lots of people that could take me, but in my dreams I always prevail.
     
  5. girlbug2

    girlbug2 Master of Arts

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    So maybe once I gain confidence in myself, the dreams will improve. That's good news.
     
  6. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes.

    It's pretty normal; your unconscious mind is dealing with your thoughts, fears and concerns and working through them.

    Almost every cop has had variants of this dream; the gun doesn't work or the bullets move in slow motion and have no effect on the bad guy...
     
  7. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    What JKS said.

    It sounds to me like you're having a routine anxiety dream. No different from "I was on stage and couldn't remember my lines and everyone laughed at me." Or "I went to work and realized I was nekkid." The main difference is that as a martial artist, that's the context your brain plugged into. If you were a research biologist IRL you'd probably dream about being in the lab and having mice chase you around with little guns. Or a chef dreaming he just gave the president salmonella. :lol:

    I wouldn't worry about it too much. I always chalk up those dreams to my subconscious mind flushing itself out. Check, check one ... check two. Is this thing on?
     
  8. Laurentkd

    Laurentkd Master Black Belt

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    My martial arts nightmare is always that I am puching and kicking the bad guy as hard as I can but the blows just barely land, like I am just a tad too far away to really connect.
    But like Flea, I just figure it is just my subconscious and don't worry about it.

    Most of my martial arts dreams involve just doing drills, forms, etc. Almost exactly like what a class would be in the dojang. I like to think I am improving my skills even in my sleep! :)
     
  9. kingkong89

    kingkong89 Green Belt

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    Yes you are normal, all martial artist have these types of nightmares i have many times the nightmares help us they show what could happen if we mess up and that encourages you to train harder and get better
     
  10. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

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    When training we induce all kinds of chemical reactions within our bodies systems. To compound this our brains can have a difficult time deducing real conflict from training situations meaning that our systems react as if we are in combat even though we are not. If these chemicals are not cleansed after training (or after any stress inducing incident) they negatively effect our body and psyche. The action dreams you and so many others are having is simply the minds way of cleansing those stressors. The body needs to use the chemicals up to return to normal and the minds ability to confuses dreams and reality is one means to do so, although in my opinion not the most efficient means.

    Regards
    Brian King
     
  11. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    Are you normal? Are any of us normal? Most of us get our jollies by dressing up like people from foreign countries and punching each other in the face.

    I love what we do.

    I've never had nightmares about failing in combat, but I do think about them during day dreams and it just motivates me to keep training.
     
  12. girlbug2

    girlbug2 Master of Arts

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    LOL you make a good point!
     
  13. Laurentkd

    Laurentkd Master Black Belt

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    Great points. Do you have another method?
     
  14. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

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    Laurentkd
    For (combative) training stress, this stress can be avoided or greatly reduced by changing the internal perspective of the training. If the training can be playful rather than confrontational the initial stress can be avoided or reduced. That said, I do think experiencing the stress during training can be very helpful both in teaching recognition of the stress/tension during daily life and for giving opportunity in cleansing that stress/tension from the bodies systems.

    There are many ways of reducing or cleansing stress induced reactions and practicing these different ways is very beneficial and healthy. The various methods can be taught and practiced individually or can be combined to find what works best for the individual and situation. People often find a favorite way that works and that is great but in my opinion and experience during extreme stress that favorite way might not be enough by itself, the knowing and practicing of several methods produces a foundation of methods and practiced practical understanding that helps with short and long term survival of trauma and stress events.

    A few examples below.
    1. Proper breathing prior to the stress inducing event.
    2. Proper breathing during the stress inducing events which can include combative type of training.
    3. Proper recovery breathing post event

    1. Combining physical movement with breath work prior to the stress
    2. Combining physical movement with breath work during the stress inducing event.
    3. Combining physical movement with breath work post event
    (movement can be slow or fast)

    1. Massage with breath work during the stress event
    2. Massage with breath work post stress event

    1. Prayer or meditation with any of the above

    Some of the unhealthy ways is to ignore or even be unaware of the reactions and let the stress/chemicals/trauma build or continue to negatively effect the rest of the body systems and psyche until a tiny bit of additional stress blows up the bodies systems resulting in illness and/or injury to the body and the psyche not to mention negatively effecting personal and professional relationships.

    Self medicate (either consciously or subconsciously) with alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, narcotics, adrenaline, anger/rage, eating disorders, or even ummm ‘romance’.

    The book Let Every Breath (discussed in various threads here on MT) is a good primer for this study. It is I believe on sale right now (the DVD is as well I think) http://www.russianmartialart.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=115

    Regards
    Brian King
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  15. xfighter88

    xfighter88 Blue Belt

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    Yep, I have those dreams every now and again. I used to lose in them, but then I would wake up and think about how it "should" have gone. Eventually I started winning in the dreams and that was nice. I always felt kind of silly trying to fix my technique after the dreams, but I couldn't get back to sleep until I did. Wierd wierd stuff.
     
  16. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    I know police officers who have dreams that they are shooting an armed suspect, who doesn't react. I've had a dream where I was fighting with a guy, and hitting him with a baton repeatedly, harder and harder, and he didn't react at all.

    I suspect these dreams really illustrate some kind of anxiety about our ability to deal with some current situation, not necessarily the one we are dreaming about, though........so it's possible the anxiety is about feeling helpless, but not necessarily about your martial arts skills, it may be manifesting as that, but be something else.........or it very well could be your anxiety about those skills. You know your life situation.
     
  17. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    I have the same experience........even in the dream I had where I kept hitting the guy, all I remember feeling was ANGRY that I wasn't having an effect, and I was putting power in to every swing, determined to chop him down.

    I've never personally had the dream some officers have where their bullets are ineffective. I have had dreams where i've shot people before, but in all those dreams the people I shot stopped.123
     

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