Fear and self-defence.

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CaffeineKing

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Here's another question for debate.

Fear is a hormonal response, not an electrical one. If it was and a tiger burst into the room you're sitting in now, the little part of your brain marked "tiger alarm" will start screeching. You jump up, turn away and... oh - no tiger. As you relax, it attacks you from behind. Since that clearly doesn't work, we've evolved a hormonal response. As you've turned to flee, you can't see the tiger any more, but the hormones are still surging through your system - they take a while to disappear - so the more primitive aspects of the brain are still aware of the need for "fight or flight" and have upped their game at the expense of the higher level - thinking - parts.

Anyway, what I think I've getting at is that when we're scared, things go wrong. We forget things, we act by instinct - which may or may be what we've been trained to do. I can't help but notice that there are some people here who are in dangerous professions - police officers, possibly some military people etc. - who are far better placed than me to discuss this. So, I'm wondering at the benefits of short self-defence courses. (I saw a poster for one in a shop window on the way in to work this morning). Do they work? Do they have their place? Is there such a thing as a *short* self-defence course or do they do more harm than good??

I have no opinion of my own either way - and I'm certainly not critcising them myself - but I am interested in expert opinion. Thoughts, anyone?
 

mj-hi-yah

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In a perfect world there would be no need for self defense. This is not a perfect world so wouldn't it be fantastic if all the people who would be preyed upon would commit to training for their own personal safety? I'd love to see that happen, but the reality is that most people don't have or make the time to pursue martial arts training, and many who do eventually drop out. There are some who make it a way of life, but while I believe they have the edge, even they are not guaranteed to not freeze when the tiger bursts in. People in dangerous professions as a matter of what they do, are trained in self defense, but for the average person, with no desire to train, anything that gets them thinking about awareness is a good thing in my opinion. I also believe that people who hold seminars like this are responsible for impressing upon people who take the classes that it is not a replacement for training, but a starting point. If the person or persons running the classes claim that the one shot deal will keep them safe, than to me that is irresponsible giving people a false sense of security.
 

MJS

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CaffeineKing said:
Here's another question for debate.

Fear is a hormonal response, not an electrical one. If it was and a tiger burst into the room you're sitting in now, the little part of your brain marked "tiger alarm" will start screeching. You jump up, turn away and... oh - no tiger. As you relax, it attacks you from behind. Since that clearly doesn't work, we've evolved a hormonal response. As you've turned to flee, you can't see the tiger any more, but the hormones are still surging through your system - they take a while to disappear - so the more primitive aspects of the brain are still aware of the need for "fight or flight" and have upped their game at the expense of the higher level - thinking - parts.

Anyway, what I think I've getting at is that when we're scared, things go wrong. We forget things, we act by instinct - which may or may be what we've been trained to do. I can't help but notice that there are some people here who are in dangerous professions - police officers, possibly some military people etc. - who are far better placed than me to discuss this. So, I'm wondering at the benefits of short self-defence courses. (I saw a poster for one in a shop window on the way in to work this morning). Do they work? Do they have their place? Is there such a thing as a *short* self-defence course or do they do more harm than good??

I have no opinion of my own either way - and I'm certainly not critcising them myself - but I am interested in expert opinion. Thoughts, anyone?

When you speak of a short SD course, I assume you're talking about something along the lines of a 6 week course that many MA schools teach? If that is the case, they have their pros and cons. They are designed to give some very basic skills. Would someone be successfull in dealing with an attack?? IMO, it all depends on the person and the way the course was taught.

As for fear and forgetting things. Anytime you are faced with danger, fear, etc., it is a natural reaction to have that adrenal dump. This however, is not a bad thing, but it could be if you don't know how to control that fear. One way would be to make sure that you incorporate some aliveness and realism into your training. Running through scenario drills is also another excellent way.

Over the course of our training, we go through countless SD techs., for various attacks. However, we need to use those techs. as a foundation to grow from, and not just rely on those techs. to save us. The main goal is to react to what you're presented with at that time, not think about what you're going to do.

I hope this was a help!

Mike
 

47MartialMan

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Are we talking about a phobic fear, because such a fear like this will have people behave in an irrational manner as well.

To what degrees of fear that some can or cannot become adjusted to?
Per persecution complex, fright, paranoia, terror/fright, or horror?

What about the effects of fear per epinephrine or adrenaline rushes?

And what about fear being observed by Buddhists?

Fear is often tied to a emotional state, but can such a state be harnessed through training?

As extreme as the tiger setting is, perhaps someone through subjective exposure, can thwart the natural response and generate another useful one.

For example;

Say someone has a fear of a ball being thrown at their head, say especially from behind.

As another whom has a ball, throw it towards the one with such fear, there is a natural response caused from the person holding this fear.

The natural, if one was to argue, instinctive*, response is to cover the head with the arms, raise the shoulders and sink the neck, and the rest of the body become congealed.

Thus the result, is still getting struck by the ball.

But, what if their was someone to train this person who has this fear, to react/respond differently per constant repetition and proper technique(s)?. Per instead of "cringing", turning, ducking, blocking, and perhaps catching the ball thrown from behind.

Has the fear totally become stricken from this person?

And the time frame it takes to overcome this fear depends on the subject/person.



*(I wrote "argue, instinctive", because is this meaning or verses reflexive. Their will be some that will not agree that modern man has the animalistic trait of having instinct.)
 

BlackCatBonz

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the key to figuring out how to respond in a self defense situation lies in understanding what is happening in your body when there is a stressful situation.

here is something i wrote in response to a similar question

my understanding of this area of study comes from studying anatomy and physiology, and practicing shiatsu therapy. while chemicals are involved in the fight or flight response, they are limited to the hormones that are secreted and the neurotransmitters at work in the autonomic nervous system.
the response that takes place can be described as subconcious, but i think a more accurate description would be that of "extra-conscious", meaning there is another area of the peripheral nervous system at work in concert with the central nervous system.
however, the sub-conscious mind does play a role in what the person being affected will do. there are all kinds of things that can paralyze a person in a stressful situation, especially a fight situation, and furthermore a person that has a martial arts background or some kind of fight training. thoughts can run through the mind and pollute rational thought and affect the ability to act or respond in the manner that may save their life, and instead end up getting them injured or worse. the first things that happen with the sympathetic response are
dilation of pupils
increase of heart rate, force of contraction & BP
decrease in blood flow to nonessential organs
increase in blood flow to skeletal & cardiac muscle
airways dilate & respiratory rate increases
blood glucose level increase
as you can see, these responses will help elevate the human body's ability to act. herein lies the problem......most people mistake these as the results of fear, plain and simple, not the body setting itself up to act in a manner that goes beyond its everyday strengths. there is another reaction that can take place in people known as paradoxical fear. when it appears that there is no way out of a stressfull situation, the opposite of a sympathetic reaction takes place and in its place, a parasympathetic reaction, the symptoms are as follows, salivation, lacrimation or crying, defecation, urination, decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, narrowing of the pupils, constriction of airways. as you can see, the are the hallmark signs of some that may be confronted with a phobia or extreme fear, and as a result, flight would be near impossible as the body tries to shut off the stimulus.
as a doorman in a pretty rough club for 5 years, i experienced these sympathetic responses just about every night i had on the job. it took me a while to recognise them and use them to my advantage.
 

sgtmac_46

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CaffeineKing said:
Here's another question for debate.

Fear is a hormonal response, not an electrical one. If it was and a tiger burst into the room you're sitting in now, the little part of your brain marked "tiger alarm" will start screeching. You jump up, turn away and... oh - no tiger. As you relax, it attacks you from behind. Since that clearly doesn't work, we've evolved a hormonal response. As you've turned to flee, you can't see the tiger any more, but the hormones are still surging through your system - they take a while to disappear - so the more primitive aspects of the brain are still aware of the need for "fight or flight" and have upped their game at the expense of the higher level - thinking - parts.

Anyway, what I think I've getting at is that when we're scared, things go wrong. We forget things, we act by instinct - which may or may be what we've been trained to do. I can't help but notice that there are some people here who are in dangerous professions - police officers, possibly some military people etc. - who are far better placed than me to discuss this. So, I'm wondering at the benefits of short self-defence courses. (I saw a poster for one in a shop window on the way in to work this morning). Do they work? Do they have their place? Is there such a thing as a *short* self-defence course or do they do more harm than good??

I have no opinion of my own either way - and I'm certainly not critcising them myself - but I am interested in expert opinion. Thoughts, anyone?
Any self defense techniques that you practice have to be techniques that can be performed as a conditioned response. Any technique that requires the higher functioning parts of the brain to use WILL FAIL under combat conditions. That is because abstract, complex thought, are not necessary for survival functions in a crisis situation. In fact, they tend to slow down the process. Instinctive responses are the ones that work. When a person enters fight or flight mode, the forebrain shuts down and the midbrain takes over. The midbrain is the part of the brain that we share with all mammals. It controls fight, flight, feeding and reproduction. The midbrain does not technically think in the sense the forebrain does. It can, however, be trained through repetative training. This training should simulate, as realistically as possible, the kind of environment you want the task performed in. The police and military understand this, that is why firearms and defensive tactics training is conducted in as realistic a manner as possible. They understand that the midbrain will react as it is conditioned to. A short self-defense course may be able to teach you useful techniques. Repetative practice under realistic conditions, however, are what are required after the course to make them work. It has been my experience that learning new techniques isn't as important as training the midbrain to use the old ones properly.

You will know when you have trained the midbrain properly. What will happen is that you will go in to a critical incident where a skill you have trained is required and during the incident, it will appear as though you conciously aren't doing anything, that your body is doing all the work, and you will feel like an observer WATCHING yourself perform the tasks you have trained. After the event, you may only remember fragments of what occurred, you may remember everything happening in slow motion. The key element that shows that you have trained properly is that will have performed this almost involuntary act correctly. What will happen is that the midbrain will hijack the body from the forebrain and takeover. The concious part of your brain, the forebrain, will simply be a passenger along for the ride. This is what you should aspire to in your training. This mental state is most likely the phenomenon eastern practioners referred to as "No Mind", meaning the act is being performed without concious thought.
 

Corporal Hicks

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One other way of looking at fear is through a conditioned response instead of a situational anaylsis. Read the power of Now!
Explains alot of things.

Regards
 
OP
T

TonyM.

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The purpose of meditation in the CMA's is to control fight or flight responses.
 

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