Author Topic: Fight-or-flight and internal training  (Read 8662 times)

Offline D-Man

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Fight-or-flight and internal training
« on: April 07, 2003, 05:05:10 PM »
Will the internal Martial Arts work when you’re actually attacked?

Let me start off by saying that I have faithfully and happily practiced Tum Pai (a very soft internal branch of Kajukenbo) for a while now, and I am not questioning the skill that it develops.  I’ve seen it, used it, and most importantly-and-painfully, felt it used on me.  It works.

I have been reading a book called “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman.  He explains that the amygdala part of the brain (the subconscious part of the brain used for survival; triggers fight or flight, and other emotions) will HIJACK the neocortex (the thinking brain; solves problems in rational ways) under stressfull situations.  He says that this was a useful survival mechanism for us as primitive beings.  I totally agree that this hijacking occurs, just look at what happens when someone startles the – out of us.

Part of internal training is retraining the way our body has learned to do things (no animalistic muscling).  With all of the chemical reactions that happen in the body during the fight or flight phase, will our body take over, tense up, and go crazy?  I’m not talking about a controlled, fore-seen situation like some gentleman’s dual on main street at high noon.  I’m talking about a situation where your walkin through your house in the middle of the night, half asleep scratchin you butt without a care in the world except for getting back to bed, and all of the sudden Freddy Krueger jumps out at you with a automatic shot gun.

I’m not after a reply that tells me about “always being aware.”  

WILL THE INTERNAL TRAINING KICK IN?

I'm interested in everyone's opinions or experiences.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

J king

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Re: Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2003, 11:42:03 PM »
It all boils down to how well you've trained.  When you learn techniques, its always been my experience that you learn them for "Muscle Memory." That is to say automatic reactions.  If your untrained trained, or poorly trained, you will not react well(running, screaming). HOwever, I've seen many others, and have myself, react on pure instinct and did what was needed without freaking out.

You freak out when your brain has no idea what to do.  If muscle memory is in place, your body will react, and your brain will be focused more on your techniques, and less on the shotgun(though its not easy to get your mind off a shotgun!)

Hope this helps at all.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline Mell

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Re:Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2003, 09:57:04 PM »
I agree with your comment regarding muscle memory.  

I also think it is important to attempt to change your training envirnoment to help your mind adjust to being out of the norm.  Turn off the lights at the school, do self defense techinques in the dark - (Put your mouth pieces in) - Do self defense techiques in the bathroom so your surroundings are confined, fight your way out.  Allow yourself the opportunity to test that muscle memory.  
« Last Edit: July 10, 2003, 09:58:31 PM by Mell »
Sibak Mellody Porter
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Offline DACS

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Re:Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2003, 05:47:31 AM »
Yes I think environmental training is helpful too, especially when it is not expected. As for muscle memory, let me share an experience of one of our black belters. It was at the Kajukenbo 50th anniversary tournament in Hawaii in July of 2000, kumite match, men's black belt division. In his second match he got slammed by a right cross to the jaw. He stumbled backward a few steps, and although he looked dazed, he regained his balance. His opponent was warned and they continued the match. My friend went on to win that match and the next two, lost one, then fought and won one more to take third pace. After his last match he stumbled to a chair and one of the medics took a look at him. The medic said his eyes were rolled back a little as if he were only semi-concious. After he felt better, we showed him the video of his matches and he couldn't believe it. Apparently he only remembered his first fight. The last thing he remembered was walking into the ring for his second match....
I guess everything after that was just instinct.
Ramos Method
Wahiawa Kajukenbo

Offline Mell

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Re:Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2003, 10:16:34 PM »
I thought after training in Martial Arts for a while that the initial shock of coming around a corner and seeing someone unexpectedly there would kind of wear off, but it hasn't.  What I believe my training has done is cause me to recover from the initial shock sooner so I can begin an appropriate response.  

I agree that we can't "always be aware", but I think we can be trained to respond quickly when the need arises.  We have talked about the possibility of setting up "fake" attack senerios at our school without telling the students, but we are concerned that some of the parents might not like that too much.  (Having someone unknown to the students come into the school with a gun or come in causing trouble)

I would be interested in any suggestions someone might have in setting up opportunities to "test" the response time of a student.  We do use the "black belt circle", but even with that, you know something is coming.
Sibak Mellody Porter
ANDERSON MARTIAL ARTS - Grafton, Ohio
www.ohiokajukenbo.com
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Offline Sub7

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Re:Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2003, 06:23:43 PM »
I agree with all of you. Just as J King has said, "It all boils down to how well you've trained." I believe, from my experience, trust your instincts. It will take over when a situation arises. I've found myself allowing my instincts to take over one time and realized wow, the training does work.  

Let me give you an example. For instance, I was working in an environment where physical exertion was the way to pay the bills. At that time of my life, I really didn't know what I wanted to do so I ended up working in the construction business. If you've worked in a construction environment before, you will understand the type of guys I had to deal with on a daily basis. You know the kind; gruff, macho, tough guy types. I'm actually a quiet, short guy 5'7, weighing in at 180. I've always kept the martial arts to myself and never mentioned it to anyone.  I’ve always rolled with the teasing and the jokes and tried to fit in the best way I could.

One day, during lunch hour, one of the guys decided to sneak up on me while I was walking away from the rest of the group.  He grabbed my left shoulder. He grabbed me so hard, I reacted. It happened so fast; I didn’t realized what I had done. I wrapped his gripping arm with my left arm and dropped him to the ground locking out his right arm, while placing my left knee in the crevice of his head and shoulder pinning him. I looked up and saw the amazement in everyone’s eyes. I looked down to realize what I had just done.  The bewildered attacker meant no harm but at the time I didn’t know that. He stood at 6’1, and is an easy 220 pounder.  After realizing what just took place, and seeing the fear in the attackers eyes, I instantly released him.  After releasing him, I pretty much explained to everyone that I think I’ve been watching too many martial art movies and walked away.

From that moment on, I’ve come to realize, if any situation does occur, I know my training is there to bail me out, if it is ever needed. My point is to trust in your training, and trust in your instincts. It will rise up to the occasion when the moment it is needed.

I’m sure there are others out there who had similar experiences, and I hope to hear them as well. I hope this helps in any way.

Aloha everyone,

Anthony
(Student Black)
Sibak
Sifu Morgan Olsen 3rd degree, Emperado Method, Senior Grand Master Kaanana
Student Middle East KSDI

Offline guarded

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Re:Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2003, 06:36:47 AM »
We had a person in our school that would tense up and hold their breath whenever someone grabbed her or startled her.  From time to time someone would be told to grab her from behind or yell at her when she wasn't expecting it.  She was instructed to exhale a little and lower her center of gravity a little by dropping her shoulders and bending her knees a little.  After a while this became a natural reaction for her.The muscle memory thing is right on.  You can train yourself to react in a certain way.
Jerry Guard
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Offline guarded

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Re:Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2003, 06:41:14 AM »
I agree with all of you. Just as J King has said, "It all boils down to how well you've trained." I believe, from my experience, trust your instincts. It will take over when a situation arises. I've found myself allowing my instincts to take over one time and realized wow, the training does work.  

Let me give you an example. For instance, I was working in an environment where physical exertion was the way to pay the bills. At that time of my life, I really didn't know what I wanted to do so I ended up working in the construction business. If you've worked in a construction environment before, you will understand the type of guys I had to deal with on a daily basis. You know the kind; gruff, macho, tough guy types. I'm actually a quiet, short guy 5'7, weighing in at 180. I've always kept the martial arts to myself and never mentioned it to anyone.  I’ve always rolled with the teasing and the jokes and tried to fit in the best way I could.

One day, during lunch hour, one of the guys decided to sneak up on me while I was walking away from the rest of the group.  He grabbed my left shoulder. He grabbed me so hard, I reacted. It happened so fast; I didn’t realized what I had done. I wrapped his gripping arm with my left arm and dropped him to the ground locking out his right arm, while placing my left knee in the crevice of his head and shoulder pinning him. I looked up and saw the amazement in everyone’s eyes. I looked down to realize what I had just done.  The bewildered attacker meant no harm but at the time I didn’t know that. He stood at 6’1, and is an easy 220 pounder.  After realizing what just took place, and seeing the fear in the attackers eyes, I instantly released him.  After releasing him, I pretty much explained to everyone that I think I’ve been watching too many martial art movies and walked away.

From that moment on, I’ve come to realize, if any situation does occur, I know my training is there to bail me out, if it is ever needed. My point is to trust in your training, and trust in your instincts. It will rise up to the occasion when the moment it is needed.

I’m sure there are others out there who had similar experiences, and I hope to hear them as well. I hope this helps in any way.

Aloha everyone,

Anthony
(Student Black)

We are trained to always look before executing any trick or technique so that does not happen.
Jerry Guard
Kajukenbo Tum Pai Brown/Black Sash under Prof. Steve Larson          My everyday stance is my fighting stance.  My fighting stance is my everyday stance.

Offline Mell

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Re:Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2004, 09:03:21 PM »
Agreed, look first.  What if it is your mom?   :o  That could make her angry, and moms are pretty tough, even if they don't train.   ;D
Sibak Mellody Porter
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www.ohiokajukenbo.com
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Offline Kaju Bear

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Re:Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2004, 11:16:16 AM »
Will the internal Martial Arts work when you’re actually attacked?

There is no special secretes to internal arts with regard to this question. They just focus more intensity in the development of key self defense aspects different then external arts.

Awareness – through all senses including and most importantly our intuition or 6th sense. Sorry but can’t exclude it.

Relaxation – trying to train the body (muscle memory) to minimize the tension that results from the trigger of the “fight or flight event. Limit or eliminate as much as possible tension.

Flow or as I like to call it “ride the wave”. Some arts call this redirection of energy in Tum Pai we often use off centering or voiding as the initial defensive mechanism of our counters. Only through relaxation can this be achieved.

No Mind – action void of thought. Feel what must be done to counter the negative energy directed toward you.

As for looking before you initiate your first “voiding movements”. I must disagree with some other posting here on the grounds that your trying to think , determine enemy from friend just at the most critical moment. What I will agree with you on is not launching the offensive portions of your counter until you identify friend or foe.  For those Tum Pai students who still disagree then examine more closely some of your advance grab arts, knife tricks, advance tricks. Even the most fundamental of our basic tricks use voiding or off centering as initial movement. You look as you move not look then move.
Sifu Morg Olsen
3rd degree, Emperado Method, Senior Grand Master Kaanana
1st degree, Tum Pai, Grand Master Robert Heuer

Offline guarded

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Re:Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2004, 02:02:08 PM »

As for looking before you initiate your first “voiding movements”. I must disagree with some other posting here on the grounds that your trying to think , determine enemy from friend just at the most critical moment. What I will agree with you on is not launching the offensive portions of your counter until you identify friend or foe.  For those Tum Pai students who still disagree then examine more closely some of your advance grab arts, knife tricks, advance tricks. Even the most fundamental of our basic tricks use voiding or off centering as initial movement. You look as you move not look then move.

Good point.  That is pretty much what I meant.  Just not quite as detailed as you have it. ;)  The "voiding movement" or "off-centering" is putting you in a position to see who the attacker is before the actual counter.  I guess I wasn't looking at the off-centering or voiding as part of the counter, just the offensive movements.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2004, 06:20:19 PM by guarded »
Jerry Guard
Kajukenbo Tum Pai Brown/Black Sash under Prof. Steve Larson          My everyday stance is my fighting stance.  My fighting stance is my everyday stance.

Offline Sub7

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Re: Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2006, 03:16:02 PM »
Guarded,

It's been awhile since I've been back to this site and I just so happened to have seen this. Let me correct myself, I did identify, in fact I turned my whole body around before I excuted the take down. You are right to identify the target first. I continued because based upon his very aggressive grip on my shoulders, I felt his intentions were harmful. It was after he was on the ground and locked out that he mentioned he was just playing around. Please don't be so quick to judge. With respect to my Sifu, he did instruct me correctly. Thanks in advance.

Mahalo,

Tony
« Last Edit: March 31, 2006, 03:31:53 PM by Sub7 »
Sibak
Sifu Morgan Olsen 3rd degree, Emperado Method, Senior Grand Master Kaanana
Student Middle East KSDI

Offline rockatear

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Re: Fight-or-flight and internal training
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2006, 10:57:35 AM »
I’ve had two interesting experiences with energy, pain and reaction.  The first was an auto accident.  I was sitting in my car at a stop light daydreaming I think, when I suddenly felt this intense pain in my head.  Just as I was feeling the head pain, I felt the impact of a car hit the back of my car.  So how did the pain travel first?  I was so relaxed that the preceding energy made contact before the physical hit?  I’ve been pondering this one for years ever since it happened almost 11 years ago.

The other incident was at a grocery store.  About a year ago I was standing in the grocery line.  The next thing I know I feel this hand on my shoulder and the arm draped over my back and look at the hand.  My reaction was very calm, not even startled.  I could smell the cologne of the person first.  Turns out, it was my oldest son who I hadn’t seen in a month or so.  This all took place in the time it takes to look at your shoulder and turn your head (I did pull off as I turned).  My thought on this is body memory was at work.  I think as soon as my son’s presence came close to me, before he even touched me, somewhere in my brain something was kicked off to familiarity.

Have I ever had to react spontaneously to an attack?  Yes.  Before my training, while traveling in New York and crossing the street, a young man grabbed at my leg.  My immediate response was to push him back against the shoulders as he was rising up and yell at him, “hey, what’s wrong with you?”  Instinct.  Biological survival. I think the same was with my son.  Instinct…biological connection.  I’m very territorial about my private space especially in public places like the grocery store, malls, etc.

I was stalked for almost five years when I was a teen-ager.  It was by a man who had a lot of military training and there were times I would turn around and he would literally be right in front of me as I turned around.  I never heard him come up.  My instinct back then was to run and get help.

I did a number of things to heal from this experience, but the two most important ones was training in full force impact self-defense (padded muggers we were trained to knockout) and the other is my training in Kajukenbo. 

Both of these trainings allow me to instantly assess a situation.  Both teach me to deescalate if possible or use all out force when necessary. 

Respectfully,

Our children are watching us...

Shirley Phelps, blue blelt, Hand to Hand Kajukenbo Self-Defense Center, Oakland, CA, www.handtohandkajukenbo.com, Gaylord Method, Chief Head Instructors:  Sifus Jen Resnick and Sonya Richardson