Understanding the Fight or Flight Reflex is a "master key" to teaching and accomplishing successful self defense. But from what I have seen in the industry only a hand full of teachers actually understand it. Below is a definition.
Fight or Flight Reflex: "The fight-or-flight response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival."
Now pretty much everyone understands this on an intellectual level. The issue is people do NOT understand it on an application level.
Application of Fight or Flight Reflex requires some specific training. Some people have "natural" control when it comes to this, I was lucky to have been one of these people. But this is a psychological occurrence and not related to normal martial arts training like some think. I will also say this categorically, this response has nothing to do with ring fighting, or sport. You DO NOT experience the Fight or Flight Reflect in a ring.
When this reflex kicks in one of two things are going to happen. You will freeze like a deer in the headlights, or your will fight back (or run). This is a massive dump of adrenaline to the systems, chancing blood flow, heart rate, breathing rate and many other physiological occurrences. You can train this in a martial arts setting by slowing ramping up "stress training." My favorite methods were to simulate an attack in the dark. This was a student favorite, and also multiple attacks. What martial arts teacher often don't get is this is the students response is look at first. Then after they get used to these things happening you worry about the defense.
Step by step!
Next we need to look at the tools required, once the student can deal with the response of the nervous system, required to end the conflict FAST! The very best scenario is to be able to end the attack in no more than 3 strikes, preferably one! Before i go on I will point out that everything happening here is due to a neurological response. So why would you not learn to take advantage of that?
Recently I was at a seminar with a Hapkido presenter, a very well respected man and rightfully so. What he was teaching as street caused me concern because it seemed to be the wrong level of escalation. If you put someone in an arm bar who is trying to kill you what will you do next? What will you do if his buddy is near by and is going to cut your throat? Self Defense is not 1 dimensional. You are also not going to press a point and finish the fight.
You need to strike the correct place, the correct way and fortunately there are MANY such places on the body. Your root art training should be able to get you there! If not you need a new system.
There are also many systems out there and teacher who want this kind of information, but do not wish to commit to a full study of the science of pressure point self defense to get it. I have a solution for this! Back in 2017 I released a book called Understanding Neurological Pressure Point Knockouts which teaches how to knockout someone out with ONE HIT pressure points.
Follow the link below and read more about this eBook!
If you have any questions please feel free to comment below. He is a link also to another great self defense oriented post on the 13 Misconceptions of Knife Attacks. Please share our content on social media with like minded martial arts friends.
Have a great day!
Yours in the arts,
Grand Master Art Mason
Grand Master Art Mason is a professional full time martial artists and Kyusho Jitsu teacher. He is available for seminars and study groups. He resides in Brasov Romania
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