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Author Topic: Fear Management  (Read 16109 times)

mleone

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Fear Management
« on: October 07, 2004, 07:23:58 AM »

Any one here teach fear management skills?

 If so how do you do it?

For my next question how do you work with Adrenaline?

:)
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Joe Hubbard

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2004, 08:10:38 AM »

I like to use an acronym that Dennis Waitely (sports psychologist) came up with: F.E.A.R.- False Expectations Appearing to be Real.  This helps to remind you that what you are faced with is a false representation of something that hasn’t happened yet.   It has also helped me to understand that the feeling that we interpret as “fear” is in fact a positive and proactive state that will help me when the fight kicks off.  I have also come up with another acronym of my own to help to trigger an immediate action response: Force- Expedient Action Required!  Also faced with any challenge in life is “acceptance.”  Hock that self help book is just around the corner! (Ha)

Cheers

Joe                                   
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ExJKD

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2004, 11:45:27 AM »

Hey Melone ya want fear management?


Have someone hit at you for real-WITHOUT being a designated loser all
the time.Put on boxing gloves, no brain-bucket.No mouthpeice neither.


Just readin' de Becker ain't gonna squash it.


P.S. I don't know ANYONE who spent time training in
a SPORTS FIGHTING scholl, that has much fear of getting
hurt.
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Trembula

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2004, 03:02:48 PM »

ExJKD:

Whilst I think a mouthpiece (and depending on the gloves, headgear too) is a good idea, your comments about boxing are right on. There is a reason why it has been a staple part of the PE Curriculum at all the service academies (and was part of Marine Recruit Training from WW1 until the 1990s) - it forces someone to fight back under the stress of someone trying to hurt them.

Folks tend to respond three different ways:
1. Cover up / cower (reminds me of the Tom Barnhart quote, "Time's Up Weenie Boy!")
2. Bizerker (go wildman on the other guy)
3. Box (the sweet science)

Obviously we are hoping for the 3rd Response, but so long as someone does not responde with #1, then they will probably do all right. Even though it is sportive, inside the boxing ring someone learns that they can get hit and it isn't all over, how to set up and land blows, a little defense, and most importantly, how to "relax" under stress.

Dan
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Joe Hubbard

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2004, 04:18:37 PM »

ExJKD

It’s not necessarily the physical side of the confrontation where you are dealing with fear.  Most everyone (hopefully) on this forum are training the fighting part of the conflict far more than the punk on the street.  It is however, the pre-contact phase of any conflict where fear can play a big part.  I have seen experienced competition/sports martial artists get their arses kicked by street punks just because they had no concept of the pre-contact phase of the fight.  As a bouncer for six years, the hardest part was always the verbal conflict before the fight kicked off.  The fight part has never been a problem for me (I am not claiming to have defeated armies here), I have always managed to get into the “zone” and fall back on my years of preparation.  I feel that more combat practitioners need to read books on the subject of fear to stimulate the psychological, emotional and intuitive elements are all intrinsic components of a violent conflict.  Whether you are LEO, Military, CPO, a Doorman or a responsible citizen who has a “nutter with front” in-yer-face, you need some understanding of fear management.  Great books are:

1)   As Jane mentioned earlier- “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin Debecker
2)   “Strong on Defence” by Sanford Strong
3)   “Fear” by Geoff Thompson
4)   “Dead or Alive” by Geoff Thomson
5)   “Cerebral Self Defence” (audio tape) by Tony Blauer

All of these are good and will give anybody a wealth of ideas to work from.  Don’t trust those that claim- “I fear no man!”  As Hock has said many times, “I want me some of that fear!”

Hope this is helpful

Joe
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ExJKD

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2004, 07:34:51 PM »

ExJKD:

Whilst I think a mouthpiece (and depending on the gloves, headgear too) is a good idea, your comments about boxing are right on. There is a reason why it has been a staple part of the PE Curriculum at all the service academies (and was part of Marine Recruit Training from WW1 until the 1990s) - it forces someone to fight back under the stress of someone trying to hurt them.

Folks tend to respond three different ways:
1. Cover up / cower (reminds me of the Tom Barnhart quote, "Time's Up Weenie Boy!")
2. Bizerker (go wildman on the other guy)
3. Box (the sweet science)

Obviously we are hoping for the 3rd Response, but so long as someone does not responde with #1, then they will probably do all right. Even though it is sportive, inside the boxing ring someone learns that they can get hit and it isn't all over, how to set up and land blows, a little defense, and most importantly, how to "relax" under stress.

Dan

Trembula..

..I couldnta said it better myself.
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ExJKD

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2004, 07:50:40 PM »

ExJKD

It’s not necessarily the physical side of the confrontation where you are dealing with fear.  Most everyone (hopefully) on this forum are training the fighting part of the conflict far more than the punk on the street.  It is however, the pre-contact phase of any conflict where fear can play a big part.  I have seen experienced competition/sports martial artists get their arses kicked by street punks just because they had no concept of the pre-contact phase of the fight.  As a bouncer for six years, the hardest part was always the verbal conflict before the fight kicked off.  The fight part has never been a problem for me (I am not claiming to have defeated armies here), I have always managed to get into the “zone” and fall back on my years of preparation.  I feel that more combat practitioners need to read books on the subject of fear to stimulate the psychological, emotional and intuitive elements are all intrinsic components of a violent conflict.  Whether you are LEO, Military, CPO, a Doorman or a responsible citizen who has a “nutter with front” in-yer-face, you need some understanding of fear management.  Great books are:

1) As Jane mentioned earlier- “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin Debecker
2) “Strong on Defence” by Sanford Strong
3) “Fear” by Geoff Thompson
4) “Dead or Alive” by Geoff Thomson
5) “Cerebral Self Defence” (audio tape) by Tony Blauer

All of these are good and will give anybody a wealth of ideas to work from.  Don’t trust those that claim- “I fear no man!”  As Hock has said many times, “I want me some of that fear!”

Hope this is helpful

Joe


Mr Hubbard, these are all very worthy points, however I would actually
say that 50% of the F.M. is mental, the other is physical.This defies
what some Blaurites may say abotu it being ..what...90% psychological
and 10% phsyical?In a way , it goes with a saying my Granpa once said
"Free yer ass yer mind'll follow."Like when someone is feeling down
and depressed and low n behold you see that he's overweight and
has high-blood pressure...then he works out and gets in shape...
and whatya know? HE FEEELS better!

ALMOST the same thing, you get your body used to fighting; hitting someone
and gettin hit (to a point yes) and his mind will soon lose the fear of standing
before physical aggression.In short-you DO gotta do it, not just know the
psychologies about it.Yeah, that does mean scenario training so you can get
used to the pre-fight-engagement bussiness, but do that too much and
soon you will only be hitting the "designtated" loser...

..in case you have not caught on, I AM talking about sparring.Something a LOT of
Self-defense "experts" out there say is bad "It gets you into a give n take mind
set!" LOL HA! Like you'll always have a choice about that!I see that boxers (as Tremb
pointed out) manage their fear on the getting hit score reeeal well.

But John, please don't misconstrue my words here, I think the books you listed
off are GREAT choices.But I also think that they are additons-to, and you really
quiet, manage, and break the fetters of that fear by sparring , (by way of
boxing,wrestling etc) scenario-training and otherwise facing real resistence.

The heat and pressure in the Earth makes fine diamonds.

Ollie
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mleone

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2004, 09:18:24 PM »

The mind does navigate the body.
The mental and emotional get attacked first.
Your body is affected by your mind.

Now if your ambushed your body is being attacked. But the faster you mentally accept the attack. The faster you will go into action. Unless you train for years and go physically into Auto pilot mode.  Why do we not think when we turning off a light switch? Because its so second nature.

Sparring can be used usefully. But you need to encorporate change into . Go from Standing up to Ground to the clinch and then back to stand up.
The more change the better.

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Professor

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2004, 10:04:59 PM »

Any one here teach fear management skills?

 If so how do you do it?

For my next question how do you work with Adrenaline?

:)


I trained/train with Tom Barnhart and Mark Lynne . . . . I'm sure that meets all of the above criteria?

If you work with either of them on the other side of you at a seminar, it's a good adrenaline boost.   Find Mark or Tom at a seminar and you'll see what I mean.  ;D


Jeff
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szorn

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2004, 01:02:56 AM »

Any one here teach fear management skills?

 If so how do you do it?

For my next question how do you work with Adrenaline?

:)

As others have posted, one of the best forms of fear management for our needs is progressive contact drills. You can also use inoculation drills similar to those in psychology circles- progressively exposing yourself to those things that you fear. This is best done in progressive steps. The key is to understand that we are only trying to "manage" fear not eliminate it. Fear is extremely valuable in our desire to survive violent situations.

As for adrenaline, again this is a natural part of violence. The key is to understand the effects adrenaline will have on your personally and then learn to use those effects to your advantage. it's also good to learn how we can influence the adrenal response of an attacker, but we need to realize that not all people (attackers) will respond in the same fashion. The best way to work with the adrenal response is to set up reality-based scenarios that activate adrenaline. The use of a padded suit works great for this. for more info on padded-assailant training present your questions to Meredith on the women's self-defense category.


Steve
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Joe Hubbard

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2004, 07:33:26 PM »

Hi ExJKD
50% physical, 50% psychological.  Yeah, I’ll agree with that wholeheartedly!  The problem is that there are still too many who teach and train with a 100% physical mind set.  It’s that sports cancer oozing again.  Real violent street attacks whether in the form of an ambush or verbal confrontation gone wrong, will usually begin with an attack to the mind.  What tends to happen when your students are doing too much “classroom long-range sparring”, when faced by a surprise attack and/or an intimidating street thug, they will reflexively respond with what is called a “startle flinch.”  Please don’t accuse me of being a “Blauerite”; he didn’t make up that term.  In the last “Hochheim Report” there was a great picture of a baseball bat flying into the stands and everybody was responding with the “startle flinch.”  It is in our psyche to do this; implanted “hard-wired” survival mechanisms that even the scientists don’t understand completely.  Although Hock doesn’t have a dedicated video and/or book on this subject (Hock there is a “hole in the market” here bubba) he is extremely knowledgeable on this subject and has studied a deluge of related material.  Hock’s system is Close Quarter Combatives not Close Quarter Boxing.  I love boxing and have studied it in various guises, but when I work out on a heavy bag or a B.O.B., I don’t look like a boxer and hope I never will.  Yeah, get into a ring with a good boxer and he’ll teach you some respect, but on the street where the gap closes in a nan osecond, it takes away all the distance, grounding and torque that the boxer needs in order for his strikes to be effective.  This is why the WW2 trainers (with the exception of Jack Dempsey) never taught their guys to box.  Over the years the military changed this in peacetime and many militaries would then have to box for PT.  Mulling is a term that the SAS use for their guys to experience the shock of being hit (not fear), but those guys are not teaching boxing as “a way” to fight.       

I do agree that a good experience for students at beginner or intermediate levels would be some ring time and matt time (I am well aware that nothing replaces this), but this is not the solution for fear management nor is reading a few books.  You have to replicate violent assaults in progressive steps. There has to be some verbal interaction or if you are replicating an ambush, out of a big group make sure you have no prior understanding of who is going to attack you.  There also needs to be a coach monitoring all the action.  Pad up & wear helmets.  Meredith we need you!  Join us here.  Chime in.

Sincerely

Joe (not John) Hubbard
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Trembula

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2004, 08:11:55 PM »

Joe:

I am going to respectfully disagree with you on "WWII trainers (with the exception of Dempsey) never taught their guys to box. To name a few instances off the top of my head...
- Boxing was a part of the Marine Corps' "Combat Conditioning" program
- Boxing was a fundamental part of the Biddle Method (and part of the foundational basis for its striking and bayonet techniques)
- The Royal Marine Commandos Boxed
- The V-Five USN Pilot Candidates had a very solid boxing program for everyone (and by the way, one of the best boxing manuals ever written - material looks more like JKD as I know it than the boxing I did for two years here at USNA)
- Boxing Smokers were a very popular amusement for the men throughout the war

With the exception of the Smokers, the Boxing that they did was not as sportive as we have today... gloves, maybe a mouthpiece was the extent of the safety gear.

Dan
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mleone

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2004, 11:21:11 PM »

Trembula,
good point however understand that they are realizing what doesnt work in the military. Case studys prove this.

 Beleive me Im not de-basing your opinion what so ever. Nor am I trying to dis credit you. Its interesting what you think.
 Certain fighting stances were removed from WWII doctrine. So what may have been true yesterday is no longer true today. Combat is forever evolving. I would much rather open hand strike instead of breaking my hand.  Its a proven fact the open hand moves faster than the fist. Dynamically speaking.

Matter of fact and open hand with an extended thumb moves quicker than a ridge hand. A ridge hand moves quicker than a fist. You or any one who is interested can try this out.
Make a fist and punch

Make a ridge hand and strike from the side and strike horzontally

Make a open hand extended thumb and look at the speed difference.

My technique is this and its good to think about. Punch to the body with fist and open hand strikes to the head. Soft targets get the fist
Hard targets get the open hand or palm strike. Some may disagree thats fine. But personally I need my knuckles.

Think about it - if you've ever hit anybody in the face, you might not feel it while all pumped with adrenauline, but you sure feel it later. Even when pumped up, it hurts. Jaws and eye sockets are hard. Even well trained, padded boxer's hands are weak enough that they frequently break during matches.  They'll stick to more vulnerable, often softer parts, for fear of breaking a hand. And if your hand breaks, well, that part of your game is over.  The following below is from a boxing history article:

Let's go back a hundred years. Way back then, bare-knuckled boxing was the norm. This is when you see a guy, standing there wearing a handlebar moustache that you could hang coffee cups off of, with his hands extended in front of him, elbows down.

Now while both the stance and mustache look silly by today's standard, let me point out that this was called "London rules fighting." That's a joke because the stuff was so "no rules" that it made the UFC look like a Teletubbies show. There was no "gentleman's agreement," grappling, gouging, fishhooking, headbutting, purring (grinding a shod foot down the other guy's shin, trying to break his foot to boot) were the norm -- even though they were techincally banned in 1838 with the introduction of these rules. Prior to that it had been really ugly. In fact, that "goofy stance" excelled at keeping people from closing, grappling and doing all those nasty-nasties to your precious body.

Sound ugly? That's just the beginning. Here's where it gets butt ugly. There were no round limits or decisions. Victory was determined by either knockout or the other guy being so punch drunk he couldn't continue. No points, no decision… incapacitation. In other words, you won by beating the other dude senseless. And sometimes the suckers didn't fold as quickly and easily as you might hope. This is why John Sullivan's longest bout went for 72 rounds. The longest fight on record went 114. That, by the way, means all day! It was called because of sunset and declared a draw. See why I say London rules makes UFC look warm and fuzzy? People often did die.

The reason for changes in how boxers hit is very simple. Gloves. When gloves were introduced, boxing went down a totally different evolutionary line. The original purpose of gloves was to protect the participants. (This is really ironic because, while they limited gouging, hooking and other barehanded nasties, in the correct range, the extra weight of the gloves allow you to actually hit *harder* -- provided you hit in a very specific way.) Along with this equipment many new rules and bans were also introduced to further increase the safety of the fighters.

Punching can be good if the shot presents its self then fine.
If not open handed strikes. Is my method.


 But like I always say "be carefull of the unquestioned conviction".  Your results in the end will make you evolve as well.



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Joe Hubbard

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2004, 01:53:09 AM »

Dan

I stand corrected.  Although when I was referring to the “WW2 Guys”, I was really relating to the commando style of teaching that eventually led to the SAS here in Britain ala Fairbairn, Sykes, Applegate, O’neil and Styers.  These guys all boxed, but did not include this into the commando training either in Britain, Canada and the States.  A couple of my students have trained with the SAS and they are taught and practice hard-core verbal inclusion scenarios that emphasise psychological warfare.  They also work many fear management drills in concert with all their applied military training.  I am not disrespecting boxing here, my original disagreement was to expose your students to fear management and survival mind setting drills with the emphasis more on the mental than the physical side.

Just trying to be a good citizen

Joe
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Trembula

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2004, 01:20:27 PM »

Joe:

Please do not include Styers with Fairbairn, Sykes and Applegate - O'Neill could be lumped in with "FAS" depending on how you look at him, but Styers was definately NOT from that training lineage. In fact, Styers did most of his influential work after the war up through about Korea and he is clearly based strongly in the Biddle Method.

The relationship of "Combative Sports" to actual Combatives has always been a difficult one to consider. So long as "Sport" isn't confused with actual combat, then I think the relationship is synergistic. Boxing, Wrestling, Fencing, etc. have long been a part of the training of military men here in the Western World and the same can be said for the local combative sport(s) in just about any region of the world. The problem comes when sport is confused with actual combat, like what has befallen the U.S. Army Rangers with their BJJ curriculum for "Combatives." Whether the sportive competition is merely an extension of "chest thumping" or to settle personal quarrels, or as a variation on physical conditioning training, I think it has a valuable place in military (and civilian) combative training. The key factor is to remember to keep it in its place and not confuse it with actual fighting. Staunch off the sport leakage that will get you killed, but don't believe it should be forgone.

The benefit of boxing, as I see it is not for combative techniques, but for the psychological and physiological benefits to be gained from the experience. I think that is why it has persisted for so long. Is punching somebody in the bowling ball the smartest thing to do? No, but people have done it for thousands of years and will continue I predict for as long as interpersonal violence exists.

Dan
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Joe Hubbard

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2004, 05:46:07 PM »

Dan

I have great respect for your military knowledge and related opinions.  I would love to meet you one day and pick your brain.  Years ago, when my Dad was stationed at Fort Meade I was only down the road from you.  I do agree with your comments on boxing, but there has to come a time where you let a lot of the boxer’s mentality go to truly understand Close Quarter Combatives.  There is an old saying that there are always a hundred different ways to do something: one best way, one worst way and 98 ways in-between.  What’s the best way?  It’s just my opinion, but I am sticking with the life saving stuff.

Cheers

Joe 
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Trembula

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2004, 07:45:25 PM »

Joe:

"There has to come a time where you let a lot of the boxer's mentality go..." I agree. However, I think that particularly for entry-level personnel, and even for everyone else, the occaisional bout of boxing, kick-boxing, Judo, or whatnot can be a worthwhile experience.

Inasofar as "Combatives" is concerned, the boxing framework, particularly with footwork, stance, evasive maneuvers, and "character building" qualities is particularly useful. One will want to largely supplant the punching techniques with open hand, "illegal" blows, elbows, knees, stomps, add it a little street-savvy grappling and takedowns and integrate weapons seamlessly into the entire progression, as well as prepare mentally and physically for the 5-15 second decisive encounter vice 3-5 round sportive bout.

So long as one is frustrated in the sportive encounter about not being able to use their favorite techniques (eye gouges, elbows, finger cranks, etc.), I think the sport leakage is probably contained. Even the "Combatives" guys apply a rule or three here and there to any sort of "sparring" they do for safety's sake.

Dan
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Joe Hubbard

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2004, 11:43:26 PM »

Dan

I agree, we are both on the same page.

Til next time

Joe
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Trembula

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2004, 03:09:05 AM »

;D

- Dan
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Meredith

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2004, 07:54:35 AM »

I hope I'm not getting in on this topic too late...I've really got to venture out from the "Women's Self Defense" category more often! You've all had a lot of useful & interesting things to say - it's great to hear so many different perspectives! Thanks for the invite, Steve and Joe!

Fear & adrenaline management are the basis of the Adrenal Stress Scenario Training (ASST) method my husband Mike Belzer and I use in our program. While there's no question that practice / repetition of techniques does result in muscle memory and sparring / boxing allows a person to become more "comfortable" or at least more used to getting hit and feeling the "juice" that accompanies combat, the feedback we consistently get is that more often than not, those training experiences were qualitatively different than what a person experienced in a real world assault situation. Confirming what many of you have already said, the concensus is that it's the PRE-ASSAULT encounter (verbal probing / the "Interview" process that the assailant often employs) where most people find themselves succumbing to the sometimes debilitating effects of fear and adrenaline (including loss of fine motor skills, tunnel vision, auditory exclusion and almost complete inability to think or speak clearly). Once they are in the grips of the adrenaline dump, it becomes almost impossible for many to access their prior training.

It's not a big surprise to hear this, as the difference between training with a "cooperative" partner and dealing with the unknown variables and significant danger that a real steet encounter can have are obvious. Unless a person has the opportunity to repeatedly experience this level of stress and anxiety, like military and law enforcement personnel, fire fighters, bouncers, etc., it's hard to be able to "flip the switch" during a crisis. Clearly, training in as unpredictable a manner as possible is the best way to prepare for the real thing...I'm obviously not telling you all anything new, as this is also the basis of Hock's methodology. In our training we use many of the same concepts and physical techniques as Hock does and focus heavily on the pre-assault component by engaging students in realistic verbal encounters / confrontations that allow them to experience an authentic adrenal stress response while actually using their words and body language to control or deescalate a potentially violent encounter. Our "muggers" assume a variety of characters and reenact an ever changing array of real world verbal assaults, which adds that element of unpredictability to heighten the stress and fear level in the students.

In addition to the verbal component, our guys wear protective gear that, while it does make them look like Mr. Potato Head on steroids...affords them the ability to withstand full-force, full-speed strikes to the groin and head, as well as other vital targets, which allows students to harness the speed and strength that accompany adrenaline and focus it into devastating blows. This is the other necessary part of learning how to deal effectively with the effects of adrenaline - discovering what skills and techniques WILL and WON'T be available to you during a crisis. It's hard to know if a technique will work until you try it under duress and the padded "assailant" gear provides an opportunity to do so in a relatively controlled environment. There are clearly limitations in terms of what techniques can be applied on the gear - chokes are unavailable due to the size of the helmet and many joint locks and cranks are too dangerous for the "muggers" when students are very adrenalized, but the method is very versatile and the overall effect is still very useful.

But I digress...as usual. Obviously I'm enthusiastic about the physical applications that are possible and resulting adrenal stress response that is available in ASST, but my main point is that framing one's self defense training with realistic verbal encounters is an incredibly effective way to learn to deal with fear and adrenaline. Scenario training is what Mike refers to as "The missing link" in more traditional training - we've all been told that avoiding or "talking our way out of a conflict" is ideal, but if you can't actually PRACTICE doing that, how do you know if you will be able to do it in a crisis? 

We use a "layered teaching" approach, meaning we break down the mental / verbal / physical components and practice them individually, then add one to the other ultimately resulting in the student engaging in a "complete" assault scenario starting with a verbal boundary / deescalation and progressing into full force fighting. Unpredictability is the name of the game, though. The goal is for the student to be able to respond as needed all along the continuum. Ideally, with enough training they will become familiar enough with the effects of adreanline that it will not totally impede their ability to stay present and assess the situation at every level, thereby giving them more options than they previously had.This is certainly not a new concept, as there has been tons of research done on the subject. The "O.O.D.A. Loop" is a great example of this training concept.

Clearly many of you have also seen the benefits of realistic scenario training, as Steve and Joe talk about it in their posts:


Quote

As others have posted, one of the best forms of fear management for our needs is progressive contact drills. You can also use inoculation drills similar to those in psychology circles- progressively exposing yourself to those things that you fear. This is best done in progressive steps. The key is to understand that we are only trying to "manage" fear not eliminate it. Fear is extremely valuable in our desire to survive violent situations.

As for adrenaline, again this is a natural part of violence. The key is to understand the effects adrenaline will have on your personally and then learn to use those effects to your advantage. it's also good to learn how we can influence the adrenal response of an attacker, but we need to realize that not all people (attackers) will respond in the same fashion. The best way to work with the adrenal response is to set up reality-based scenarios that activate adrenaline. The use of a padded suit works great for this. for more info on padded-assailant training present your questions to Meredith on the women's self-defense category.


Steve

     

I do agree that a good experience for students at beginner or intermediate levels would be some ring time and matt time (I am well aware that nothing replaces this), but this is not the solution for fear management nor is reading a few books.  You have to replicate violent assaults in progressive steps. There has to be some verbal interaction or if you are replicating an ambush, out of a big group make sure you have no prior understanding of who is going to attack you.  There also needs to be a coach monitoring all the action.  Pad up & wear helmets.  Meredith we need you!  Join us here.  Chime in.

Sincerely

Joe (not John) Hubbard



The safest way we've found to run these scenarios is by using a teaching team consisting of at least 1 "mugger" (preferably more) and 1 "coach" - someone outside the gear who can monitor the scenario to ensure safety as well as to support / encouradge the the student during the scenario. I stand behind the student - out of their peripheral - vision and give them short verbal cues if they become paralyzed or tongue tied during the verbal encounter or sometimes keep one hand on a shoulder to discourage them from dancing / backing right off the matt...it happens all the time! I recognize that many people feel that having support and encouragement during training renders it unrealistic and not useful, as we will not have that luxury in the real world. I hear that, but can say with great confidence from years of doing this type of training that by and large, when students become highly adrenalized in a scenario, they become singularly focused on what is happening with their "assailant" and are often unaware of my presence! Even when I am touching them or they are following my verbal cues / directions in the moment, when they come off the matt and I give them feedback on their scenario, more often than not they will have no memory of my presence on the matt or even my speaking to them at all! When they watch the video review of their "fight", they are usually blown away because they very little recollection of what they did during their scenarios! This goes for the complete novice as well as the experienced martial artist.

Last thing, the success of this type of scenario training is almost singularly dependent on the "mugger" presenting a believable, authentic verbal / physical threat. If they can't do that, complete with believable anger, unpredictability, profanity, etc...essentially replicating how it's likely to happen, the student will not buy it and will not become adequately adrenalized. We've found that the training is far more effective when the person portraying the "assailant" is relatively unknown to the students. Also, as students become used to this training method, the effect will diminish, so the "muggers" need to continually rise to the level, really BEYOND the level of the student's ability in order to keep it fresh and authentic. I think Mike is going to weigh in with more specifics about how he achieves this when he is "mugging".

If this training method is interesting to you and you want to learn how to incorporate it into your existing curriculum, I'd be happy to talk (even) more about it. Or (here's the shameless plug...) Century Martial Arts has just released a training series that Mike and I did on the subject. It's called the "R-A-W Power Series" and it's available though the Century website: www.centuryfitness.com>. We also did a series on everyday safety and self defense for women called "R-A-W Self Defense Series".

O.K., I'm done!! :) :) :)  I look forward to learing more about everyone's approach to fear and adrenaline!

Thanks for listening,
Meredith
« Last Edit: October 11, 2004, 07:56:58 AM by Meredith »
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Joe Hubbard

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2004, 08:24:44 PM »

Thanks Meredith, your expertise is greatly appreciated here.  It would be nice for Mike to explain how he approaches being “The Mugger.”  One approach I am starting to play with is the bad guy trying to trick the good guy into going to crime scene B.  Often we rehearse the scenario where the bad guy plays the obvious “in-yer-face-hard-core-bad-language” criminal.  Serial Killers like Bundy and Dahmer used charm & niceness to lure their victims away.  Do you guys have any drills for this?

Cheers

Joe
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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2004, 03:59:17 AM »

Thanks for the excellent feedback, Meredith. It's great to get some insight from someone who has been using this type of training successfully, as you obviously have.

Thanks again and keep it coming!


Steve
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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2004, 12:05:52 PM »

I agree with alot / most of what has already been posted. What then do I have to add ?? Well, unfortunately, some experience in fear and its effects on people...or in this case, the Police.

I'll try and not lump all police officers into one group, but as a police officer for almost 13 years, I have seen my share of fear while on the job. My use of the word, FEAR, is mostly in reguards to the weakening or shutting down of a persons actions and ability to function under stressful situations. For those that think that ALL COPS walk in "the valley of the shadow of death", without fear, think again. I've been abandonned more times than I can count. To only hear it explained, later, that the situation was'nt all that serious or that I or another officer was just out of control. I wish I had a dollar for everytime I witnessed officers being cussed out, threatened, intimidated and even physically manhandled without even the hint of any action on the part of the officer. I used to wonder, "What is wrong with these bunch of pansies?". Well, I think the answer comes from a combination of several problems within these officers. I think that a lack on confidence in themselves, the fear of legal punishment or the fear of ridicule from their supervisors are just a few of these problems that cause a lack of "Fear Management". There is also a segment of law enforcement that thinks training that involves physical tactics and techniques is just a lawsuit waiting to happen. But, what do you do when its 3am and the $%!t has hit the fan?? You're the Police!! People call you when the going gets tough. What do you do now? Complaining to a supervisor that officer **Whoever** is too agressive won't help you when bubbas BIG, MEAN, DRUNK and has the blood of his wife and kids on his shirts!! What do the police do then, you ask? Well, it actually depends on who the officer is that is standing in front of Bubba at 3am. I can name more officers that I would'nt want to see in that situation that the number of officers I think could handle such a situation. I, personally, see that as a sad testiment to law enforcement. But, things could be different...

I won't say that I hav'ent ever been affraid while on or off the job; because I have. What sets myself and several other officers from the herd is this...we can manage our stress or fear. This is something I learned to do years ago. Yes, it's a scary feeling when a complete stranger suddenly threatens violence or even worse, acts out violently against you without notice. But, it's the paralizing fear that seems to cause many officer situations to get out of hand. Many officers even have the mindset,

"If I defend myself or actually attack ***The Criminal***, maybe they'll not hurt me if I allow them to do ***Whatever it is the criminal is trying to do ***".

I've even seen a total loss of stress management on a massive scale also. In 1996, I and 3 other officers were abandonned in the middle of the street durning a riot by a city, county and two state agencys. There were over 30 officers, within these different agencys, working the streets the night of the riot. We were abandonned when the crowd became verbally agressive; 4 officers actually ran away and got into their patrol cars and left. Our dispatching services were apparently told to advise any calers that there was not a riot; I know this as a citizen called in the riot to the local city police dept. and he was hung up on when he refused to accept the dispatchers answer of "The situation has already been handled.Thanks for your concern". We, the 4 of us that refused to abandon ship, called for back-up repeatedly. But, no one ever arrived. Later, there was to a annual event, that brings around 15,000, that is to celebrate the bullying of the police in our area; no official in our area will ever admit to this though. I tell that story to illistrate how that fear of anything can actualy rule over many. It just does'nt have to effect only one person at a time.

What can change this?? I think a combination of many of mental & physical drills already discussed here can achieve this. But, first, a person must lay aside all pre-conceived thoughts about what combat, fear and stress are all about. Fear and stress can be used, but only by those who are able to manage that fear and stress. Law enforcement training does'nt come close to dealing with either the mental or physical situations that occure day to day throught the U.S.. That's why I believe that people like Hock Hochheim and several others are helping officers (Those that are'nt too fearful to attend any type training). I like Hocks training because he bridges a gap that does'nt often gets crossed. The gap between law enforcement and martial arts. I really think the officers I have to work with would greatly benieft from Hocks mental & physical training. I have been a martial arts instructor for a few years and there are very few that ever find it within themselves to even train in anything....other than shooting at a paper target in stationary postion.



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Nick Hughes

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2004, 01:16:50 AM »

Planetkiller,

That's an awesome post and oh so true.  In my city a SWAT sniper refused to shoot an armed subject shooting at other officers because, in his words... "how do you expect me to face my fellow parishioners this Sunday and tell them I played God and killed a fellow human being?"

This same clown is back on the beat backing up fellow officers despite making it clear he's not willing to kill anyone.

This sad state of affairs is a result of "progressive policing" whereby departments don't want the hard nuts on the force anymore.  Instead they seek out college grads and put them through community police programs.  I listened to one Sgt one day telling me "in five years we won't need to carry weapons anymore as police officers as a result of our community policing efforts."  That was seven years ago and yep, they're still carrying.  The problem with the college grads is that the last fight most of them had was in grade school over who was going to use the swing set next.  They go through their community nonsense coupled with the ubiquitous ten finger locks defensive tactics program and are turned out on the streets in a bid to stop crime and, as you said, when faced with something scary, they run for the hills.

I guess it's true what the bible says "You reap what you sow."  One day this ridiculous set up is going to come back and bite us all in the you know where.

If I can just chime in on the fear management thing here and add some thoughts....

Fear management is a misnomer...I dont' want to manage fear so much as manage the adrenalin dump that occurs as a result of being afraid.  If I'm not used to the effects of adrenalin on the system it can be paralyzing.  We all know the symptoms, rubbery legs, bladder/bowels emptying, rapid, shallow breathing, tunnel vision, auditory shutdown, time distortion etc.  If, on the other hand I can regulate the adrenalin the effects are all good, heightened reflexes, super-human strength, et al.  I need the fear though to trigger the adrenalin, hence, fear is good and not to be managed.

The key to controlling adrenalin is in breath control.  Shallow rapid breathing signals the brain we're under stress and the brain responds by dumping more adrenalin into the system.  By breathing deeply and correctly (as taught in the traditional martial arts) it signals the brain that everything is fine and the brain responds by suppressing the adrenal dump.  This is why snipers, shooters, and HRT guys focus so much on breath control.  In for 4 seconds, hold for 4, out for 4 and hold out for 4 is a common breath control cycle.  Remsberg deals with this in greater detail in the excellent book "Tactical Edge" by calibre press.

The next step I use with my students is from something the Russians came up with called "Imagery Rehearsal"  In simple terms the subconscious can't differentiate between what is real and what is imagined.  If you want proof think back to when you had a nightmare and woke up in a cold sweat, shaking and panting or when you come home at night and a cat jumps out of the trash can and you leap 2 feet in the air and nearly have a heart attack.  Neither event is real but to the subconscious they are.

Imagery rehearsal, now used by all world class athletes, involves visualizing the performance of the event. You close your eyes, slow your breathing and use your imagination to see yourself performing correctly in your mind's eye.  You can do this thousands of times and then, when you get to the day of the actual event, and your subconscious takes over, as it does during stressful conditions, you perform as you've visualized because as far as your subconscious is concerned you've done this thousands of times already.  It's almost a form of self hypnosis.

This usually eliminates someone going into shock as well.  My experience has been that shock is often caused by the brain not having any previous experience with the event and therefore no plan of action.  You're standing there facing a situation you've never seen before, your brain is going back through the memory banks and, when it can't come up with anything it simply shuts down.  If you've visualized however you're brain will pull up the visualizations and repsond accordingly.  It's why the military practises live fire exercises so that, when finally out on the battle field a soldier will have experienced the sounds, noise confusion etc before.  (I'm assuming this is why Hock uses scenario based training).  Friends of mine who fought in the Falklands said it was "exactly" like their training exercises back home.  That's good training.

All of this is one of the reasons that forms or katas are so good despite their getting such a bad rap.  Done correctly, they epitomize all of the above training.  We learn breath control and we visualize attackers as we go through the motions.  Unfortunately most people don't have a clue how to teach them or practise them so they end up being taught as little more than dance routines that have to be memorized to get one's next belt.

I teach them the right way.  I.e. when you go through the form you visualize attacks and defenses just like a boxer does when he shadow boxes (incidentaly, I've always thought it hilarious when kick boxers etc laugh at forms then go stand in front of a mirror and shadox box for thirty minutes...I mean, who the f*** are they fighting?)  The beauty of a form is that it trains me to fight multiple adversaries at once (one of my fortes and something I attribute years of practising kata to) and you can practise both of Hock's missions duing the performance thereof i.e. take prisoners and kill.

Shooting at the range should be done the same way.  I'm always amazed at friends of mine who just shoot paper targets.  When I'm at the range I'm visualizing a real live person standing down range who's trying to kill me...I can see him/her, the clothes they're wearing, the weapon they're holding, their tattoos, etc.  Who's going to be better prepared mentally to drop the hammer on someone the day it has to happen for real?

A final trick is confront fear as much as you can.  Is there a skydiving school nearby?  Go jump.  Is there a bungee jumping tower at the local fair?  Do it.  Do the local police have a ride along program?  Participate.  Is there a hot woman across the other side of the bar with a bunch of friends and you're scared to go hit on her?  Do it anyway.  The more times you can confront fear the better you'll be at dealing with it.

PS:  On our ladies self defense courses we used to have the attackers come in on the last night wearing ski masks and having the lights down low.  We'd have them wear old clothes over the top of a leotard so they had to confront the bad guy in a ski mask, in the dark (everyone's afraid of the dark right?) while their clothes were being ripped off.  Wasn't anyone in the class that didn't have an adrenalin rush.

Hope some of that helps.

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Meredith

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2004, 02:47:23 AM »

Excellents points by everyone. Clearly we all recognize the value of preparing ourselves for the almost inescapable adrenaline dump that accompanies a crisis - whether through mental imagery, physical training or both. There are lots of different ways to do this and many are very successful. Check out Mike Belzer's posting in Hand To Hand Combat called "Adrenal Stress Scenario Training and Fear Management" from Oct. 17th for some interesting infomation about his approach to this training. He offers lots of good tips gathered from 15 years of first hand experience using this training method to help people (including complete novices, experienced martial artists, law enforcement, etc.) learn to deal effectively while experiencing an authentic adrenal stress response.
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Big Chief

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2004, 05:36:22 AM »

Let the enemy worry about fear.

Be on the offensive and take the battle to him.

The anchient Greeks considered all sports as training for war.  Boxing was the most barabric and the most loved sport.  Getting hit takes all the BS out of theory.

"Its not whether you get hit, its whether you get up." - Vince Lombardi

No team ever won a battle by being on defense.  Take the fight to the enemy and let the enemy worry about how to cope with fear.

my $0.02
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mleone

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2004, 06:11:37 AM »

Every one has fear its organic and can not be removed it can be lessened however. You can have confidence and attack. But emotions are always present no matter how you slice it. Of course you can  create fear in your enemy. The more you learn about fear the more it can be controlled and used.
Its part of the human body and cant be ignored it needs to be worked through.

If I have a fear of sharks, I would indeed train with them and by handling them and learning about them could help. I can learn how to treat a shark bite and learn what angles they attack. My fear would dissapate and become much less.  ;D.

Fear is always present, work through it and lessen its effects. Your fear circle must expand in order to expand ones own character.
When you have experience in fighting then yes the fear is much less. But key word is experience.  But its always present its a part of our survival mechanismss.
Intution, Fear, Adrenaline, These are all needed. listen to some Gavin Debecker "Gift of Fear."
I myself have a strong background in Phsychology of Combat. So I can understand where your coming from.

If your a confident fighter so be it. But the world does not always fit into the same mental container.
So for most people even the common citizen who is new to martial arts needs to work with fear.

Most people think the Physical is attacked first, well rethink that because its often the emotional and psychological then a follow up with Physical. People use fear againsts you! Bypass that then bring fear to them!

A knife is present thats one thing, Holding a knife to your face area and the emotions increase. A knife to your groin and now your really nervous.
Accepting the attack is the first and foremost important aspect. If your in denile your a deadman.
Acceptance allows you to go into action.
Im not debasing anything you say If you works for you more power to you. Generally speaking its hard for others. You have some valid information.

my 50 cents



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Hock

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2006, 04:20:27 PM »

Hey, you know what?
Everyone needs to read all this old 2004 thread again!

Two medical terms, or psychology terms I have used for years, taken from those sciences. Things to think about....

Fear Management:
Methods, treatments and systems to help a person prepare for real and perceived fears.

Pain Management:
Methods, treatments and systems to help a person prepare for sudden and longer-term pain.

Hock

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2007, 09:41:01 AM »

Interesting to re-read...all the way back to 2004!

Hock

Joe Hubbard

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Re: Fear Management
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2007, 06:00:28 PM »

Yeah, interesting thread; I recently read an article on how psychologists find it hard to sometimes distinguish between the emotions of fear and anger in individuals.  This influences how “fight or flight” is evaluated.  Obviously, it all starts in the mind, but could there be some link as to what triggers anger when someone is so panic stricken that it results in the individual “freezing” with fear paralysis rather than fighting for survival.  Another interesting point is how the fear of being attacked triggers an adrenal cocktail that activates the body for counter attack and escape, while individuals frightened by contracting a life threatening disease experience no such physiological responses.
 
Is anger fear’s strongest emotional ally when sudden violence strikes?

Out

Joe
« Last Edit: November 28, 2007, 06:02:17 PM by Joe Hubbard »
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