Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Self Defense: notes from a seminar

This is a rough transcription of my notes from a July 2007 seminar given by Rory Miller.

Think about the difference between violence and martial arts. Martial arts is a highly structured sport that uses force.

If you don't train to jump out of the OODA loop (that's the loop of observe, orient, decide, and act) with an immediate, impulsive response (such as a punch to the nose of your attacker), you'll get stuck in it.

The most important thing is to work out your moral/ethical standards in advance.

1. What thing(s) would you create orphans to achieve, be willing to do jail time? What are your go buttons? Examples might be:

-No rape in my presence
-I won't be handcuffed by someone I don't know
-No abuse of children in my presence

What are yours?

2. Learn how attacks happen. Learn to see them coming. What is the body language? Facial expression? Tone of voice?

3. Is it possible to diffuse the situation? Can you/are you willing to use humor, to give up your wallet, to be submissive if that will make the attacker go away?

4. Operant conditioning to flinch reflex effectively. (Yeah, 8 years later I don't remember what I was noting with this sentence.)

5. Freeze--how to recognize it and break it

-Endorphine dump happens to help you cope/survive
-Two conscious actions in a row/at the same time will break it--what are yours? Rehearse, train, practice them
>hit back

6. Fight! This is where the fight happens, if it's going to happen at all. Training gets you through a fight, maybe.

7. Aftermath


Deal with these at step 1. Legal consequences are easy to predict. Physical ones will depend on how the encounter went: did the attacker break your arm, leave bruises, knock you out? Emotional ones depend on preparation, but will surprise you the first few times. Will you be angry? Feel shame or guilt? Maybe you'll have grief. Any emotional response could happen.

A fight is over is 5-6 seconds. Serious damage is done inside range, close up; every action you take should improve your position and worsen his. Keep your balance strong.

Vigilance is important all the time; it increases your appreciation of life.

Adrenaline effects (during and after an attack)
-hearing goes
-tunnel vision
-quick exhaustion
-you get weak
-thinking changes
-fine motor skills gone

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