Mental Preparation

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By Sifu Lawrence Hochobeb

In order for our physical techniques to be effective we must first be mentally prepared to initiate and apply them effectively and with success. The first response that you must condition yourself to control is known as stress response.

Stress response is the body’s mental and physiological reaction to a sudden life-threatening stimulus when the brain causes physiological changes which prepare the body for fight or flight.

Adrenaline and other hormones will be released in larger quantities.

The blood circulatory system will automatically divert greater supply of blood to the body’s large muscle groups for increased strength and speed.

Previously stored supplies of sugar are also released for extra energy.

This physiological process by itself is not bad. It is the mental portion of the stress response that can cause some real difficulties if the brain is not properly conditioned.

The following are the disadvantageous effects of stress response.
– Impaired concentration
– Distorted judgment
– Impaired logical thinking
In a crisis, one suffers a so-called startle response, which is an involuntary movement in response to a sudden fright. Also, one would suffer from thought distraction or the inability to concentrate on overcoming the threat. It is therefore necessary to participate in crisis rehearsal activities.

Physical Preparation

There should be an immediate response at the onset of an attack attempt because it is at the first instance of the attack that the intended victim will have the greatest chance of escape because the attacker has not yet gained physical control of his victim, and it is at the onset of the attack that some unforeseen intervention is most likely to occur.

If the victim is unsuccessful with the initial attempt to escape and the attacker gains physical control, he/she must attempt to remain calm and think tactically and assess the situation.

The victim should remain calm and conduct the following situational assessment:

1. With what is the attacker armed?
2. What is my environment?
3. What psychological profile does my attacker fit?
4. What weapons do I have available?
After conducting this swift assessment of the attacker and the situation, if the victim determines a physical response is needed, use stun and run.

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