If you've trained with me personally at all in the last 3 or 4 years you've heard me talk about Set Points. If you studied with me prior to that I may not have called them Set Points but I probably talked about them—just differently.
Set Points are found in many areas of life. For instance, your body develops set points for weight. Those weights at which your body seems to sort of hover around based on your intake of food. With a bit of work you can get your body to find a new Set Point, but it won't come easy or fast. You'll have to work at it and retrain your body. I recently heard that the same can be seen in your emotional life, etc. So for instance, you win the lottery, after one year your life will be about as happy as it was before you won the money. No matter how crappy things are, you also have set points that say that you will be about as happy as you were prior to that, within one year. There are a few exceptions to this like mourning, which may take longer.
Your set points are based on both a nature and nurture in my experience. You are born with an inherent or genetic batch of set points for everything about you. However, with input from the outside world those set points can change—usually for the worse. If you eat a lot of crappy foods your set point for fat retention will increase. Likewise if you are abused as a child your set point for expressing or having feelings of happiness are likely to be affected too.
Now, lets look at this within the context of martial arts. You come with a certain amount of attributes or skills. That can be pain tolerance, speed, quickness, ability to adapt, sense of feeling, etc. Through training you can improve these aspects. They may never be what someone elses are but they will improve with training.
On some level this cross over to an understanding of the CPS or Combat Positioning System of Pencak Silat Pertempuran. The point of the CPS is to give you some sense of relationship with the opponent. That relationship is intended to help you in the chaos of combat to be able to recognize your position and therefore your potential applications, counters, etc.
To continue, that is also the point of training in something like trapping. I haven't found trapping to be extremely useful in combat. It shows up but not as often as I'd like since it's fun to train. However, it's value is in showing you that when you attack in specific ways to specific targets the opponent is likely to respond in a specific way. This allows you a certain amount of orchestral capacity within combat.
If I, using my right hammer fist, try to strike your ear with my fist, you are more likely to block nearest my elbow with the same hand (not the same side). Alternatively, if I strike with a hammer fist that targets your eye socket your more likely to strike nearest my hand. Each of the responses teaches you a specific set point then to be able to counter off of. It's just a way of helping you to sort through what seems like an infinite amount of response variables in a way that isolates them and gives you an opportunity to develop counters.
Likewise, any Sikap Pasang, Ales, Masukan, or any other technique based on the Ales or Masukan (which is everything we do) can be a set point of you begin to view it as such.
So, when things are going wrong—and they will at times— remember your set points. Trust your PSP and get back to what you've trained. Pick a position, a posture, or a relationship and get to it. It's the starting point or set point for you.