Thursday, September 13, 2012

Psychology of Combat

As I’ve been involved in the martial arts for the past 20 years, my understanding has, by necessity changed—I prefer to think of it as growth. Sometimes slow and not always steady but generally speaking, consistent with the energy output I’ve given it.

That said, I want to throw out an idea about your training that I think is missing in many martial arts schools and has for years and years. In my own training and in the training of Pencak Silat Pertempuran I think there is vast room for improvement in this regard.

What type of mental training are you doing to prepare for combat survival?

As I’ve studied and taught over the years I’ve randomly bumped into this issue in different ways. For myself, I’ve resorted to “day-dreaming,” lucid dreaming, endurance testing, and several other lesser things. More recently I’ve been looking @ things such as meditation, positive messaging, lesser state, distraction, stressors, and variability training. 

Why this topic? Well, as a teacher I’m always looking to understand just what is of most value in my teaching so I’ve looked at this for a long time off and on again. Recently on again due to external happenings surrounding a potential job opportunity. This sparked me to start looking around for resources related to this topic. There are a few out there but, for the value I think it would bring to combative ability, there’s not nearly enough emphasis on this. Hence this blog post.

A thought for you: Two people are involved in a horrible accident. Let’s say a car accident where multiple people are severely injured. One of those people steps up and take’s the lead. The other is in shock and basically can’t think so is limited to reactions based on the lead person’s direction. What makes the one person act and the other freeze?

It’s not that one is a hero or the other a failure. It’s more likely an automated response of a pyscho-physiological nature. That is, that one person is able to handle the stressor, which includes all kinds of variables, in a way that let’s them remain functional. The other person is unable to handle the stressor and freezes.

Combat has seen many a soldier at the battle’s front who have had this occur. Equally trained but not equal. Why?

Why does a martial artist who is trained for years suddenly freeze in the face of an aggressor who has no training?

Questions like these plague me. I don’t ever want to be the one who freezes. In the same way, I don’t want my students to freeze.

Here are a few general ideas I believe will make a difference in your responses to combat:

General Ideas:
Visualization—Visualize yourself confronting stressful situations.

Self Messaging/Meditation—Determine for yourself words or phrases that you can repeat to help you remain mentally aware but operate at a high level.

Stressors—Introduce stressors to your training.

Here are a few specific ideas that are specific to the general idea of Stressor I’ve listed above:

  • Add a real weapon to your partner training regimins
  • Put gear on and go hard
  • Or take the gear off and experience that
  • Turn the lights off
  • Add a strobe light
  • Add very loud music
  • Recite your self-messaging aloud while engaged
  • Change the location
  • Put on street clothes
  • Deal with multiple attackers
  • Do high cardio and then perform your material
  • Combine any of these together
  • Tie a hand behind your back
  • Sit and fight your way to standing

There’s plenty more out there. What are some of yours?



ochid aj said...

nice blog, nice article
enjoy to visit my silat blog

psychology said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.