We’ve all felt the effects of the adrenaline dump (actually a whole cocktail of hormones and chemicals, not just adrenaline). Something scares us (like a close call in our car) that leaves us tingling, breathing faster, heart rate up, etc. If this happens during an “almost accident”, imagine how much more pronounced it would be with life threatening real violence. It will happen and, sadly, this is something that is totally ignored in most self defence taught systems.
Too many martial arts and self defence taught systems take a logical and mental approach to visceral and chaotic problems.
Effects of fear (the “dump”) include:
- Your mind will change! The mind you have will not be the one fighting for you when attacked. Memories can be wildly distorted. Perception and auditory input can become very messed up. This is seen when those being attacked remember, for example, a knife that was four inches long being a machete, a handgun going off by their ear repeatedly that they didn’t hear, etc. Irrelevant thoughts can intrude in our heads. Off the wall thoughts can seem like brilliant ideas. We make dumb decisions and get stubborn about them. We can get tunnel vision and not see the other attacker or the weapon. Behavioral looping can easily occur with trained fighters. They will use a technique that isn’t working but get stuck on that technique and try it over and over. Sadly, if we haven’t used mind setting and had a plan for this attack already formed we won’t come up with one now because our mid-brain is now in charge and it will be stuck in freeze mode…trying to scan for any training for this scenario.
- You don’t feel pain and don’t bleed as badly due to vasoconstriction. This is one of the few good effects of the adrenaline dump. Remember, however, that the attacker is in the same state and doesn’t feel pain either. That awesome joint lock that you never fail with in class doesn’t faze the bad guy….and we freeze because our brain said that it should end the fight.
- Skilled techniques degrade under stress….a lot! Our heart rate goes way up. Blood is pooled into our internal organs. This makes our limbs feel heavy and we feel weak. Our skin gets cold and clammy. Fine motor skills go out the window!
The adrenaline dump is the bane of Self Defence Instructors as it makes the untrained more dangerous and the trained less! A great example of this is police officers. When they are shooting at a target at the range within ten feet most have over 90% accuracy. Under fire on the street? One major city studied police hit statistics under live fire over a six year period and found that their officers from contact range to six feet out hit the bad guy only 38% of the time. There is a big difference in how our body reacts on a range and with someone actually trying to kill us!
Again, the adrenaline dump makes those who are trained fight worse….and the untrained actually fight better. Why is this? God put this response into man at the beginning. It wasn’t for self defence but for self preservation against wild animals! No amount of technique will drive off a tiger, but a flailing, focused (tunnel vision), repetitive (behavioural looping) defence might. Not feeling pain and not bleeding like we usually would comes in handy when limbs are being bitten. At the worst stage we freeze, drop and even have bladder and bowel evacuation…..this is good as a last resort with a wild animal who may think you are dead and save you for later! If you ever hear someone say “if it were for real, I would have done a lot better” try not to laugh at them!
Why Yi Quan Kung Fu? We don’t teach that one devastating attack will end the fight…because when that technique doesn’t end the fight we won’t know what to do. We teach attacking with whole body, gross motor skills and we teach you to go with all we have until they are on the ground, balled up unable to continue. Yi Quan Kung Fu is a 900 year old battlefield martial art designed to end the attack quickly with high efficiency. Come down to the Ontario Self Defence Centre and try some of our classes. You will quickly learn how protect yourself and your loved ones, as well as get the amazing crossover benefits of the martial arts. Here at the Ontario Self Defence Centre we have your best interest and personal growth at heart. We want to help you succeed in life but also give you real confidence that what you are learning can protect you and work in the real world. We take your safety and health seriously. We look forward to seeing you soon.
905 410 1237