Uechi-Ryu.com

Discussion Area
It is currently Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:06 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: How to prevent overload
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 1999 11:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17076
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
There has been a good deal of talk about the "chemical cocktail" which makes it darn near impossible to do anything complex (if anything at all) when under life-and-death stress. I do not argue that such a condition occurs, and can agree that it happens more often than not.

* Can we assume that there is variability in the response to life-and-death stress?

* Could there possibly be a method to lower the response to this potentially overwhelming stress?

Why are these questions important? Well first we need to understand the "phenomenon". There is plenty of documentation on the overwhelming (sympathetic nervous system) response to high stress. Soldiers in combat can regress to pathetically primitive states where even the most simple tasks require extraordinary effort. Law enforcement officers can find it difficult to respond in a measured fashion to a threat that is perceived to be deadly. And the best-trained black belt can lose all the dojo training when faced with a deadly assault. The advantage of Uechiryu is that its foundation is a relatively simple kata that is the core of any workout. The simple stance and the primitive thrusting response can still be be employed when faculties are diminished.

But there is much more to defense than block and thrust. Can the wealth of information in our more advanced forms be tapped when we need them most?

Here is a hypothesis that I would like to make to address the questions above. I will support it with an experiment I witnessed and a personal anecdote.

HYPOTHESIS: The complexity of tasks possible when under severe stress can be improved when other neural pathways are recruited. This could be something as simple as talking, or more complex such as specific simple things that are done whenever the stressful situation ensues.

Back in the dark ages when I took PSYCH 102 (or whatever the nomenclature was), the psychologist who taught our class told us of an experiment he had just completed. He had used sex as a means to prove a broader point - pleased don't get confused with his personal obsessions. Anyhow he measured the Galvonic Skin Response (something measured in a lie detector test) of a person under two conditions. In both conditions he had someone read XXX-rated material. In condition 1, he had the person read it quietly to himself. In condition two, he had the person read it out loud to someone else. The "null" hypothesis was that there would be no difference between conditions in the magnitude of the response to reading the smut. His "alternative" hypothesis was that there would be a greater response when the person read outloud because he thought there would be a degree of embarassment. But it didn't work out that way. Instead the response was MUCH greater when the person read to himself. Why?? The professor had an explanation, but I'll hold it for now.

On a personal level, I spent five years doing research in the field of cardiology. I did open heart surgery about three times a week during that time period (on anesthetized dogs). Many of the procedures were quite demanding and required years of practice to perfect for even the most coordinated.

I have a "familial tremor". It is worse when I am under stress. It is worse when I know someone is watching me and I worry about how they perceive my tremor. It used to be that I could not let anyone watch me when I was doing the most difficult parts of an experimental preparation. It was bad enough worring about it, much less worrying about how others perceived my ability. Over time I discovered a kind of "zen mind" (for lack of a better word) which helped me tremendously in the solo mode. I began to recognize this was very much like that "zone" that felt right sometimes when I was in an athletic activity.

But I stumbled on something else.

I began to notice that I could have someone watch me - even with the most difficult parts - if I could get in a conversation with them. It could be about what I was doing, or better yet I might talk about the latest basketball game or the cute tech down the hall. I just noticed that if I otherwise preoccupied my brain, then I didn't get "psyched" by these extremely difficult procedures that would challenge the best of people, much less a person with a familial tremor.

Do you see my point?

Even my parents had an interesting piece of advice for handling overwhelming stress (not necessarily life-and-death). "Don't focus on the problem", my mom would say, "get to a list of things you can do and start doing something."

My point is that one might be able to mitigate the level of response to stress by occupying other nerual pathways. This could be done by talking, perhaps performing a method of breathing, or otherwise "doing something". If this is the case, there might be a "method" for avoiding or diminishing the worst-case scenario.

This rambles on a bit, but I think my point was made. I'd be interested in any comments, either academic or off-the-cuff.

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 02-03-99).]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: How to prevent overload
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 1999 11:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 1897
Location: N. Andover, Ma. USA
Bill San,

The Kiai !! That Primal release that pull you into it's vaccum of direction. (It's sort of like saying Geronimo before the jump).

Evan Pantazi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: How to prevent overload
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 1999 9:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17076
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Evan

I've never thought of the kiai as such a method. Very interesting. Too bad I couldn't kiai when doing surgery - sort of like a samurai surgeon character played by Belushi (of SNL fame).

I'd love to hear more feedback on this one. There are two people in particular I want to hear from - J.D. and Van. Others are more than welcome, no matter how trivial the contribution.

Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: How to prevent overload
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 1999 3:42 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30134
Good Topic -one dear to my heart ! Here I love the research by Siddle and the teachings of deadly force instructors :

1] Not all persons will act alike under the stress of life or death suddenly upon them . Genetics play a big part ! Student belief systems, past experiences, and fears, account for the difference ! Remember sheep and sheep dogs ?

2] < Research and common sense indicate that fine and complex motor skills deteriorate under high-stress conditions > Such conditions run the gamut from non life threatening to life threatening ! Big difference in the way we react !

3] Complex motor skills are skills which involve hand -eye coordination , timing or tracking, [i.e., disarms] , and have multiple technique components . Survival skills that are complex motor , include a shooting stance that has muscle groups in different or asymmetrical movements [ i.e., weaver stance v. isosceles ] or a takedown that has more than three independent movements from different muscle groups . {Siddle}

4] < Fine motor skills are performed by small muscle mass or groups [ hands and fingers] involve hand -eye coordination and require a high degree of accuracy and cognition .[Siddle] -- Say from surgery by a doctor to the firing of a handgun in a gun fight ! Keep in mind the difference : The doctor makes a mistake , he gets sued [ no life or death for him] ! Same doctor gets mugged on the way to his BMW in the garage and fires a gun against three punks with knives and guns ; very much life or death for him !

5] Survival stress is the only one we should be concerned with here as martial artists foreseeing a violent encounter ! Athletic events [ tournament fighting ] , heart surgery etc. are conducted in static environments ! Performance may suffer but it can be 'schooled' to dramatic improvement ! < However , when executed in response to a life or death threatening stimulus , performance will be inhibited by the immediate escalation of the heart . > { Siddle} ------{ Inverted U hypothesis ----optimal performance between 115 and 145 beats per minute ----worst performance at 175 beats per minute } ! At 80 beats per minute , performance is not optimal , thus the importance of some ' psyching up' !

6] Most of all our karate training is conducted in static -semi/static environments , and try as we will , we simply cannot isolate or duplicate many conditions of survival stress outside of the real thing ! <Therefore we cannot correctly assume that techniques which are successful in training , will also be effective in the field .< { Siddle} ! ----- Think of your last karate class ! Do you believe you train realistically ? < In fact , many techniques failures may result from teaching skills that are not adaptable to survival stress > { Siddle}

7] Uechi-Ryu is a most effective style because of our conditioning and because of simple [ mostly] trapping and counter strike movements . Also our system fits with the concept of " an inborn reflex to squarely face an attack" -----Westmoreland comments on the fight or flight syndrome : " That response , when suddenly attacked especially in close quarters , is to face our opponent squarely with our hands and arms extended in front of us . This is a natural stance assumed by all animals who defend themselves on two legs . Add a handgun and you have an isosceles stance ." -----The most effective and natural combat stance , as opposed to the weaver stance which goes out the window under stress !

8] But in all fairness , Uechi Ryu also has some very stilted applications which would never emerge from the chemical dump ! Try polling a large group of high dan ranks and see what techniques actually came out of them in a real fight . You will be surprised !

9] < Research indicates that, given optimal motor skill performance and cognitive processing takes place within the heart zone rate of 115 to 145 beats per minute , students can benefit from that knowledge .

10] < The association between increased heart rates and anxiety or fear is more often based upon the students' perception of control . To have control is to have security . If they perceive mild danger , they become anxious ---intense danger -fearful > { Siddle}
Student belief systems, past experiences, and fears , will have a positive or negative influence on a student's perception of control .

11] You improve the odds by first developing confidence : < Confidence is a mindset based upon past experience and observations! >{ Siddle} ---Confidence in specific no-nonsense effective skills the student knows will work and < Situational confidence where the student learns to apply the skill through dynamic role playing > { Siddle}
Selection of techniques , training drills and intensity of applications of the techniques are vital to situational confidence !
Combine with breathing drills , which force the heart rate to slow down , and with visualization which mentally prepare the student for the unknown and programs proper response ; and the effect is positive changes in anxiety levels and heart rate !

We should focus on developing training schedules along these simple concepts in our dojos ! The more techniques , the more styles , the more katas , the more applications , the more seminars in different concepts , the more the confusion in your brain and the longer the effective response time with strong terminal techniques !


[This message has been edited by VAN CANNA (edited 02-05-99).]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: How to prevent overload
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 1999 3:53 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30134
[This message has been edited by VAN CANNA (edited 02-05-99).]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: How to prevent overload
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 1999 2:09 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 29, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 204
I will try my best to write a cogent post, but please be kind in any critique as I keep sneezing on my keyboard, and am fighting to keep awake... (hey doctor, is it possible I caught your cold over the internet??)

I am fascinated by this topic, one that has obviously gotten a lot of play on Canna Sensei’s forum, but which, in my opinion, cannot be played out. The idea that one can ‘train down’ the involuntary reactions to life and death situations, or ‘train up’ in the sense of concentrating on techniques which will survive these reactions more or less intact is a compelling one. I think an argument can be made for both of these possibilities.

It is very clear that soldiers, for example, can be successfully trained to perform fairly complex tasks under extreme pressure, and ‘fear’ of death. I put fear in quotes because it is precisely this fear which is mitigated by the very specialized and sophisticated training modern soldiers undergo. In David Grossman’s book, "On Killing" (which I recommend highly and need to re-read shortly), he talks primarily about the need of the military to eliminate the ‘natural unwillingness’ of soldiers to kill another human being in order to have them be good soldiers. At the same time, I think that these same training methods instill a certain ‘desensitization’ to the fear of death into the soldiers (Grossman may state this overtly, hint at it, or not mention it at all - I do not recall - hence my need to re-read...). This is all to point out that it is possible to reduce the fear that someone will feel in a life and death situation via specialized training. Of course this does not address the question of how much training is necessary, nor what specific training will accomplish this task, to say nothing of the cost to the individual being so trained... but the last is a subject, perhaps, for a different thread (come to think of it, it was a topic on another thread - which died out quickly for lack of interest, alas...).

As to the other end of the equation, about how one can train to function effectively while in the grip of the "chemical cocktail" (we really need to develop some shorthand for that - "cc" perhaps?). I think this is intimately related to issue #1, above. Nevertheless, let us assume that the effects of the cc have been mitigated somewhat by successful ‘psychological’ training methods, but that some large degree of the physiological effects of the cc are still present. Canna Sensei points out (quoting or paraphrasing Siddle - who I think I should read...) "Complex motor skills are skills which involve hand -eye coordination , timing or tracking ... and have multiple technique components" - and these are the skills which desert us when under the effects of the cc. Nevertheless, I believe it is possible to ‘slip’ the effects of the cc somewhat. This might be accomplished by following Siddle’s ‘formula,’ i.e. don’t depend on hand eye coordination. A simple example to illustrate this is the ‘hiji uchi’ - the elbow strike found in Kanshiwa Kata. When I have asked students why we hit our hand with the elbow, the answers often include things like: "because your hand represents the target," or "it’s to get used to hitting something," or even "because it makes a cool noise" (I sincerely hoped that the last was tongue in cheek...). I explain to students that in fact (or at least in my opinion) the main reason for hitting one’s hand is that after doing this thousands and thousands of times, this movement becomes totally instinctive - that no matter what is happening, a Uechika will always be able to hit his left palm with his right elbow (or even vice-versa for those who diligently practice their kata both sides!), and, most importantly, whatever is being held in the palm or between the elbow and palm, will be hit. In other words, this is a technique that, practiced over and over, imprints itself and does not necessarily depend on hand eye coordination.

Anyway, posting this does in fact require hand eye coordination, and some complex cognition (despite some nasty rumors to the contrary...) - both of which have been fading rapidly, so I will sign off...

greg


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: How to prevent overload
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 1999 3:27 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17076
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Greg, Van

Thanks for these responses. And Greg in particular deserves kudos for a coherent response in spite of handicap.

Siddles formula of the relationship between heart rate and optimal performance really hit a chord with me on several counts. I will relate them.

First, it is well known that humans can learn to control heart rate. Biofeedback has been used to aid in that quest. Folks who practice yoga have demonstrated that autonomic functions (sympathetic and parasympathetic) can indeed be affected by highly trained individuals. Physiologic monitoring of test pilots has demonstrated the "experience" factor Siddle speaks of.

Second, I remember an interesting phenomenon when doing my dissertation research (Glasheen, WP: Cardiopulomonary Rhythms, 1990). In the protocol, I was applying a parasympathetic block (isoproteranol) under both rest and exercise to dogs. This is equivalent to a sympathetic stimulus. One thing that I noted (a paradoxical finding that I did not publish because it wasn't germaine to the study) was that the heart rate was higher on the resting dog than it was on the exercising dog when I did the parasympathetic block. This is equivalent to saying that a given "chemical coctail" could cause a higher heart rate in a RESTING individual than an exercising individual.

And finally I would like to relate an anecdote. I once was involved in stopping an individual who was in the middle of removing a stereo from my car. To make a long story short, I managed to subdue this person (later found to be armed) for the time it took to get the police to the scene. Another individual stepped into the scene and helped me, but only afiter I "tied this person up" who came out of the window of my car towards me. We both did what we had to do calmly and effectively. We had purpose and we executed an unspoken plan effectively. Then the police came. BOTH this "good samaritan" and I SIMULTANEOUSLY got a bad case of the whole-body shakes - but only AFTER we handed the angry man over to the police.

So...does my original hypothesis have merit? I'm beginning to see some justification.

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 02-07-99).]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: How to prevent overload
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 1999 3:28 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17076
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Since this forum made me accidentally double-post, I'll use this second one as a chance to edit in another point.

Another reason for the use of the hand with the elbow strike may have to do with the specific use of it to create a "knockout". For instance a knockout with the tetsui uchi of seisan is best performed when using the opposite hand to brace the other side of the head. Miller (Complete book of light force knockouts) explains how this bracing of the head, along with proper angling of the hammer strike, is important for sending the proper shock wave up to the reticular activating system. The same could be said of the elbow strike applied to the identical target area.

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 02-07-99).]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: How to prevent overload
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 1999 3:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30134
Hi Greg ,

Good observations !

However , The soldier in war is functioning under totally different violence dynamics than a civilian ! Also we must remember that for the soldier , flight is not an option ; he must fight or be court martialed !

The soldier is given authority to kill , is encouraged to kill , is rewarded for his killing of the enemy and , thus, the basic inhibitions from fear of dire consequences for his actions are removed at the outset ! Lt. Grossman outlines the triad method of increasing the soldier's killing ratio as desensitization , conditioning , and denial defense mechanism !

Grossman explains that The ' operant conditioning' is nothing more than specialized training for the soldier to shoot reflexively and instantly in 'conditioned stimulus ' to target behavior ! < Every aspect of killing on the battlefield is rehearsed , visualized and conditioned > ! The main objective is to insure the soldier fires his gun at the enemy !

Shooting reflexively , is mostly a gross motor skill [ we were taught to punch the gun into the target at some drills at LFI ] ; the soldier does essentially point shooting at the enemy ! Snipers are a different breed and operate at long range ! Complex motor skills still suffer on the battlefield despite this training ! Can soldiers ever perform complex motions under combat conditions ? Sure ; after some constant exposure to it ! Back in civilian life , the combat soldier will have the same problem as most of us as to trigger , but when he does he will be more effective with terminal techniques !

For most of us , there is really no escape from the somewhat debilitating consequences of chemical cocktail ! Studies have proven over and over that simple decisive , extremely powerful action , is best ! As David Elkins- sensei has said before , train in Uechi -Ryu as a concept , but focus in channeling very simple techniques in scenario applications ! Those techniques should be mated to some Kyusho basics !

Taro Tanaka , Japanese collegiate champion of the 60's and street fighter extraordinaire , worked only about 10% striking techniques from his extremely powerful forms ; punches , front and roundhouse kicks , shutos , elbows , knees and slammer take downs , coupled to a ferocious mind set of do or die , no matter how big or tough the opponent ! The first thing he would go for in a real fight [ I saw it] was a throat strike in a preempting move ! That was his programming !

Regards ,






------------------
Van Canna


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group