Very interesting stuff on this thread...felt I must comment.
I sense from what everyone has posted on this topic that we would like to think we would go out with a bang rather than a whimper. Well, I concur...I hope I would go down swinging too!!! Impressive points particularly from Shelly (you are a very smart woman) on knowing when compliance is no longer to your advantage.
Compliance can be the “make or break” of the situation - being used to catch the assailant off guard, lull him into a false sense of control, or to give yourself a quick moment to gather before you “go off” on this individual.
Perhaps a bit unrelated, but I happened to witness a fight this summer (quite by accident) between two dogs (usually lovely calm pets of friends). One dog, the subservient of the two, had maintained a compliant nature until she obviously decided it was no longer to her advantage to be compliant to the younger, bigger dog. I watched the frenzy of these two animals (I was completely terrified by their ferociousness and thought it would turn into a fight to the death) and after, when things calmed down and I could breathe, I starting thinking more and more about what I had seen and how I could apply it:
1. Both dogs survived the fight but both came away with scars. Neither one was going to back down and they both went for the “jugular” when attacking - this was no play time!!! Talk about your doggy chemical cocktail...
2. As I said, at the time I thought it was going to be a fight to the death (took 3 people to break it up). Neither dog was going to give up without intervention and we literally had to pull teeth out of legs and fangs out of ears. I believe that neither dog felt any pain until the “match” was over. Bloody paws and punctured ears went totally unnoticed during the fracas. God knows, I didn’t know I had been bitten until after the whole ordeal was over - I felt absolutely nothing.
3. I don’t believe the frenzy of the attack was thought out by either animal but to my mind both dogs were locked in a life or death situation and the instinct for survival was fascinating to observe...there was no panic from either dog. I keep thinking if there was some way to bottle and sell that ferocity in a situation where a life was at stake, I could make millions.
I guess the long and short of it is that the instinct for survival makes that animal come out. I think some time our “human” nature blinds us to the fact that it has become a survival situation.
Van Sensei - not sure I agree with your view on Lt. Grossman’s point about when a man becomes frightened he literally stops thinking with the mind of a human being, and begins to think with the portion of his brain that is indistinguishable from that of an animal! I think if anything the musket example and Lt. Grossman show us that it is not lack of thought but “panic” that hampers us in survival situations...in that situation, I would rather become that animal and survive any day.