On The Right to Self-Protection Blog
Think – Because Survival Isn't a Sport

Understanding Self-Protection Part 2: Balancing the Equation between Size, Strength and Training


The very first thing to know regarding the participation in an asocially violent encounter is that the amount of training that you do is of absolutely no concern IF you are not training asocially. This means that all the MMA/Reality-Based/Martial Arts training that you do has no impact on the outcome of a truly asocial event except insomuch as that training has brushed against the principles of combatives. Now, before everyone from the martial arts community gets their dander up, lets examine exactly what I mean by this.

The tools used in social and asocial violence are the same. Yes, practicing the use of those tools makes you better with them. At this time the two sides are striding along together but this is where it gets out of sync. While the sports paradigm of martial arts competes with the opponent it uses rules to provide safety and is not designed to inflict what I call “medical trauma” on another. “Medical trauma” is defined by the need of medical attention to repair or mitigate the injury. In fact the sports paradigm ends at a point that we would consider the beginning. If a UFC fighter got kicked in his testicles hard enough to rupture the testicular structure or rip off the scrotum, or if he had his eye gouged out and the Optic Nerve torn from the eyeball, the fight would be over instantly and medical personnel would swarm the cage. On the street, that is our starting point to the process of making our assailant a structurally non-viable threat.

So how do we get there? How do we become capable of doing that efficiently to another human being? How do we compensate for size, strength and training level disparities? What about guns, knives and other tools used in asocial attacks? All of these questions are solved in exactly the same manner; you eliminate ability. We are not talking about innate ability or skill, or physical prowess or anything else, simply eliminate the only ability that makes that individual a capable predator; you eliminate the ability to convert intent into action. You use reflex; specifically you use his reflex.

You eliminate his conscious control over his body by using the neural reflexes that God designed our bodies with to avoid suffering trauma to our physical structure. This is NOT pain compliance or pressure point compliance.

The body has five mechanically reflexive mechanisms and one spatial orientation reflex that have the ability to initiate an override on the conscious control of your body. Think hand onto stove top or sand in the eye. The reflex that occurs is not conscious and it is not pain driven. It is an overarching neural net that can detect trauma on the structure of the body and initiate a withdrawal of the body away from the trauma before sending the pain message on to your brain for further action. It moves you away from the burning surface of the stove, snapping your hand back and pivoting away to protect from further trauma before any pain stimulus is received by the brain. It is the sudden stretching of tendon and sinew that causes spontaneous withdrawal of the limb or shift of the structure in a direction that prevents further damage to that site. And it is physiologically hardwired into every human body.
If we put someone into this reflexive state by causing sufficient trauma, we start an interesting cycle of events that makes our goal of self-protection easier. Since each reflex has specific triggers and is physiologically oriented to protect the trauma site, we can predict the path of movement of the body by understanding body reaction (BR) plus the effect of the force vector (FV) we apply in initiating the trauma. So BR+FV= body placement.

The resulting body placement gives us a new sight picture to acquire the next place to initiate trauma into the person in order to maintain the reflexive state he is in. As long as we strike while he is in reflex, we never lose control over the scenario and we dictate the terms of the engagement deciding how much trauma we need to inflict to ensure our safety and his inability to engage.

Regardless of size, once the trauma threshold is broached, the reflexive mechanism engages and the size, strength, training advantages and intent of the individual you are engaging become moot. While “body conditioning” may allow a shortening of the reflexive override response, the response will still occur and your window to drive the pace and agenda of the conflict remain for as long as you continue to induce reflex-stimulating trauma. If you continue to break pieces of the individual it will eventually lead to the degradation of their structural capacity to function in a manner that allows them to translate intent into action and at that point the reflexive response is no longer necessary – they are effectively precluded from any offensive action by the compilation of injuries to the specific attack vectors you have employed in the proactive defense of self.

The reality is that training the physical aspects of combative engagement also have to recognize the mindset to develop a proactive outlook and modify the OODA process that Boyd’s cycle systematized into an ongoing mental rehearsal. That mental part of the package will be extended on in part 3.

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One Response to “Understanding Self-Protection Part 2: Balancing the Equation between Size, Strength and Training”

  1. When will you have Part 3 posted?


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