28 January 2015

Fixation and moving to the outside

In classes we say that it is a better survival strategy to fight like a cat, than like a dog.  When a cat is attacked, its response is vicious and out of control.  Its goal is to use that response to break contact and get away, hopefully to a place of safety.  Dogs are different.  Dogs fight to win, even if that means the other animal is not moving anymore.  Often staying in the fight results in serious damage to them.

The ultimate mental hurdle for people to get over in scenarios is to avoid situations all together and to get out of the ones that cannot be avoided as fast as possible.  We do a mixture of drills and scenarios, drills prepare people for scenarios.  One is putting people between two parked cars with their back against the wall with the attacker at the rear of the vehicles.  This creates a physical box for them to escape,  The "box" is present in every altercation,  it is the area you have to escape so that the attacker can no longer physically interact with you. The problem is that people have the mindset that they will damage the attacker to the point where they are rendered totally incapable of causing them further harm or following them.  Unless you shoot or stab them this is probably not the case, and even then not probable.

When this is the goal, people will continue to stay in front of the attacker even when they have obviously done something that gives them time to get away.  They want to finish it.  Instead of running out of the door that flings wide open, they want to stay in the box and fight.

This response is even worse when the good guy has an impact or edged weapon. Weapons focused training takes advantage of ritualized combat in which people face each other during the confrontation.  The front of the attacker is the target they have trained to attack.  Even when they have the flank or back of the attacker they often fail to attack it.  This retards their ability to do one of the most important things, move to the outside of the attacker.  When facing head on, all your weapons are pointed at him, but all his are pointed at you too.  When you are to the outside all yours are pointed at him and his are away from you.  From the outside you can attack the back and side of the head, elbows, and knees,  big targets that electrically and mechanically stop fights.  When you are in the front the targets you have access too will largely only "hurt" the attacker.

View every attacker as standing in the doorway of a room that you need to get out of.  Make up your mind to fight to get out of the room, not stay in the room and fight.  The box is your mind.  Think outside the box.

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