Posts Tagged ‘Action vs Re-action’

To Act or Not to Act.jpgHesitation can often lead to embarrassment or post scenario guilt or worse. It could lead to much more serious consequences such as permanent disability or death.

For some it can lead to thoughts of why didn’t I make my move, I really liked them. To Act. Or the opposite, why didn’t I do anything to stop them, what they did was not consensual. Not to Act.

In both above examples, there is only regret and/or shame. But when it comes to failure to act in a violent confrontation it can lead to catastrophic consequences.

To Act (Action), or not to act (Inaction) are the dichotomies of Action vs Reaction and Avoidance as well as self-defense in general. In the face of Violence, an action is faster than reaction. One can Act first, to avoid a reactive action. Or you can Choose inaction as an attempt to avoid the scenario altogether. It can be a tough decision, but for Krav Maga, action is usually preferred over inaction even if that means running.

Krav Maga is known for its aggression in the face of violence but aggression is only a tool and means nothing if a person fails to “turn it on”. If in that moment of need, that second you had to strike first or to block or to simply resist you choose inaction then it could lead to your own demise both literally or figuratively (psychological trauma).

Often when teaching students even under light stress they often hesitate to act. Or as is quite common they “screw up” the technique and stop. I will tell them or yell at them “keep going, don’t stop” because that moment of hesitation is all it takes for the attacker to re-coup and re-engage offensively.

When training people, we need to train their aggression to be appropriate and well timed so that when the moment comes no matter what happens even if an error occurs they can fight through and survive. However, if they hesitate and instead of channeling that aggression through retzev, techniques and other strategies and principles their training and aggression is for naught.

This is why situational and high-stress training is very important in Krav Maga or any good self defense training so that we can train the brain and nervous system to recognize situations or scenarios and act or react quickly without hesitation.

To act without hesitation often means to act with confidence. Without confidence in one’s skill then it can be harder to act.

One of the easiest ways to build confidence in your skill, speed or timing is to practice more and practice often. With practice also comes the knowledge of what you are capable of and will help you better recognize when you should avoid scenarios all together so that action or hesitation is not even a factor.

To act or not to act that is the questions, but hesitate to act in the moment of decision and it might not matter at all, philosophically or otherwise.

Be Decisive.jpg

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Action (Pre-Emptive) vs Re-action (Re-Active)

When it comes to a human vs human situation action is always faster than reaction. Humans brains are all made up of the same stuff and operate in relatively similar fashion. We all have neurons, and our brains generally operate with the same brain chemistry and processes. Generally, most people will approximately have the same action-reaction potential with regards to response times. While there are of course exceptions like extreme athletes most people will fall within similar parameters. Below, the action vs. reaction concept is broken down into the 4 basic steps to processing information for the purposes of self-defense. The names given may be similar to standard process models but are simplified for the purposes of the self-defense model.

Mental Processing.jpg

  1. Perceive

This is the initial identification of an attack or action, or the “Oh-Shit” moment has identified an imminent threat.

2. Analyze

At this point, your brain examines the threat and situation to determine what to do, considering the speed and trajectory of the threat, his or her size and shape, the direction of any escapes, and numerous other identifiers

3. Formulate

Now, you are consciously thinking about what to do and searching your memory for the appropriate response. Do you run? Do you fight? Do you freeze?

4. Action

Finally, based on your perception and analysis, you now act based on your plan.

Both an attacker and defender are going through these same stages, which can take approximately 0.25 seconds to go through all 4. However, in a life or death situation, this can seem like an eternity. If you failed to recognize and attack and find your self re-active action over a pre-emptive action you are now playing a game of catch up. Your attacker may be at stage 4 with for example a punch while you are at stage 2 or 3. If you fail to give your self enough space, or can not counter react fast enough that punch will now hit you.

Your goal is to always engage in an aggressive fashion should you find your self in mental colour code red, so that you are constantly resetting your attacker’s mental process to 1 or 2. This can be done by Off balancing, causing pain or resetting their mental process through distraction. (See Off Balance, Cause Pain or Reset)

Because of this model, and how the brain processes information action is always faster than reaction.The 4 stages of Self Defense as taught by UTKM must keep this processing in mind and approach violence in the appropriate order so that a defender always has to option to engage with a pre-emptive action rather than a reactive action.

*Topics under any principle category (EX. Krav Maga Principles) may be updated from time to time so always check in every few months to see if the posts have been updated.

**A similar model is the OODA Model of Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.