Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stress and Real Life Assaults

Assault are stressful events. This is obvious and applies to even to the best trained.  A sudden/surprise assault can effect us in many ways.  A sudden act of violence such as a punch, someone charging with a knife, a sudden grab or choke. or even a yell or scream will induce stress.  

Let's begin with a more general overview of how stress impacts you during an assault. 

Tunnel Vision: Your peripheral and depth perception can be seriously reduced.   Consequently, identifying strikes from various angles and distances is compromised.  Awareness of your surroundings - other attackers, escape routes - can also be limited.  Besides vision, you might not hear shouts, alarms, etc....    Stress, in short, assaults the senses.  

Motor Skills/Coordination: Your ability to perform complex and even simple techniques will be hampered. Striking combinations won't be as fluid, strike defenses not as precise, plucks and hold releases etc will not as sharp.. Weapon disarming, always extremely difficult and requiring precision and dexterity, will be compromised.  

Fatigue:  Under stress blood goes to the organs and away from the extremities.  When this happens your limbs feel weak and heavy.  This means you might tire quickly.  Not good news in a prolonged fight or chase. 

We cannot escape stress or its impact but we can learn to manage it in a way to more effectively defend ourselves.   Accordingly, training must include stress training to help prepare students for real life situations.

Suggested reading:   Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected, by Rory Millar

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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