“An important part of what we achieve through stress inoculation is
cognitive. The students experience in training helps to take some of the
surprise out it when the real situation arises. Effective training also
elevates the students sense of confidence, which is another cognitive aspect
of stress inoculation. The sense of personal effectiveness and
self-confidence created by realistic training is as much a stress reducer as
when the muscles go on autopilot. As the Duke of Wellington put it, No man
fears to do that which he knows he does well“. -Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, On
I read this quote this morning and I thought, yes, that pretty much wraps up my life’s motto. Not just in self defense. It applies to all areas of my life, but certainly I find great value in training and making that training as realistic as possible.
I train for so many reasons, but primarily because it builds confidence The more I do and the better I do it the more I believe in myself and my ability to overcome in the face of danger.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to do much real life training in a while and that has had some affect on my confidence. I still do a lot to keep my skills up, but there is no substitute for putting yourself up against another person and testing one’s ability. When, lose or draw many valuable lessons are learned and each of those not only add to my abilities, but to my mind set.
People often think the mind controls us, but it only controls us if we let it. We can tell it what to do, what to think, what to believe and the more we tell it and back it up with our behavior the easier it is for the mind to respond the way we want it to.
In the face of a mortal threat, I want my mind to remain calm and clear and I can probably only achieve that if I practice it. I practice it by showing up when I am terrified to do so and by putting myself in situations where I am uncomfortable and have no real idea what is about to come my way. Of course I do it in the safest way possible, but knowing that I am “safe” gives little comfort as I stand there and prepare to get hit or kicked or knocked against a wall.
Sounds fun, no?
Funny thing. When I first started training my mind would be totally blank. I could not think. Sometimes I would just stand there and not shoot or punch. Then I could do whatever I was told to do, but nothing more, but now, I can not only think, but I can plan and do.
Here is the deal though…all this self defense stuff has helped me in my regular everyday non violent life. Remember yesterday when I talked about how after the attack I lost my confidence and was a mess at my NRA Cert class? Well, due to training my mind and forcing myself to be calm and to think things through, I gained much confidence back and for my EMT exam I was perfectly calm. I was able to control any nerves I might have normally had. I walked in without a single butterfly or fast breathing. I heard what was being said to me and I was able to access the patients and do what I knew to do. What I had trained to do.
EMT exams are not life threatening, but many people were paralyzed by their fears that night and were unable to perform(look Judy spelled it right:) and they did not pass. All of these little things like test taking, public speaking, making phone calls, taking risks, they add to our quality of life or take from it. Fear limits us so many times in our everyday average life. Being able to conquer it adds to a better quality even if one never ever has a bad guy encounter. Although, the skills come in might handy just in case one does have a bad guy encounter.
Wonder if my husband is in the mood to “fight”…