Fight, flight, or freeze. Your body will choose one as a response in a traumatic situation (e.g. Home invasion, mugging, medical emergency). Do you know which one will come out of you? The fact is that no one knows until it happens, even folks that train in self-defense (sorry, no ego-stroking here). A large number of people fall into flight or freeze, even with training. According to recent studies, it seems that our responses could be partially dictated by our genetics. We're also finding that genetics, through habit-forming practices and healthy living, are more malleable than we once thought. It was found that those that trained in self-defense had a small increase in fight response. In my opinion, any percentage of increase in fight response is an increase to the likelihood of survival. The important thing to remember is that not all situations call for a fight response. Supposing a response DOES call for defense/fight response, we need to train in a way that closely mimics the stress of an actual traumatic encounter. Why? See the info-graphic below. As the threat level increases, our capacity to respond appropriately decreases.
This is all just another reason why our programs at Hood's Martial Arts Academy, specifically, Combat Fitness, are important. You need to know how your body and brain will respond when your physicality has already been taxed. A person needs to practice skills in a state of exhaustion. While the study states exercise does not arouse the same response as a traumatic situation, likely because certain hormones (e.g. Adrenaline) aren't at similar levels, combining high-intensity exercise with self-defense training is one of the best/most accessible options we have to prepare and mimic response in trauma.
With our program, not only will you find that point regularly, but you'll also raise your threshold where negative effects kick in (i.e. It will require more-than-typical stress for your BPM to raise, allowing you to keep your faculties longer in worsening scenarios), better preparing you for those scary situations. If you don't live in our area (Salem/Willamette Valley, Oregon), I encourage you to find a martial arts/self-defense program that includes a high-intensity conditioning component. No. Sorry, programs like cardio-kickboxing and TaeBo don't count. To maximize realistic response, you need to hit and be hit (at least have a real perceived threat of being hit).
Remember: Be healthy. Be safe.
(For additional perspective on realistic response, check out this article.)
Sifu Caleb Hood is a martial arts instructor at Hood's Martial Arts Academy in Salem, Oregon. He currently offers classes in Kajukenbo Tum Pai and Yang style Tai Chi. He has experience training people from all age groups and ability levels. He is always eager to share the arts he practices with anyone that has a good attitude and a willingness to work hard. In addition to teaching self-defense through martial arts, Sifu Hood also promotes a healthy lifestyle, emphasizing healthy physical habits, as well as healthy mental habits. To learn more about the classes offered by Sifu Hood, or about the art of Kajukenbo Tum Pai or Tai Chi, visit the Hood's Martial Arts Academy website here.