TTAG Commentator A Critic writes:
Fight, flight, and freeze are all forms of panic. The first two are panic driving your actions. The third is panic stopping your actions. None of these are desirable in an emergency. One should always remember the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe and practice the first and most important rule for gunfighting: DON’T PANIC . . .
I’ve read maybe four dozen books on martial arts and combat. My favorite is “Combat Strategy” by Hanho, a South Korean special forces type. There isn’t anything original in the book, it’s just the fundamentals I picked up piecemeal, and figured out on my own, laid out in a logical concise well explained order.
Conflict between opposing forces. This is the most universal definition of combat. The concept of combat is that of opposition, resistance, competition, discord. And in many instances, this is the reality. Most conflict is born of animosity, anger, fear, hate or another negative emotion.
But there is another type of combat, that of warriors, those trained in the art of combat, not just the skills. They may begin the fight out of emotion, but once they engage the opponent, emotion disappears. It is replaced by total concentration and dedication to a single ideal – victory.
At its highest levels, combat is comprised of two forces moving not against each other, but in harmony with each other. They are not compelled by emotions or fears. They are in full control of their actions and understand the actions of their opponent. Like a physical game of chess, they plan many moves in advance and estimate their opponent’s actions and reactions based on training, experience and intuition. This combat is beyond the combat of conflict.
But what is the difference between beating the opponent with an emotional attack or beating him with a well composed mind? The results are the same. Each method will make the fighter victorious if he has the physical skills to apply. But what if he doesn’t? What if he faces a highly skilled or physically superior opponent? Anger alone will not carry him to victory.
When the opponent is superior in any way, the untrained fighter will have great difficulty in defeating him. The skilled fighter will have a dramatic advantage, allowing him to overcome his disadvantages and turn them into advantages. He will coordinate his skills to attack the most vulnerable parts of the opponent and defeat him with a minimum of effort. This is where combat becomes harmony within conflict. Harmony inside oneself and harmony with one’s surroundings. The skilled fighter trains not to oppose his opponent, but to flow with him.
This does not mean that he is passive. He has a set strategy for fighting, but he is not confined by it. If he finds a better way, he can adapt any time. He does not resist the rhythm and flow of the fight itself.
– Combat Strategy by Hanho
That is the fourth and superior option. Rather than reacting as an animal would, we have the capacity to develop and prepare ourselves to respond on a higher and better level.
There was a dramatic example of this in Mexico not too long ago. A former cop killed three out of four heavily armed and determined home invaders with a .380. I believe he was later ambushed and killed in retribution, for which there is often little to nothing you can do.
When this man was attacked in his home though he obviously didn’t freeze or flee – and since he was able to use a .380 in an extremely lethal manner (unless he got damn lucky) he didn’t panic either. He entered the harmonious combat mindset and was victorious.
Think about it. If you are home carrying and four guys break in wearing body armor carrying AK type weapons do you really think you are going to be able to kill 3/4 with your 9mm XD while you enter the panicked fight reaction in which your motor skills go to hell? Is it really a good idea to plan on being incapacitated when you need to have full access to all of your resources?
Self Defense Tip: DON’T PANIC