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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Do not give in to the dark side

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

I was watching Stan Lee’s superheroes episode when Steve Santini made an appearance. Steve is a master escapologist. But what makes him stand out is that he first puts himself in a “saw” type situation, where if he doesn’t escape he will suffer a painful debilitating death (impailed, stabbed,..). They had an EMT hook him up to a heart rate monitor during the entire process. During the beginning phase when he gets secured in the “trap”, his heart rate went up to 109, not incredibly high but definitely higher than resting pulse. When the dangerous part of the escape came by, Steve was able to slow his heart rate down to 73 bpm. This allowed him the ease of a more focus mind and steadier hands.
I saw another TV shows that were in the same lines: Fight Science: the Navy Seals. They had a Navy Seal do a predetermined course where he had to use all his navy seals skills, from running, climbing, balancing, crawling, shooting accurately, and making the difference between a good guy and a bad guy. They had a base guideline from having the same course done but other people. After the Navy Seal did the course incredibly well (faster and more accurately than the base guideline) he was to submerge in an icy bath for 45 minutes. Normally 10 minutes of this treatment will deteriorate anyone’s physical skills. After the 45 minute icy bath, he was to repeat the same course he did before. He was able to not only complete it successfully but he increased his performance time by only a few seconds. The majority of people would not have been able to do any of the fine motor skills like balancing and shooting. He performed extremely well.
What those 2 stories have in common? Training. Training your mind and body to respond well under extreme stress. It is not only possible, it is necessary for survival in a life and death self defense situation. The better you are at functioning under stress, the faster you will respond properly to a stressful situation, and the least likely you will be to freeze under pressure.
While you don’t have to go to the training extreme of a navy seal, you can still train well and appropriately.
In Yoda’s wise words, learn control while you experiencing fear, learn to experience less “suffering”. Do not give in to the dark side.

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