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Monday, October 4, 2010

Survival of the fittest


Most fights are won or lost in 60 seconds. Attitude, training, physical fitness all work together to attain the “higher ground” aka a dominating position. Does that mean that the fight is over in 60 seconds? Hell no! They can go on for a lot longer than that. But if you are still “winning” in your mind and attitude, you won’t give up. You will keep on fighting until an opening appears and you take it. Always look for a way out.
When you first get attacked you are still functioning at 100%. 10-15 seconds into it, your physical abilities have decreased by 10%. 30 seconds into it, you are down to 55% of your capacities. In 60 seconds, you only have 35% of your steam left.
When you first get confronted by a high risk situation, your sympathetic nervous system kicks in your fight and flight response. Among other things, large amount of adrenaline gets dumped into your system. This is a survival phenomena as old as time. Your body will go into a mode that will shut down what it does not need for immediate survival and increase the functions that it does need. You will experience vasoconstriction, increase in heart rate, breathing. Your body will draw the extra energy from the smaller muscle groups, the forebrain, the 5 senses and give it to the larger muscle group needed to accomplish the task. Thus you will lose fine motor skills (finger gripping), the power of reasoning or critical thinking, peripheral vision and possibly hearing. Basically your body will take everything it has and focus its energy into a condensed burst. This explain all the “little things” happening while you are under duress: tunnel vision, distorted hearing, loss of finger grip, mind going blank, loss of memory and so on.
You can function in that state very well but only for so long. Soon you will burn out or shut down.
This is a reason why training is so important. If this fight or flight” feeling is new to you, it can be very overwhelming. It will make you panic, freeze up. Your heart rate will increase much faster and you will need recovery much quicker. Thus you will gas up and give up a lot sooner because you will be incapable of physically and mentally go any further. If you are more familiar with the feeling, if you are used to train in a high stress zone, if you are able to ‘control” it better, it will take longer for you to reach your peak, thus you will last a lot longer, hopefully longer than your opponent. Remember he is going through the same fight and flight stress phenomena as you. You will be able to think clearer, stay calmer, see things that need to be seen. Compare this to running. If you have never ran before you most likely would not be able to run a marathon. You’d probably be lucky to run ½ mile without your heart exploding out of your chest. But if you train regularly and properly a marathon would be a much easier task that you would be able to complete and survive.
Survival of the fittest is not just about physical fitness but also mental and emotional fitness.

1 comment:

  1. Kasey Keckeisen October 4 at 9:34am

    "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer."
    -George S. Patton