The Pressure of Many (diary entry)

2 on 1 vw23.06.20

Tonight’s teacher training to the form of a consultation lesson. My client wished to progress with various teaching methods and concepts I have found to be effective in my career.

Tunnel Vision Under Pressure

When we normally address inattentional blindness we do so from a soft skills perspective. This is usually part of pre-fight training. Tests like the Monkey Business Illusion demonstrate how we can miss abrupt and important changes when we are not expecting them but when we are looking for something else. Under pressure we experience another type of blindness that is somewhat comparable with inattentional blindness. Tunnel vision begins to occur when our heart beats per minute increase over 160. This is also often accompanied by auditory exclusion as we enter into Condition Grey.

A good way to test this tunnel vision is to set up a target in front of a student and have two other target holders stand at the extent of the student’s peripheral vision. The student is instructed to keep striking the target continuously and with a sense of urgency. Meanwhile, they are to keep an eye on the two other target holders who will lift a focus mitt up randomly. The student strikes the other targets when they see them. At the front one or two adjudicators count the number of times the targets are missed. As the coach shouts words of encouragement they should also say a few random words or even instructions to see without changing their tone.

The exercise is first designed to show how various senses deteriorate with increased stress, but it can also be re-taken with a better prepared student now periodically pausing to check their peripheral targets. This prepares them for dealing with sneak attacks.

The Judas Line-up

The Judas Line-up is a typical example of just such a sneak attack. One coach assumes the role of the interviewer, the typical line-up for a pre-emptive strike off the fence. Another coach, the “Judas”, then comes in from a peripheral angle of vision. This is typically first coached with the Judas being seen as the threat and the student striking this target once it comes into vision and into the student’s personal space. The interview coach is then struck immediately afterwards, rebounding off the peripheral target. The drill can then be progressed with either of the two coaches coming first into the personal space. The key for all coaches is to ensure the student does not start adjusting their start position so that they are between the two targets and standing side on.

The Value of Competitive Stress

An interesting side topic was the value of competition in relation to desensitising students for self-protection situations. This also has relevance with sport competition. Stress can only be replicated so far through physical exertion and even hard sparring or pressure-testing. The chemical cocktail needs to be properly activated in order for a student to understand their psychological and physiological responses to violence. This can be managed via competitive style sparring and pressure-tests, literally performing in front of an audience or a team-setting.

, , ,