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Thread: Hicks Law???

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    Christina05's Avatar
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    Default Hicks Law???

    I was doing some thinking today about response time in threatening situations. How do you cope, how do you respond, how do you react, and how much time it takes before you commit to a tactic or technique.These were just a few of the millions of questions I had running thru my brain this morning. Then I remember reading some stuff on response time and hicks law. here were some things I came across any input would be greatly appreciated

    Variables to take into consideration in a self defense situation
    *Increased adrenalin and heart rate
    *Increased Respirations
    *pupil dilation
    * sense of time and space distorted
    ( I know I'm missing a lot more feel free to add)
    Which in return affect your performance in some of the following ways
    * Loss of complex motor skills, Tunnel vision, Hearing may become impaired,loss of depth perception, and either an increase or decrease in reaction and response time.
    We all know reaction time increases significantly when you must decide which response or technique is most important for that particular threat.
    and some say it takes 58% more time to pick between two choices but only takes a second to choose a tactic. I was just wondering what everyones thought on the subject matter was.

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    Default Re: Hicks Law???

    You bring up some relevant points...good on ya for taking the time to consider this stuff. (for some info that will go hand-in-hand with what you have already mentioned, do some research on Col. John Boyd and the "O.O.D.A. Loop").

    It is for the reasons you touched on (physical and mental effects of an adreneline dump) that in the self-defense class I teach, I focus on mindset and general tactical principles rather than on specific techniques. For example, instead of having a an answer (technique) for each problem, I prefer to use methods that will be effective for a variety of situations. I also tend to prefer techniques that employ gross motor skills rather than fine motor skills which are probably going to degrade under stress.
    The test: "Will this work so that I can use it instinctively in vital combat against an opponent who is determined to prevent me from doing so, and who is striving to eliminate me by fair means or foul?" ~ Col. Rex Applegate

    Matt K.

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    Default Re: Hicks Law???

    I focus on tactical breathing (deep breaths), solid stance and muscle relaxation, awareness. I'll put students under stress (in a controlled learning enviroment) and I encourage the naturall reactions that come from thier bodies. Some pause or stop when they think they have failed to execute a tech properly, but I explain the techs help get the motion of Kenpo into thier mind and body. Through repition the motion becomes more precise and disciplined and eventually the techs disappear and effective overall self defense developes.

    As for the stress- I'll have them face an opponent for 2 minutes under mulitple attacks (to get thier heart rate up and a little tired), give them a 15 second break and they go again with a different student (height, weight, skill, etc.) and i see the gross motor skills take over and encourage good self defense "reactions" and expose any gaps I may see in them to help them improve. Then everyone switches roles and we do it again for three cycles. Great cardio and break from techs.

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    Default Re: Hicks Law???

    Quote Originally Posted by IRONGATOR View Post
    I focus on tactical breathing (deep breaths), solid stance and muscle relaxation, awareness. I'll put students under stress (in a controlled learning enviroment) and I encourage the naturall reactions that come from thier bodies. Some pause or stop when they think they have failed to execute a tech properly, but I explain the techs help get the motion of Kenpo into thier mind and body. Through repition the motion becomes more precise and disciplined and eventually the techs disappear and effective overall self defense developes.

    As for the stress- I'll have them face an opponent for 2 minutes under mulitple attacks (to get thier heart rate up and a little tired), give them a 15 second break and they go again with a different student (height, weight, skill, etc.) and i see the gross motor skills take over and encourage good self defense "reactions" and expose any gaps I may see in them to help them improve. Then everyone switches roles and we do it again for three cycles. Great cardio and break from techs.

    Thats an excellent way to train.

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    bujuts is offline
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    Default Re: Hicks Law???

    1) Practice engaging the mind to a combat state. The mind requires practice just as the body does. This is best done with a physical exciter, an initial motion of the of the body to bring it into rapid alignment, to bring the weapons into battery - literally engage the mind into attack mode.

    2) Eliminate the whole idea of reacting to given attacks with a prescribed technique - to think we could do so is a folly. By constantly "reading" attacks we will always be in a reactionary and defensive mindset. A person can become easily swarmed this way.

    3) Maintain an erect spinal carriage. Proper posture maximizes the capacity of the lungs, and this brings in more oxygen to the brain to help override the physical adrenaline dump that accompanies fear and chaos. Proper breathing through upright posture increases our ability to think clearly and reduce tunnel vision. The human being is designed to operate upright, period.

    4) Learn to be proactive. Kenpo is about attacking the attack. Lessons from techniques, forms, etc. are just that - lessons. We must dissect and ingest these to become the predator, not the defender, as we defend our peace.

    5) Understand "peace protection" vs. "self defense". If someone is after you, you can be "defensive". If someone is after your child, you will have a different frame of mind, and its not defensive at all. Be able to adopt this frame of mind instantaneously.

    6) Understand that your performance under true life threatening stress will be a fraction of the talent and precision you normally operate with. Only training can increase your odds. It takes a tremendous amount of overtraining - always be skeptical when assessing your skills, envision fighting your worst nightmare, not your equal.

    Good topic,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: Hicks Law???

    The 'techniques' of Kenpo are training drills, not a list to be chosen from in combat.
    If you train in the techniques, then you're response will flow (be spontaneous) when the poo hits the fan.

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    Default Re: Hicks Law???

    Hick's law has been debated in martial arts circles for years. What the discussion really comes down to is the difference between explicit and implicit memory. If I'm not mistaken, in essence what Hick's Law states is that a person's reaction time goes up exponentially based on the number of choices. It assumes a cognitive process that entails a mental review of all learned options, or explicit memory.

    Technique based martial arts system, properly trained, rely on developing implicit memory; or more accurately a form of implicit memory called procedural memory. An example of everyday procedural memory would be tying your shoes. Once learned and repeated frequently you no longer have to think about the process itself, you just do it. A popular martial/sports term for this process is muscle memory.

    A couple of years ago I posted a non-technical summary on another forum concerning this issue. I'll include what I said here. Maybe it will help, take it for what it's worth.

    “When the fertilizer hits the ventilator effective self defense lies in the ability to recognize relative body position. The method of learning by techniques allows the individual to be exposed to various, numerous, countless (you choose the appropriate word) body positions. The repetitive nature of proper training techniques on a basic level give you more tools for the tool box; on an advanced level training techniques allow the mind to recognize at faster and faster intervals these body positions, eventually developing to the point where the response will become almost anticipatory in nature. Whether you using the term grafting or the phrase 'blending and borrowing' which I'm fond of, it all comes down to recognizing body position and the changes in body positions and being able to deal with it.”

    The question lies in how long does this recognition takes. Because proper training actually develops the implicit memory, the time lag that Hick's describes isn't applicable. I emphasize proper training because many times people will learn a plethora of techniques, yet learn none of them well enough or train them repetitively enough to burn the movements into implicit memory. This results in the famous “freeze” where mental shutdown occurs when an encounter happens. It's because much of the technique memory is still explicit and the individual doesn't know what to choose.

    A popular way to think of this would be to consider video game enthusiasts. When they first begin to learn a game starting, dying, and restarting is frequent. But as they learn the game they know where everything occurs and their response time actually decreases exponentially. As we learn body positions and body responses our reaction time, properly trained, should decrease exponentially as well.

    Just another voice crying in the Kenpo wilderness...

    Respects,
    Bill Parsons
    Triangle Kenpo Institute
    Last edited by bdparsons; 07-09-2007 at 01:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Hicks Law???

    Good advice very insightful.

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    Default Re: Hicks Law???

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    The 'techniques' of Kenpo are training drills, not a list to be chosen from in combat.
    Your Brother
    John
    Awesome quote. That should be on a "quotes" page or list some where.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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