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Stress During an Attack

If you have never been the victim of a violent attack, you may be surprised by the involuntary physical reactions that your body experiences during times of real or perceived threats of imminent danger. These physical changes occur rapidly and automatically and are a result of the release of the hormone, adrenaline, into your bloodstream. The first changes that will take place, almost immediately, are an increase in your heart rate and respiration, which occur in order to provide more oxygen and blood to your brain and muscles, the dilation of your pupils in order to take in more light and to see the threat more clearly, and the tightening of your muscles. You may also begin sweating, which occurs as a way for your body to cool itself in response to the heat generated as your body gets ready to contend with an attacker, and your muscles can begin trembling, making it much more difficult to sit, stand, and to control your body. Although the trembling may appear to be a sign of fear, it is actually the result of excess adrenaline. Adrenaline provides your body with a mechanism to heighten your senses, increase strength, and deal with stressful and dangerous situations, but it can also lead you to overreact to sudden stimulus as well.

During a violent attack, your body will also experience more dramatic involuntary reactions, such as the loss of fine motor skills, tunnel vision, auditory exclusion, and time dilation. Although these reactions may have evolved as survival mechanisms in our ancient ancestors to better focus all of their senses and concentration on sources of danger, such as animal attacks, when dealing with one or more intelligent or determined assailants, these involuntary reactions do not provide us with much benefit.

The loss of fine motor skills can take many different forms and will affect everyone differently, but it will make the most simple and mundune tasks almost impossible, during times of stress. Tunnel vision is a phenomenon in which you become focused almost exclusively on a perceived threat and you become almost oblivious to any and everything else that is going on within your visual field. Although it is important to know what an attacker is about to do and to attempt to focus on his/her movements, it is also important to be able to see and be aware of your entire surroundings. Learning to deal with and overcome tunnel vision is absolutely essential in order to effectively defend yourself against an attacker. Through proper training, tunnel vision can be broken.

Auditory exclusion is a condition in which extraneous sounds may become inaudible. In other words, sounds that are eminating from outside of your visual perception and even those from within it, may go unheard or may come through as merely an inaudible whisper.  The effects of auditory exclusion can be partially counteracted by screaming to or at your attacker. This action can allow you to break through the auditory exclusion, as well as possibly surprise or intimidate your attacker. Remember that your attacker will also be under stress during an attack and may be experiencing auditory exclusion as well.

Another physical response that your body is likely to experience during a violent attack is time dilation. Time dilation is the perception of time slowing down, causing your movements and the movements of the assailant to appear as if they are occurring in slow motion. When experiencing time dilation, you will likely also lose your ability to accurately determine the passage of time. In other words, an attack that took less than 30 seconds may seem like it went on for an hour.

Although it is impossible to completely avoid involuntary physical reactions during times of stress and violent attacks, with the proper mindset and self-defense training, you can learn how to overcome stress and respond to an attack immediately and instinctively. The quicker you react, the easier it will be to control the fight and overcome your attacker or attackers. Take control of your mind and body. Don't be the next victim. Learn how to defend yourself today.

For more information on our Krav Maga and Defence Lab/DNA Fight Science Training, check out our website at www.kmfchicago.com or call us at 773-305-7657.

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