Controlling the Fight or Flight Response Before Combat

Controlling the Fight or Flight Response Before Combat

If you are in a situation where you need to defend yourself from an attacker, you will definitely experience what is known as combat stress. This experience will then trigger what is known as the fight or flight response. It refers to the natural way of how our body reacts whenever faced with danger. It is called fight or flight because it presents us with two possible ways of responding, either to flee or run away from the attacker or to face the source of threat and fight.

Controlling the fight or flight response before combat is one of the goals of training for self defense or martial arts and, often, it can spell the difference between being harmed or killed and living for another day.

Discovered by Harvard physiologist Walter Canon, the fight or flight response is a reaction that is wired in our brains and it is actually very useful because it can keep us from being harmed.

Whenever we are in a fight or flight situation, our minds become more alert and we are more able to recognise the potential threats surrounding us. This means that if we are under attack, the response will put us in a better position to defend ourselves by being able to anticipate the strikes.

The same response will also help us recognise if an attacker is too powerful for us or we are not in the position to fight. In such a case, then mind will tell the body that it is much better to flee for the sake of our survival.

Controlling the fight or flight response before combat is still important though even though it is extremely useful. Sometimes, people can get trapped in a survival mode and the result can be less than desirable.

When we are stressed, we see everything and everyone as a threat even those that do not really pose any real danger. Under such a situation, it is also impossible for people to think clearly and to make sound judgments. This is because all of his mental powers are reserved for the use of surviving the perceived danger. Such a situation may be advantageous if one is in a fight. But without real danger, it can only cause unwarranted stress. Not to mention that quality of life is affected when a person is always under an elevated state of awareness.

Stress in itself is a dangerous thing. The flight or fight response triggers the release of stress hormones which can cause a number of disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure and headaches.

To much stress can also affect the immune system which can lead to conditions such as depression, allergies and infections.

This is the reason why controlling the fight or flight response before combat is very important. One of the things that separate the best fighters in the worlds from the mediocre ones is the ability to control this response.

The key to controlling stress is to induce relaxation of the body and mind. This can be achieved through various methods that can be learned from studying proper self-defense techniques and the use of your forms with in the Wing Chun system.

Sifu Alan:

Wing Chun Halesowen’s Instructor, Sifu Alan has been involved in martial arts since 1992. Sifu Alan holds a Level 2 Coaches Certificate through the BCCMA, and has a passion and dedication for the passing on of the martial art of Wing Chun. Sifu Alan offers a unique approach to learning, utilising aspects of both physical and psychological aspects of training to help the student fully understand the reasons behind their training. Sifu Alan does not want the “copy as I do” approach, he wants his students to know, feel and understand what they can do within the Wing Chun System.
Sifu Alan is CRB checked and registered to work with children and young adults.

MIDLANDS WING CHUN KUEN – Director: Grandmaster Ip Chun, Chief Instructor: Si-Fu S. Rawcliffe All Midlands Wing Chun Kuen Instructors are Registered Members of: British Council for Chinese Martial Arts (BCCMA), Sports Coach UK ~ The National Coaching Foundation and Ving Tsun Athletic Association in Hong Kong.


Wing Chun Kung Fu Halesowen

Wing Chun Kung Fu Halesowen