The first step in self protection is getting beyond Normalcy Bias.
Normalcy Bias is condition of the brain that believes all is fine (mostly because we have not experienced this level of stress,danger or trauma).
Those who believe in preparedness, Martial Arts being only one level, understand that the future is not at all or always safe or secure. Leading other people to this comprehension is difficult, but it isn't something you can debate. This survival mechanism is not based on logic or rational thought, it is the brain that seeks to normalize the thoughts of terrifying events, drastic events or escalating possibilities... it simply prevents most people from accepting the realities no matter how obvious or directly presented. The overwhelming urge for the psyche, even under trauma, is to believe that everything will return to Normal.
However as self protection professionals, we are responsible for helping those that seek it in the most efficient and real method possible. We don’t have the luxury of looking at a catastrophe before us and saying over and over again, “I can’t believe this is happening. If our families and clients can not rely on us to ready them, or take charge when all hell is breaking loose, who can they depend on?
Let's face it Law enforcement and first responders will not be there in time to prevent or stop a situation. If it is more mass oriented like a mall shooter or gang, emergency units will are quickly overwhelmed, and your family or client will not be their priority. Normalcy Bias can place yourself and others in our charge in grave danger.
Let's start with some ways to start conditioning our minds to accept the unacceptable.
1. Acknowledge the uncertainty of our future and that you can not fully protect against disaster, but at least be proactive in preparing to do the best you can.
2. Face facts, don’t hide from them, acknowledge your limits, only when you face reality can you prepare for it.
3. Trust your instincts, anything can change instantly, prepare and instincts will develop.
4. Start, don't ignore the need... procrastination is a symptom of Normalcy Bias.
5. Do not let yourself get overwhelmed with how much you need to do, just proceed in the right direction.
6. Work with others to prepare with, this will strengthen your resolve and continuation.
7. Over prepare, never under prepare.
8. Work on as many variables as possible, nothing will be as you prepared for it so the more variance you are used to the better.
9. Do not allow preparation to consume you, this is great practice when the time comes that you can see greater scope than restricted focus.
10. Always act quickly and decisively on never allow a situation to place you on the defensive.
11. Be physically fit to endure the challenges, this will in turn feed the mental strength you will call on.
An additional preparedness tool is learning how to use normalcy Bias to your advantage. If we understand that 95% of the people suffer from varying levels of Normalcy Bias, we can then predict how they will act and react (or not) in severe circumstance or situation. As an example you are being attacked and many are around, you can assume no one will jump in to save you.. they will stare on in disbelief and not be able to move. If a fire breaks out, all will follow a leader, no matter where they lead, steer clear do not get caught up or trampled by the mindless. Or if a flash mob starts your escape will be more assured as you will have thought this through before and have conditioned your mind for this possibility and escape from it.
This is a developed mindset, but you must start... not everything is safe and wonderful, you are only a thought away from surviving or perishing in a disaster.
So what does this have to do with Kyusho?
Most people learn Kyusho as a believed secret that makes them more powerful and safe. They are convinced that their new found prowess will protect them from all and that just knowing Kyusho and miscellaneous information pertaining to it, will be all they need. They train more on mental accumulation of un-associated information from an incongruous paradigm (Traditional Chinese Medicine) that is also completely inaffectual. They are taught and train with inordinate complexity rather than utter simplicity,with far more information than training. They neglect dynamic and stressful training to properly prepare to be able to actually use it in time of need.
This is evident as most Kyusho sessions are a standing technique or a scripted technique based in which the actions are all predictable. This not only does NOT train you to respond accurately and definitively under severe situations, it ingrains deeper Normalcy Bias. To combat this malady when training; use simple dynamic, spontaneous and increasingly stressful training methods:
- Avoid complex actions
- Do not try to do a specific technique
- Understand your body will suffer restrictions in movement
- Have a mission
- Expect the unexpected
If you are not training your Kyusho this way, you are actually ingraining a Normalcy Bias Tendancy.
Please see: "Situational Awareness"...