TRAINING THE REFLEX’S ??
I was recently reading a book called “ZEN and the BRAIN” by Doctor James H. Austin M.D. It has nothing to do with Wing Chun or any Martial Arts for that matter, but it does go into some depth on Human Conditioning, as I have often stated I am very concerned by a lot of the claims from many Schools that state their methods train your Nervous System, or that they help you to respond automatically to Dangerous Stimulus, if this is so it is definitely Human Conditioning.
To be expected a lot of the text is a bit dry and academic but there is a section that talks quite a lot about the Russian Physiologist Ivan Pavlov and his world famous work with his Dogs that for many years were the Baseline for all behavioural studies.
Here is a cut from the Book.
What about the unlearning, and deconditioning of established habits? Could even more drastic measures actually reverse the brain’s conditioned responses after they had once been well-established? It was purely by chance, during the major Leningrad flood of 1924, that Pavlov discovered answers to these questions. 1 When flood waters surged high into Pavlov’s kennels, his terrified dogs, still in their cages, had to paddle for their lives, nostrils held barely above high water level. Many of the survivors, rescued in the nick of time from this major stressful circumstance, then broke down, following a pattern resembling the state of shock shown by many human survivors.
Before the flood, Pavlov had already trained one group of his dogs to show certain positively conditioned behaviour patterns. After the flood, he retested his dogs. To his surprise, he found that the particular dogs who had broken down had unlearned their new tricks. Something had caused them to “forget.” Some- thing about their profound excitement and state of shock seemed to have washed away those conditioned responses that he had previously worked so hard to implant.
p329 . Zen and the Brain, James Austin.
I realise that the stress levels these poor Dogs endured where extreme, but in my own experience having “Nasty Blokes” trying to cause serious injury to me was pretty stressful as well.
Pavlov himself mentions that the symptoms shown by the Animals resembled similar Human Shock, and anyone that has actually been in a “Real” Violent encounter will know that violence is shock causing.
The implications are that there is a very good chance that if you were attacked and the stress levels were high enough you would actually forget all of your training.
Y.M.M.V. THE “D” MAN.