Visualizing scenarios?

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Visualizing scenarios?

Post  BN on Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:50 am

Hi Steve,

When talking about the training you do at Primal, it's clear that you are training your guys to be able to fight. Point. Not necessarily in a ring or cage, but also anywhere they may be attacked.

So my question is, in your own training when you are shadow fighting, or just thinking about situations, do you ask yourself 'What if" type questions and try to answer them?

For instance, What if I am out with my family and I need to fight? Or What if I need to fight whilst in my car? I mean the kinds of scenarios that a lot of people on self protection dot com think about/plan for. Imagining situations in various locations, at various times of day ect and then visualizing a response?

I would regard this kind of preparation as important if someone wants to be able to fight/defend themsleves in the real world. If you disagree, or don't do this kind of visualization/questioning, please explain why.

Thanks,

Dylan
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  Rob Mac on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:14 am

Dylan, butting in here but I'm sure Steve will delete it if not applicable. We just train to fight, and don't do scenario training anymore. We just train and fight to win, whether your family are there or not, whether your in the ring or not, to me/us the priciples are the same, beat them and don't stop until they lose or ref stops it or the police nick you. Cheers Rob.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  BN on Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:04 am

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the response. May I ask why you decided to drop scenario training? Do you think that your responses in a "street" situation would be as sharp, with or without it? I remember from some of your past posts that you are an MMA guy, and don't worry about "the street" per se (correct me if I am wrong). My base is the MMA philosophy as well.

My whole reason for posting this question is that a lot of instructors, seem to place a great deal of importance on scenario stuff in order to be ready for the myriad of possibilities in the real world.

My fear would be that by concentrating on fighting, to the exclusion of other options in training, I may develop a "if my only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail" mentality.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  Rob Mac on Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:18 am

Dylan, I don't want to hijack the thread so I'll pm you mate.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  steve morris on Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:15 am

I'll get back to you on this Dylan
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  BN on Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:14 pm

Thanks Steve, I look forward to your response.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  steve morris on Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:48 am

I think the evidence is conclusive that visualizing something before you do it improves performance, psychologically, physiologically and physically. When it comes to fighting, though, the problem lies in being set to see it through to its conclusion, no matter what happens. Whether it's hot-blooded or cold-blooded, you have to be able to set yourself to knock him out, or beat him senseless while he's trying to do the same to you. That requires something out of the ordinary. Until you've got that, all the scenarios in the world aren't going to help.

And once you have that ability to set for the fight, then no matter where it is or when or who, you're able to fight. But without it, all you know how to do is run scenarios.

'What if' this and 'what if' that is irrelevant. All you need to know is you've got the gun, it's loaded full mag, safety's off, and you're prepared to use it. That's where you've first got to get in this fucking game. Then you can start going about figuring out how to adapt it for different usage. But making the assumption that because you're running scenarios and getting through them, that you can survive a real encounter, that's a dangerous assumption. First you've got to be the loaded gun.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  BN on Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:13 am

That's very helpful, thanks. It's important to build the man on a fundamental level. Without that, you have nothing.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  Rob Mac on Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:14 am

Butting in again...That's exactly the conclusion I've FINALLY come to.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  Ken Fortunato on Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:45 am

Yup! That's pretty much where I'm coming from.

In a world of sheep and wolves, I guess I'm a bear. Cool Laughing

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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  Rob Mac on Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:45 pm

The thing is it's one thing understanding (Steve's comments above) but to me that's just the first part of what is going to be a lifetime of constantly testing yourself and pushing yourself to the limit and beyond. I've just finished teaching a class and I'm absolutely fucked. Tommorow morning I'll be up at 6.00am doing hill sprints and then a short bag work before starting work, loading blocks and shovelling sand on a building site. Then training again on Friday again on Sunday. I'm not telling you this to give it the big I am, because to be quite honest I need to be doing more but it is a big part of your life taken up and you do need to ask yourself how far are you prepared to go.
Without getting too cheesy I do however believe that 'Morris Method'/attitude whatever is something you can use in everything you do i.e don't just go the whole nine yards, fuck it do some more. Whether it be work, being a dad,whatever you want to do. Edit this if you think I'm totally off the mark Steve, but this is what I've got from your stuff and I haven't even trained with you yet. From your Dvds and the stuff you've posted here/on your site I've gleened so much and it's paying off. I think there's alot of people who will ignore the truth about training etc simply because they are scared to put in the work. Sorry to go on but there you go, rant over. Cheers Rob Mac
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  Rob Dick on Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:52 am

I couldn't agree more Rob Mac,
From what I've seen over the years, and it seems even more preverlant these days, is that you have your hard training serious guys, who eat correctly, train hard, and get the correct rest, in general these guys are walking around fit to fight at any time, and they have at least a gun to load.
Then there's what I believe is the majority of todays practising martial artistist's, who spend, twice as much time hitting the key board than the bag, eat crap, and look & perform crap.
They are just not in shape to fight, a vicious exchange and you know they will crumble, they haven't got a gun worth loading.
You can have all the scenario's in the world, locked inside your head, but if the delivery system isn't primed, they just won't come out, when the shit hits the fan.
I believe it's really hard work day upon day, to not only be in shape, but to move forward & keep trying to improve your lot, and I just don't see that commitement in a lot of guys.
They would rather just talk, and it seems to me that's where a lot of guys seem to get the wrong idea with Steve, sure he's very intellegent & articulate, but at the end of the day it wasn't theorizing, that produce the fighter he is, it was bloody hard work, day in day out, year upon year.
For me it's all about that hard consistant work, do it and you can only improve.I
If your not prepared to,find another less demanding past time, because wheather in training or a confrontation away from the gym your going to get hurt.

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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  steve morris on Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:47 am

My philosophy has always been, do nothing in half measures. I fight in fuck-it gear, and I train in fuck-it gear. And I try to pass that intensity on to the guys I train.

I see so many so-called martial arts instructors, traditional and modern, who just walk around talking. When I come out of that session, I'm soaking wet.

A lot of what I see when I look at clips of people teaching martial arts is what I've started to call the British Airways School of Martial Arts. In other words, it looks like those demonstrations the airline stewardesses give at the beginning of a flight, showing you where the exits are and miming how to take down your oxygen mask. All very reassuring, but if I'm going to teach you to fight, I don't want to reassure you. I want to take you to that chaos and teach you how to become the order within it. You're in control.

Most other instructors seem to do it the other way round. They have an authoritative air, and everything they teach is organized and prescribed in an orderly way, but the fight is nothing like that. So whatever mindset the student is developing within this type of instructional framework, it's nothing to do with the reality.

We talk about the gun, but I try to show you not only how to build your gun, but how that bullet explodes, and can keep exploding. A lot of so-called bullets out there are slo-mo. The instructor isn't even experienced at exploding, he doesn't even know how to go for broke, and so he can't pass that on to his student. And when I see the students, it's obvious to me that they haven't been given that example. Once I give them that example, they go up another level.

So to both Robs: yes I agree with your posts, but there's something more. It's about going for broke, letting go, and seeing what happens. That's how I've trained the whole of my life. And I just did a course up in Nottingham this weekend and I glimpsed myself in the mirror, I was drenched.

I think what you get in martial arts a lot of times is what I call 'Old Man Martial Arts' where the guy has reached a rank and age where he holds authority, but he's unable to move anymore (if he ever could) and so his instruction just becomes a lot of yap. No actual demonstration of this repetitive needed violent explosion required of a fight. And unlike a good boxing coach, who has aggressive trainees to do the physical work for him, and who knows how to bring out and encourage the fighter's natural aggression, these martial arts instructors actually teach their students to perform in the same repressed manner as they do.

That's not martial arts. You wouldn't win no war or fight with that approach.

As you can see, guys, this is a subject I like to talk about. I've got a lot of experience of it, and a lot of the material I see circulating on the web is just total bollux. It's all too safe and non-threatening. Some guys don't even break a fucking sweat. They're not even warm.

I really don't know. Like Arthur said on the other thread, it's intensity, intensity, intensity, all the way down the line. If I can impart one thing to you, that's what it is.

And Rob, you might think I'm articulate now but way back I never said two words. Couldn't string them together. I just trained, and fucking trained, and trained. Like a madman. That's the way I'd do it.

When you're training, you're never really sure if what you're doing is right or wrong. And a lot of stuff that you train ends up not working. But I reckon if you do everything at high speed, very intensely, then in the same period of time you can work through much, much more. Going slo-mo for ten or twenty years, what happens if at the end of that time you find out it was a load of bollux.

Dig lots of holes, as deep as you can as fast as you can, and then move on to the next one. Invest in loss.
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scenarios

Post  arthur meek on Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:50 am

Actually Steve that was in a private e mail I had sent you so in case anyone starts looking for that thread I'll save you the time. But in the e-mail I had stated that I had trained more sporadically in recent years than specifically, but that phrase of Steve's 'intensity, intensity, intensity' got me back to serious training again, as well as, of course, the trips to Primal. Enjoying the conversations! keep it going guys. Incidently this intense training makes me smile cos when I step out of the club after Ive done my stuff I probably couldn't fight a flea cos there's nothing left. How''s that for irony!!

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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  James Marshall on Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:36 am

"old man martial arts" - I thought the whole point of them wearing a belt was to hold their stomachs up!
I was enjoying a cup of tea and a piece of cake this afternoon after training this morning, but Rob's comment has put me off it.

I think that I am getting the idea of that mindset- not in a geeky conceptual way- but just from doing it all the time - bagwork, shadow boxing, intervals- using the word like "break" or "smash" as in the dvds is definitely a help.

It helps with training on your own to get that mindset- intervals, bag work etc. I am not convinced about doing technical lifts at heavy weights like that- I always end up getting injured. Then I spend too much time on the keyboard and eat crap food!

Steve finally gave me the answer that I can give to all my friends who keep telling me to slow down- the person who attacks me on the street won't care how old I am- that is the most useful training motivation I have heard.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:16 pm

Scenario training falls into the category of "self defense" and that (self defense) is something I don't quite understand.

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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  steve morris on Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:35 am

I think with scenario training in the martial arts, there's a tendency for it to be 'victim oriented' and very geeky kind of moves. You do this/I do that. What if this? What if that?

But scenario training in principle can give you that aggressive/offensive mindset needed to deal with a situation. But in my book, the scenario comes second. It's the training of the man that comes first. You need a more offensive, aggressive mindset, one that takes the fight to the adversary rather than waits. Makes things happen. Once you have that, then you can run scenarios with it. Without that, you're pissing in the wind.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  BN on Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:14 am

Hello everyone,

I'd just like to clarify why I asked Steve this question originally. I mean what was on my mind.

I was thinking of imagining various situations in various locations ,times of day ect and then imagining dealing with the situation with a variety of solutions. I think it's agreed that visualizing is a valuable tool if done correctly.

Also, and I think more pertinent, would be the control factor. If I only train to fight, without giving thought to whom I may face, and under what circumstances, I think there's at least the possibility that whenever presented with an aggressive person I may choose fighting as a first resort even when it's not the best response. I think it's important to avoid the "only tool hammer/every problem nail" situation.

To be sure I am in complete agreement with what Steve Morris, Rob Mac, and Rob Dick have written. More, I am also inspired. As has been made abundantly clear you need to have a "loaded gun" before you can even think of firing it at anyone. Of course we need to be in shape and as ferociously conditioned mentally and physically as posiible. And have skills that cover every eventuality.

From what I have read/seen of Steve's method, I really think it is the best thing out there for those who want to be able to fight. For example, watching the Primal warmup posted on here has added a new dimension to my ground shadow fighting.

I want to be clear about why I asked this qustion as I have the feeling that one or two of the people who have responded to this thread have done so with a bit of a supercillious attitude toward my original question.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  steve morris on Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:45 am

BN there's nothing wrong with your question. It's such a big subject, visualization.

The idea is that you use the generative networks of the brain to change the recognition networks so that the way you perceive the world is altered. The thing is, that in order to do that, whatever you're visualizing has got to be an accurate representation of the world you anticipate having to function in.

I've written on it before. There's a two-way conversation between the recognition and generative networks. Each strengthens the other. So the details of the way you're representing the world in your physical training, and the way you're mentally visualizing the world in your imagination are vital. It's very easy to get a mismatch.

This is one reason why you break the fight into snapshots. Because you can safely get an accurate representation of that moment of the fight, so that your physical experience is very close to the real thing. Most martial arts in order to factor in safety, will alter the scenario or situation in some meaningful way. But when you do this, you destroy the accuracy of the impression and thatís when you get a mismatch between the world youíve trained for and the world as it really is. Youíve created an illusion. However, the snapshot will allow you to get a very accurate and holistic impression of that split second moment in the fight. And you collect lots of them. These impressions will be stored in the limbic system and drawn on in the future as something that is important to your survival. They will have emotional content to them.

So when you do get into a stressful situation, it is this snapshot that will be coming through. People who have been in emergency situations often recall the event in snapshot fragments. The brain is flashing these possibilities and calculating what to do. Itís not running a movie.

And thatís the other reason for snapshots: because a fight doesnít run like a movie. Itís never the same. You can break it down into components and work your visualization as well as your conditional fighting, etc. in those snapshot components, but in reality they will combine in different ways. If you visualize entire scenarios, it will never actually play out the way you visualized. And when you get the snapshot impressionówhich is holistic, itís got what you have to do, the kinesthetic representation of the generative forces, the effects youíre trying to cause or prevent, the emotional contentóyou must act on it instantly and not second-guess yourself. This is the way you can achieve what people term supernormal power. And this how great athletes work. Itís only when you second-guess yourself and form a second impression that you fail, because in your hesitation you lose that holistic, unconscious sense of what to do.

And so many martial artists and martial arts systems are left-brained and over-organized. The whole thing is overstructured and it teaches you to think the wrong way.

The key thing about visualization is prepping your mind to face the situation in all its danger. Your representation in your training must reinforce that visualization and not confuse it. Many times Iíve found that Iíve been caught up in an emotional storm, with a real hot-blooded scene going on. Iíve found myself reacting in very hot blood. And Iíve done a lot of damage in those situations, because like the crime writer David Lee Burke describes, youíre in a Ďred mistí. But my most destructive fights are the ones where Iíd prepped myself. I havenít decided how Iím going to hit him, Iíve just said to myself, ĎIím going to do youí and sometimes thatís been with only a few seconds prep, up to a six or seven months down the line prepping.

With regard to mediation, thatís not personally an area Iím into. I can moderate my responses, but I do that while Iím geared up. While Iím talking to the guy Iím mentally putting him away so that Iím ahead of the game. Iím in rhythm with his body language, movement, and any cue that goes off is a trigger for me. One simple way you can learn to do this is when you meet somebody (and this works better on somebody you feel might be hostile or who you donít particularly like), in your mind have part of you carrying out an amiable conversation but the other part is visualizing sticking him away. I do this a lot more often than youíd like to know!

The so-called scenarios youíre talking about are everyday occurences. So rather than lying in your bed and visualizing a scenario, trying to image the bar, the decor, the clientele, actually visualize within your daily life. Visualize these things kicking off. It takes a lot of concentration, but you can do it. For my money, thatís always proved to be more effective.

However, I do lie in bed and replay events and re-edit what Iíve done so as to improve the outcome. But those are real events to start with, not imaginary ones. In the same way an athlete might prep himself by visualization skills (and thereís loads of stuff to read on the net about this) one guy you might run into whoís going to break into your house or mug you on the street, has already prepped himself to do that. Heís set to do it. You ainít. You can only sometimes react, and that might not always be adequate. So you have to be more like him, only with better moral conduct!

Itís a big subject, Dylan.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:24 pm

Bloody Nuisance wrote:
I want to be clear about why I asked this qustion as I have the feeling that one or two of the people who have responded to this thread have done so with a bit of a supercillious attitude toward my original question.

Well "just to be clear" also...in case it was my response you were referring to Smile I wasn't addressing your post or your question. Your question was directed at Steve after all and obviously I'm not him so I wouldn't take it upon myself to respond.

Your question was on visualization. My comment was in reference to Rob's mention of "scenario" training and the point he made about dropping it. I probably spend most of my day fighting (in my head) with every body I meet. or with the imaginary guy that jumps in my car at the traffic light Laughing But "scenario" training? IMO that is like practicing having car accidents just in case.


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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  BN on Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:31 pm

Thanks for your comprehensive reply Steve.
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Re: Visualizing scenarios?

Post  BN on Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:32 pm

Tommy,

Was going to pm you, but......

Yes, I was referring primarily to you.

I thought that your comment on "self defence" (which often includes visualization) was a put down on my question. You've clarified it wasn't. Fair enough.

If you'd like to say anything further to me, please pm me.


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