Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Being Taught Versus Learning

What is the primary function of a teacher?
Noted systems theorist, Russell Ackoff, states that the primary function of a teacher should be to facilitate learning how to learn and motivating students to do so.

It has been my position for many years that students should first be taught how to learn before they are taught any subject. Being taught how to learn improves the efficiency and efficacy of the future learning experience.

My book is, among other things, about teaching the reader how to learn the methods taught by activities associated with preparing a person to survive a violent encounter. It empowers the student and challenges the teachers to be better teachers. It encourages the student to manager their own learning experience if not become their own teachers.

Ackoff has an interesting method of facilitating learning. He suggests that teaching is a very good way to learn a subject. That teaching others encourages and enables students to learn on their own and consolidate what they have learned. This, he suggests, is common knowledge especially among those who have taught a subject that they themselves have not been taught.

I can personally vouch for the fact that my learning and the consolidation of what I learnt in the martial arts has come from teaching. I vividly remember the night when I showed understanding rather than knowledge when I taught a technique differently than my instructors with insights I'd personally gained.

Ackoff recommends that all students should be given the opportunity to teach others. So, Instructors, this is an innovate approach to teaching your students. Get your students to teach your students. Ackoff refers to an innovative teacher in the US who did just that with primary school children with considerable success. Students in the second grade taught those in the first grade, and students in the third grade taught those in the second.

I would qualify Ackoff's statement about teaching being a very good way to learn a subject. Teaching a large class is less effective in this regard than teaching a small class or teaching one-on-one. This understanding comes from personal experience teaching many people via private lessons. Each individual is different and you have to modify your teaching to suit their individual capabilities. This truly challenges your understanding of the subject and your ability to adapt what you'd been taught to suit the individual.

Food for thought.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Be Kind, For Everyone You Meet Is Fighting A Hard Battle

'Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.' This is a quote that is often attributed to Plato but some suggest is Ian Maclaren. What is the battle?

Kasey Edwards wrote an editorial in which she explains how she was sexually abused as a child. She writes that after years of therapy how she understood intellectually she was not to blame but how emotionally she still blames herself for not fighting back. In this case the battle is between intellect and emotion.

This battle is a civil war. It is between the newly evolved intellect (neocortex) and the primitive emotion (amygdala). Like all civil wars, it is complicated by the interconnectedness between the combatants. Emotion is elicited by the unconscious appraisal of a physical or psychological stimulus. Appraisal is a cognitive function. Because of the interconnectedness of the emotion process, emotion can influence appraisal and the way we see the world.

There is an article written about an elite AFL premiership footballer who suffers from anxiety that informs on this battle.

Morton said he has never played an AFL game in which he has not thrown up in the rooms beforehand, but on grand final day he vomited 10 times before running out on to the MCG. And again at quarter-time, half-time and three-quarter-time.

But Morton is still only 26 and admits that, for him, even that ultimate success was accompanied with the heightened mental anxiety which he accepts will haunt him for the rest of his life.

"Everyone has their challenges in life and this is my challenge.''

Morton does not describe his condition as depression although he has sought varying forms of treatment and medication to achieve some form of equilibrium. ''What I have couldn't be further from depression,'' he said. ''My anxiety means I don't sleep and I jump out of bed every morning and want so desperately to be as good as Chris Judd or Dane Swan or Adam Goodes.

''But I can't find a way to get there. At Richmond, it got to the point where I wanted it so much and it wasn't happening and I'd drive to training and I'd almost be regurgitating my food before every session. I'll always be a worrier because that's how I am, but it was out of control.''

Morton is engaged in a constant battle with the combatants being his intellect and emotion. The article talks of the help he's sought and his allies that are a mentor, his coach, his team, and the football club. Read the article to see how some elite sports are now treating emotional conditions seriously, employing psychologists to look after their athletes mental welfare and not just sports psychologists to improve performance.

Unfortunately I can relate to Morton's story all too well. I am in the process of better understanding my battle and my enemy, emotion. As my profile will show, I am highly qualified in both business studies and in the martial arts. I have never suffered from a lack of confidence. This confidence was not unfounded given my experience in the business and martial arts world.

I now battle with a constant feeling of doubt in my abilities and constantly feel overwhelmed. I know intellectually there is no foundation to these feelings, but the intellect cannot seem to change those feelings. You continue despite these feelings, sometimes you don't. However, understanding this battle and the enemy bolsters your resources and abilities to take on this battle (as Sun Tzu suggested the The Art of War). You may never win, as Morton explains when he accepts this condition may haunt him for the rest of his life, but you can find a way of functioning nonetheless.

I suppose this means that while you may never win, you find a way where you do not lose. Having written that, I recall that Jan de Jong used to say that fighting is not about winning, it's about not losing.

Just as with Morton on his way to training, I was battling with the urge to vomit as I travelled to the first board meeting of a charity organisation I am a director of. My anxiety levels were raging and I felt I did not have the capabilities to attend to the task as finance director and felt overwhelmed. I was gripping the steering wheel tightly, which was a metaphor for the battle I was undergoing to resist the urge to turn the car around and return home. I knew, intellectually, that I could do this job standing on my head, but my emotion refused to believe it. I couldn't change that, but just as with Morton, I fought the battle and attended the meeting despite the continued anxious feelings.

Self-talk and 'positive thinking' are weapons used by the intellect to fight emotion. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. A weakness in these intellectual weapons can be that in order for them to be effective they require belief, and belief comes from emotion not intellect.

Here, as I've learnt from both sides now, we need to be careful when urging others to 'think positively' and using motivational quotes to urge them to think differently. This can have the result of alienating a person or even be the cause of further distress and a feeling of shame and failure when they cannot change the way they feel. These messages are well intentioned, no doubt, but they are also uninformed.

In my chapter on the survival process, I detail six strategies that the military (and other fighting-related activities) use to deal with fear. One is will to override fear. This strategy assumes the emotion of fear is present but that intellectual will is used to counter the flight impulse and get the combatant to fight instead. Will got Morton onto the training track and the competitive arena, and will got me to and through my first directors meeting. What must be understood is that while will pushes you forward, it does not vanquish emotion. You still feel fear but you fight nonetheless; you still feel anxious but you train and play nonetheless; you still feel panicked but you attend the board meeting nonetheless.

This post is written for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is a mediation and possibly a way for me to explore this condition. Secondly, it is also designed to alert the reader to the hidden battles that many people fight. If we wish to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, we need to better understand these battles in order to be an ally rather than another foe. This is particularly true of martial arts and self defence instructors whose students often are struggling with these hidden battles.
Be kind, for everyone you meeting is fighting a hard, often unseen, battle.

Friday, March 22, 2013

'Rapists are to blame for rape.'

'Rapists are to blame for rape' is the title of an article by Kasey Edwards published on a news site today. What I found fascinating about this article is how my work on injury science and the survival process informed this article and provided opportunities for preventing and controlling 'injury' associated with these types of events. A number of chapters in my book are dedicated to these subjects.

William Haddon developed the Haddon Matrix to analyse injury events and to develop interventions to prevent and control injury. Firstly, it has been used to study and develop interventions not only for physical injuries, but also other types of injuries such as those arising from sexual assault, as well as damage generally. Secondly, prevention and control replaces the old paradigm of simply prevention. Under the old prevention paradigm, you were on your own should prevention measures fail.

The Haddon matrix juxtaposes all the factors that contribute to an injury with the time frame over which injury occurs. The factors are: host - person at risk of being injured; vector - person responsible for injury, or vehicle - inanimate object responsible for injury; and environment - cultural and physical. The time frame is pre-, during, and post injury event.

The shame and guilt Edwards refers to the host-post injury cell. She survived her abuse but now suffers post-abuse because of her own judgements about herself. What intervention can be developed to mitigate the suffering post-event/abuse. Knowledge. An understanding of our evolved survival mechanism is one such way. 'Why didn't I fight back,' she asks. She then judges herself for not fighting back.

How corrosive are judgements? Edwards survived. Isn't that something she should be thankful for. Unfortunately, nature provided us with cognition as well as instincts. They are distinct. Edwards writes about intellectual understanding and emotion, and insightful finds they are at odds with one another. Cognition developed after emotion. We use cognition to manage emotion, but, we humans, uniquely, use cognition to inflict pain on suffering on ourselves and others. What put us on top of the food chain also causes us pain and suffering.

Those who refer to mind and body as one are simplistic. Nature provided emotion before it did cognition. Emotion is designed to be used to promote survival when thinking is too slow. It gets a little more complicated as emotion is elicited via appraisal, which is a cognitive process albeit unconscious in the case of emotion.

Why didn't I fight back? My survival process concept goes far beyond the limited fight-or-flight model (and stress). Fight and flight behaviours are severely limited. We have been provided with a vast array of instinctive survival behaviours. Nature does not judge! Nature is only interested in our survival. Nature truly cares about our survival. Fair enough, nature also messed up a bit by providing cognition that then judges nature's handiwork.

Submission is an instinctive survival behaviour. Tonic immobility is an instinctive survival behaviour. TI is an involuntary catatonic-like state that is enacted when fight and flight fail. It resembles a dead animal as the person is unable to move or vocalise. Research suggests that up to 2/3 of sexual assault survivors experience TI during their attacks. Research also suggests that understanding that TI is an instinctive, involuntary survival behaviour lessens the corrosive effects of questioning the lack of action during an assault.

Edwards article is aimed at the pre- and post-event-environment cells. To change society's views on rape in order to reduce its incidence and reduce the psychological effects due to judgements. She is doing this through knowledge.

What this model and this information does is enable one to objectively analyse an injury event and understand all the factors that interact over time to produce an injury of any description. It then provides a means where interventions in multiple areas can prevent or control injuries that can arise from these events.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

'I asked him what I could do so that we didn't have to fight'

The linked article was published today in The Age concerning a road rage incident experienced by a lawyer. It is a wonderful example by which the survival process concept I've developed by integrating the theories of fight-or-flight, stress and emotion theory can be used to gain greater insights and understanding.

When physically confronted, the lawyer explains that 'the savage instinct of fight/flight battered against the calmer, resolution-seeking side of my mind.' Lets dissect this statement with reference to the survival process concept.

'Instinct of fight/flight' refers to our evolved survival mechanism. A stimulus is unconsciously appraised. Based on that appraisal, a feeling response is elicited which motivates an impulse to act in a particular way. At the same time, an automatic physiological response is experienced which prepares the body for the behaviour that the feeling response motivates. The behaviour is designed to deal with the stimulus. This is our evolved survival mechanism.

The lawyer, even given their training to be exact with the use of their terminology, incorrectly refers to fight/flight. Many people who refer to the fight-or-flight concept do not understand that Walter Cannon, the developer of this concept, associated fight with anger and flight with fear. So, what was the lawyer's instinctive reaction - anger or fear? The different emotions are elicited based on different appraisals and produce different action tendencies which are supported by different physiological responses designed to prepare the body for different behaviours.

The lawyer was correct in referring to it as an instinct. Emotions were developed in our evolutionary past to deal with survival problems in the environment without the time consuming cognitive process. Is the instinct 'savage'?

We are all still 'cave people in suits.' We have changed our environment, but we have not evolved to adapt to that environment. The aggressor was prepared to physically engage the lawyer because of action tendency elicited by his appraisal of the lawyer beeping his car horn at him which in turn elicited the emotion of anger. Emotions were designed by nature to deal with threats to our well-being. Honking a car horn at someone is not a threat to our well-being, but some of us have not evolved to distinguish between the two.

Why did the lawyer describe this evolved instinct, albeit misdescribed, as 'savage.' He is placing a judgement on his instincts. Technically, savage is defined by violence and aggression. Flight is not violence or aggression. Savage is also defined as being uncivilised. 'Civilised' refers to a judgement about a stage of development that is considered to be more advanced. Now this refers to (a) interventions in the appraisal process in order to elicit certain emotions in response to certain stimuli, and/or (b) the ability to manage emotions once they are elicited.

The latter is what the lawyer was referring to when he wrote about the calmer, resolution-seeking side of his mind. There is a disconnect in humans between the impulse to act and the actual behaviour. This disconnect has been described as providing the opportunity of considered other behaviours other than the feeling-motivated impulse to act. Rather than fleeing or fighting the road rager, the lawyer was provided the opportunity to consider alternative behaviours because of this disconnect.

Some people obviously have a limited disconnection between impulse to act and actual behaviour. It is said that the difference between animals and humans is the disconnect between impulse and behaviour. Animals experience the emotion process in terms of a stimulus-response chain. I suppose technically you could say that those people who react in terms of a stimulus-response chain are closer to animals than humans.

'The only sensible outcome was to talk my way out of this. Be calm, swallow my pride, engage him so as to placate him.' Be calm - all of the components of the survival process are interrelated. A stimulus is appraised as a threat which elicits a feeling of fear which motivates an impulse to flee. At the same time, a physiological response is experienced which increases both heart rate and breathing rate to increase the amount of oxygenated blood that is provided to the muscles that will aid in flight. By intervening in the physiological response by voluntarily controlling his breathing, the lawyer was able to manage his feeling of fear and its associated impulse to act, along with the other physiological reactions and even the appraisal of the stimulus.

'Swallow my pride' - now that is an interesting comment. Pride is an emotion, hence, pride is based on an appraisal and elicits a feeling which motivates an impulse to act which a physiological reaction prepares the body to enact. What does 'swallow your pride' actually mean? I'd suggest it means to deal with the emotion of humiliation which is elicited based on the appraisal of the stimulus. The question then to consider is why are you feeling humiliated?

I recently watch the classic movie with Ben Kingsley playing Gandhi. In that movie, it shows line after line of Gandhi followers moving towards the military armed with large clubs who then clubbed the passive protesters. Did they swallow their pride when they were beaten and dragged away blooded and injured. No. In fact, they were probably proud of their non-violent action. Funnily enough, armed with an understanding of pain (which is another chapter in my book), they probably experienced the 'pain' associated with the beating far differently than you or I would under different circumstances.

Listen to what people say. It often says more about them than it does about what they are talking about. 'Swallow my pride' tells me the lawyer feels bad to a certain degree about not standing up to his aggressor/attacker. There is a judgement associated with his appraisal of the situation. Take an objective view of the experience or change the way you appraise the situation, and their is no more swallowing of pride.

'Engage him so as to placate him' - emotions are evolutionarily designed to be short lived. If you can stall someone from enacting their emotionally motivated action for a short period of time, the intensity of the emotion or the emotion itself would have subsided. This then provides the opportunity for cognition to be engaged. Remember, emotion is evolutionarily designed to override cognition; the latter being a later development in human evolutionary history.

The more we understand of the survival process, the less we will judge ourselves and others, and the more we will be able to manage our emotions in emotionally excitable circumstances.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Kansetsu Waza Assistance Request

I only need a small piece of information to complete my book which facilitates the understanding and study of all fighting/self defence methods. I'm using this blog to request any reader's assistance in this regard.

I'm writing a chapter on joint-locking techniques (kansetsu waza), focusing on techniques applied to the upper limb because of their popular and tactical use. Incredible as it may seem given the popularity of these techniques, to the best of my knowledge there is no anatomical description of these techniques in the martial arts and related literature.

The medical literature is of no help because the vast majority of injuries that occur in the upper limb are as a result of a fall on an outstretched hand (FOOSH injuries). The forces experienced when falling on an outstretched hand are different to those applied with a joint locking technique. For instance, a fall on an outstretched hand involves an extended hand whereas most joint-locking techniques involve a flexed hand.

I've described the anatomical effect of techniques that target the shoulder based on the movement of the humerus in the shoulder joint. This produced a classification that can be used to understand and study familiar and unfamiliar techniques that target the shoulder joint.

I've described the possible dislocations (3) that techniques targeting the elbow might produce.

There is a technique that targets the forearm taught in aikido and some jujutsu systems. This technique is called kote hineri (forearm twist; see right) in Jan de Jong jujutsu and involves applying forces to the hand to rotate the forearm towards the body. I thought obtaining an anatomical description of the effects of this technique would prove the most difficult to obtain, but it turned out to be the easiest. A researcher was interested in the effects of hyper-pronation of the forearm and published the results of a study in 1949. He used 18 cadavers and stripped the forearm of the tissues andheld the shaft of the humerus firmly in a vice and the forearm was gripped in a wooden clamp just above the wrist and slowly pronated.

I'm interested in three basic wrist locks. The first is the popular wrist crush (see right), also known as 'goose-neck' wrist lock, and gokyo (fifth teaching) in aikido. A study was conducted on this technique and published in an academic journal so I have some information on the possible anatomical effects of this technique. However, it has to be said the study was a little light on.

The second wrist lock is what De Jong referred to as yoko tekubi hishigi (side wrist lock; see right and down), which aikido refers to as nikyo (second teaching). A study on the possible anatomical effects of this technique was published in an academic journal by the above author of the study on gokyo and another by another author. Again, these studies are not as comprehensive as they might be.

The third wrist lock is the ubiquitous wrist twist (see below right). I have no information on the anatomical effects of this technique other than a general possible explanation provided by a physiotherapist. While I would appreciate information on the above two wrist locks, it is a description of the anatomical effects of the wrist twist that I am missing. If any reader could assist with a description from an authoritative source (anatomist, biomechanist, etc), I would be very appreciative. You would be contributing to the general body of knowledge because no such description appears to exist today.

Thank you.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Effect of Sexual Assault Statistics

Most women's self defence courses (WSD) begin by informing the participants of the horrendous statistics associated with sexual assault. It could be argued this is problem solving 101: identify the problem and then provide a solution. It could also be argued that this is a marketing or motivational ploy in motivating the participants to enrol and actively learn and participate. But is this approach the best approach?

Jocelyn Hollander from the University of Oregan , based on her experience in teaching about violence against women, explains how she adopted the traditional approach of making a strong case about the pervasive and devastating nature of such violence. However, she found that 90% of her mostly female students felt disempowered by such information. The students felt vulnerable and that violence was inevitable. Emphasising women's victimisation reinforced the cultural fusion of femininity as vulnerability, weakness, and fragility.

Another source of discomfort for Hollander with her original approach was her increasingly firm belief that emphasizing women’s victimisation at the hands of men was, at best, telling only a partial story. According to a literature she had initially overlooked, women's victimisation is pervasive but not inevitable. For example, women successfully resist at least 75% of all attempted sexual assaults; in other words, they escape, they stop the violence, and they protect themselves as much as possible.

Hollander modified her original approach:
Together, these strategies help balance students' feelings of vulnerability and futility when learning about violence and provide a more complex picture of the realities of violence in women's lives. Information on women's resistance to violence included in class readings and lectures helps counter the myth that women can never defend themselves from men's violence and helps expand the students' understandings of resistance to include emotional, psychological, and verbal strategies. ... Information on those changes that have occurred challenges the sense of futility and powerlessness that often produces frozen inaction.
An approach I'm adopting is based on the evolved survival process concept I have developed. I've been thinking how I'd start a seminar or WSD course by asking the participants to raise their hand if they thought they were defenceless against a male attacker. I'd then explain that if they were truly defenceless, there would be no human race.

Nature provided a very sophisticated, comprehensive and effective defence mechanism for human beings. It involves an appraisal process that, if a stimulus is defined as a threat, elicits a feeling response which motivates an instinctive defensive behaviour that an automatic physiological reaction prepares the body to enact. There are numerous behaviours - flight, fight, tonic immobility, faint, help-seeking, submission, etc - that are evolved, instinctive defensive behaviours. These behaviours are supported by a different physiological response that supports the behaviour and promotes the survival of an individual.

The appraisal process is all important. It is made up of three parts: primary appraisal, secondary appraisal, and reappraisal. Primary appraisal results in a stimulus being appraised as irrelevant, benign-positive or stressful. Stressful appraisals are appraised as being harmful, threatening or challenging, and are subject to a secondary appraisal. Secondary appraisal determines the abilities and resources to deal with the harm, threat or challenge.

Constantly reinforcing a person's vulnerability changes their unconscious appraisal of their resources and abilities to deal with a threat. This shapes the feeling, physiological and behavioural responses to a threat in terms of its nature and intensity. If you don't believe you can defend yourself you won't be able to. You won't be able to take advantage of nature's defence mechanism to promote your own survival because your 'learned' appraisal tells you that you cannot defend yourself.

My approach is based on explaining to participants that nature provided them with a very effective defence mechanism. Society tends to undervalue and undermine this defence mechanism by the constant reporting of successful attacks on women in the news media as well as entertainment (movies, TV, books, etc). If our evolved survival responses are undermined, it reduces the possibility that those behaviours which are evolutionarily designed to promote survival and have done so successfully for thousands of years, will not be enacted when they are needed the most.

My approach goes on to say that the education and training I provide in my women's self protection program is designed to improve on nature. Nature's efforts is already effective, but it's usefulness is under-reported by the sensationalist and fear-provoking (which motivates sales) news media. I deliberately use the term 'protection' instead of 'defence' because my approach is holistic. It is based on injury science theory in which an injury event is divided into three phases: pre-event, event, and post event. It's also based on all the factors involved in an injury event: host (person at risk), vector or vehicle (person or object that can cause injury), and environment (physical and cultural).

Do not discount nor dismiss what nature gave you. Instead, learn more about what nature gave you and build on that.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Killer Commando

There is a fascinating article published on various news websites concerning a former Australian commando's (Paul Cale) developing a leading edge military close combat system based on martial arts. This could be read in conjunction with an interview with the same person in the Australian martial arts magazine, Blitz.

The original story is fascinating to me, not because of its 'warrior' story but because of the sheer nuts and bolts of it all which my work either informs or raises questions.

Cale tells of an incident in Afghanistan that became a hand-to-hand battle in which he strangled a Taliban fighter. Technically, despite the posted comments to the article, at no time does the article say that the strangulation killed the fighter. However, assuming it did, I'd be fascinated to know the details, not out of some morbid curiosity but from a purely technical point of view.

The forensic pathology literature time line proposed for neck holds/strangulation techniques/shime waza is approximately 10 seconds to unconsciousness, 2 minutes and will resuscitate unaided, 2-4 minutes and manual resuscitation will be required, 3-4+ minutes death.

Was the strangulation held on for 3-4 minutes to cause death? That's a long time to hold a technique in the middle of a combat scenario with multiple combatants. Or was the technique held on for long enough (approx. 10 secs) to induce unconsciousness and then released before the enemy was dispatched by another means? That is to say the strangulation facilitated a decisive technique and was not the decisive technique in and of itself.

This then raises the question concerning how this technique is taught to be tactically employed in a close combat system.

If the time line proposed by the forensic pathology discipline is mistaken, given they've no personal experience in using the technique to cause a fatal injury, Cale's experience would be a unique contribution to the body of knowledge.

Cale talks about breaking an enemy fighter's shoulder. Again, I'd love to know how as I've developed a simply anatomical classification that explains the mechanics of how a shoulder is dislocated by any technique that targets the shoulder taught by any martial art, combat sport, or activity associated with preparing a person to survive a violent encounter. This understanding then, through experience, facilitates the understanding, study, and use of the technique as you know precisely what your application of force(s) is designed to achieve (more than beyond 'break elbow').

Cale talks about the military kit not being suited for being engaged in hand-to-hand combat and that he developed a method which caters for this limitation. It is disturbing when you see any military close combat, law enforcement empty hand control training, and martial arts being used in those two environments, when the techniques taught to be used in an operational environment are trained wearing outfits that are not worn in operational environments (e.g. uniform with no kit or sports attire). I would dearly love to see Cale's modifications to his martial arts methods to cater for the wearing of the cumbersome military kit.

Cale makes the very important point that the combat sport is only used to train a combat ethos. It is a part of his overall training methodology. It is important to understand what the training produces. Combat sports does not teach combat methods. To be sure, there are overlaps, but there is also significant differences, as Cale points out. Many in the martial arts worship 'action,' 'doing things,' and disregard an intellectual study of what they are doing. Because you struggle and train with resistance, sweat, feel pain, get injured, injure and inflict pain, bleed and cause bleeding, does not mean that your training is preparing you for an operational environment. It most definitely trains a mind set, or a warrior ethos as Cale refers to it as, but the tactics and techniques may not 'fit' the operational environment.

Injury science's division of the factors of an injury event - host (person at risk of being injured), vector (person attempting to cause an injury), and the environment - forces you consider all of these factors. The martial arts tends to ignore the latter two factors, which then affects the development of the tactics and techniques of that martial art.

Taking Cale's methodology a step further based on injury science's methodology. You train your close combat methods in your military kit. Should your training partner do likewise? The Taliban fighter is not going to be similarly attired. If you develop tactics and techniques based on an enemy being similarly attired (and similarly trained), they may be flawed. A similar argument is applicable for the environment factor (dojo/training hall vs closed confines of a room in a house in Afghanistan).

The father-of-two said his program also helped returned soldiers suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. "It's very calming and we find a lot of guys are coming to classes just to unwind and release the pressure valve," he said. "I'm broken, injured and a little bit older than most. For me it's all about technique and being calm and centred. Our psychologists are looking into the calming effect and apparently there's been a body of work done on this issue and US veterans."
In the Blitz article, Cale refers to 'stress relief.' Stress is a limited concept. It looks at a survival mechanism that was selected for in nature to promote an individual's survival. Stress only looks at part of that mechanism, and from a biased viewpoint. Even those involved in the stress discipline describe stress and an ambiguous concept.

The survival process model I've developed provides a holistic approach to study the calming effects produced by combat sports training Cale refers to. Stress training, and some PTSD recovery programs, use an academic understanding of stress and stress effects/symptoms to help manage them. The survival process model, due to its comprehensive/holistic nature, improves on the stress approach.