It’s one thing to know karate, but it’s a whole ‘nother story when someone gets in your face on the street. When adrenaline hits, your body has all kinds of strange reactions, and all that karate knowledge goes right out the window.
It’s been a while since I’ve faced an adrenaline-fueled situation, and though I feel like I could cope with them better now that I’ve done some sparring and form sparring and worked self defenses in class, I don’t know for sure. That’s why I signed up for today’s Adrenaline Response Control seminar at my karate school.
The purpose was simple: get you to experience an adrenaline dump and then teach you how to deal with it. In this case we had two attackers, or “wolfers”, coming at us in a variety of scenarios, and we had coaches behind us to lead us through the appropriate response. All of us study either Shuri-ryu or Haganah, and our wolfers were also members of the school, but they still got us to feel like we were about to be attacked.
I knew that going in, and being a large guy I figured they’d go for the fat cracks. Because I used to be fifty pounds heavier, I’ve heard it all and thought they’d have to find a different trigger for my adrenaline. Wrong! From the first “attack” my breathing went shallow, my chest tightened up, and a surge of heat rushed through my shoulders and arms. I’m betting I went pale, too.
At least I didn’t laugh. Or worse, freeze up. Either one on the street could mean big trouble.
I feel like I did well, and I learned something about myself and how to better deal with real-world situations. Next time I intend to bring my wife along, and if any readers out there find a similar program in their area, I recommend checking it out.
Now if only I could have treated some of my more aggressive customers like this when I worked as a retail manager. “Palm strike! Knee kick!”
Would have taken a lot of stress out of that damn job.