Many years ago I read a book about Systema. There was one section that made a lasting impression and one that has influenced my training ever since. That section was about reacting instinctively in a pressure situation. Under pressure, such as being attacked, the best training in the world can be immediately rendered useless when the adrenalin dump occurs. What the Systema article was saying is that under pressure you will react instinctively to protect yourself from danger. It went on to say that rather than teach everyone the same response to a given attack it is better to perform a simulated attack and observe the response of the student. When you see how the student reacted to the attack with no training you can tailor his training to develop skills around his instinctive response. An internet friend runs an organisation called 'Instinctive Response Training'. The following paragraph is from his site, the link to which can be found at the bottom of the page. It sums up nicely what instinctive response is about.
"When studying martial science the goal of any practitioner is to achieve the instinctive
in a way perform magic! It allows you to perform complex movement without thought!That is the key, without thought! Imagine you are attacked and you have to think what you need to do to defend yourself. That thought process will invariably slow you down, so slow that you are at a distinct disadvantage. Imagine the attacker, who has already thought out his attack strategy. You are at a disadvantage because they act first and have a preplanned attack strategy. Now the situation is compounded because you have to think through your defensive strategy and pick an appropriate tactic (palm heel strike, etc.) to counter their tactics. This is slow, not impossible, but slower than if one is in the instinctive response. If you slip into the instinctive response then you bring your training, understanding, faith, morals etc. together without thought to defend yourself. In other words you defend yourself without thought! Amazing yes, but impossible to develop, absolutely not! Slipping into the instinctive response is the key. Once you achieve this, your skills have certainly developed to a new and incredibly effective level. In this state, everything slows down, at least to you. Things happen like lightning as your body moves, opponents seem completely vulnerable and unable to stop your counter attacks. More importantly as you protect yourself, all of this is over in the blink of an eye and your technique, training, knowledge, morals and spirit are brought to bear to defend yourself or your loved ones. Entering into the instinctive response is the true method of bringing together the physical, mental and spiritual side of the martial arts. Best of all, if you are willing to train, understand, have faith and let go then you can achieve this too! It is available for everyone and anyone! Even people who have not undergone training can achieve this state too, however they enter into it more out of luck than anything else. I for one, do not wish to leave this to chance and therefore I have trained almost my entire life to be able to bring the physical, mental and spiritual side of the martial arts together when needed.
response. Learning to achieve this is the difficult part! Can anyone learn it? Yes, if they
have the perseverance to undergo rigorous training, learning, believing, and finally the ability to let go! What does the instinctive response do for you? Well, it allows you to