Our brains are some kind of complex system aren’t they? In order to simplify things in understanding how our brains work regarding self-defense some very knowledgable, intelligent and gifted persons have described the parts involved in SD as the “Thinking brain,” the “Monkey brain,” and the “Lizard brain.”
Please note this is my post and those intelligent, knowledgable and gifted professionals I mentioned have nothing to do with this except their work was used for “MY PERSONAL” interpretations as follows. So, the onus is on me for this one.
Ok, back to the discussion. I use two of the descriptions and one of my own. Why? Because I am more comfortable with mine in place of the “Thinking brain.” My symbolic naming is “Vulcan brain.” Vulcan because that is depicted easy enough as the most logical non-emotional brain that would attempt to control both the monkey brain and the lizard brain from stupid and ignorant stuff we humans tend to do when either or both get involved.
The Vulcan mind is one that uses our ability to “think” logically and with out allowing the intrusion of either/or the monkey brain or lizard brain we both know tend to muck things up.
We want to use our Vulcan mind to train our monkey’s to remain caged and out of the way except when certain controlled emotions will benefit the situation at any given moment. The Lizard is also necessary for survival but what it knows and will use regardless of the Vulcan and Monkey can also take over so it is important to train our Vulcan and Monkey to change slightly what the lizard will use in SD situations. Hopefully long before the need to step into the SD circle became imminent.
The Vulcan mind has already been influenced by our modern society through the media be it television or movies. Most of this stuff is just plain wrong. Nothing actually happens in the real world according to what the entertainment industry decides will draw the greatest crowd willing to spend money to be “entertained :-)” So, we have to retrain the Vulcan mind so that it can train and retrain our monkey and lizard. Remember, in many potentially violent conflicts your thinking mind doesn’t have the time to “think” so do that “thinking” in the time “BEFORE” you need it, it is called training and practice.
One excellent step is to seek out that knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities of the world that is “Self-Defense.” Where I recommend one start is to expose themselves to the material that will set the stage to finding a true SD model that will work, if ever needed or if ever inadvertently exposed to such types of conflict (note: some of those professional, knowledgable and gifted folks will tell you that in all likelihood you will mostly never “inadvertently” be exposed to such conflicts and the reasons why will come with my recommendation to follow.) and that material can now be found in one expert source, Marc MacYoung’s book, “In The Name of Self-Defense.”
If you want your Vulcan mind to have the tools necessary to find and achieve true SD then start there. It is not a book about the actual physical techniques you would use but you will find these tools to be superior to any technique or common SD course you could take. You want to know this stuff before you seek out SD and you should know this as well, you will possibly find that you really don’t need SD training because what you learn from Mr. MacYoung’s efforts is - how to avoid it.
Back to the three minds of our brains. The key point to understand with our Vulcan, Monkey and Lizard brains is they are not separate and exclusive to one another. They are intertwined and inter-connected to where you cannot find clear and distinctive separations when they are triggered. Our minds tend to work all three as one at every moment of every day. The degree of one over the others depends greatly on the stimuli you are exposed to every single moment of every single day of your entire lives.
The stronger two of the three can be the monkey and lizard. The goal here is to allow the Vulcan mind to learn and train the entire mind to control how the other two are implemented when stimuli hits our senses influencing our perceptions along with our beliefs, etc.
There is a reason why our brains work they way they do and it is too bad that knowledge is limited because our brains are a wonderful, interesting and complex organ that still mystifies our learned experts and will continue to do so until time ends.
In closing there are other great reads that will help in the world of SD understanding and knowledge but this one has, in my opinion, the primer to all the others. If noting else it means you become an informed person. It means you become someone who understands how the complex world of self-defense works and that will go a long way to help you avoid and other such things before getting caught in the web that is SD.
Go get the book. Read it, read it again. Then, seek out training and practice as necessary for you!