Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:

I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me

I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me

I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull

I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death

I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed

I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes

I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados

I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers

The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn

Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung


The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated. - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources (this applies to this and other blogs by me as well; if you follow the idea's, advice or information you are on your own, don't come crying to me, it is all on you do do the work to make sure it works for you!)

“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames (note: you are on your own, make sure you get expert hands-on guidance in all things martial and self-defense)

“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne

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Adrenaline Rush, Adrenaline Dump or Chemical Dump

In martial arts that focus toward self-defense there is a need to train and practice to handle these chemical releases. First, we need to know how that occurs or what causes us to experience the dump. 

How it works: “The hypothalamus in the brain signals to the adrenal glands that its time to produce adrenaline and other stress hormones. The adrenal glands produce adrenaline by transforming the amino acid tyrosine into dopamine. Oxygenation of dopamine yields noradrenaline, which is then converted into adrenaline. Adrenaline binds to receptors on the heart, arteries, pancreas, liver, muscles and fatty tissue. By binding to receptors on the heart and arteries, adrenaline increases heart rate and respiration, and by binding to receptors on the pancreas, liver, muscles and fatty tissue, it inhibits the production of insulin and stimulates the synthesis of sugar and fat, which the body can use as a fuel in fight-or-flight situations.”

Once we know this then we can begin to get to work on how we train and practice to handle the dump or rush. We need to mitigate its adverse effects and work toward using its more positive effects. There are many physical manifestations of the rush/dump but the more positive ones are as follows:

1) You experience a noticeable increase in physical strength. This is nature providing you the means to physically handle life threatening situations. The funny part here is often you, in modern society, will experience the rush/dump due to things that are not life threatening but the feelings and effects are the same.

2) You experience no pain. The feeling of pain is deadened during the crises. It returns well after the situation is over and the rush subsides so the body and mind return to some semblance of normalcy. 

3) Your sensed are heightened. There are explanations as to what happens to hearing and sight along with peripheral vision, etc. This post is not about identifying those, use your research abilities to become familiar with those. This is also another instinctual survival effect. Hint: Read Rory Miller’s books.

4) Then there is the energy boost. We all have heard about huge increases in strength like the story of the woman in a vehicle accident lifting the car because she needs to get to a child trapped. 

Now, like all things, it is best to get an idea of the negative side of things as well. It does stress the body. It stresses the heart, pressure rises as well as the pulse and blood flow. Chronic rises due to chronic stress can have huge affects to the cardiovascular system over time. It would be suggested that when training the dump/rush that medial advice from a medical professional well versed in sports, etc. would help students to become more informed. 

Now that we have some fundamentals on this, for this post, and we understand this requires further research and study we can look to the training part. 

As I mentioned in other articles breathing, visualization, etc. can bring your mind and thus your body back from the brink of the rush so you can control and use it properly. You monitor your breathing and heart rate by feel. The first step is recognition. Once you recognize it you can act. Of course the best tactic and strategy is having the ability through your environmental and situational awareness recognize that you are entering into a high stress situation and begin working your breathing, etc. to lessen and compensate for the effects. 

Some good advice is don’t panic. Some more good advice is to structure your training for when you are in the clutches of the dump/rush so you can gain use of the dump/rush. 

The training you can incorporate into your defense classes, i.e. martial arts, etc. is to create a highly realistic simulated scenario or scenarios that will induce the rush/dump. You want to trigger anger, fear, frustration and by that create a program that will allow you to achieve success in critical scenarios or situations. 

The only time most of us will experience violent situations where we need to use defense, etc. is when we are actually working in the professions that are exposed to the rush on a regular basis. These are firemen, medics, police and military to name just a few. Most of us will only experience effects of the rush/dump when we encounter non-threatening stress situations in life and work. These strategies will help with those as well and you should use these moments to practice as well. 

Those who train in self-defense also will find that rarely will they need this type of training but it is best to follow these guidelines just in case. After all, if you truly are training for defense, and especially if you are teaching self-defense, you must know  this stuff plus a whole lot more.

When you create and train in high reality base simulations that provide experience with the rush/dump you will create experience that the subconscious will use when reality strikes. 

If your training can achieve what is called a “state dependent” state that encodes it into memory you will gain the skills in an adrenaline dump/rush so that when you need it the mind can recall and activate the same skills learned in training. They believe that this will provide the same skills even when the dump/rush is high as or higher then what the training induces. 

There is one more aspect we should understand on this subject. That is the knowledge that a counter chemical can be released by the body that works as a natural tranquilizer and that means one that controls anxiety and breaks down the effects of the stress hormones like adrenaline. It is called neuropeptide Y or NPY. 

What is NPY: “Neuropeptide Y (NPY), an amino acid that helps regulate blood pressure, appetite, learning, and memory. It also works as a natural tranquilizer, controlling anxiety and breaking down the effects of stress hormones like adrenaline. NPY helps the brain regulate alarm and fear responses by keeping the prefrontal cortex of the brain working longer under stress. This part of the brain is responsible for higher-level cognitive functions like decision-making.”

This type of training will provide the practitioner with the ability to stay focused and engaged in the events that would cause the dump/rush. It also means even if you encounter the effects by surprise you will have developed the ability to bounce back faster and also reduce the effects of the rush/dump after the incident ends. This is an advantage that you want to promote and develop in your training and practice. (Note: the faster you can return from the rush/dump after also means your human brain has a chance to replay and work up how you will articulate events to the authorities, etc.)

There is actually some research on NPY where the researchers hope to be able to develop some method that will train people to naturally raise their own levels of NPY. For me, I believe, that breathing along with visualization, etc. actually help overcome the dump/rush flowing in your system by naturally releasing such things as the NPY; not to totally counter the effects of the dump but rather reduce them to a manageable level so they may be used positively, to your advantage. 

To create adequate training in this area provides extremely beneficial experience of the full range of both the physical and the mental states due to the rush. If you can achieve this in training where your feel like you are “in the face of danger, instinct will take over. Your attention becomes keenly focused on your body and your surroundings. Details fall by the wayside, and you're forced to exist in the present and that you are provided with immediate, tangible feedback about how you're doing in the world around you. This type of experience increases confidence and the learning transfers to other life situations.”

Some additional information beneficial to our understanding is as follows. Regardless, this is only to get you interested in further research and study. It is always best to fully and completely understand the subject you are learning and possibly teaching. In the discipline of martial arts self defense this is critical as it truly will expose you, possibly, to the threat of bodily harm and even death.

“These types of structured adrenaline experiences help create "situational awareness." Situational awareness involves being aware of what is happening around you to understand how information, events, and your own actions will impact your goals and objectives, both now and in the near future. Situational awareness is especially important in situations where the information flow can be quite high and poor decisions may lead to serious consequences. Little is understood about the underlying mechanisms of situational awareness, or about how individuals develop or maintain this complex cognitive skill.”

“With a big hit of adrenaline, we tend to lose situational awareness. Our brains perceive danger and prepare us for "fight or flight." We lose our peripheral vision and focus on what is right in front of us. Our brain works to filter out any sound extraneous to the direct threat (auditory exclusion). We hyperventilate or hold our breaths. In some instances, this is exactly what we need to get out of harm's way, but in many intense situations, we need to be able to think clearly, hear what people around us are saying, breathe deeply to send oxygen to our brains, and act effectively to be able to survive the situation or master the skill we are learning. This is situational awareness. This too is probably a skill we can learn that can help us through stressful times and emergencies.”


“A single adrenaline burst that comes and goes very quickly is a good thing because it gives you energy and gets you ready to mobilize for immediate action, says Esther M. Sternberg, M.D., Director of the Integrative Neural Immune Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. Adrenaline created by an abrupt blast of stress sends a flood of oxygen-rich red blood cells through your body, boosts your immune system, and signals your brain to start releasing painkilling dopamine and endorphins.”


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