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

I am not a leading authority on any one discipline that I write about and teach, it is my hope and wish that with all the subjects I have studied it provides me an advantage point that I offer in as clear and cohesive writings as possible in introducing the matters in my materials. I hope to serve as one who inspires direction in the practitioner so they can go on to discover greater teachers and professionals that will build on this fundamental foundation. Find the authorities and synthesize a wholehearted and holistic concept, perception and belief that will not drive your practices but rather inspire them to evolve, grow and prosper. My efforts are born of those who are more experienced and knowledgable than I. I hope you find that path! See the bibliography I provide for an initial list of experts, professionals and masters of the subjects.

Search This Blog

Instinctual Fixed-Action Patterns

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Fixed-action triggers will trigger humans to act in certain ways or patterns when encountering or confronted or experiencing certain situations/stimuli. They act automatically, seems instinctual but often is actually some conditioned response taught in our environment, to some triggers (click-n-whirr). 

In communications there are trigger-words that will cause humans to grant your requests when followed with reasons why they should grant your request such as the word, “Because.” Ask, because, reasoning and often humans will grant it even when they don’t want to. The challenge then becomes whether the person on the receiving end of such trigger words is conditioned to react in socially natural acceptable ways. 

Even tho instinctual tends to be assumed as almost genetically driven, DNA stuff with genes, often the fixed-action is more a recording or encoded routine or function that is triggered by some stimuli causing such patterns to be processed or triggered into action. As long as the action-pattern is appropriate to the stimuli then all is well, mostly, and when it is not then all is NOT well, mostly. 

This all involves the often socially conditioned group dynamic of ‘compliance principle or rule’. Instinct-like fixed-action (conditioned) patterns/responses/actions are a way to describe what some assume are instincts when in reality they are conditioned primal responses taught and trained in our environments through socially driven coping skills or conditioning. 

So, the questions pop into my head such as defining the individual terms, analyzing the meaning and then synthesizing a new, hopefully a more appropriate, phrase that will work for the dynamics of violence as applied in self-fense through martial disciplines. Here goes …

Instinct - Instinctual - Primal - Conditioned Responses

Instinct - an innate, typically fixed pattern of behavior in animals in response to certain stimuli.

Instinctual - of, relating to, or of the nature of instinct; prompted by or resulting from or as if from instinct; natural; unlearned.

Primal - essential; fundamental; relating to an early stage in evolutionary development; primeval.

Conditioned Responses - an automatic response established by training to an ordinarily neutral stimulus; he conditioned response must be learned; The conditioned response will only occur after an association has been made between an unconditioned stimulus and a conditioned stimulus.

Starting at the bottom, it appears that conditioned response works pretty good because it is about training, developing and creating automatic responses as to either verbal or physical or both to respons to stimulus so the click-n-whirr of the tape, sub-routine and/or function will be triggered, work under duress and stress-conditions to achieve self-fense goals. 

Since this is a learned conditioned response as described instinct and instinctual won’t work well because what we are doing must be open to necessary changes over time while instincts are typically fixed and since instinctual is of or related to instinct this term is not appropriate. 

Primal seems to work because what we train and practice and apply must be essential to making it work and fundamental to all training and practices so that it will be appropriate to situations and stimulus involved. Although it is not related but in a limited thin-thread way, i.e., fight or flight responses and chemical effects, it will have effect on an evolutionary development even if not nature related but evolutionary toward humans learning to handle more complex responses than natures’ instinctual flight-or-fight responses. 

In the end, the primal conditioned response recently becoming known to me from an article by Marc MacYoung really does hit the mark and the ‘instinctual fixed-action response’ seems not quite right in that instinct is used and fixed-action may present an incorrect perception because nothing in the conflict and violence game is fixed except maybe those fundamental principles underlying most trained responses. 

So, in future articles I will go back to Mr. MacYoung’s inferences underlying the phrase, “Primal Conditioned Response,” that can be verbal or action oriented, etc. 

Phew …. I consider this article a small minute example of the analysis and synthesis process you can find in the Boyd Loop explanations. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <Mr. Marc MacYoung at MacYoung’s Musings Blog> and No Nonsense Self-Defense Site> as the inspiration for this post.

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

No comments: