Posturing

Posturing is the all but lost art of beating people by means of psyche, winning with guile as opposed to force. It is the art of fighting without fighting. In layman's terms it means scaring the shit out of the opponent with 'blag', so that they don't want to enter a physical arena with you. For every fight that I've had where I employed a physical response, I must have had at least another three where I beat my opponent with posturing techniques, guile as opposed to force. Initially, in my early days of door work I postured instinctively, though not very convincingly. Then, when I realised the potency of the long forgotten art of posturing, I started to explore the histrionics of it and then, subsequently fine tune it until it became laser sharp. Whenever a potentially confrontational situation arose on the door I would practice posturing to see if I could psyche the opponent out instead of knocking him out. I had great success with it, now it is my teaching mainstay.

I generally employ posturing when verbal dissuasion is not working. You can usually tell when this occurs because the attacker will keep moving forward and touching the fence a very bad sign. Distance close down is one of the final precursors to a physical attack. I never let anyone touch the fence more than twice -it's too dangerous.

Firstly let me explain why posturing works and where the premise for the 95% rule was formed. There have been numerous surveys carried out on soldiers in wartime, which reveal that in most conflicts, bar the Vietnam War (I'll discuss that later) -at the point of actually killing another human being, even at the threat of being killed themselves -95% of the soldiers became conscientious objectors. That is, at the point of actually killing another person of the same species 95% of the people couldn't do it. They shot their bullets into the ground, high into the air or they didn't shoot at all. Hence the need for a sergeant kicking the soldiers up the arse and making them kill. So 5% of the soldiers did approximately 95% of the killings. These soldiers are generally classed by society as sociopaths, people that have no problem killing others of the same species. This is similar to the way the immune system sends out killer T -cells to kill cancerous or viral cells entering the body. The other 95% of cells in the body are not designed to kill, instead they are designed to help sustain life.

What the 95% Rule tells us, is that in violent conflicts of a self-defence nature (eg. street fights), 95% of the people are going to react in exactly the same way. As in warfare between nations, the same rules apply to a small conflict between two people, or any situation that the brain sees as contentious. This is a war in microcosm -a small war. So 95% of us, when faced with conflict, are not going to want to be there, we too are going to become conscientious objectors. What this fact allows us to comprehend, is that the majority of people don't want to fight and if we can give them any way out they, and we, will take it. The instinct to run as opposed to fight, as stated earlier, is deeply imbedded in our genes and goes back to mammalian ancestry. Our Instinct In that dangerous age was sharply honed for survival at any cost, this usually meant fleeing from wild animals that wanted to eat us and were to big/dangerous to fight against. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon your views), these instincts are still with us, though we have lost our understanding of them somewhat. If we flee from potential danger in this age, especially the male of the species, we feel -or we are made to feel -like cowards.

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Therefore, when faced by danger, 95% of us want to run away. This feeling is not easily overridden, it is so strong that most of us will flee before we even know what has happened to us. This is because when we are in fight or flight mode, we revert to what is called the mid-brain, and in mid-brain we are hardly discernible from animals.

My friend was telling me how disgusted he was by the actions of several men who displayed 'cowardly' tendencies in a 'virtual reality' ride that he went on in London. This virtual reality war game involved a group being locked in a room and exposed to a pretend war scenario. Several men were in the room with their girlfriends and wives eagerly anticipating the fun, when suddenly the doors burst open and some soldiers burst in with automatic weapons (part of the game) and opened fire. Three of the men, going into midbrain, ran for the door in an attack of panic, one even elbowed his girl friend in the face to escape. Their brains thought that the danger was real and thousands of years of instinct locked into their genes went into action. They fled for their lives. I explained to my horrified friend that these men did nothing more than react to natural instinct. Believe me, no-one will be feeling as bad as these men, who will be sitting at home beating themselves up, wondering why they are such cowards. It takes great understanding and will to override these very strong instincts.

During the Vietnam War the soldiers were taught to override natural instinct and, as a consequence, the 95% rule was reversed -95% of the soldiers did kill. This reversal was due to the psychological training that the soldiers were put through. The American soldiers went through a period of desensitisation and dehumanisation: they watched video footage of the Viet Cong acting out atrocities -killing, butchering, raping women and children -until they no longer saw their enemy as human beings, rather they viewed them as animals. When they shot at the Vet Cong they were merely shooting rats on a river bank. It is slightly peripheral to this book, but I have to say that dehumanisation, in my opinion is not a good thing, it is used here only to give example to my point.

Our 'ancestral Instinct', Is badly outdated and has gone crazy in a society where we have more neurological stressors than ever before. The fight or flight instinct works off the senses and triggers adrenaline and other stress hormones, such as Cortisol, when it feels that danger is imminent. In theory this seems fine, it prepares us for a life or death battles with contemporary aggressors. In reality though this is not the case because our senses are constantly being attacked by stimuli that 'might' be aggressive but most often are not. Even the aggressive horn of a car can trigger 'fight or flight', releasing a cocktail of stress hormones into the blood for a behavioural release that never occurs. Moving jobs, moving house, changing partners, confronting the boss etc. may cause us enough worry to fool the brain into thinking that the intangible threat is in fact a sabre-toothed tiger, releasing adrenaline that is not utilised behaviourally. Of course these things are not life and death scenarios, but our senses think that they are and still give us the instinct to run away, which a greater majority do and so never achieve their life's dreams. People often don't take chances in their life, career, relationship or hobby because they feel this mammalian instinct to run for their lives. Fear is what keeps people ordinary. Humans, as a species, do not realise their potential, because fear acts as a barrier between them and their dreams. We are also left with the very corrosive effect of Cortisol remaining in the blood stream when behavioural fight or flight was not actuated.

Cortisol, one of the main chemicals released during fight or flight, has a very corrosive effect on the soft muscle tissue like the heart, lungs and intestines. It is also thought to playa part in inadvertently killing brain cells. So if we have physiological fight or flight (the release of stress hormones) but no behavioural fight or flight (those same stress hormones are not used and stay in the blood, like tissue assassins), we are killing ourselves from the inside out. The body realises this and will find any surrogate release it can for these trapped hormones, usually in a displaced manner, for example road rage, marital disputes, temper tantrums, irrational behaviour, even violence. These incidents do release the trapped hormones but, due to the contentious nature of the release, they create more and we find ourselves locked into a cycle of stress degeneration. Let me explain: you take your stress out on a family member, perhaps your wife, she gets in a mood with you and doesn't speak for two days. What does that do? It creates more stress because there is contention in the home. I could go on all day about this but I am already aware that I have slipped outside the context of this book. So for more details on this please refer to my books Fear The Friend of Exceptional People and The Other Side of Fear.

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