By John D. Nottingham, founder Nottingham Sword & Shield Security & Training, co-director of training at HelixTactical.com
Bruce Siddle "Sharpening the Warriors Edge: The Psychology and Science of Training"
Loren W. Christensen "Defensive Tactics: Modern Arrest and Control Techniques for Today's Police Warrior"
Dr. Hal Breedlove "Survival Stress Reaction"
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman "On Combat"
- Why is it that trained law enforcement, military, and even Black Belts can have difficulty performing under stress- when it matters most?
- What are the effects of adrenaline induced stress response of the human body?
Let's look at it from a physiological point of view...
Notice: The following statistics are based on an average person and exceptions do exist. Training and other factors can influence the functionality, response and duration of these effects.
Around 115 BPM (Heart Beats Per Minute)
Loss of fine motor skills ie finger dexterity and eye-hand coordination.
Result: Difficulty in unlocking coded door lock, locate, select and manipulate a key to open a door. Multitasking difficult.
Around 145 bpm
Loss of complex motor skills IE movements involving a series of muscle groups such as eye-hand coordination, precise tracking of movement and precision timing.
Around 175 bpm
Tunnel vision and loss of depth perception, initial loss of memory of what took place (though reports indicated there is usually a 30% recall ofter the first 24 hours, 50% after two days, and 75-95% after three to four days.)
185-220 bmp range
Hyper-vigilance IE "deer in headlights". Often characterized by performing actions that are functionally useless such as continuing to turn a doorknob on a locked door. Often, individuals are unable to move or scream. If they do move, they sometimes do irrationally by leaving their place of cover.
In my next article I will discuss some factors that influence the natural human reaction to survival stress and how training can not only reduce these effects but agents can inoculate themselves to be able to perform even during times of stress elevated heart rates.