How will you perform at the moment of truth?
What's going to happen to you physically and emotionally in a real fight where you could be injured or killed? Will you defend yourself immediately, hesitate during the first few critical seconds of the fight, or will you be so paralyzed with fear that you won't be able to move at all? The answer is - you won't know until you can say, "Been there, done that." However, there is a way to train for that fearful day.
Thermal Shock Training
When the human body is subjected to extreme cold there are predictable physiological conditions which occur: the body pulls blood from the limbs and concentrates it in the inner core to give warmth to vital organs. Digits get numb, reaction time slows, fine motor skills are reduced, and the thinking process is dulled. In actual combat the body can experience similar stresses like that of cold: fine motor skills give way to gross motor skills, breathing becomes rapid and shallow, and reaction time may be slowed. To simulate this stress takes nothing more than cold water making contact with skin.
Tonight, for your training, in the privacy of your own shower, stand underneath the shower head before turning on the water. Brace yourself, and then turn the cold-water faucet to full blast, allowing the cold-water to hit you all at once; not just a part of your body to get used to it, but all of it. Let the cold-water continually run over you. The sudden shock to the body that you'll experience is close to the shock that you'll experience when your life is on the line in combat.
Naturally, under such conditions it's hard to function normally, but that's exactly what you have to do in order to train yourself to overcome the shock, hence the name Thermal Shock Training. Yes, it's extremely uncomfortable, but so is combat. When you're running the cold-water over your body, which automatically makes you breath rapidly and shallow, or it can even stop respiration altogether for a few seconds under extreme cold-water temperatures, you must master mind over body control by returning your breathing back to a deep and rhythmic pattern as soon as possible. The better you control your breathing the more relaxed your muscles will be, and the clearer your decision-making abilities will be.
Clear thinking then leads to better performance, and so the next step of your training is to do a few self-defense techniques but start slowly so you don't slip or hurt yourself in the shower, such as a few hand strikes and blocks. Do not attempt any knees strikes or kicks, which you wouldn't attempt anyway if you were in a real fight while it's raining or snowing due to the risk of slipping. Build up your tolerance to the cold-water, and even try to put the shock and discomfort completely out of your mind. Your reward for putting yourself through this torment for a minute or two will be a warm shower afterward. This also happens to be the same mindset for real combat, "I must endure this torment momentarily, but I will be victorious and continue to live." Life is the greatest reward after a battle.
In the U.S. Navy SEALs, Marine Force Recon, and Army Special Forces that train extensively in waterborne operations, and I've had the privilege of teaching and training with each, their personnel are subjected to cold-water exposure (CWE), by standing in the cold surf or other body of water without thermal protection. Prior to reaching hypothermia (a condition where the body heat falls below normal) they are ordered out of the water and are required to perform various tasks (in the form of strenuous physical exercise), and then sent back into the water after their core temperature has returned to normal. Cold is a great demoralizer and dealing with it takes mental fortitude.
In 2000 I was training a Brazilian Military Police S.W.A.T. team called G.A.T.E. (Grupo de Ações Táticas Especiais), and I had them jump into the cold ocean water from a boat dock. The water was approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Centigrade). They entered the water with their Battle Dress Uniforms (BDUs), but I had them leave their tactical gear on shore or else they'd sink to the bottom like a rock. When they crawled up on the rocky shore, they immediately put on their gun belts and practiced gun retention techniques (preventing a suspect from taking the officer's own sidearm from the holster and using it against them) using plastic training guns like I had just taught them when they were dry. After the plunge into the cold-water they had to perform the same techniques while dripping wet, cold and shivering. My students found that the stress induced by the cold required more energy and determination then when they were doing the same techniques earlier in the ideal conditions of the warm training room.
A WORD OF WARNING! When professionals train in waterborne operations there is always a qualified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Combat Medic present to monitor swimmers. Prolong exposure to cold can cause injury and/or death. Although Thermal Shock Training is safe in your own shower, I recommend no more than a couple of minutes under the cold water, not freezing water, which is just enough time to master mind over body.
BE A HARD TARGET
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This week I've asked Robert Borisch to give me a birds eye view on his marketing strategy.
Robert is the head sensei and owner of Tri-City Judo a well-established commercial judo school in Kennewick, Washington. I am very impressed with his highly successful business. Unlike BJJ, TKD, karate, and krav maga, in judo we tend to teach in community centers, YMCA's, and other not for profit outlets. So when I find a for profit judo model that is growing by leaps and bounds, it intrigues me. Below are Robert's raw and uncensored comments spoken like a true commercial martial arts school entrepreneur / owner.
Robert Borisch - Quality Builds Quantity
We use social media; Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Google business as our only forms of ads. Now as my IT guy have taught me hashtags (#'s) make all the difference. For example, the #1 term used in our area for search is martial arts, then BJJ, Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Judo Take downs, submissions etc. So on the those tags it will pull you up more when people search. We do Instagram and FB ads for only a week.
Our 5 & under and our no gi judo classes are huge hits. We also promote any accolades our members have in another sport to attach ourselves to their success as part of our dojo's family. We separate classes from tachiwaza standing only Monday to newaza groundwork only Wednesday and no gi Thursday. We are adding a 4th class for basic judo for juniors.
We promote any and all ranked USA kids, it's a huge weapon vs. the BJJ schools. Gotta use success to counter their bling and bs of the high-priced BJJ schools in my opinion. We also go to all BJJ tournaments, submission tournaments and judo tournaments we can and use the mantra we are the most complete dojo in the 509. The BJJ schools hate it which is good feedback for us!
We also push the theme if your standing isn't as good as your ground your half a grappler! They hate that too. We have 143 members now. 30 in 5 & under class give or take a few / 90+ in Beginner Judo class / 25+ in adult & advanced class. Now we put up posts on google once or twice a week because the more you post and post pics and videos its increases your viewings.
Now google works great with Android but yelp we do the same posting because iPhone pick it up first you need to hit both. We also just picked up 4 www accounts that we opened to snatch from other clubs and we redirected the links to us. Kinda slick, but gotta know the game. Our IT guy is good and he does our website.
We also push no contract and no testing or promotion fee's, since the BJJ schools are all about $$ and contracts and fee's. We make sure to stay below them on price. We work hard to follow all the local clubs schools and businesses and get a lot of feedback from them; we offer our walls for company banners if we can put ours in their business.
We work hard to get traction into the wrestling community and that's has been a great thing for kids for us. We let the local Sherriff's department use our club free of charge for their defensive tactics training classes as well and they promote us. We use social media every way we can as you can see. And we also we use local TV for public relations and press releases.
Robert Borisch's Judo Bio
Father of 5 kids. 2 girls.3 boys. If you want more info on them or me let me know.
I'm 51. Started judo in 1975 in Richland, WA. Moved to Buffalo, NY grew up there did judo through high school but focused on football and track. Got a football scholarship to Texas but still continued judo throughout the years. Was signed by Ford models in NYC and traveled world as model and had my gi packed in bag ready to roll. Lived in Milan, Italy and used as home base for modeling & trained judo there for many years and most European cities when traveling. Trained around USA at clubs while traveling. I settled in Easter, Washington taking a job with Department of Energy. Trained at two great local clubs here in town before opening up 10 years ago my own Dojo.
Borisch at the United States Olympic Training Center
- Asia Borisch
- Zach Borisch - Part 1 & Part 2
- Community Hero: Judo Teacher Inspires the Kids he Teaches
- Local Judo Competitors Travel to Junior Olympics
The man who apparently launched a racist verbal attack on U.S. women's kata champion Sakura Kokumai earlier this month in a California park has been arrested following a physical assault on an elderly Korean-American couple in the same park Sunday. Michael Vivona is accused of punching a 79-year-old man and his 80-year-old wife without provocation.
Mynewsla.com reported that a group of people playing basketball in Grijalva Park at the time of the assault recognized Vivona from his previous harassment of Kokumai and surrounded him until a nearby police officer arrived to make an arrest. The incident with Kokumai, who is slated to represent the United States in this summer's Tokyo Olympics, gained widespread notice after she posted a video of it on social media in an effort to increase awareness about the growing threat of anti-Asian racism.