How to Master The Three Basic Stages of Combat

There are three basic stages of combat that need to be defined: pre-conflict, immediate conflict and post-conflict. They form the process that is undergone when faced with any form of conflict situation.

1. Pre- conflict

This deals mainly with awareness and presence. First, you become aware that something is amiss or bothering you; this might be a sense of uneasiness before a big interview, somebody staring at you in a bar or perhaps a rowdy group approaching you in a street, giving you the sense that there may be a possibility of direct conflict. At this point, your body will start to react and you will need to activate your presence by moving into your body and grounding the upward motion of energy. Your ability to do this is governed by how well you have studied and embodied Meditation and Chi Kung. Perhaps the aggressor will move away or lose interest or perhaps you forget about the impending interview so that no conflict actually takes place in the end, but if not and, say, the aggressor begins to approach you, the reaction within yourself will intensify. This is where pre-conflict ends and immediate conflict begins.


2. Immediate conflict

This is when direct confrontation occurs, such as when the time of your big interview actually arrives or the aggressor confronts you directly. In the latter case, if the aggressor closes the distance between you then, with your presence, you must prepare for the possibility of attack by applying the Strategy of Distance and opening to your attacker’s body language. If you have embodied this strategy then if your attacker physically tries to strike you, you will be able to respond with the appropriate technique without having to think about it. A conflict does not always escalate to physical violence, it could just be a verbal or emotional attack, but the immediate conflict procedure will take its course and come to some sort of conclusion, at which point immediate conflict passes into post-conflict. In our interview example, you must apply the relevant strategy, such as gaining knowledge of the company’s background, dressing appropriately, and so on.

3. Post-conflict

This needs special attention, as we tend to underrate its significance. Following conflict situations you will still have many of the chemicals released through fear circulating in your system; essentially, you will still be in shock. This is an altered state of awareness and can greatly increase the chance of accidents or misjudgments post-conflict. For example, following a road-rage incident you will need to refocus quickly if you have to drive so as to avoid an accident, or if you are a nurse then you will need to get yourself back to normal so that you do not make a mistake and harm a patient, or you may have to give a detailed statement to the police and thus require a clear head. Another example is following a big interview when you will want to control the anxiety of waiting to hear whether you succeeded. Realizing that you are in an altered state is the first step to dealing with it, and it is at this point that you should apply your techniques for grounding energy to bring yourself back into a more ‘normal’ or familiar state of being. You will probably feel the after-effects for some time – the conflict scene may replay repeatedly in your head or, as is a very common reaction, you may berate yourself for not having acted in a particular way (very common after interviews). Not only is it dangerous to be unaware of the effects of post-conflict, but you can also waste a tremendous amount of energy if you do not help your body to return to its normal state of homeostasis through your training.


The key to refocusing in post-conflict situations is the ability to practice non attachment to internal conversation/daydreaming and build a strong connection with the breath. The remembrance of the immediate conflict is most powerful directly afterwards, when the natural chemicals in your system power internal conversation and images. When you become aware that you are replaying and commenting on the conflict in your mind, activate your presence, remembering the third dimension of centering (dropping down and letting go), which pulls the energy away from the head, so weakening internal conversation. Becoming aware of the breath is the most powerful method for restoring homeostasis because it brings a balance between the somatic and autonomic nervous systems, thus reducing the circulating fight-or-flight chemicals.

By looking at conflict in three stages, we prepare ourselves to deal with the inevitable effects of shock. We use our Martial Art skills in all three areas to lessen the effects of shock and begin to bring some order to one of the most powerful experiences a human can have.

Filed Under: General How To's


About the Author: Bruno Silva is an entrepreneur from Portugal with over 15 years of experience in Online Marketing. He is also a blogger and writes on variety of topics from online marketing to designs, cars to loans, etc.

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