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Combatology

Combatology (def); the scholarly study of the psychology and physiology of combat (from Introduction to Grossman and Christensen, 2004. "On Combat").

Article on author's website: "Psychological Effects of Combat"

PERCEPTUAL DISTORTIONS IN COMBAT

85% Diminished Sound (auditory exclusion)
80% Tunnel Vision
74% Autopilot ("Scared Speechless")
72% Heightened Visual Clarity
65% Slow Motion Time
51% Memory Loss for Parts of the Event
47% Memory Loss for Some of Your Actions
40% Dissociation (detachment)
26% Intrusive Distracting Thoughts
22% Memory Distortions
16% Fast Motion Time
16% Intensified Sounds
7% Temprary Paralysis

(from "On Combat", page 55)
Article by LTC Grossman in NCO Magazine

LEFT: Figure from the book "On Killing" by LTC Grossman showing Resistance to Killing at varying distances.

Article: Natural Killers

. Physiology of Combat

CONDITION BLACK (heart rate above 175)
Irrational fight or flee
Freezing
Submissive behavior
Voiding of bladder and bowels
Gross motor skills (running, charging, etc. at highest performance level)

CONDITION GRAY (heart rate 145 - 175)
Cognitive processing deteriorates
Vasoconstriction (=reduced bleeding from wounds)
Loss of peripheral vision (tunnel vision)
Loss of depth perception
Loss of near vision
Auditory exclusion
Complex motor skill deteriorates

CONDITION RED - "THE ZONE" (heart rate between 115 and 145)
Optimal survival and combat performance level for:
Complex motor skills
Visual Reaction Time
Cognitive Reaction Time

CONDITIONAL YELLOW (heart rate 115)
Fine motor skill deteriorates

CONDITION WHITE (normal heart rate)

(from "On Combat", page 31)

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COMBAT BREATHING

Teach Combat (Tactical or Autogenic) Breathing for optimal survival and combat performance:


Begin by breathing in throught your nose to a slow count of four, which expands your belly like a balloon. Hold for a count of four, and then slowly exhale through your lips for a count of four, as your belly collapses like a balloon with its air released. Hold empty for a count of four and then repeat the process. That is it. Short, but effective.

(from "On Combat", page 323-324)


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Combatology also includes strategies for survival if wounded and "The Bulletproof Mind" concepts.