Re: How to get past the stress response?
I think there's 2 approaches to this.
Self-defense schools usually take the most pragmatic, accessible and reliable approach - by using heavily padded "attackers" which badmouth you and get your andrenaline going, etc.
Peyton Quinn has a lot of innovative methods toward simulating a variety of situations and accustoming people to reacting properly under andrenal stress.
This approach says "ah, screw it, you ARE going to have andrenaline response and lets embrace that and make the best of it".
Aikido seems to take the other approach, where the person does NOT have an andrenaline response at all, but remains calm and capable of fine motor movement in such situation.
Although a valid approach, it is not something a person can learn in a short period of time, and it is also impossible to learn this without having prior experiences where you have in fact been under andrenal stress.