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Old 06-17-2005, 03:33 AM   #1
Rupert Atkinson
 
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How to Get Out Alive

Interesting Article on How to Survive:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/pr...3663-1,00.html

Ask yourself, how does your own instinct shape up?

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Old 06-17-2005, 06:40 AM   #2
L. Camejo
 
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Great article. Something I've been thinking about in recent times too.

Goes to show that a bit of reality-based scenario training (for any type of disaster/unusual situation) can go a long way as far as the psychological aspects of dealing with danger and an imminent threat are concerned.

Reminds me of a Bruce Lee saying: "The best preparation for an event is the event itself."

It's interesting what happens when we become too conditioned as a result of a generally safe and "protected" way of life. Reminds me of the Pizza Parlor Attack thread -http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7653 - a while back and how the folks in the place just milled around looking at each other as the vicitim got beaten into a puddle.

Great article on human response mechanisms.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:45 AM   #3
Nick Simpson
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

You never know do you, till it happens. Sobering stuff...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:23 AM   #4
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Check out 'Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why' by Laurence Gonzalez, he does an excellent job of covering this topic and gives many perspectives. The begining is a little slow as he discusses in detail how the brain works (which chemicals are released, blood flow, neurons firing, etc) but it picks up quickly. Not only an excellent read it will make you look at your own training in new perspectives.

MJ
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:55 AM   #5
aikidocapecod
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

As we sit safely in front of our computers and read the article, I wonder how many of us are saying,

"I would have remained calm and moved quickly to the nearest path of escape."

We do not know how we will react to a situation until we are placed in the situation. All the training in the world cannot come with the promise of using that training when placed in a situation of peril. we all like to think we will react with calmness and intelligence, but that is not the case.

Take for example the many stories we hear on the news about a car accident with a couple adults and a couple children. Often we hear that the 5 year old was the one that grabbed the cell phone and dialed 911.

The child's mind has fewer thoughts going through it. While the adult is thinking about their pain..the child's pain..and the broken eggs in the trunk.

It is very easy for us arm-chair philosophers to say "My Aikido training will allow me to stay calm when confronted with any critical situation." But till placed there...we will never know.

The best we can hope for is never to be placed in that situation. But if we find ourselves in that spot,
I hope that whatever higher power is watching over us will indeed gives us the strength to fall back on our training and calmness of mind to react in a mnner that will allow us to save ourself and another around us.
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:03 AM   #6
rob_liberti
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

I am confident that while I would in all probably not remain completely calm (although I'm sure I'd try to fake it, and I'd love to think I will achieve complete self trust someday); regardless, I'd be able to get to relative safety.

Rob
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:28 AM   #7
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

[quote=Larry Murray]
It is very easy for us arm-chair philosophers to say "My Aikido training will allow me to stay calm when confronted with any critical situation." But till placed there...we will never know.[quote]

Who said anything of the sort? Are you reading the same posts, cause I don't see where anyone implied what you wrote. Your post seems a tad preachy. Perhaps you were reading your own thoughts into others words, not a good idea.

[quote=Larry Murray] Take for example the many stories we hear on the news about a car accident with a couple adults and a couple children. Often we hear that the 5 year old was the one that grabbed the cell phone and dialed 911.

The child's mind has fewer thoughts going through it. While the adult is thinking about their pain..the child's pain..and the broken eggs in the trunk. [quote]

This is an interesting point covered in the book mentioned above. In survival situation childern under the age of 7 have one of the highest survival rates. Children between 7 and I think it was 16 or 18 have one of the lowest survival rates during survival situations.

Furthermore, the book covers the pitfalls that CAN be caused by training, i.e. we tend to see things as we want them to be (or how we were trained to see them), not as they actually are. Those that survive the best live in the moment and see reality as it is, not filtered through their ego of how they wish it to be.

Another good read that touches on the subject, although looser is 'blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking' by Malcolm Gladwell. Fast enjoyable read.

Mark J.
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:39 AM   #8
aikidocapecod
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Hi Mark,

I understand how you may have read what I said as you did. I was not implying those thoughts were anybody's. Just my own opinion......I have had many discussions with fellow Aikidoka..and friends outside of the MA world concerning the tragedy of 9/11. I was surprised to hear how many were absolutely confident that they would have reacted with a calm thoughtful mind if they had been in the Twin Tower complex.

As for me being Preachy......Naaa...I am nobody to preach to another....again...just my own humble opinion.....
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Old 06-17-2005, 09:05 AM   #9
guest89893
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Yes, that was a very good article. I think something some of my firemen students and I were discussing regarding fires also applies in plane/building evacuations. People don't want to be seen as worried or not brave about something. So most people do not listen to the evacuation drill because it would give the impression that they're cowardly. So many people die in fires that occur in commercial buildings because of that time delay - not wanting to be the person who seems scared or as this article states, not really knowing what to do - so they do nothing.
Now Hurricanes are weird whole'nother animal, you usually get to spend a week or more watching it come towards you-less with Gulf created storms- and through the whole process you deciding stay/go/where to go if you go-cause often you drive right to where the storm ends up instead of getting away from it. Last year we had a seminar here in the Tampa Bay area, the event got cut short due to the change and speed of one of the hurricanes and the dinner/party Saturday night turned into an impromptu hurricane storm watching party, ending rather early by Aikido standards. Oops, sorry I'm rambling on instead of just a quick note.
Gene
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Old 06-17-2005, 09:11 AM   #10
Nick Simpson
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Everytime I've been injured I seem to have gone onto auto-pilot, taking myself to the best course of action. i.e. compressing my hand, getting off the mat and to a first aid room with a sink when cut. Getting up and walking home with a broken arm so I could get to hospital from there etc etc.

I dont know what I would act like in a disaster as thankfully I have never been involved in one.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 06-17-2005, 09:49 AM   #11
batemanb
 
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

When I lived in Tokyo earthquakes were a frequent occurance and worry. All too often I was awoken in the middle of the night with heart in mouth and the apartment walls moving in opposite directions.

Your immediate thoughts are "shall I get everyone up", "do we run for safety", by which time the tremors start to subside and it's too late. Then you lie in bed and shake knowing that if it had been a biggy, the apartments above would have flattened us long before we started to move.

Regards

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:51 AM   #12
Nick P.
 
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Sept 11.
Planes start crashing.
US airspace is closed; all planes ordered to land or are redirected.
I live + work in Montreal.
In a big building (there aren't that many).
Planes are coming.
Are there more planes in the air that are supposed to hit buildings?

My first instinct was "When you do not know what is happening, and the only common thread is big buildings and crashing planes, and I am standing in one, time to leave."

Most of the downtown core emptied. I have no idea why I stayed. Mostly because, like in the article, the group mentality kicks in.

Interesting article.

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Old 06-17-2005, 12:56 PM   #13
NixNa
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Nice article, thanks for the info and the input, it really makes me wonder how will things be when it happens..
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Old 06-17-2005, 01:58 PM   #14
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

I was on a subway a couple of years ago and a lady got her army caught in the door and could not get it out when it started moving. I was several rows away, and there were several abled bodied males standing in close proximity that could assist her. She panic'd and screamed. Everyone just stared at her waiting for someone to do something.

I finally got up, calmly pushed several of them out of the way. Forced the door open, and pulled her inward. Then "pushed" my way back through the guys again and sat back down.

I could not believe that no one even took any action on it. Not that they did not care, just did not know what to do, or figured that someone else should do it.
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:39 PM   #15
Adam Alexander
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Didn't anyone notice the implication in the article by stating: "Until last year, it was illegal to require anyone in a New York City high rise to evacuate in a drill. That is absurd, of course."

I don't know if anyone knows this, but in the fifties or sixties, it took a lot of people to gain the FREEDOM to not participate in the New York bomb drills and now this person says that having the freedom to choose to participate in such things is "absurd."

Hmm, I guess thinking for oneself is absurd when it contradicts the beliefs of another.
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:54 PM   #16
eyrie
 
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I was on a subway a couple of years ago and a lady got her army caught in the door and could not get it out when it started moving. I was several rows away, and there were several abled bodied males standing in close proximity that could assist her. She panic'd and screamed. Everyone just stared at her waiting for someone to do something.

I finally got up, calmly pushed several of them out of the way. Forced the door open, and pulled her inward. Then "pushed" my way back through the guys again and sat back down.

I could not believe that no one even took any action on it. Not that they did not care, just did not know what to do, or figured that someone else should do it.
*applause and respect*

It's amazing how people stand around waiting for someone else to step up to the plate.

Good on you Kevin!

Ignatius
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Old 06-17-2005, 09:37 PM   #17
Big Dave
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I was on a subway a couple of years ago and a lady got her army caught in the door and could not get it out when it started moving. I was several rows away, and there were several abled bodied males standing in close proximity that could assist her. She panic'd and screamed. Everyone just stared at her waiting for someone to do something.

I finally got up, calmly pushed several of them out of the way. Forced the door open, and pulled her inward. Then "pushed" my way back through the guys again and sat back down.

I could not believe that no one even took any action on it. Not that they did not care, just did not know what to do, or figured that someone else should do it.


I think this is called the "Bystander Effect" or something like that. The basic idea is that when there are many people that witness someone in need, everyone expects somebody else to do something. I think there have even been studies that have shown an inverse relationship to the number of people around relative to the chances of being helped. In other words, the more people there are, the less likely somebody will do something.
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Old 06-17-2005, 10:09 PM   #18
sutemaker17
 
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Kevin, that reminds me of an article I read a while back about a woman being raped in the middle of a crowded apartment complex courtyard in broad daylight. As I remember the ordeal lasted for nearly an hour before someone finally ran up to the scene and put a stop to it.
Dave, if I remember correctly the term given to the lack of action among the several bystanders was "responsibility displacement".
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Old 06-17-2005, 10:27 PM   #19
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I was on a subway a couple of years ago and a lady got her army caught in the door and could not get it out when it started moving. I was several rows away, and there were several abled bodied males standing in close proximity that could assist her. She panic'd and screamed. Everyone just stared at her waiting for someone to do something.

I finally got up, calmly pushed several of them out of the way. Forced the door open, and pulled her inward. Then "pushed" my way back through the guys again and sat back down.

I could not believe that no one even took any action on it. Not that they did not care, just did not know what to do, or figured that someone else should do it.
Kevin,
Good post and story. It seems like another lifetime now but I used to be a Naval Officer. During that time I learned first hand the difference between training and real life. We constantly trained for fires, main space (engine room) fires being the worst. A main space fire can very easily sink a ship if not controlled quickly. While we had many fires we luckily didn't have any mainspace fires, however we had numerous fuel oil spills in the main space. Drop 1000+ gallons into a hot mainspace and the likelyhood of a fire is high. We always treated these spills as fires because they can flash in an instant then the temp goes to over 2000 degrees F in less than 2 minutes. This is bad.

Everyone on the ship knows this due to the tons of training, especially for the engineers that work in these spaces. Anyway, there is a vast difference between a drill and the real thing. During the drills everyone will do their job if properly motivated but the energy level is routine and professional. Drop a 1000 gallons of fuel for real in a space and the mood is different. Strangely it's very still at first. Everyone rushes to their station and then just kinda stops. My repair locker was about 80 guys and they simply stopped and stared at me. I could feel the fear and they were not afraid of the fire, they were afraid of making a mistake because this wasn't a drill it was real and it mattered. No one wanted to responsible, they wanted to be told what to do. I can still feel that feeling of the tension coming off the guys in waves, of course it happened many times, more than it should have.

Once I started yelling out orders, the fear evaporated, almost instantly, their training kicked in and everyone carried on smartly. When the tension came back I cracked a joke or chewed someone out for being slow/lazy, either way this was normal to the guys and it easied the tension. I saw this same thing happen in a missile accident we had and various other not so good situation. To be honest this is one of the things I miss the most, that feeling of everyone looking to you for answers in a pressure situation.

To sum it all up, what I have learned is that in real life danger situations most folks are afraid of making a mistake, they want to be TOLD what to do. It's not that the people on the train didn't want to help or thought someone else would do it, they simply were afraid of messing it up and then being responsible. I am guessing, but I think if you had yelled "Hey guy but the door, open that darn thing up and pull her" he probably would have done it without a second thought. It would have been your decision not his.

The same thing frequently applies in martial arts training, people don't want to make a mistake when doing a technique so they simply don't do anything. The fear of making a mistake can be paralyzing.

Well sorry for the long ramble. Take care.

Mark J.
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Old 06-17-2005, 10:53 PM   #20
eyrie
 
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Hence the difference between leaders and followers....

Ignatius
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Old 06-18-2005, 06:37 PM   #21
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

I just finished my annual first aid/CPR training for work, and kept thinking, "I've been taught this for years and I'd still be terrifed if I ever had to use it!" for the same reason, I'd be afraid I'd leave someone worse off than when I started to help them.

Jeanne
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Old 06-19-2005, 06:54 PM   #22
bcole23
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Re: How to Get Out Alive

Wow, great article, thanks for posting!

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