The senses and sensibility

This is a discussion on The senses and sensibility within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The 5 commonly known/recognized senses humans have and use in our daily lives are Sight, Sound, Taste, Touch, and Smell. There’s a sixth sense I’ve ...

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Thread: The senses and sensibility

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    The senses and sensibility

    The 5 commonly known/recognized senses humans have and use in our daily lives are Sight, Sound, Taste, Touch, and Smell. There’s a sixth sense I’ve written about which most are unaware of which is Proprioception as well.

    In self-defense with the use of firearms, we primarily will use our sight, sound and touch senses. Sight to see what the potential threat is [recognition], Sound to identify where a potential threat may be coming from, [recognition], and Touch to access and use the firearm to defend ourselves with this particular tool [but it could be any object that could be used as a tool readily available and can put our hands on like a knife, scissors, hammer, beer bottle, etc].

    Obviously sight plays a significant role in self-defense. Sound may be the sense that alerts us initially to something [recognition again] and draws our attention to a specific area where vision then verifies more specifically that which drew out attention [recognition again].

    The two senses working in concert with each other [sight and sound] help us immensely in determining the direction, distance and manner of the potential threat. One or the other, or both almost simultaneously will usually be the leading factors in recognition that we may need to respond physically in some way in our defense.

    How that potential response is carried out will involve the sense of touch. We may move our feet along a macadam [pavement made of layers of compacted broken stone, now usually bound with tar or asphalt] or terra firma [solid ground or dry land]. The type of footing we are on will be dictated by our sense of touch and will be dependant on the type of footwear we are in, whether the ground beneath us is uneven, paved, rough, or smooth. All these involve the sense of touch, or how we perceive the way we are connected to the earth though our legs and feet [to include footwear].

    While in motion, we will be using another sense developed in most of us within a few months of being born and that will continue to be developed for the rest of our lives, which is called proprioception. This sense gives us natural balance, movement without falling over, and an understanding of where our feet are in time and space.

    Our touch sense also will be used when we reach for a holstered weapon, or any tool at any location familiar to us without having to use the sight sense to know where it is and how hard we are gripping with our fingers. This touch sense tells us we have gripped the weapon/tool, and is directly proportional to our proprioceptive ability to know where our limbs are in time and space, how much force must be used to pick up/move an object within that time and space.

    Through repetitive movements in practice, we develop a proprioceptive sense of where our arms and legs are in time and space, what movement is needed to access the tool we want to use and where that tool can be found without using our others senses. We develop our proprioceptive abilities, which frees us from having to use all of the senses we are normally born with to accomplish any given task the brain tells us we need to perform. It’s all done without conscious thought once we have honed these skills through repetition.

    The more we “practice”, the faster we can react to stimulus from the world we live in. Without highly developed proprioceptors and slow and fast twitch fibers in our muscles, we would not be able to access the tool/weapon as efficiently as possible in any given situation. To further development these skills requires us to repeat any given task over and over.

    Human muscles contain a genetically determined mixture of both slow and fast fiber types. On average, we have about 50 percent slow twitch and 50 percent fast twitch fibers in most of the muscles used for movement. In attempting to be as fast as possible to respond to outside stimulus, I’m interested in developing what are known as the Type IIb muscle [ twitch ] Fibers

    These fast twitch fibers use anaerobic metabolism to create energy and are the "classic" fast twitch muscle fibers that excel at producing quick, powerful bursts of speed. This muscle fiber has the highest rate of contraction (rapid firing) of all the muscle fiber types, but it also has a much faster rate of fatigue and can't last as long before it needs rest.

    Moving out of a potential kill zone [ moving off line of the attack ], accessing and drawing the weapon [ getting the tool into play ], and, in this case, bringing the firearm muzzle to bear as soon as possible to be able to fire and hit with it in the least amount of time all require the efficient use and high development of our Type IIb muscle [ twitch ] Fibers along with our highly developed proprioceptors which allow subconscious thought in our actions.

    The above fairly covers the advanced development of one of the senses, the sense of touch and subsequent movement through our touch sense, both the sense of being connected to the earth through our legs and feet [ moving along the ground ], as well as the sense of touch through are hands and fingers [ accessing the tool in the most efficient manner possible ], none of which could be possible with real speed without the development and use of proprioception and/or our development and use of proprioceptors.
    I’ve already written about how proprioception [ the understanding of where our arms and legs are in relationship to our environ and how it works with another sense [ the sight sense ].

    I’ve been able to develop the “Enhanced Peripheral Vision” © TM skills using proprioception over direct vision skills in the last 18 months both physically and conceptually. Students are discovering exactly what they are capable of doing without using direct vision and how they can develop their peripheral sense of vision, not having to always rely on direct vision.

    Lately I’ve been working on further development of another of our senses [ the sense of sound with the use of proprioception ]. In the last few months, one of my students and I have discussed introducing advanced drills to further students sense of sound and being able to determine where the threat is, and more importantly being able to then muzzle the threat without any visual ques which could be used in total darkness. I’ll discuss the use of my “Enhanced Auditory Perception” © TM skills in another article in the future.

    Brownie
    The mind is the limiting factor

    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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    If it works, use it.
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    Excellent, Brownie! I'm sure all the great gunfighters and fighter aces have developed this. I sometimes think of the jazz musicians who have developed such skill with their "axes" that they can ad lib and jam instant changes without thinking about individual finger position. Our goal is to train until technique becomes transparent to instinct.
    Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776

    Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
    -Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 95

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    gunthorp,

    Very good analogy and thought process here:

    great gunfighters and fighter aces as well as any highly trained professional definately developed and still develop their skills today through the subject I'm talking about here, even if they don't understand the "how" of it all.

    I find it important, in developing acutely honed high level skills, to understand how those skills may be further enhanced through "drills" and repetition that develop the proprioceptors necessary to be the best you can be at any particular skill.

    There's a lot of research and study on the subject, where athletes are concerned specifically to hone and enhance their abilities. Records are broken yearly in all fields, in no small part from the research and subsequent training they are receiving.

    It need be no less for us "shooters", and as my signature on my own forum states "The mind is the limiting factor" as to what we are actually capable of attaining.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Brownie
    The mind is the limiting factor

    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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    You mean others have the spidey sense too?
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    SIXTO,

    I'd think the spidey sense is intuition, a conscious feeling or sense.

    As one member of http://www.threatfocused.com/forums/index.php put it very well.

    Moving from the mechanics of proprioception into areas of its value some things become apparent. Proprioception, operating outside of the I-function enhances its value in the area of self defense.

    It does this by not congesting the conscious part of the brain with unneeded communication and feeback about the movement of the body. This leaves the conscious part of the brain free to interact with the five common senses in determning threats and the best response to them. The performing of the chosen response at the proprioceptive level, leaves the conscious brain free for incoming visual, tactile or auditory information, wherein the cycle begins again.

    Moving back into the mechanics of proprioception, some other things come to mind. A higher level of proprioception is a significant asset. Even if specific proprioceptive abilities would rarely or never be used, I believe their acquisition is still beneficial and enhances other similar abilities. The negative aspect of this realtionship is demonstrated in Field Sobriety tests. Proprioceptive skills, such as touching the nose with the eyes closed, are used in part to determine if one is capable of another partially proprioceptive action, driving a vehicle. This would seem to establish that proprioceptive skills are viewed as related.


    I think the Spidey sense you mention is an important sense to have as well, it can also be developed IMO. Hope you and the members on this forum had a safe holiday.

    Brownie
    Last edited by AzQkr; November 23rd, 2007 at 12:22 AM.
    The mind is the limiting factor

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    It is most definitely honed as you gain experience. I think everyone is has it, some people have learned how to use it, others don’t for whatever reason.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    I think everyone is has it, some people have learned how to use it, others don’t for whatever reason.

    I could not agree more sir. It's fairly well recognized that we only use something like 10% of our brain power. We only need to learn to use more of what we already possess.

    Brownie
    The mind is the limiting factor

    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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    One of these days, I'm going to master the "force". I should be able to bend spoons soon by the end of this week.

    Really though, I've noticed myself more and more dependant and trusting of the 6th sense as I spend more time on the street. Its been a neat progression for me, and its also neat to watch rookies develop it. Some never do though.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    I've noticed myself more and more dependant and trusting of the 6th sense as I spend more time on the street

    If we are smart, we can also use the BG's spidey sense to our advantage. Living the streets as most of them do, they also use their senses to determine the easy prey among us.

    It's not even what people know, it's what they think they know that becomes their reality. If we present ourselves in a certain way mentally and physically on the streets, most of the time they'd prefer to move onto an easier mark.

    It works both ways in the real world, lets make sure we use it to our advantage whenever possible.

    Brownie
    The mind is the limiting factor

    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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