The OODA Loop

The OODA Loop

This is a discussion on The OODA Loop within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Here is a little Wiki on it OODA Loop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The OODA loop is both simple and complex. Here is the ...

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Thread: The OODA Loop

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    The OODA Loop

    Here is a little Wiki on it OODA Loop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The OODA loop is both simple and complex. Here is the gist as I learned it and teach it. Col Boyd was a pilot who theorized that if fighter pilots managed to figure out their first few dog fights the better the chance they had of surviving their tour. The reason for this was the speed at which they not only processed information but the speed in which they acted upon it.

    It seems to me that too many people want to sit around and rub their scholarly chins and think that the OODA loop is something that only happens in conflict. The truth is that we use the OODA loop hundreds to thousands of times per day. We don't notice it because most of the time the things we use it in reference to are non life threatening. When it does come to the matter of interpersonal combat you may only have one chance to get it right. If you do then per the good Col's theory you are more likely to survive subsequent encounters of the same type.

    The first part of the loop is of course Observe. Some people get too locked into this. Much of the time if you are hands on with someone, or in a low light environment I you will be using your mind's eye, not the two above your nose.

    Since lots of folks have been lucky enough not to be involved in real life interpersonal combat I have found another stressful, potentially deadly situation most are familiar with to use as an example. The rear end collision.

    You are driving down the road and all of a sudden you OBSERVE the vehicle in front of you slamming on their brakes, you then ORIENT yourself in reference to how much room you have to stop or drive around them, then you DECIDE what to do and ACT upon it.

    It only makes sense that the rookie driver is likely to process the above situation more slowly than and experienced one. They are likely to panic and when you panic your OODA loop gets interrupted. This is why the inexperienced driver slams on the brakes and just watches the vehicle's bumper in front of them get closer and closer until the crash comes. Our experienced driver is more likely to check left/right, maybe even signal and then drive around the breaking car while watching out for the car in front of them in the lane they enter and the reaction of other drivers to their lane change.

    This is where force on force training comes in for all things involving interpersonal combat. Especially when watching others, they way they act, the way they move.

    I am interested in hearing others spin in the OODA loop. For those who are not familiar with it, do yourself a favor and learn about it.


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    Member Array joelg's Avatar
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    I've used it as a teaching/reference tool in the past. There's a lot to learn about being thrust into a situation. The old adage, "A wise man learns from his mistakes, a wiser man learns from the mistakes of others," is applicable to this tool. I've met some guys in situations where they thought that they had control, but failed to understand even the basic concepts of all that was involved. They came out second best. Unfortunately, there' a lot of people out there who know it all...and guess what, they really do. They stopped learning a long time ago! The last time I knew everything, I was 13...

    Great post - and I appreciate your interest!
    Kutz and herpjunkie like this.
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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Thanks Joel

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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    My Grandaddy use too say your never too old to learn..

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    Member Array Krockett's Avatar
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    I like it... a new way to look at the same information. Always eye opening.
    Thanks
    ~Krockett

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    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercop View Post
    I am interested in hearing others spin in the OODA loop. For those who are not familiar with it, do yourself a favor and learn about it.
    Ken Good's article "Got a Second?" is required reading
    tcox4freedom likes this.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

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    Member Array bigiceman's Avatar
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    Thanks Semper Fi. Good read.
    But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...
    "Baa."
    LTC(RET) Dave Grossman

    Revolutionary War Veterans Association Shooter Qualification: Cook

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    Senior Member Array cmidkiff's Avatar
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    Bill Whittle wrote a wonderful bit about Major John Boyd, and applying the OODA loop to various situations some time back...

    Eject! Eject! Eject!: FORTY SECOND BOYD AND THE BIG PICTURE (Part 1)

    Enjoy :)
    tcox4freedom likes this.
    Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. It's worth it.

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    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    The other day I started reading Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War to hopefully get a little more insight.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

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    We have been talking about the recent shootings, and thought I would give this thread a bump, as well.
    tcox4freedom likes this.
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    The OODA loop is use by everyone everyday.

    The three examples I use when teaching are ordering food at a fast food restaurant. You observe the building, you orientate yourself to the counter, you decide what you want and act on it. When you are driving a car and decide to change lanes. You observe the traffic around you, you orientate your vehicle, you decide when it is safe and then you act.

    The third and final example shows a stall in the OODA loop which wives and mothers will attest to. You observe the fridge, you orientate yourself in front of the door, you open the door and then the brain stops working as you stand there with the door open looking.

    In a lethal force encounter obviously this happens in a fraction of a second hopefully and you react accordingly.
    Secret Spuk and Mike1956 like this.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Senior Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    I think its important that the process is not overintellectualized as so many things are. Yes, it is beneficial to understand how decision and stimulus based actions are developed and how to interject a measure of control over a process that is largely innate but one should not lose sight of that fact that this is only one set of instruments in a very large orchestra.
    Think like a man of action - Act like a man of thought

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    When we teach we teach that it works both ways. Its part of our focus to train people to disrupt the BGs OODA loop, making them react to our action, rather than the other way around...
    Bad Bob likes this.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

    Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......

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    Distinguished Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    It's mostly natural instinct, but in certain stressful situations it pays to think through the "loop".

    For instance in self defense circumstances.
    "Life is tough but it's really tough if you are stupid"

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    My experience with the ooda loop is Observe, BANG! ouch...

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