General Information Self-Defense Issues

Stress in Combat

Fighting for your life is likely the most stressful event any person can experience. That stress affects your performance: some of it good, some of it bad. This is the first in a series of articles that will explore what this stress is, and what it does to your body.

Survival Stress

Survival stress is caused by a perception of an imminent threat of harm. The seriousness of the perceived threat causes a proportionate amount of stress on the body. Additionally, if the individual is surprised, or has very little time to react, the amount of stress increases.

For example, willingly entering a MMA competition will likely cause a moderate amount of stress, whereas being attacked suddenly in the parking lot by a knife-wielding thug will probably cause an extreme amount of survival stress.

Survival stress is also referred to as “body alarm response” (BAR) in some of the literature. Regardless on what you call it, it causes some pretty predictable reactions in the body.