Thursday, January 26, 2006

OODA Insights

Now the fun part. With good students there's a synergy that takes things you know and brings them out into the open, that makes words out of feeling and experience. You can share words, pass them on. Not so much with experience.

The OODA loop came up today, got explained, basically what the last entry was about.

Then there were the insights. Some of them I already put in the OODA intro entry because they fit so well. I'll refer to them again here.

1) People lock up on novel observations. If you observe something and can't tell what it is ( a giant carniverous tomato with tentacles or someone clearing his throat preparing to spit to open a combat) you can't orient to it, so you can't decide so you can't act. Someone commented that people are never brave (read decisive) in conditions of uncertainity. One of the goals of training must be to expose yourself to the widest variety of situations possible to prevent this.

2) You must be able to act with partial information. You will never have all the answers or know exactly what is going on. People who wait for too much information before acting get hurt. The speed of your OODA loop depends on your comfort level of information.

3) The person with a plan or an internal map of what is supposed to happen will have a hard time Orienting if the plan isn't followed. The attacker who has chosen a small female may have laid a detailed plan: he will grab her by the hair and when she screams he will slap her and if she continues to scream he will... If the actual events go more like 'he grabs her hair and his nose explodes in blood and pain' he will have a momentary freeze as he orients to the unexpected events.

4) Each action on your part is a new observation. The power in a barrage attack or a fast entry in a tactical situation is because the constant action constantly resets the opponent's OODA loop. Observe: "His fist is getting big" Orient: "He's hitting..." Observe: "His other fist is getting big" Orient: "It's a combo!" Observe: "My knee just collapsed" Orient: "He's kicking too!" The constant attack keeps the opponent bouncing between the first two steps, never Deciding or Acting.

5) (And this is wicked cool!) This can be defeated by a self-referencing stimulus!!! Barrages haven't worked on me. Chain punches haven't worked on me. The reason is that when my senses get overwhelmed, I shut down the source of the information. Too put it in OODA terms, if I feel myself caught in the OO bounce or sense it about to happen, I attack. The OO bounce has become an Observation in and of itself with a simple one choice orient ("I'm frozen") followed by a simple Decision: "Hit the bastard!" and a simple action- POW.

I like these kind of classes.


Anonymous said...

So is it possible to teach newbies to treat "I'm being attacked!" as the cue to fight back, or does it require the kind of experience you guys have?

Mark (no blogger ID)

Rory said...

I think it can be taught. It may even be as simple as just pointing it out. There are lots of problems where the naswer is obvious if you look at it right.

Even better, it could just become one of the stimuli in a Operant Conditioning stimulus-response training. Cool and easy.

Anonymous said...

"The speed of your OODA loop depends on your comfort level of information". I think comfort is developed by training in three areas: awareness, stimulant-response (adrenaline-based situationals) and musculo-motor reflex drills. Since 95% of all attacks are 'barroom' punches, #2 and #3 can be trained quickly. Achieving #1 only takes a guide, and patience. A master tracker who can point out how much you 'cut your own trail' and helping you see the signs of your own passing.