Monday, July 15, 2013


I've written a basic intro to risk management before.  You can find it here:

The part I want to focus on is the levels of risk versus levels of frequency.
You can categorize things into High Risk and Low Risk.  For self-defense purposes, High Risk means you are likely to get hurt or killed, Low Risk means those things are unlikely.  You should put more training time into high risk events than low risk events.  You really don't need extensive training in how to protect yourself from a toddler attack.

The next paradigm is frequency.  This may be counterintuitive, but you don't need to train for high frequency things that much.  Reason being that you get a lot of practice.  Driving is almost surely the most dangerous thing you do on a regular basis, but very few people get continuos training (unless they go into special jobs or get told by a judge they need some remedial lessons).  If you actually do something four hours a day, there isn't a lot of gain in training it two hours a week.

The low frequency stuff is where you need good information, good training and a plan.  You should have a plan for how to get your family out of your house in a fire (HR/LF).  You probably don't need a plan or rehearsals on how to drive to the gas station (HR/HF).  Or a plan/rehearsals on how to deal with pet hair in the carpet (LR/HF) or how to deal with a gerbil overpopulation problem (LR/LF).

There are more dimensions, though.  Not sure how they affect risk management, but they are very powerful in how you must train and what you can analyze and learn.

One of the biggest is time compression.  The basics of how Toby and I teach survival are almost identical.  Train awareness, use your brain and body, instincts... the biggest difference is that Toby teaches wilderness survival where many of the dangers require hours or days to kill you.  I teach assault survival, in which the dangers are measured in seconds or fractions thereof.

This is one of the biggest, and I'm not sure I'm willing to write about time yet.  Not ready, because so much of it is hard to explain.  Working through the ConCom manual it is really apparent how much of the communication skills are really counter-assault skills... just brains instead of bodies.  And how much I would never have noticed except for the  combination of High Risk + Compressed Time.

Dealing with conflict as opposed to violence, it can be spread over a long time and much of the nuance can be hidden in the thousands of other acts of communication all around.  The patterns in ConCom are incredibly obvious once you see them, but it took the filter of fast violence to screen out the white noise.

The second dimension is intelligence.  Information.  And that further breaks down into low and high quantity, clarity, breadth and reliability.

If you know a lot about the problem, that is usually better than knowing little or nothing. Quantity.

But you may know a lot of facts about the big picture but not details. E.g. You might know the names and histories of the local gangs and their territories and business; but not be up to speed on the current members.  A problem that a lot of people who leave an active job and go into training run into.  Clarity.

You may know a lot about a piece of a big subject or a lot about a related subject and just miss this subject.  A degree in zoology with a concentration on marine mammals may have big blindspots dealing with reptiles.  Bouncers know what bouncers know, not what cops know...and vise versa.  Same with victims, perps and enforcement.  Breadth.

And reliability.  This one is endemic in the martial arts.  It is possible to know an awful lot of things that aren't true.  It is always hard to measure the reliability of your own beliefs.

A high risk, low frequency event where you have years to plan and prepare is different, both in training and response from one where you have seconds.  Obviously.  And it changes even more when you are well-informed, clueless or deluded.

More to think about here.

1 comment:

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