Saturday, June 20, 2015

Child Abuse, Root of All Evil.

Child Abuse is the Root of All Evil, not money.

The development of human children precedes through stages which at about six the child has a sense of what its place is regarding their environment, particularly their family. The vulnerability to radicalization of individuals also depends upon the track of development going up through the rest of life especially puberty.

Socialization of the individual outside the family and into the larger community starts in earnest at puberty in what is today's high school and junior high school. If the individual has suffered extensive physical or emotional abuse before six, the rest of development is honed through the "high school" stage.

It is at this time that specific themes and symbols are associated with ANS inputs that freeze the belief structures of the young adult. Only about a third of those over 21 will make serious changes in the structure of perceptions (ideologies).

Certain beliefs known as True Beliefs provide the individual with the kind of inputs that were frustrated in the growing up process. The high school period tends to sharpen the distinction once the cut and thrust of sports and dating goes viral.

Those left out in the High School phase, often spend the rest of their lives trying to plug the gap. Ethnocentric outbursts by those in the High School Phase is the substance of what is burning now on the streets. Those most active as terrorists or other really bad people often come from severely damaged families and suffered extreme parental abuse. What psychology called crazy is often a normal reaction to a crazy world.

Hitler, Saddam and Stalin were abused by male parental figures. The leading terrorist of late often came from shattered families and neighborhoods, with the local brand of terrorism being a "natural" outlet for sense damaged in crazy childhoods.

IMHO, the root of all evil is not money, it is child abuse.

Gordon S Fowkes

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Invalid Thinking, A Rueful Thought in Sex, War, and Politics

Invalid Thinking, A Rueful thought
It is often said that our foes are foes because their way of thinking is inimical to ours.  This was the default expression given to Catholics, Communists, Democrats,. Capitalists, foreigners, the sick, lame and poverty stricken.  This was the conclusion that supported carpet bombing of civilian cities with the expressed hope that the bombed upon would rise up and overthrow those fighting above.  It was called "bombing the homes of war workers" (women, children, old, and shopkeepers).

The concept that any foe or aspiring one is foreign to our way of thinking assumes a number of invalid assumptions:
RAF Lancaster dropping fire bombs.  Results of such firebombing in Dresden
1. Thinking has anything to do with action and when it does think it is only to seek ways and means of acting on emotions and other more fundamental biological, psychological, and sociological imperatives normally in the subconscious.
German soldier receiving traditional offering of bread and wine from Russian peasants.
2. The idea that "we" have an identifiable "way" of thinking is also subject to the aforementioned biological-psychological-sociological algorithms mostly done in the subconscious.  Additionally, Americans have a wide variety of strategies so related to the point that someone from Brooklyn is unintelligible in Houston, Denver, Seattle or San Francisco.  And those locales are often mutually obscure.

German soldiers fraternizing
3. The concept that some entity that has a different survival strategy (bio....) which by the difference only can only be battered into submission, is self deceptive.
German firing squad 

4. That any alleged foe of ours has a 1 single minded purpose other than getting laid and paid is also self deceptive. And of the ways and means sustaining  food and family.
Civil Military Coordination
5. The very core of demonization of the unfamiliar and/or uncomfortable is of creating a sense of fear along with a sense of loathing (contempt).  This leads to a powerful oxymoron that the contemptuous is capable of endangering the pure hearted.   
Compendium of Nazi propaganda assigning both power and weakness of Jews to arouse fear and loathing against Jews.

The US military is, intentionally blind and contemptuous of the fields of applied psychology and sociology except as a repeat of Sherman's March Through Georgia and of Reconstruction. In fact those Academic enterprises are considered Communist if not out right Satanic within our Military Establishment, all parties concerned.

Payback for Communist/Satanic subversion  is at the roots of Tea Plotting and Ball Busting, with the hope that the Army will foster a coup.  That the US military is inherently unable to stage coups, as such is not included in doctrine, regulations or the instructions to promotion boards.  This would have to be a politically oriented contracting consortium under contract with Elysium

Skepticism, Arrogance, and Bravery Beyond the Call of Duty 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Combat and Murphy's Laws

I love the TV Series, “the Vikings” and a fan of all manner of blades, spears, arrows, shields, helmets and horses in battle and duels of a more personal face to face era of closed order close combat.  Whether by Hollywood’s need for close in action or by virtue of a lack of experience to recreate close order of battle, Hollywood Combat wouldn’t last long back then, for a lack of knowledge of “ergonomic combat” i.e. a fit between weapon and body versus the other guy’s fit.   In other words, one could get killed wielding weaponry like in the flicks. 

This is a proper shield wall from the Bayeux Tapestry of the Invasion of England in 1066.  Shields were held in a “Norman Grip” to the left shoulder leaving both eyes to focus on the enemy. Overlapping shields were a wall over which battle was joined.  Spears held in a stabbing grip to stab over the shields.  The shield wall was developed by the Vikings and remained the European default until Pike and Shot made the shield obsolete by 1400. 

This is not any variant of a Shield Wall, Viking or not.  One does not kneel before thine enemies!

Or attack with wide gaps to meet a real shield wall.


Close combat, as in the combatants were at arm’s length or a few short steps away preceded the first rock and will continue until after the last.  Close order combat came to an abrupt end in the First World War when it was no longer practical to be too close to your buddy or be swept away in the next full burst of machine gun fire, or exploding shell.  Those that didn’t get far enough apart, not less than five yards, were seriously killed or wounded. Back in the days of close order combat, more than an elbow’s distance left gaps too big to cover. 

The Hollywood/Re-enactor paradigm on wielding shields (with spear, axe and/or sword) is contrary to the Bayeux Tapestry shown above.  Those mounted and dismounted on both sides, hold the shield with what looks like an arm wrestle grip to the shoulder.  Those on the ground in the shield walls overlapped their shields and stab down over the wall of shields.  This requires a left foot forward, with the right arm stabbing at an angle like chopping wood.  And most importantly during the final delivery of the blow, is to have the eyes on the “inside” (between the hands), and not with both hands on one side or the other.  With two handed weapons, the eyes must look directly over the grip and at the target as in “keep your eye on the ball”. 


But nothing is as neat as we would like them to be, hence:
 At the worst time and place.
The Startle Response, Murphy’s Revenge
Close Order battle requires strong cohesion as adhesion between those in front, flank and rear.  If that adhesion weakens, the enemy will attack to broaden the breach and pile on.  Once this happens, any one person who panics often triggers a startle response in which the feet move first and the rest of the formation scatters the formation like popcorn in a high wind.   This is true in panics in public as in burning restaurants, theaters, and in outside crowds on a startle response.

Consequently the decision to go to battle was carefully considered, given Murphy’s Law, and the chances of an adverse startle response.  The planning for battle was largely based on creating a startle response in the enemy force.  Once more, into the breach!


The Startle Response (Panic) can be replicated in training, as one of my Commanders did when I was a squad leader.  The company was deployed on the military crest of a low hill, when it was attacked by the First Sergeant yelling like fury.  One soldier leaped to his feet, tossed his rifle and fled, and the one next to him followed suit. The company scattered like popcorn in a high wind.  The gimmick: the one who yelled was in on it, the guy next was told to follow suit, and a hundred others fled.  After recovery, the CO taught us what panic feels like, what to do and what not to do. I have repeated this drill over the next twenty five years for the same reasons, and the same effect.

A “Tipping Point” is different from a “Startle Response” although the results may look the same. A Tipping Point is the result of a process of increasing pressure, while the Startle Response can occur in an instance regardless of how well the rest of the formation is doing.  


 Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg was like a Tipping Point where deadly fires from Union rifle and gunfire progressively reduced Confederate offensive power to the Tipping Point led to a withdrawal under fire.  The Startle Response can be attributed to Stonewall Jackson’s flank attack (in a mile across wall of infantry) at the Battle of Chancellorsville (May 2, 1863) on the far right flank of Hooker’s Army after marching across the “nose” of the Union penetration south of the Rappahannock River.   One is a build-up, the other is a surprise, although a Tip leads to Panic.

The Biology of Panic

The Biology of Panic follows two paths in the brain to the switchboard of the Amygdala, Smell and Audio-Visual, which produces chemical changes to make things happen or not.  Training can reroute the stimulus to learned responses without the intervening inconvenience of thinking about it.  Using a multi-sensory battle simulation works best when Smell (olfactory) is added to Audio-Visual.  Smell is the oldest of senses and is routed through the Thalamus to activate the Limbic System while Audio-Visual is routed through the Hypothalamus which goes to the Cortex both by way of the Amygdala.  Smell (Stink) produces action without reflection.  So, in order for training to Stick, It Must Stink, however slight.

Fear Stinks and unsticks the cohesion of a startled or tipped unit.  We know that animals can sense fear, and in Vietnam, US soap on US GI’s could be smelled by the VC, likewise so could “Nguc Mam” (a fermented fish sauce) by the GI.  The effect of female pheromones on the human male is not identifiable as a smell, but reacts predictably, so is the reverse effect of the sweaty male on females. 

The nose knows.

Thunder and Lightning (Audio Visual)

As sudden Audio-Visual effect such as a bolt of lightning, or incoming round can be routed by the Amygdala to activate autonomic responses (panic).  I have seen this work in opposite directions while stationed at Ft Huachuca at the Intelligence School as an Imagery Interpreter. 

The Sonic Boom. I had been back from Vietnam about two years, the rest of my starting class had been back less than that. Ft Huachuca is next to the Mexican border where the FB-111 fighter-bomber was allowed to go supersonic. The double bang of the supersonic shock wave sounds just like incoming rounds.  Bang-bang and half the class was on the floor before the second bang.  The other case was no reaction at all when an ammo train blew up by I-10 near Benson, AZ.

Look and Listen before action even automatically, or immediately after. Once fear is on the wind, defense is provided by monitoring and comparing the sense of fear versus what can be seen and heard, objectively.  Such was the case of Crusader Shield Walls defending against charging cavalry which audio-visually is terrifying, but once trained the mind can set aside the sense of fear and focus on tactics, techniques and procedures.  That is also what the psychological effects of shock effect of tanks is

The Relaxation Response, Qiqong, and the Berserker

Another defense against the dark side of panic is to ignore it, bypass it, and let the body to the fighting leaving the mind for casual strategic analysis.   It has many names, but all depend upon controlling breathing from short and upper to long breaths and lower.  We do this every day during commuting time by whatever conveyance is at hand.  One does not get into a conscious rational internal debate over what angle and direction the steering wheel, gas pedal and the inter-vehicular spacing should be except when a strategic decision is required.  When one does get excited, the effective control of the vehicle takes more energy than just cruising.   Consequently when excitement tends to take over the automatic learned responses, the remedy is to calm down, and that is called “taking a deep breath”. 


In combat’s sharp edge, regardless of boot, track or hoof mounted, under stress, the internal stabilization mechanism narrows the field of view, shortens the breath denying the brain of oxygen, tightens up muscle responses and focuses the active part of the brain on specifics and not the strategic bigger picture.  And when hit, it hurts more than in relaxed mode. The trick is deep breathing, visualizing and shutting down the mind chatter. 

This is called “Zazen breathing” also called “Mushin”, (no mind) in Japanese Martial Arts derived from Indian and Chinese models.  It is also called the Relaxation Response in Bio-feedback, the Zone in athletics, the Lozanoff technique for learning foreign languages at UH Houston, Qiqong in Chinese Medicine and martial arts, but does not affect physical items like “The Force” in Star Wars”

The Viking Berserker is said to have gone into a state of madness, when such would have prevented him from effective fighting.  The state of relaxation of the mind, and quieting mental chatter, allowed the Berserker to fully maximize his physical strength, minimize tension, and let the trained body to do the fighting while remaining in a quiet state of mind.   The true martial artist calms down in order to fight, instead of the hopped up state so dramatic in storytelling. Bruce Lee did no one any favors by his scowling noisy self while Steven Segal, an Aikido Grandmaster, stays calm while demonstrating.

A trained knight or warrior stays alive on these principles, or dies without them.

Body, Armor and Acupressure

As it is in medical advances down through the ages, war brings out the greatest advances.  Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) was learned from battle savvy warriors who had learned that hitting, rubbing or pushing on certain parts of the body had some singular advantages.  This included disabling and joint, producing weakness and knock outs.  In traditional Professional Street fighting in urban financial protections and entertainment industries, debt collection was facilitated by a “clip to the back of the jaw” or in the Ring a knock out could be produced with a cross to the jaw. 

The West did not learn of the meridians, the yin-yang dichotomy, and the five elements until after the Korean War and by virtue of immigrating Orientals and returning US troops lead by Grandmaster George Dillman, 9th Degree Black Belt Ryukyo Kempo (Okinawa).

On the other hand, neither did the West start to learn about the nervous and circulatory system until Da Vinci’s ideas began to sink in.   While there was considerable interchange of knowledge between East, Middle East and West during the Crusade Era, but a premature exposition of said knowledge was often treated with an Auto-da-fe or axe.  That may have been a contributing factor in the machinations leading to the Burning.


In broad terms, the illustrations with the colored lines and dots are replication of the locations of the Meridians color coded by their respective “element” as used in the Cycle of Destruction (FIRE burns METAL cuts WOOD penetrates the EARTJ dams WATER puts out FIRE).  The location of the Points on the Meridians is normally where a nerve comes to an end, crosses or forks.

In order to work the pressure points must be in the order, angle and sequences and may involve a push, a hit, or a rub depending on the specific sequences.   The angle and directions required are contained in the prescribed forms, or kata used by any of the Oriental Martial Arts. In the Medieval images I have found one or two points being used to facilitate the collapse of an opponent’s ability to fight.

This is the chart I used from Grandmaster George Dillman, the first 9th Degree Black Belt to be made privy to that which had been kept secret by the Okinawan masters of connection of the Martial Arts to Chinese Medicine. It has many names such as Pressure Point Fighting, Tuite, and Torite.  While the Medieval soldier did not know of the system in any form, the images and training manuals from later medieval times clearly show they knew how to use some of them.

The student of the fighting arts or styles of any kind or time, can understand what the reasons for some moves that did not make sense in the sense of smash, grab, break, punch or kick went places not worth the treatment.

Defensive Armor and Acupoints.

Likewise in the history of combat down through the ages, armor protection has been developed specifically if not consciously to protect against the most sensitive of pressure points. These include greaves, gloves, arm guard, and helmets.


The Body Knows.

The dome of the skull is normally the first order of protection, and that today includes any sort of hat. Then any protection that protects the forearm, and shin (by extension the hand and foot) against any hit, push, or rub that releases the joints or confuses the head (eyes, ears, and brain).


Melee Not
The ever so popular melee on screen increases the “Murphy Factor” and the results become unpredictable.  The sight of one person moving away from the battlefield can trigger the panic by virtue of tipping or startle which are the handmaidens of Murphy’s Law.   A major percentage of the time spent by opposing forces was in shouting matches and combats between champions.   Such was the case at the battle of Yarmouk between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Rashidun Caliphate in 15-20 August 636 southeast of the Sea of Galilei.  The battle is considered on the short list of decisive battles as it ended Roman (Christian) dominance of the Levant until the Crusades.  There were several days of taunting and champion combat until the cohesion of the Roman formation left too many gaps and not enough maneuver room.

Military planning and leadership on the battlefield, then and now, is to defeat Murphy’s Laws with forces in reserve, contingency planning, redundant communications and the whole of military science and art.  The timing of the commitment of a reserve is critical, too early gives the initiative to the enemy, too late the initiative stays with the enemy. 

Training, training, good doctrine, equipment and leadershipif not focused on actions in confused situations absent information, and misguided instructions, is an open invitation to Murphy’s Laws.

Hometown Battle Drill

Defense against Murphy usually is encoded into the local customs of combat which often were highly specialized as archers (Welsh Longbow), crossbow (Genoa), light cavalry (Poland and the Balkans), pike (Swiss), two handed axe (Varangian-Swedes) and the Shield Wall (from the Vikings to the Crusaders).  In today’s parlance we use the terms doctrine, SOP, principles, procedures, and the current US Army TTP (tactics. Techniques, and procedures).  In order to fight effectively including sophisticated maneuvers such as a passage of lines clearly indicates a common “understanding” that functioned like modern doctrine.

In Medieval times, change came slower as local customs, values, beliefs, behaviors and norms were embedded in the body of the local society. What produced superb warriors in one century produced targets in another.  The knowledge was passed down in oral and in child raising and was impervious to change until literacy interfered.  Then the pace of change can occur in hours where centuries were required in the past. The legendary unit cohesion of US National Guard units is tied to community and traditions of long standing.

Included in the “doctrine” according the custom, were the formations, command, and signal such as by rank, file, and signals (pennon, flag, distinctive uniform appendages, music) and leadership from the front). 

Medieval Doctrine?

A common understanding (similar to doctrine, and TTP) existed in medieval combined arms and joint forces, logistics and deployment for combat is evident in medieval combat, particularly in the better trained units.  Yet these are not written down anywhere, nor do many remember what was done, as the latest thing blows the old away.   That these existed is evidenced by the sophistication of the march under Richard the Lion Hearted from Acre to Jaffa including the victory at Arsuf on September 7, 1191 AD. 
Ordinarily Shield Walls did not move, yet in the march from Acre to Arsuf, the shield walls shuffled along absorbing swarms of the rapid firing low velocity arrows of Saracen and Nubian forces under Saladin.  This protected the horses of the heavy cavalry from arrows, which now protruded from the infantry’s protective armor and padding.  When the Knights of the Hospital attacked the tormenting Ayyubid archers, Richard called for the Cavalry to charge, but to do so, had to do what is called today is a “passage” of lines and is considered the most difficult maneuver in modern times, especially when there is a passage from the enemy side.   

The Crusade Era infantry could do both.

Finem de L├ęctio

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mind-Body and Battle

In animals as well as man, there is a default choice of courses of action and reaction. But it is a bit more complicated than Fight-Flight-Freeze.   Initially a REVULSION REFLEX inhibits what might be an all-out murderous mutual massacre.  This serves two purposes: maneuver for advantage and the appearance of overwhelming force (INTIMIDATION).   Once one side turns away, the Revulsion Reflex is erased and replaced by the RUN-DOWN REFLEX in which the loser is run down killed, captured, eaten or sold on the slave market.  The end status is submission, even though such results in certain death.

The initial stages of a confrontation include the posturing, growling, snarling and puffing up hair, all of which are signs of aggression. In humans as well.  The controlling factor in intimidation is eyeball to eyeball, or the appearance of it. 

 Most animals in nature carry body markings to camouflage the female against discovery during nesting, resting, or child raising.   On the other hand, body markings that make the males competitor appear more ferocious. Some is carried over in human threat displays, Tall hats and capes make the contestant appear larger than life, body markings exaggerate combative appearance.  The male lion has a big mane while the female does not, the mane is the main sex display while other body differences between male and female are not as apparent.  

The combat response of the “Freeze” is based on the fact that a moving target attracts the eye, standing still under the right circumstances clouds the predator’s mind (as in Hide).  This is a standard response at night when the enemy lights up the night with searchlights and/or flares.  Hiding in the umbra of taller objects also works

The Peacocks feathers all full of eyes, or the accentuated eyes of Owl or Orca are there to intimidate in this psychological preparation of the battle.  Few animals can face down a pair of human eyes, so I avoid eye contact in sparring and take in the whole person for balance, stance, guard, vulnerable spots and movement.
Like the tank or aircraft, the human body has vulnerabilities which must be protected.  These include the BRAIN, EYES and VITALS.  That which connects and protects these (MEANS) includes the skeleton, skull, and body operating systems the defense of which life depends: Nervous, Gastro-Intestinal, Respiratory and Vascular. The nervous system includes several subsystems of interest to the warrior.

The most common human fighting technique is battery by hand and foot, mostly by hand.  There are only two targets worthy of battery, and that is to affect the Brain and the Lungs.  The skull protecting the brain is a hard target so it must be struck with something soft in order to induce concussion. Conversely, the lungs must be hit with something hard in the guts so as to push the diaphragm upward constricting the lungs.  Plain battery elsewhere is defeated by muscle, bone, and fat.

The skeletal system puts bone to protect the soft parts, and provides a mobile firing platform and weapons system.   The “soft parts” inside the body are protected by the muscles and bone, and are the subsets of the Body regarding Tactical Imperatives.  One versus the other’s.

THE ENGINE (Cardio-Vascular-Lungs).  
Similar to a tank, aircraft, and car engine, the animate require oxygen and fuel to transfer energy to, lubricate, and operate the various components of the body.  In vertebrates this requires lungs to take in air and transfer the oxygen to the blood, which blood picks up nutrients and agents from the various glands and organs.   Together, this constitutes the vitals.

The process of breathing without which life gets short, involves the transfer of oxygen from the lungs into the heart which pumps the oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.   While the rib cage provides considerable protection of damage by blunt instrument, compression of the guts often knocks the breath out of the breather.  Behind and below the guts (intestines), certain vital organs that filter and deliver the chemicals into or out of the blood and digestive systems. These are located in an ellipse with the long axis across the belly from kidney to kidney. 


Deep Diaphragm (Belly) Breathing brings in more air in to get more energy out, and relaxes the body (and mind).  Chest breathing is rapid and shallow, and tightens up the body (and mind).  Deep “belly” breathing is the counter to stress.  One must calm down to fight.

This provides two references, the Center Line from nose to groin which is both the center of vulnerabilities, but also the Center Line of the body’s defensive and offensive firepower.  Consequently, a direct face-off between humans place the greatest firepower mutually opposed to the opponents vulnerabilities.   

The terms COG, Center of Gravity ad Center of Mass are often used interchangeably rendering both moot in battle.  It is certain (IMHO) that all nature knows its balance, centers and all.   In this rendition, the center of mass of any creature only moves when the cargo shifts, and the “bone centers” are fixed by the joints which include the shoulders and knees. 

The Center of Gravity is the net result of all the forces influencing the body including the force exerted in standing and running, and includes the forces of any external object that yanks, pulls, or trips the body.


While one bleeds just anywhere, getting to the heart of it is more precise.

The command and control of the animate body goes through several nets and systems.


The Central Nervous System ties the parts together via several subsystems, some you know, and others operate behind the coded door.  
Chinese Traditional Medicine was unknown to the West and likely the Middle East, but so were the ones we know about today.  Recent work in the martial arts community is making progress In associating the elements of Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) with what we know of the body today.  The pressure points of TCM normally are found where a nerve comes to an end, crosses another or divides.  Additional work is being done in affiliating TCM with the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) according to the Dragon Society (Grand Master Rick Moneymaker, under whom I have studied).

We usually associate the nervous system with motor and sensory nerves, but well below the conscious level the ANS works in response to the threat as perceived by the Biology of perception which follows two paths into the brain to the switchboard of the Amygdala, Smell and
Audio‐Visual, which produces chemical changes to make things happen or not.  Smell is the oldest of senses and is routed through the Thalamus to activate the Limbic System while Audio‐Visual is routed through the Hypothalamus which goes to the Cortex. Smell (Stink) produces action without reflection.

9The Parasympathetic system appears to be operating in diametric opposition to each other.  The Sympathetic system cranks up under perceived threat, and the Parasympathetic backs off. The Sympathetic reaction, however, is counter-productive to efficient fighting, in particular the heart rate.  Pupil dilation is accompanied by a narrow field of view which does not see or sense attacks coming from the sides. The Oriental system of belly breathing, deep and slow, also slows down the heart rate, increases the field of view, and relaxes the body.  A tense body not only hurts more when hit, the range and speed of the limbs are retarded. 

RELAXATION RESPONSE (Calm down to fight)

This leads to an apparent, but necessary paradigm shift: One must calm down in order to fight efficiently and effectively.  The foaming at the mouth, wild eyed, emotional fighter won’t fight long in the face of deadly calm.   Shouting is targeted and timed to freeze the target at the right time and way.  This calming down effect has many names in the East, but is also found in Western athletics and performance arts.  It is sometimes called the Relaxation Response.  When relaxed, the athlete or artist’s mind becomes detached from the fury of the moment, but operates in a more strategic fashion.  A chattering mind invites battery to the body. 
In Close Order Combat at Close Quarters (spear or pike range), one reads of forces who advance with shouts in unison, like “God Wills It” or singing a battle song are also ridding the body of tension, creating a bond within the ranks, and elevates the mind from dwelling too much on what could go wrong. 


Substantial and credible research has established that the default behavior of humans when faced with the choice of killing don’t kill, don’t shoot, miss deliberately, never forget, and vomit once done.  It is clear that the initial behavior during the initial face to face confrontation is to threaten, posture and maneuver for advantage.   Recent studies of the casualty rates of battles back to antiquity also show abysmally small numbers of casualties or both sides, provided the other side didn’t run.  

Since killing is an integral part of life on the planet, there is a question as to why do humans react against killing even when being killed is a clear and present danger.  This reaction is also common to the animal kingdom, few animals launch into an attack without some intimidating (or sneaky) maneuvers.  If the object of their intimidation does not back off, the confrontation can end as both sides back off  This is nature’s way of limiting aggression to issues of dominance (Social Status) or dinner. The lions, gazelles, buffalo, and other wild creatures who are subject of being eaten or beaten only do so when needed.  Otherwise, they share the same space. 
Humans don’t settle for that. Usually. 

During WW 2, only 15 to 20% of infantrymen fired their weapons.  The change from paper targets at known ranges to popup silhouette targets at random distances raised the odds in Vietnam to 90-95%. Realistic training, that is the replication of all the sensory inputs normally associated with a given task.  That is why we invented the infiltration course after Korea, to get accustomed to overhead machinegun fire, tracers and all, in a controlled situation. 

The routing of sensory inputs by way of the Amygdala, Thalamus and Hypothalamus that is not overloaded with emotions, allows a calmer more trained mind to sort these stimuli and select an appropriate response.  The Trained Mind is where the coded reflexes activating muscle memory and learned responses that can fight on automatic, leaving the relaxed mind to make strategic observations and directions.   This occurs in athletes, dancers, fighter pilots and Friday Rush Hour to function without burning up energy in conscious decision making as that mind is too slow.


From a broader point of view, control of the Revulsion Reflex which is primarily driven by the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), is to counter with activating the Parasympathetic System in addition to reducing the fear factor of external stimuli, like incoming rounds.  Taking learned responses to cope with the actual physical threats includes digging in, shooting back, wearing protective gear at all times. 

The Knights Templar slept in their combat gear, something that I learned my first week in combat. And they did so without regard to any specific threat assessment.  Unit morale due to the unit replacement system in US forces today has elevated the sense of camaraderie between buddies to a level far above any achieved before or so wide.  Likewise the bonding of the Knights Templar and the other holy orders coupled with a shared set of values, rituals, and combat training worked to override any errant stimuli so they could fight effectively and efficiently. 


The Temple and the Hospital only recruited those who were already MOS qualified (knights, men at arms, sergeants) and bonded together by faith, ritual and hard collective training.  For a unit to function as a unit in combat, they must have trained tougher under simulated combat conditions, and some that aren’t battle.  This includes hunger, exhaustion, confusion, extreme heat and/or cold, rain, snow, and/or dust, all of which are available at Ft Hood Texas often at the same time.

There is little known about the training schedule, program of instruction, of Mission Essential Task List used to train the Order.  The fact that the holy orders and other well trained outfits could assemble on day, or show up in the middle of battle and be able to be deployed effectively means that there had to be a shared and clearly understood way to fight for each of the components and for the leadership.  The Western knights of the 12th Century were far superior to Islamic forces, and particularly at higher levels of command.  Saladin started the reversal of the trend which ended in the 13th Century.  One fatal difference influenced operations was the incessant bickering of the various political components of either side.  

See the Crusade through Arab Eyes, by Amin Maalouf, which shows how screwed up the Muslim side was during the First Crusade until the Third.   During that period of time, Muslim rule passed from Arab to Turk, which did not reverse again until after WW 1. 
Crew Served Weapons,

The recent studies of modern combat and firing rates, show that any form of distance between the enemies eyes and our own reduces aversion, and can activate the Run Down and Chase Reflexes. This distancing applies to officers, non-commissioned officers, crew served weapons crews, and those at a distance from the threat.  Knights of the day from Far East to Iceland operated as a crew served weapon, as the knight rarely went unaided or alone.  Except when showing off.
Kingdom of Heaven, Kerak. Balien (Right) intercepts Saladin's host (dust in background)
Flags and Bugles.

The noise, dust and confusion of Close Order Battle makes giving verbal orders problematic.  The high notes of the trumpet operate at a frequency that the human ear registers full attention, and bugles are still used (out of respect) today.  Likewise banners, flags, pennons, and Guidons are the default visual means of controlling forces afoot, afloat, or a riding.  The soul that carried the banner of a band of brothers did so without a weapon in hand, and for whom dropping the flag was a major disgrace.  It still is, even though following the flag in current battles would draw fire. 

Units lacking the sense of camaraderie and shared experiences have a short shelf life.  Once the enemy turns to run, runs or acts in a panicky way, the Rundown or Chase Reflex automatically reverses the Revulsion Reflex, and the chase Is on.

Once the enemy looks away, turns his back, or demonstrates weakness, another equally powerful gut reaction to chase down and kill the enemy without any sense of revulsion.  In battles between forces in close order (side by side, shoulder to shoulder, etc.) turning and running resulted in mass casualties due to aroused avarice by the attacker and suppressed defensive capabilities while running backside to front. 

It is no accident or insidious capitalist warmongering plot that children play “hide and seek”, or running games like “keep away” which goes professional in soccer, football (both), basketball, or hockey.   This behavior like most childhood games is practice for what comes later in life, and is driven by coding in DNA.  Socialization only provides the details.

Some of kids play is not play but training, and it occurs naturally without any external input.

More serious “games”

Several important factors reduce or counter revulsion reflex include those activities where the mind is occupied with conscious engagement with a complex piece of hardware, like a laser range finder. Or upon rote reaction of certain responses that require the brain to focus on a few important things such as in calling for and adjusting fires like Fire Missions and Tank Gunnery Commands.  Those have to be done right despite foggy brains and fear. 


 This is the part when the loser is massacred on the run even if not edible.  Basketball, Soccer, Rugby, and Hockey (field and ice) are running games with the puck or ball representing the game’s game. This is the part when the family chows down on the defeated, the wounded are bayoneted, and the dead are stripped. In Medieval warfare, the casualties of the side that ran were horrific while in those battle with no panic, or run, American Football is more lethal. 

King Guy of Jerusalem surrenders to Saladin at the Battle at Hattin 1187