This is the final installment of a three-part series on Stress Exposure Training written by Ger O'Dea of Dynamis Training & Insight
Hoplite Training Armour allows us introduce contact in a gradual, sensible and realistic way so that people can conduct those ‘personal experiments’ which are referred to by the SIT methodology. Incorporating equipment such as the Hoplite Training Armour allows us to drastically increase the intensity of our training sessions compared to what we could achieve without it.
We can gradually build up the intensity of the confrontation experience for our trainees, while maintaining a low-risk training environment. Using our Hoplite Training Armour let’s us take the theoretical guesswork out of the training, SAFELY.
Even where we work low-intensity training sessions, with for example trainees who will have only one day with us, we can begin to give them closer-to-real-life experience of what it feels like to make aggressive contact with another human being. This is something that many people have never experienced and which is deeply challenging for them. Phase One and Phase Two of the SIT approach provide excellent preparation for this phase, even given just a couple of hours with the trainees.
Incorporating contact during training, which the Hoplite Armour allows us to do, has significant benefits. It allows trainees who have never struck another person in anger, to do so for the first time. The trainee can then go on to experience that moment again, and again. Each time, she will ‘groove’ her response a little deeper, re-inforcing the decision she made, the tactical needs in the situation, the physical sensation of initiating a strike and the results it produced. She will also be ‘grooving over’ any residual doubt, hesitation, fear or panic which she may have brought to the situation.
Specific to the Hoplite Armour, we can say with some authority that it allows the average person to use most of their capacity in delivering a strike to another person with a very high degree of safety for the person inside the armour. A full Hoplite suit covers the whole body and allows maximum movement potential in all three combative dimensions - standing, clinched or grounded.
Training according to this SIT model benefits when the role-player inside the Armour can closely replicate the behaviours that will be seen in reality (‘training fidelity’ which I will address in a following article), including the pre-assault behaviours and in responding with realism when impacted by the other role-players in the exercise.
Hoplite Armour in particular allows the role player to broadcast pre-assault behaviours and impact behaviours extremely well because it is a lightweight, low-bulk suit which transmits small tell-tale body-language which are being broadcast. This is highly important because our trainee needs to be able to react and respond to the earliest signs of confrontation (as shown by body language changes in the aggressive person) and also to the earliest cues of a physical assault when initiated.
By experiencing the uncertain, spatially chaotic and rapidly-unfolding nature of high-speed scenario replication, the trainees become inoculated, to an appropriate degree relevant to the depth of their training, to it. This is particularly successful if they are guided and mentored through the exercises by an experienced trainer who can use coaching methods to motivate them to persevere.
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All Dynamis Training Courses incorporate these advanced concepts in training for confrontation management.
They will be running the BTEC Level 3 Self-Defence Instructor Accreditation course on July 27th - 29th, 2011. The course will provide progressive self-defence, breakaway and officer safety instructors of all kinds with a framework for teaching self-defence which is legally sound, risk-aware and has a basis in the science and psychology of inter-personal conflict as discussed here on theDynamis Insight Blog.