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    Reinberger

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    Join date : 2013-12-02

    Altered perception

    Post by Reinberger on Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:02 pm

    This discussion originally started at another thread, but I thought it would digress too much from the original topic, and may deserve an own thread anyway.

    Reinberger wrote:
    johan smits wrote:... Looking back, I know it sounds funny, I got a feeling that it took a really long time before I hit the floor. ...
    In situations like that one - as a natural reaction, but reinforced by our kind of training, I guess -  the senses tend to become incredibly sharp, providing us with (perceived) plenty of time to decide and react. Even if the incident, in reality, only may last a few seconds, or actually just fractions of a second. I've experienced that several times in my life. One time even especially intensive, when, in a really life-threatening situation, I got the impression, as if everything around me went down to some kind of slow-motion, whereas I was still able to operate at normal speed. Sometimes, I guess, such a thing simply happens too quick, to be explained as a pure effect of adrenalin production alone.
    johan smits wrote:Hi Robert,
    That is quite interesting what you write.
    I for myself can not recall if I experienced the slow motion phenomenon of my surroundings. I do recall I focused on my daughter. Until now I usually compared my fall with those antics the parkour of freerunning people show. Jumping up in the air, or from a building and almost lazily turning in the air and landing on their feet.
    But somehow and altered experience of time, that sounds very interesting.
    Do you care to elaborate on that?
    Happy landings.
    DougNZ wrote:A great book to read is On violence by Dave Grossman.  The content is the findings resulting from interviews with hundreds of soldiers, policemen and security officers who have been in combat.  It looks at arousal levels and how the senses are increasingly distorted as sympathetic nervous system arousal levels increase.
    For the martial artist, there are two main take-home messages: employ tactics to manage and de-esculate arousal levels; and build an arsenal of simple techniques that rely on gross motor skills and avoid those requiring complex and/or fine motor skills.  Beyond those, there are many, many good bits of information.
    The book deals, amongst many other things, with distortion of time.
    johan smits wrote:Doug, Many thanks for the tip. I will certainly get a copy of that.
    Happy landings.

    Of course, Johan, I'll try to explain some of the situations I remember in detail. All of them happened some time ago, but nevertheless are burnt into my memory, as they were such unusual experiences.

    I commenced my “Jiu-Jitsu” training in autumn of 1970. The first two incidents I want to describe happened within my first year of training, so any possible “mental effect” of budō training can be ruled out with easy conscience. We mainly had to concentrate on learning ukemi for about the first three months. After about one and a half, or two month we also started to learn ō soto gari and kesa gatame, and were allowed to gain our first randori-experiences with this two techniques alone, at the end of the training sessions. However, we also were taught, two or three times, to deal with an attacker throwing punches at us, and how to avoid and/or block them with our forearms. Naturally, when we did this using our fists, everybody took care not to really hit his partner, and the deflections were relatively easy to perform; but when we tried the attacks with open hands, and therefore a slap in the face was the worst thing to expect, we did it with full-speed and really tried to get through, and everybody received his fair amount of hits, when his reaction was too slow.

    1. I had bought my first cassette-recorder (for 740 Austrian Shillings, which was quite a lot of money for me, back then) earlier that year, and went through a park holding it and playing music, together with my classmate, on our way to school for the afternoon classes. Suddenly, an older boy stood before me, demanding the cassette recorder to be handed over to him. We didn’t know each other personally, but I recognized him as a youngster that was feared in the whole neighbourhood, for his criminal energy as well as for his actions of violence. He claimed, that he just wanted to keep the recorder until we come back, and that I will get it back then. But I didn’t believe this, and therefore refused to give him that part. That reaction wasn’t one he had expected, or he was used to, and therefore he got very angry, and started to threaten me. The recorder itself seemed no longer to be of any interest for him, instead he wanted to punish me for my “bad behaviour”. Therefore, I gave the device to my classmate, told him to continue his way, and made ready for whatever might follow. I was scared. The bully started to attack me over and over again, with swings, with straight punches, with all kinds of blows, as I realized, that to me, his attacks seemed to be very slow, and – unlike in training – I had no difficulties at all, avoiding or blocking his full-speed blows. I clearly saw with which arm the next attack will be executed, which kind of attack it will be, and I had time enough to sidestep, retreat, and/or block, as I was taught only a short time ago. As he wasn’t able to land even a single blow, he got angrier and angrier, but finally he became tired, and ended his attacks. This was the moment when I simply walked away, following my colleague, and resumed my way to school.

    Later I was told by other boys that knew this guy, that he had told that story over and over again, not understanding how it was possible that he couldn’t hit me even once. As he was told that the other boys know me, and that I was “somebody, who does Jiu-Jitsu”, he immediately sent his apologies, making the excuse that he had been drunk, something that clearly wasn’t true, not to an extent that I had been able to notice, at least.

    2. The second time happened some months later, during my one and (untypical for an Austrian) only week of skiing, and I think it isn’t worth to tell the story here. Neither a fall, nor a fight was included, the “mode” we are talking about here just allowed me to avoid the former, although in a very spectacular way.

    3. The third time happened some years later. Still as a youth, I was attacked by an adult man with some sort of self-made blackjack built from iron wire. He wanted to get the coins I held in both of my hands. When he started his blows, my perception once again started to operate at a “higher speed”, and I had no problems to block every single swing of his armed hand, which was the only limb he used for his attacks, with jōdan age uke, retreating slowly. Only once, when I took a step backward, which was too big, I happened to block too high on his arm next time, and to close to my own fist, so that the whipping blackjack hit the back of my fist. It did hurt a bit, but that was the only “injury” I sustained. After some time my attacker again got tired, and I, pushing him back, was able to move backwards, out of his range, which made him stopping his attempts, and toddle off.

    4. The occurrence that was the most impressive to me, happened in the late seventies. While it also didn’t have anything to do with fighting or falling, in the way we are discussing here, and it didn’t involve any technique, it nevertheless was the most dangerous incident of all. Additionally, and nevertheless, it was the first incident, in which my study of budō seem to have been crucial for my actions. I’m able to tell more about that, if anybody is interested in. It occurred during a car accident at about 100 km/h (~ 62 mph).

    I had started training in Gojū ryū karatedō as a second art some years earlier, and we were just returning from a demonstration of this style, we had given at Tulln, a small town ca. 35 km northwest of Vienna. We were five persons in the car, with the driver and one passenger in the front seats, and three passengers at the rear bench seat, where I sat rightmost. At a drawn-out right hand bend, the driver lost control of his vehicle, and the rear started pulling to the left. While beforehand we hadn’t had opposing traffic, I now could see several oncoming cars. At that moment my altered perception begun, and the following events seemed to me to happen in slow motion.

    - My first thought was: “Typical! Just now somebody has to go the opposite direction!”
    - Next, I thought what I could do. I realized, that, despite the fact that it was a life-threatening situation, there was nothing I could do, other than staying very attentive, and trying to move at my limited space, as good as I can, according to the movements and possible deformations of the car.
    - We hit the front of the oncoming car with the left side of our car's trunk compartment, which turned our car the other way around, and back to the right roadside,
    - were we hit another obstacle, that catapulted us back to the left roadside,
    - when I realized that some of the other vehicle occupants had started to yell in panic. That not only disturbed, but also annoyed me. “Aren’t we ‘fighters’?” I thought, and  “How can somebody, who thinks he is a fighter, be so freaked out?” (yes, that were exactly the words and the way I was thinking back then, in German language, of course).
    - Then, while we were just comrades, I ORDERED them to ”stop the hysterical screaming!” And they obeyed, something that is very astonishing for me, in retrospect.
    - After that - our speed had substantial decreased in the meantime – the car approached the left roadside again. “Typical!” I thought again, “I bet, to top it all off, we will tumble down into the field now!
    - And down we went, in the overturning vehicle, to the field which was located some meters underneath of the street-level.
    - When the motion eventually came to an end, the car laid on its right side. “Typical!”, I thought for the third time. “We lay on my side, with both of my colleagues from the back seats pressing me in the slivered side window with all of their weight. “But I was lucky”, I imagined, when I saw a massive wheel bearing lying in the grass only 10 cm in front of my head.
    - I thought, that danger was not over yet. I remembered too many movies, where a car had caught fire, after such an accident. Therefore I now got angry about the unsuccessful attempts of the driver, to open his door.
    - “We have to leave this car immediately, but we have to do this in a controlled manner. You cannot open the door, but don’t you see, that there is no front shield anymore? Leave the car that way!"
    - "No, first you have to open your belt! OK, now leave the car! Good! Now it’s your turn!”, I said to the front passenger.
    - After that I had the uppermost of us three in the back crawl to the front and leave the car, than the guy lying directly on me, and finally I also was able to leave the car.
    - It was only then, when I stood outside, somewhat away from the wreck, that my “mode” went back to “normal”.

    We all five had been very, very lucky, as nobody was injured, despite of my right shoulder and back bleeding, were they were pressed into the broken pieces of glass. But the slices were only skin-deep, and didn’t even hurt. The driver of the other car remained unharmed as well. A terrible accident fortunately had ended with just one heavy car body damage and one totalled car, but without fleshly harms. When the police later investigated the accident, they were hardly able to believe, that everybody was okay. "We are used to only find corpses, in a car looking like that one!" they said.

    5. It was 1996 or 1997, my father already was very sick and weak, staying some time in the hospital, and some time at home, when one Sunday, as we were visiting him in his house, he felt so bad, that he thought it would be better to return to the hospital, but not bad enough to call an ambulance. But he was unable to go to the car himself. Therefore, I decided to carry him into the car. I took him from the side with both hands, and remember to have thought, that he may have carried me the same way, when I was a baby. I went down with him the few steps that led to the open door. When I was on the last stair, I felt, that I began to fall over. At that moment the altered perception began to take effect.
    - "What shell I do?", I thought, "it's impossible for me to take ukemi, without letting go of my father, or hurting him anyway. I HAVE to regain my balance, at all costs.
    - I reckoned the distance to the door framing, which was about one meter away, and decided, that to try to reach it, would be the best I could do.
    - So I pushed my body with the left foot to the right side, where I stopped the movement of my upper body with the right hand, that was also holding my father at the same time, at the door framing,
    - and with that I became able to put my right foot first, and then my left foot also, under my center of gravity again. With that, and the pain I now felt in my right hand due to the impact, my perception turned "back to normal". My father remained unharmed, I'm not even sure if he had noticed, what a close call that was.

    6. The last example happened in the late nineties, when I was on holiday. I was in my mid-forties, but had decided to participate in every activity offered, this time; even at soccer, which I don't like very much, and therefore usually don't play. It was very hot, and I only wore shorts to my sports shoes, as my "team" was "marked" by not wearing T-shirts. The “soccer field" was on rough asphalt.

    When we all were downfield on the right side, the ball was shot steeply upfield and to the left side. I was at a convenient location, and while I was the oldest player, it also happened that I was able to do the fastest sprints. Therefore I reached the ball first, and changed its direction for approaching the opposing party’s goal. As my soccer skills are very limited, I kicked the ball forward too far, and had to sprint again, to reach it before the other party’s goalie could. Suddenly I stumbled at full speed.

    In that moment, the different perception of time began.
    - Firstly, I evaluated if a fall was unavoidable. The result was yes, it's unavoidable, trying to recover balance would be useless.
    - Then, I considered which ukemi would be the safest to apply in that situation. The result was, I should depend on Mae mawari ukemi, as that would ensure the least amount and grade of injuries.
    - After that, I considered the effects of doing that roll more or less naked on that rough asphalt, and came to the conclusion, that, doing it correctly, would left me unharmed, despite of some possible abrasions, but I had to do the rolling without Ha uchi, and try to use the variant with using both feets in a way that the movement ends standing again, in Shizenhontai.
    - Then, very aware and carefully, I started to perform this type of Mae mawari ukemi.
    All that happened within half of a second at most.
    - I did the rolling, and to me it seemed to be a rather slow roll. However, after I stood upright again, in Shizenhontai, the forward drive was still strong enough (remember, I had decided not to reduce the momentum by slapping on that concrete) to have me taking some small steps, before I was able to stop.
    Now the different perception of time ended.

    During that action, I did neither hurt myself, nor had I even contracted the expected abrasions. I was completely unharmed, and also didn't feel any pain at all. The appropriate animator seemed to breathe a sigh of relief, when I told him, that I was perfectly okay.

    There were some more incidents, but I don’t remember them as well.

    BTW, my body doesn’t go into that “mode” every time it would SEEM to be appropriate. I even remember some physical confrontations, “on duty” as a part-time doorman at a discotheque in the early eighties, were it didn’t happen. Apparently, what I think or “feel” about a situation plays a certain role, and obviously I instinctively hadn’t valued that situations “dangerous” enough, although in one incident even a firearm was involved, but it wasn’t used against me, not even to threaten me. Another time, where I didn’t change in the described “mode” (or didn’t realize it, because it was over so quickly), was a knife “attack” from a very close range, but it happened in a friendly environment, and the only sufferer was the unlucky “attacker”, a teammate, who unwisely had attempted to “test” me, which resulted in a knee-jerk, unbraked shutō uchi to his wrist-joint by me, and for him in a bandaged wrist for about two weeks.


    _________________
    Kind regards, Robert

    DougNZ

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by DougNZ on Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:38 pm

    Very interesting, Robert.

    We have a 7th dan jujutsuka here who also talks of fights happening in slow motion for him. He is a humble man but says that his opponents move so slowly that fighting them is ridiculously easy, like fighting a child.

    Another poster on this forum a number of years ago said that his many streetfights happened in complete silence and he was completely devoid of emotion, like a stone.

    Reinberger

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by Reinberger on Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:28 pm

    That's impressive, Doug!

    As you didn't explain, about what kind of fights the jūjutsuka is talking, I want to add something, regarding my own narrations:

    The described phenomenon NEVER happened to me during training, or during tournaments. It ONLY happened in "real life" situations.

    The phenomenon always HAPPENED. I am/was not able to manage it deliberately.

    When it happened, it always happened in connection with a dangerous situation, but it didn't happen during ALL dangerous situations, I was in.

    The last time, the described phenomenon of an altered perception of time happened to me, is more then 16 years ago. But I wasn't in any situation, that I myself would really call "dangerous", since then. The only incident, that came close,  happened some two or three years ago, but didn't lead to a direct confrontation, as I was able to outmaneuvre a possible assailant by  what could be termed "tactical walking".  Wink


    _________________
    Kind regards, Robert

    DougNZ

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by DougNZ on Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:11 pm

    My understanding is that Paul experienced this during street altercations. However, I also understood that he experienced it in some shiai, too. He definitely talked about the slowing in relation to other jujutsuka, some his students. I do not believe he could manage the phenomenon.

    What you describe is very much like many of the descriptions made by combat survivors in On combat. However, distortions can be opposites for different people; e.g. fast or slow, tunnel vision or heightened peripheral, heightened sound or silence, magnification or micro-vision. One police officer spoke of entering a room where he knew an armed man was barricaded. He saw the weapon discharge (and was hit) but did not hear anything. He dived outside through a window into the night and suddenly he experienced heightened sound but not vision. He could pinpoint the position of the gunman by sound and then re-entered the room and shot him. That was an unusual response - 'deafness' and then 'blindness' - in the one encounter. Just as we blink when there is a flash or something coming towards us, apparently our ears can sometimes 'blink', particularly when there is an explosion very close to us. One other story related to a police officer who was firing and wondering why beer cans were floating across the air. It turned out later that they were his ejected shells which were magnified and slowed.

    It is interesting that you talk about the logical thought patterns that you experienced in thousands of a second. Other stories in the book talk about minds wandering during a chaotic and dangerous situation. In the middle of a gun fight, for example, one man found he was planning his up-coming holiday!

    Get a copy of On combat; it is a fascinating read.

    johan smits

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by johan smits on Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:17 pm

    Robert,
    thiThat is quite a bit to digest but thank you for some very interesting food for thought.
    Some things come to mind. You say 'it happens' and it is not conscious. Or at least you can not control it at will (as in put it on and of).

    Maybe it is a difficult question to answer but are you under the impression that in your later experiences the feeling was different (maybe stronger, or did it happen sooner during the occation)?

    Maybe it has got to do with intuition/instinct (I believe the Japanese word is 'Kan'). This is typical something professionals (police, firefighters, bouncers, etc) are abel to develop due to being "in danger"in the real world and not just training in the dojo.

    I wonder if this altered perception of time may be the first stage of developing 'Kan' (or maybe it is a different thing altogether).

    I wonder (I wonder a lot these days)if there is a special kind of training which could develop this? Or maybe it is just basics (as it always is in my experience) and when you are in danger (and survive) it will develop in due time.

    Doug,
    Grossman has written several books 'on combat', 'on killing' but I could not find 'on violence' - maybe me is stupid? What a Face

    Happy landings.

    Ah, me thinks it is 'on combat'.

    johan smits

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by johan smits on Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:21 pm

    Come to think of it. Are these not also the somewhat grandiose stories about the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba? About him being able to dodge bullets? Maybe these were ordinary changed percepton of time incidents and had Tengu nothing to do with them. Basketball

    Happy landings.

    DougNZ

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    Join date : 2013-01-28

    Re: Altered perception

    Post by DougNZ on Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:41 pm

    johan smits wrote:Doug,
    Grossman has written several books 'on combat', 'on killing' but I could not find 'on violence' - maybe me is stupid? What a Face

    Happy landings.

    Ah, me thinks it is 'on combat'.

    No, me is stupid. On combat.

    johan smits

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    Join date : 2013-01-22

    Re: Altered perception

    Post by johan smits on Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:03 pm

    Doug,

    I will get a copy than. Thanks man.
    The first topic in a long while that peaked my interest.

    Happy landings.

    DougNZ

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    Join date : 2013-01-28

    Re: Altered perception

    Post by DougNZ on Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:39 am

    Yes, this is something that I find fascinating, too, particularly as a jujutsu instructor teaching a self defence style.

    Whilst experiences like Richard describe occur, they are rare. Most of us progressively shut down the higher our SNS arousal levels get. At worst, we pretty much pee ourselves and curl up in a ball (from memory, stats were something like 60% of soldiers peed themselves in combat!).

    Over the decades, I have found myself teaching less and less of the expected jujutsu techniques - wrist locks, elbow locks, etc. The style we practice was heavily moulded by first-hand fight experience (mostly security work-based). My instructor, for example, has had over 300 altercations and many of his black belts worked for him, too. We share a background in Dutch-style, Kawaishi jiu jitsu but what we do now is very different philosophically and pedagogically. One difference is that we do a lot of different formats of randori and a lot of it. Experience has shown us that locking techniques can work (particularly in the context of weaponry and weapons retention) but they are low percentage techniques, meaning the probability of pulling one off is low compared to the probability of getting damaged trying to get one. For one, we generally isolate both hands when working on uke's one arm and often give away unsafe body positioning. Instead, our style uses a lot of clinching and broken-clinching from which we strike, throw and takedown.

    The point of this explanation, getting back to the topic, is that most joint locks require both fine motor skills and complex motor skills. When arousal levels are in the red zone (115 - 145 beats per minute), some fine motor skills and cognitive thought can be drawn on but in the black zone (160+ BPM), fine motor skills completely give way to gross motor skills, flight or fight overrides, freezing, sensory distortion, submissive behaviour, robotic limb movement, etc. Quite simply, at this level, less oxygen is getting to your brain and vascular constriction affects the limbs. As most mudansha are likely to be in this range in a real altercation, it seems silly to teach them jujutsu techniques that will only work in white or yellow zone (below 115 BPM). For us, clinches are doubly effective because a) they work well and b) they work well under high levels of stress when we can only draw on gross motor skills.

    As a last word, if you think we have 'dumbed down' our jujutsu, my experience is that simplicity exhibits a high level of sophistication. If you break them down, things our people do have a lot of instinctive, clever things going on, which are all jujutsu. Further, being a principles-based (as opposed to a kata-based) system, our mind under stress is not forever scanning a catalogue of techniques but just applying a handful of fight 'rules'. A simple explanation of combat science is that the more stressed we get, the further back in our brain we work. In white and yellow zone, we use the analytical front of our brain, in the red zone we use the animalistic mid-brain and in the black zone we use the primeval rear-brain that pretty much controls just survival functions such as breathing. Yellow zone jujutsu taught to be used in a black zone context, in my mind, is 'dumbed down' jujutsu. As Brasidas of Sparta said 2,500 years ago, "Fear makes men forget, and skill that cannot fight is useless."

    NBK

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by NBK on Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:30 pm

    It seems that some of this phenonmenom is innate, while some can be learned. I've had experiences similiar to the above, but I think training can make a huge impact.

    When I started judo, as uke, things happened so quickly that everything was a blur. But my first sensei was a master at kaeshi waza, reversal techniques, which he learned from Ito Kazuo sensei and Mifune sensei. In training he'd break down the ukemi so you'd realize that there various components in the fastest attacks and throws - and once you realized those components existed, that there were some vulnerable to exploitation, or counters. So things started happening in slow(er) motion.

    I read a description one race driver (Moss? Mike Hailwood?) made of one particular racetrack corner - of thousands - where he knew he must come in high, downshift a certain number of gears, get back on the power in the apex and dive for the inside to maximize his exit speed, with the power at just a specific RPM to be in the powerband. This particular corner had a hill next to it, and his son would wear a red jacket, sit on the hill in plain sight. The driver said would set up for the corner, power on, watch the tachometer and the road and when he saw his son would wave, he'd wave back.

    When he realized he couldn't take all this in at once, clearly seeing everything at once, he realized his edge was going and he retired from competitive racing.

    I've known some professional and semi-pro motorcycle racers. Some were simply banzai, trying to get the most out of every RPM and inch of road, bravery providing a lot of their success. But the best are incredibly cerebral, and memorize every single corner in detail you wouldn't believe, experiencing what the bike is doing in detail, and being able to explain in detail. Today the foremost crews can afford onboard sensors that provide detailed data, but until recently that had to be done by some twenty-something year old hanging off a screaming chunk of metal thrown into a corner at speeds that would have most of us frozen in fear, much less analyzing everything in detail.

    There's an oft repeated story of Kano shihan being in a motorbus in Europe that partially slid off the road and the vehicle was hanging off a precipice. Kano shihan sat calmly while others panicked, and he waited calmly while other evacuated. That could be part of his nature, but also training.

    NBK

    DougNZ

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by DougNZ on Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:25 pm

    Training can have a huge bearing. After all, one can only do what one has practiced and become conditioned to.

    The SNS arousal chart used by Siddle and Grossman (1997) has Conditions White, Yellow, Red and Black. However, they note an area of 145-175 BPM, which they call Condition Grey, where highly trained people can operate in a state of extended red zone when non-trained people are already noting the symptoms of black zone. Increasingly through this band cognitive thought diminishes and autopilot (resulting from extensive training) takes over. Eventually, over 175 BPM, even veterans will enter black zone where things start to go crazy.

    johan smits

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by johan smits on Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:39 pm

    I will have to do some serious catching up on my reading about the subject with you guys.

    Doug,

    I think jujutsu is often misunderstood. This comes from the fact that a lot of teachers do not have experience in using it for real. A dojo environment does not teach valid techniques if you do not work on that specifically.

    All sorts of wristy-twisty techniques do work. But not all the time, not during a conflict. These techniques are meant to take someone (who is not aroused, angry, trying to fight you) by surprise.
    Example: it is not a good idea to try to use an outward wristthrow (kote gaeshi or whatever) on a 250 pounds construction worker who is so angry with you he wants to tear your head off. You can use it on him when he is reaching for his coffee and he is not expecting it.

    I found kata training in jujutsu to be extremely useful (the original kata from the old schools that is, not the JBN kata or so). You  can bring in a higher danger level (use sharp weapons) in a reasonably safe enviroment (kata). This is good as training since the perception of danger of the trainee's is very real. I find this training extra useful for those who are not regularly in danger due to their profession.


    Sophistication is the essence of simplicity.

    In my opinion you did not 'dumb down' your art, you 'dumbed up' your art. That's great.

    Happy landings.


    Last edited by johan smits on Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:26 am; edited 1 time in total

    Reinberger

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by Reinberger on Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:16 pm

    Thank you everybody, for your comments.

    DougNZ and Johan, I will comment on your postings, and answer questions that were asked, at a later time. Let me please first address NBK's post, as I think it involves a crucial point, regarding my own understanding of that phenomenon.

    NBK wrote:It seems that some of this phenonmenom is innate, while some can be learned.  I've had experiences similiar to the above, butI think training can make a huge impact. ...

    ... There's an oft repeated story of Kano shihan being in a motorbus in Europe that partially slid off the road and the vehicle was hanging off a precipice.  Kano shihan sat calmly while others panicked, and he waited calmly while other evacuated. That could be part of his nature, but also training.      

    NBK

    NBK, I'm with you in principle, especially regarding the "impact of training" you've mentioned. Which kind(s) of training exactly I've in my mind, may be a different question. What I'm not so sure about, is your use of the expression "part of his nature", in conjunction with a term you've used earlier, namely the expression "innate".

    I don't know, if innateness also plays a certain role. But, what I think to be of more relevance, is something, that may be explained best by citing a well known story, I guess. I know, that there are several versions of that story, but will cite the version I stumbled across first, in a German edition of D. T. Suzuki's "Zen in the Japanese culture". In this book, Suzuki wrote:

    "To quote one of the stories cited in the Hagakure: Yagyū Tajima no kami Munenori was a great swordsman and teacher in the art to the Shogun of the time, Tokugawa Iyemitsu. One of the personal guards of the Shogun one day came to Tajima no kami wishing to be trained in swordplay. The master said, "As I observe, you seem to be a master of the art yourself; pray tell me to what school you belong, before we enter into the relationship of teacher and pupil."

    The guardsman said, "I am ashamed to confess that I have never learned the art."

    "Are you going to fool me? I am teacher to the honourable Shogun himself, and I know my judging eye never fails."
     
    "I am sorry to defy your honour, but I really know nothing." This resolute denial on the part of the visitor made the swordsmaster think for a while, and he finally said, "If you say so, that must be so; but still I am sure of your being master of something, though I know not just what."

    "Yes, if you insist, I will tell you this. There is one thing of which I can say I am complete master. When I was still a boy, the thought came upon me that as a samurai I ought in no circumstances to be afraid of death, and ever since I have grappled with the problem of death now for some years, and finally the problem has entirely ceased to worry me. May this be what you hint at?"

    "Exactly!" exclaimed Tajima no kami. "That is what I mean. I am glad I made no mistake in my judgement. For the ultimate secrets of swordsmanship also lie in being released from the thought of death. I have trained ever so many hundreds of my pupils along this line, but so far none of them really deserve the final certificate for swordsmanship. You need no technical training, you are already a master."

    While I may hold a different view, regarding the relevance of technical training, other than that, the quintessence of that story seems to be exactly, what I think. And I believe, that it has something to do with what we are talking about.


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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by johan smits on Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:23 am

    NBK,

    I feel this is how myths come into existence. Would it not be possible Kano was taking a nap while it occured... Twisted Evil
    Warm bus, long trip, dozing, just a nap, woke up when everybody was outside the bus and the whole thing was over.

    And everybody goes: "Master's fudoshin is wonderful!"

    Just a thought.

    Robert,
    I am very interested in your point of view. Crucial to the development of things is being in danger I think.

    Happy landings.

    Reinberger

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by Reinberger on Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:50 am

    johan smits wrote:Robert,
    thiThat is quite a bit to digest but thank you for some very interesting food for thought.
    Some things come to mind. You say 'it happens' and it is not conscious. Or at least you can not control it at will (as in put it on and of).

    Maybe it is a difficult question to answer but are you under the impression that in your later experiences the feeling was different (maybe stronger, or did it happen sooner during the occation)?

    Maybe it has got to do with intuition/instinct (I believe the Japanese word is 'Kan'). This is typical something professionals (police, firefighters, bouncers, etc) are abel to develop due to being "in danger"in the real world and not just training in the dojo.

    I wonder if this altered perception of time may be the first stage of developing 'Kan' (or maybe it is a different thing altogether).

    I wonder (I wonder a lot these days)if there is a special kind of training which could develop this? Or maybe it is just basics (as it always is in my experience) and when you are in danger (and survive) it will develop in due time.

    Doug,
    Grossman has written several books 'on combat', 'on killing' but I could not find 'on violence' - maybe me is stupid? What a Face

    Happy landings.

    Ah, me thinks it is 'on combat'.

    Regarding the question, if the feeling became different at later times: Yes and no, the feelings were different, but only partly differed according to the points in time, when I experienced this phenomenon.

    a) Yes, you are correct, "it happened", and I couldn't put it on and off, or control it at will.

    b) Yes, the experiences differed in "strength", but not in that "linear", increasing course along the timeline of their appearances, you seem to allude to.

    c) No, it never was a question of "starting sooner during the occasion". It always started exactly at the moment, I became aware of the immediate threat. That's why I believe, it's something different from "Kan". If I had anticipated before, that I will be in trouble very soon, didn't have a pivotal effect for the appearance or not-appearance of the phenomenon, as far as I can tell.

    So, how, and how far did the occurrences differ from each other? I will refer to the different situations with the numbers, I used in my first post of this thread.

    At 1. and 3., the experiences weren't very strong, the time only seemed to slow down a little bit, just enough for me to be able to react in time, and I felt my fear during the whole duration of the incidents. I was aware of the fact, that I will be in trouble beforehand, but I think, it wasn't in a form, that would fell under the expression of "Kan".

    At 5., the experience was a little stronger, and the time seemed to slow down a little bit more. The incident as a whole was to short for me to develop a feeling of angst. I just was afraid, to hurt my father. I hadn't seen the problem coming, before I actually lost balance.

    At 2. and 6., the experiences were even stronger. More thoughts and decisions happened in a very short time, but again, the incidents were over too quick, to develop a real feeling of fear. I only got aware of the troubles I was in, when they already happened (6.), or immediately before they happened (2., due to what I could see with my eyes at that point in time).

    4. was the strongest experience by far. Things seemed to happen rather in super slow-mo than in "normal" slow motion. There was no fear involved, I realized from the very beginning (i.e. when I had realized our sideslip, and saw the oncoming cars) that I was in a deathtrap, and I accepted it. I will talk about the "emotions", or lack thereof, I experienced during that incident, in my response to DougNZ.

    If there really is "a special kind of training which could develop this", I think it would be along the line of that story told by Suzuki/Hagakure, I quoted in an earlier response. I don't know, if something like that will "develop in due time" without the prerequisite to be able to "handle" agony, but I think it's possible, that, when this ability already exists, "it" probably may become stronger with the number of (survived) occurrences.

    johan smits wrote:NBK,

    I feel this is how myths come into existence. Would it not be possible Kano was taking a nap while it occured...  Twisted Evil  
    Warm bus, long trip, dozing, just a nap, woke up when everybody was outside the bus and the whole thing was over.

    And everybody goes: "Master's  fudoshin is wonderful!"

    Just a thought.

    That may be, or may not be. I, for myself, and after all I've personally experienced, find this story to be completely credible. It remebers me on my case 4., when we lyed in and with our car down in the field, after the movement of the car had come to a standstill.

    johan smits wrote:Robert,
    I am very interested in your point of view. Crucial to the development of things is being in danger I think.

    Happy landings.

    Of course, the development of those things ALWAYS presupposed the existence of danger, in my case. But I would not say, that the mere existence of the hazards ALONE was the crucial point, for what happened (to me). I believe, that while the threats were the triggers, they weren't the reasons (or crucial points) for WHAT happened then.


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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by Reinberger on Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:12 am

    johan smits wrote:Come to think of it. Are these not also the somewhat grandiose stories about the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba? About him being able to dodge bullets? Maybe these were ordinary changed percepton of time incidents and had Tengu nothing to do with them. Basketball

    Happy landings.

    Johan, I don't know, what Aikidō's Ō-sensei was or wasn't able to do, but rest assured, that I don't believe, that I would "be able to dodge bullets".

    That doesn't mean, that, if an appropriate situation occurs, and that altered perception sets in, so that I would have some (perceived) time to decide, the result wouldn't be, that exactly that would be the best thing to try in the given situation. If there would be any chance to succeed with that, is a completely different question. I choose to keep sceptical. Wink


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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by Reinberger on Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:34 am

    DougNZ wrote: ...  Another poster on this forum a number of years ago said that his many streetfights happened in complete silence and he was completely devoid of emotion, like a stone.

    DougNZ, during the incidents I've described, I always only - albeit to different extents - experienced that altered perceptions of time. Never were there any alterations of seeing, hearing, or other (physical) feelings or perceptions involved, in my case.

    However, what I experienced at incident numbers 2. and 6., and especially at the accident specified under 4., was an unusual type of "emotion", or, perhaps, "lack of emotion".

    Ice-cold and crystal-clear

    I would like to describe my state during that incidents as being "ice-cold" (not regarding temperature, but referring to my "mood"), pertaining to the situation as a whole. As I told, that didn't exclude a feeling of anger, first regarding the screams, and then regarding the awkwardness of the driver and other passengers, to leave the wreck immediately, on a somewhat "different", and "lower level" of consciousness. I don't know, if "lower level" really is the best way to describe what I mean. The "coolness" always was there, as determinant mood, whereas the "anger" happened on a less important, superficial level.

    The second thing I have to describe, is a feeling of absolute acuteness, of thought, as well as of evaluation of reality. It felt, as if I immediately knew everything there was to know about the situation, and that every decision I made was exactly the best I could make. Or, no, it didn't just "feel" like that, it really and truly WAS so. Every single decision was absolutely beyond doubt for me, something, that is significantly different to my experiences in "normal" life. The feeling was, that it simply was not possible for me to draw any wrong conclusion or to take any wrong decision in that state. Everything seemed to be crystal clear.

    I wonder, if that kind of condition couldn't even alter the "well-known assumptions" (not to have to call it "secured knowledge" this time), of what one might be able to, or might not be able to apply in highly dangerous situations. I know, that I'm moving at highly speculative ground now, but nevertheless ...

    I think, such considerations might offer a possible explanation at least, for some of the stories from the past or from present, everybody hears or reads from time to time, but only a few believe.

    And they also might give hints for an explanation of stories and phenomenons like some of the historical "Samurai",  former "Kamikaze" and contemporary suicide attackers as well.


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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by johan smits on Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:28 am

    Robert,

    Compared to your experiences my incident was a minor one but I do recall 'not being afraid' indeed as a certain knowledge it would turn out okay (during faling).

    Being in danger (even on a regular basis) alone will indeed not suffice I think. Some kind of structural training should be available, maybe even to act as some sort of vessel or channel (for lack of better words). But would this have to be a fighting art or would any intense physical art or training suffice?
    In a way a lifetime of training in judo and jujutsu makes one very aware of things (surroundings, other people) and one walks with a certain amount of confidence in one's abilities. Maybe such confidence is needed for such things to occur. Proper intense training over a long period or when the times dictate or shorter period will give one such confidence.
    Confidence in one's abillities makes one in a way relaxed (or at least not undue tensed up), maybe relaxation is a keyword.

    Oh by the by.
    My few words adressed to NBK on Kano taking a nap was, how shall I put it?
    Ein Versuch einen Witz zu machen? jocolor

    Gluckliche Landungen.




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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by NBK on Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:12 pm

    I'm reading one of the oldest complex judo texts. There is an entire treatment of how the mind and body work together - physical fitness and training affect the mind, and your mental attitude affects your physical abilities. The explicit notion is to place the body and mind under substantial, managed, increasing but controlled stress to build individuals capable of dealing with a wide array of mental and physical challenges. The maturity and portrayal of this concept seems quite advanced to me, given the early date.

    While I assume judo organizations in Japan (Kodokan, All Japan Judo Federation, etc) certainly know this, and individuals know this, I'm not aware if there is a clear articulation of such a complex notion these days. The Judo MIND program message is pretty broad but not so deep. Manners, Independence, Nobility, Dignity. A hundred years on and I'm not sure there is a broad appreciation of what judo was oringally meant to offer.

    NBK

    Reinberger

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by Reinberger on Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:35 pm

    Johan,

    I think, what we are talking about, are in fact three different things at least. Things, that may be related, but that are still different, and not one and the same. Firstly, the appearance of this phenomenon of altered perception itself, or at all. Secondly, the ability to perform necessary physical acts, and finally, the confidence in one's abilities, you had described, which may lead to some kind of deeper relaxation. I would think, that the ability to control that "level two" emotions, I talked about earlier, also fall into that category.

    What you say about an "intense physical art or training" may help in several ways, but it's principal value lies in providing one with a profound arsenal of techniques or movements, from which to draw in those cases of emergency. I think, that belongs to the second and third of the points mentioned above. However, while I think that it may help a lot in such situations, beside being useful in numerous other ways, I'm not even sure if it is really necessary, regarding the things we are discussing now. Perhaps it even might have been something along those lines, that Yagyū Tajima no kami alluded to, when he meant "you need no technical training" (in another version of the story, Yagyū sensei only declared, that the technical instruction would be a very easy and quick task, in consideration of the fact, that the single-most important lesson of the art already was learnt and mastered beforehand).

    But surely, I don't know, how my number 6. incident would have ended, hadn't I had years of regularly ukemi-practice behind me. On the other hand, the second incident I wrote about, but without details, included two decisions of performing physical acts, that clearly lay beyond my technical skills, after just a few days of novice-training at skiing. Firstly I had to jump several meters forward with the fastened skis, and then I had to take a 90 degree turn to the left as fast as possible, after landing, without falling down, of course. Both moves worked out, despite of the fact that I hadn't had done such things ever before in my life. And also never again, I would like to add. Also, in incident number four, there wasn't even any chance to meaningful apply any of the physical techniques I train/ed.

    However, if any such type of physical training, you're talking about, would be a prerequisite for the phenomenon itself to appear, at least my first two incidents couldn't have happened, as I was only training for a few months then, and that with not more than just one training-session of one hour per week. The phenomenons clearly must have been evoked by something else.

    But what kind of thing might this be? I believe, like it is claimed in the legend I quoted, the key is either to have no mortal fear, or at least to have the ability to control fear of death to a high degree. That, at least, prevents the possibility to panic. Panic, I believe, even in a milder form, would hinder the body and mind to change into that state in question, which otherwise might appear naturally. Therefore, I guess, that the most important way to develop the ability to  ALLOW  that phenomenon to appear, is to already overcome agony by some means or other, before the dangerous situation appears at all. That may be accomplished by different forms of psychical training, by meditation, or even by religious practices. In my case, nothing of that applied. But for reasons, that are beyond this discussion, I wasn't particularly "attached to life", from early age on. For me, that may be an explanation for the first few appearances of the phenomenon in question.

    Later, and especially around incident number 4, I already had read and contemplated, what was available to me at that time, like Nitobe's "Bushidō, the soul of Japan", Suzuki's "Zen and Japanese Culture", as well as his "Der Westliche und der Östliche Weg" (I'm not sure if that book appeared in English, too) and other texts. I think, that the reason, such writings appealed to me despite of my relatively young age, was that attitude of defiance of death (but not daredevilry!), that (kind of incidentally) was already present within me.

    Now, that I've discussed point two (the means that partly are/were necessary) and point one (how and why the phenomenon might appear at all) of my itemization, point three is still missing. It's the other form of emotion control, that one, that you addressed with the description "confidence in one's abilities".

    Until now, you might have asked me: "If you believe, that that altered perception in times of need could only occur, as you didn't really feel mortal fear, how is it possible then, that you, yourself, talked about the fear you felt during some incidents?"

    Now, I think, that the type of fear I addressed in point one, is different from the type of fear I talk about now, in point three. It happens on that other, more superficial level, I earlier described, when I talked about some anger I felt during the car accident. The fear I mean now, is a fear happening on that same level. One other example, I can give, is the following: I was, and still am, able to get (sometimes even very) upset about all kinds of bits and bobs. But I'm also able to stay perfectly calm, when it's about more important things. I think, that physical training can help to become able to control emotions appearing at that level. I don't think, that it necessarily has to be budō training, but I also don't think, that it doesn't matter at all, which kind of training it is. Every training might address it's own goals. Budō training, naturally, will especially increase the "confidence in one's ability", regarding physical altercations with other persons, or even animals. That is my explanation, why I had felt that kind of fear during the incidents that happened at the begin of my training, but not during later confrontations. I even suspect, that that might have been the reason, why my body didn't "feel the need" to change into that "special mode" at occasions, where, to me, it would have been "rational" to do so. But, perhaps, the level of physical harassment I had perceived unconsciously, may simply haven't been "high enough".

    Please be aware of the fact, that everything I wrote now and earlier in this thread - and it was not easy for me, to discuss this in English, I hope I was able to find expressions and wordings, that made clear what I mean, most of the times -  are only my opinions, based on the personal experiences I've made, and my thoughts about them. I have no idea, if any of that opinions is scientifically tenable.


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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by Reinberger on Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:50 pm

    NBK wrote:I'm reading one of the oldest complex judo texts.  There is an entire treatment of how the mind and body work together - physical fitness and training affect the mind, and your mental attitude affects your physical abilities.  The explicit notion is to place the body and mind under substantial, managed, increasing but controlled stress to build individuals capable of dealing with a wide array of mental and physical challenges.  The maturity and portrayal of this concept seems quite advanced to me, given the early date.  

    While I assume judo organizations in Japan (Kodokan, All Japan Judo Federation, etc) certainly know this, and individuals know this, I'm not aware if there is a clear articulation of such a complex notion these days.  The Judo MIND program message is pretty broad but not so deep. Manners, Independence, Nobility, Dignity.   A hundred years on and I'm not sure there is a broad appreciation of what judo was oringally meant to offer.

    NBK

    NBK,

    I find it funny and interesting, that you have included "manners" in your last paragraph.

    Actually, I often talk to students about, and try to explain the significance of everyday- and special dōjō reiho and reishiki even for contemporary cases of emergency or self-defence situations on the street, or even on battlefield; something, that I think is not very accepted or even known  these days, due to it's SEEMINGLY insignificance. I think that to be a loss of wisdom, something, rather typical for budō, that is thrown away in negligence, while many seem to apply all kinds of newer, scientific knowledge only, because it is better known today. But with developments like that, possibly even some of the most interesting and awesome aspects of budō might get lost.

    Yes, me too thinks, that budō is a very broad field, that has to offer a lot, and there's a lot more about many things, that may seem to be dispensable, unwanted additional tasks, originally included "only" due to their origin within a "different" culture, at first sight.


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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by NBK on Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:37 am

    Reinberger wrote:
    NBK wrote:I'm reading one of the oldest complex judo texts.  There is an entire treatment of how the mind and body work together - physical fitness and training affect the mind, and your mental attitude affects your physical abilities.  The explicit notion is to place the body and mind under substantial, managed, increasing but controlled stress to build individuals capable of dealing with a wide array of mental and physical challenges.  The maturity and portrayal of this concept seems quite advanced to me, given the early date.  

    While I assume judo organizations in Japan (Kodokan, All Japan Judo Federation, etc) certainly know this, and individuals know this, I'm not aware if there is a clear articulation of such a complex notion these days.  The Judo MIND program message is pretty broad but not so deep. Manners, Independence, Nobility, Dignity.   A hundred years on and I'm not sure there is a broad appreciation of what judo was oringally meant to offer.

    NBK

    NBK,

    I find it funny and interesting, that you have included "manners" in your last paragraph.

    Actually, I often talk to students about, and try to explain the significance of everyday- and special dōjō reiho and reishiki even for contemporary cases of emergency or self-defence situations on the street, or even on battlefield; something, that I think is not very accepted or even known  these days, due to it's SEEMINGLY insignificance. I think that to be a loss of wisdom, something, rather typical for budō, that is thrown away in negligence, while many seem to apply all kinds of newer, scientific knowledge only, because it is better known today. But with developments like that, possibly even some of the most interesting and awesome aspects of budō might get lost.

    Yes, me too thinks, that budō is a very broad field, that has to offer a lot, and there's a lot more about many things, that may seem to be dispensable, unwanted additional tasks, originally included "only" due to their origin within a "different" culture, at first sight.
    This oversight or ignorance of the importance of manners / etiquette (JA: reigi or reihô) seems to be most pronounced outside Japan. Within Japan, there is a reasonable effort to teach and require it be adhered to, at least to a bit. Just today I discussed with a member of the Kodokan staff how new students to the Kodokan should be shown the proper reigi.


    NBK

    johan smits

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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by johan smits on Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:02 am

    Robert,
    Many thanks for an, again very well thought out and written piece. is English also not my first language (obvious) and I very much feel like you do.
    I already stated I have some catching up to do on my reading on this subject. I am not sure as to why these altered time perceptions appear. People in distress? Maybe, but then we should find out if they only appear in people who are trained. If not they clearly belong to the general public and it might be on the same level as an adrenaline boost to help us survive a dangerous situation.
    If training (some sort of) is necessary than maybe any form of training will do.
    I am pragmatist I do not believe in systems with an vast array of techniques. The less techniques learned, the less confusion there will be when an emergency arises. I guess this is one of the points Doug makes and I agree with him.
    Your remarks on Reiho are spot on when you ask me. Absolutely right. The loss of Reiho , not so much in the dojo but in society (the dojo at large in a way) results in a lot of problems ranging from abusive behavior towards one another till terrorist attacks. It is actually more destructive than people realize.
    Happy landings.


    Come to think of it (see my earlier posts) Kano was probably not taking a nappy. Smile

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    Personal experiences

    Post by Reinberger on Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:13 pm

    Dear readers,

    when I, in some detail, described some of the situations I'd experienced, one of my reasons to do so was to possibly evoke memories about similar occurrences in other people. But, so far, it seems that only Johan and I had to share corresponding, personal experiences. I don't think that we are so special, and would be very interested in learning about other people's practical knowledge along those lines. Would you care to tell about your's?


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    Re: Altered perception

    Post by johan smits on Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:45 am

    Robert,

    I am sorry to say but I do not agree with you at all.
    I think we are very special pig

    But of course you are right it would be best if other people would chime in on this one. We all could probably learn a thing or two.

    Happy landings.

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