In previous articles we have explored the stages of the OODA Loop leading up to the most important stage – Taking Action! The Act stage is where you take control of the “OODA Feedback Loop” between you and your attacker. The action taken needs to be simple and natural to support both survival and the opportunity to “take command” of the overall situation.
The decision is acted upon, resulting in a physical response. Optimally, the action will be a skill that is so ingrained through training and rehearsal as to involve no thought. It should be seamlessly employed. (Thus the importance of practice. ) – The OODA Loop: A Key Component to Response
The key to this stage is training. For your actions to gain you the most benefit they must be a natural response developed through practice. If you have to stop and focus on the response your response will lack the decisiveness needed to be effective. It is only through quick, decisive action that you can not only avoid serious injury but may also be able to gain control over the situation.
As an attack begins the Attacker is in control. They have already gone through the Observe-Orient-Decide- Act cycle at least once. Most attackers use an “interview” process where they size up their target, their surroundings, and their advantages before they commit to an attack. The key to survival is to take control away from the attacker as quickly as possible. A rapid, well practiced, effective response can disrupt their plans and give you an advantage, allowing you the opportunity to escape and survive. Utilizing the OODA Loop is critical to you gaining that edge. When you respond quickly and effectively you open up a “window of survival”. Your response will disrupt the attacker’s plans and send them into a new OODA Loop of their own. If you can stay one step, one stage, ahead of the attacker you can keep that window open and make your escape.
Self-Defense training should be about learning how to think. Learning to utilize the OODA Loop can help you develop strong self-defense habits and tactics. Using the OODA Loop principles you can not only open up “windows of escape”, you will find yourself more alert and able to avoid dangerous situations before trouble starts. Fighter Pilots have known this for years, utilizing a constant “scanning” of all available information from the time they get in the cockpit until they are back and going through their debriefing after the mission. We can adopt that same mentality in our daily lives and make ourselves safer. To make the OODA Loop the most effective, however, we also need to be training. Training of both mind and body is critical to raising the odds of survival in all types of self-defense situations, elite fighter pilots train diligently, we should too.
Be safe. Learn to defend yourself. Learn to use the OODA Loop in your daily life.