This is a fun party trick, but it holds a great lesson in self defense and Thinking Like a Black Belt:
“Find a fairly crisp dollar bill and hold it vertically from one end. One at a time, tell your friends to put their thumb and index finger on either side of the bill (about three inches apart, with the bill between the two digits) and ask them to catch the bill as you drop it without warning. The friends should not try to catch the bill until they see it drop. More likely than not, the friends will not be able to catch it and will see it fall untouched.”
~ Adapted from Vicki Cobb’s book Magic … Naturally.
Why won’t they be able to catch it – at least the first time or so?
The mind has to see the bill start moving before it can send out the message to the body to react. Reaction time for most people is usually slower than the drop time of the bill
Similarly, criminals in direct attacks keep themselves in control by taking actions that force their targets into the slower reaction mode.
To better understand this, image the criminal coming in like a freight train trying to run you down. You can react by staying wide-eyed on the track, raising your hands fearfully to your face, and screaming. But that only puts the attacker in control and pushes you back on your heels — the worst possible position. Or, you can start responding and doing things which get you off the attack track.
In the dollar bill scenario, the trick relies on a person’s slow reaction time. If you wanted to respond instead, you wouldn’t wait for the bill to drop before you grabbed it. It ruins the dollar-bill trick, but in self defense, such thinking can save your life.
This is mainly a self-defense concept article, instead of a how-to post. (I’ll get to Dennis Tueller’s 21-foot rule and reactionary gaps later.) I’m curious though, just given this information, can you pick an attack scenario and think how you could respond instead of react to it?
Thank you for visiting and learning about self defense.
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