The Act Method

Our Goalmountain climber

The goal with all ACT courses is to make the student extremely effective with the skills that are taught, while empowering them to make strong, confident choices for a better life.  We want you to enjoy being in class and to be successful with the skills presented.  Our instructor team is extremely experienced and will encourage and support you during and after training.  Most people have had to use some of the skills taught to them in one way or another in life, and the assertive skills taught in class are used every day by the team.

Our Method

Key to San DiegoThe method is not new- it has been around for a very long time. We practice the physical techniques in a slow, over-exaggerated movement, then work up speed in the skills while keeping the same over-exaggerated movement.  After that, we use an adrenal response in the student to help the body and the mind remember the skills and be able to apply them when needed.  This method combined with repetition has been around for centuries and been used by traditional martial arts systems and ancient and modern military units to help accelerate the learning curve and help with retention and application of skills.

To help you understand this principle of retention, do you have a specific memory of something from a long time ago or even just a couple of years ago? Why do you remember this event in particular? Was it exciting, scary, thrilling or fun?  More than likely the event that caused the memory elicited an adrenal response of some sort in the body. That response and its intensity is what helps cement the memory -or in some extreme cases- suppress the memory as in violent assaults. We will use this principle to help you retain and remember all the skills and lessons taught during the classes.  That way if you ever need the skills again, they will be there for your use.

Why the Adrenal Rush?

Adrenaline is also known as Epinephrin.  It is the primary hormone released whenman-yellingthe body is put under stress.  This stress can be in many forms or levels.  However, for our purposes we focus on the stress that we will be under when threatened.  Whether the threat is a high level physical threat or a moderate level verbal assault, adrenaline will be released into our system to prep our bodies for conflict and survival.  This happens immediately (as far as we are concerned), and because it happens immediately we start feeling the effects the moment we feel threatened.

What are these effects?

1.)  Increased heart rate.   This is not the same as an aerobic heart rate.  Think of it as a drug induced increase in heart rate.

2.)  Loss of fine motor skills

3.)  Auditory exclusion

4.)  Tunnel vision

5.)  Increased reaction time

6.)  Very fast and strong movement

7.)  Increased respiration

8.)  Higher pain tolerance

9.)  Less bleeding when wounded

All of these and many more, are the effects of the adrenal response.  So why do we stress that so much?  Because when we are attacked we will be under adrenal stress.  Therefore we must have proper training that teaches us how to react verbally and physically in the same state that we will be in if we get attacked.  In class we can elicit an adrenal response from the students and have them utilize the skills we have taught previously to the adrenaline drill.  Doing this in a safe, encouraging environment is key to the students success.  In this way, they have the opportunity to fight and defend themselves under a very real adrenal stress situation.  The student doesn’t have to worry if the training will work for real, because they have just done it for real in class.

High Brain to Low Brain

pullinghairOne of the effects of the adrenal rush is that our high- or conscious- brain essentially shuts down and turns most operations over to the lower brain.  That is why we have a hard time thinking and solving simple issues and problems under adrenal stress.  The higher the stress level, the less conscious thought we have.  However, one of two things happens in this state: We either have very little or no recollection of the event, or we retain complete and detailed recollection of the event.  This varies by individual and intensity of the event.  What’s important is that while under this state it is hard to think, which is good, because we usually don’t have time to think – we need to react.

 Adrenaline Inoculation  

There is evidence that with enough training and exposure to adrenaline, an individual can be extremely high functioning while under adrenal stress.  Good examples of this are is fighter pilots, extreme athletes, and special warfare units.  They have learned to be high functioning while still under the influence of adrenaline.  However, it may be that they are just used to the event or exposure and their bodies have learned to adjust how much adrenaline it puts out.  Repetitive training under adrenal stress helps make individuals more effective at specific tasks- even tasks such as very fine motor skill application.