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On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace

Dave Grossman

Top 10 Best Quotes

“a bold act may prove to be a blunder. Nonetheless, it is a laudable error, not to be regarded on the same footing as others. Happy is the army where ill-timed boldness occurs frequently; it is a luxuriant weed, but indicates richness in the soil.”

“When learning skills and ingraining them as muscle memory or autopilot responses, it is important that only one way be taught. W.E. Hicks’ 1952 study found that as the possible responses increased from one to two, reaction time increased by 58 percent.”

“Whatever you drill for ahead of time will be there for you in combat. No more, no less. If you drill for specific verbal commands, then you dramatically increase the likelihood that at the moment of truth those commands will be available to you under stress.”

“Whatever is drilled in during training comes out the other end in combat.”

“What goes on around you … compares little with what goes on inside you. —Ralph Waldo Emerson”

“Warriors have a moral obligation to protect society and it’s citizens. Individuals who refuse to participate in realistic training should not be in the business.”

“Unfortunately, the midbrain is ignored in the training philosophy of many institutions. We do too much training “in the abstract.” “In the abstract” is where all training must begin, because the front brain is the entry point for all information. Unhappily, that is where much of what passes for training also ends. As the student is gradually immersed in the training environment, stress levels must be increased so that important psychomotor skills begin to filter into the midbrain. The midbrain will only “know what to do” if the student has been “stress inoculated.”

“Training At The Speed Of Life,”

“Thus, a simple set of skills, combined with an emphasis on actions requiring complex and gross motor muscle operations (as opposed to fine-motor control), all extensively rehearsed, allows for extraordinary performance levels under stress.”

“Epictetus, stated it well when he wrote, “It is not the thing itself, but the view we take of it which distresses us.”

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