On Combat

On Combat - Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

Reviewer:      MPS Boris B.

Book Publication Date:  August 16, 2007

 

On Combat looks at what happens to the human body under the stresses of combat.  It discusses new research findings as to what measures law enforcement “warriors” can take to prevent such debilitations so they can stay in the fight, survive, and win.  The authors outline the evolution of combat and the nature of the brave men and women who train their minds and bodies to overcome adversity.  On Combat presents new and exciting research on how to train the mind to become inoculated to stress, fear, and even pain.  Many law enforcement professionals consider this book an essential read.

You don’t have to be in law enforcement to enjoy this book as it appeals to the general public.  

 

The author, retired Lt. Col. David Grossman from the U.S. Army, outlines in great detail ways in which to deal with high stress level situations both psychologically and physiologically.  One of the primary points of focus the author discusses is a condition referred to as “Condition Black.”  This is his term for the effects of fear and stress on the human body and mind, resulting in the escalation of a person’s heart rate above approximately175 beats per minute.  Symptoms of this condition include deterioration of cognitive processing, loss of peripheral vision and depth perception, auditory exclusion, instinctive reactions instead of rational decision making, and other effects which reduce performance.

 

The author also outlines various methods of how to train for and manage this condition.  One such technique is called “Tactical Breathing,” in which a person inhales through the nose over a period of four seconds, holds for four seconds, then exhales through the mouth for four seconds, followed by holding the breath again for four seconds.  This serves to reduce one’s heart rate and increases one’s ability to stay focused on the tasks and objectives at hand.

 

The book emphasizes how important it is when training for emergency situations that the practice scenarios are as realistic as possible.  It also discusses the link between realistic combat video games and how the children who play them can feel as if they actually are in the situations and environments depicted.

 

Overall this book is an interesting and informative read.