Frozen People Skills

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This is an interesting experiment/prank that was carried out in Grand Central Station in New York City. 207 people froze for 5 minutes and held their position without moving or outward reaction to their surroundings. At least one of the frozen people was poked by someone trying to figure this out. So why is this of interest to a Martial Artist? For one it is a great display of self-control! Self-control is one of the cornerstones of Martial Arts training, without it we stand little chance of success. Yet many practitioners give it little attention. One drill I have done with my students is to have them freeze on command when practising. This can be done with almost any form including sparring and can be a great instructional tool. This helps the student learn to control their motor functions for instant response. Once frozen it is trivial for you to point out any mistakes in form but more importantly it is easy for the student to “see” their own mistakes. To often their is a mental gap between what we are told and what we preceive to be the truth, freeze training can help bridge that gap. Combine with the lesson of fine motor skill control and perfection of form, freeze training is a win-win combination! For fun though watch the video, perhaps you will think of some other uses for freeze training, regardless it is amusing!

There is another lesson here that deals with how people react to behavior they do not expect. In the video I don’t see anyone calling the police or actively attempting to figure out why the people aren’t moving. Personally I can think of a few things I would have tried, like going through one of their purses or pulling out someone’s wallet!! If they didn’t move then I’d have to seriously consider calling the authorities as then I’d have something concrete to give them! It would have been interesting to see the reaction of one of the frozen people to this type of reaction, since that is something they wouldn’t expect! In any situation doing what isn’t expected is usually a good thing because it can often give you enough of an advantage to either win or escape. Just a thought…

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