So how fast is it? I have always valued a fast reaction time, but I had never thought to quantify mine before. I came across a blog post on Urbansurvialblog today. The bottom of the post contains a brief game to test and quantify your reaction time.
It should be clear why reaction time is important for self defense. The faster one’s reaction time is, the better able one would be able to defend one’s self. While Bruce (the author only provides a first name) weaves a fair amount of humor into his post and perhaps doesn’t get to detailed about how to develop reaction time, he does raise many good points. He points out that one’s reaction time can be influenced by a myriad of factors including one’s physical state, metal stress or ease, and even how practiced it is. Bruce points out that by repetition and practical practice, practical improvement can be made. Bruce shares an example of how two of his friends became better at blocking slaps by . . . slapping each other and blocking the slaps.
It sounds almost too simple, but I felt a strong accord with this point. I think that there are plenty of people out there who want to look for a quick and easy solution to get better at something. They play baseball to get better cardio and watch dubbed foreign films to try to learn a foreign language. It would be better if these folks practiced cardio and opened a foreign language text book respectively. No matter how good you get at catching a ruler as it’s dropped into your hand, that won’t directly translate into you being better able to block incoming strikes. Practicing blocking incoming strikes will help with that though because you’ll get direct practice moving with an opposing body and experiencing the prospect of being painfully struck.
Give the game at the end of Bruce’s post a try and think about what you want to do to improve your reaction time. Good luck, and give it your best effort.