The Use of Filters 

In training people to prepare for a conflict, one has to teach a student to be aware of all the filters society and upbringing has embedded in them from the time they could first speak.  Every encounter, whether emotional, verbal, or physical forces a person to rationalize the occurrence through these filters before determining the severity of the attack, the intent, and their reactionary course of action which usually involves processing through more filters like emotional impact, recourse and consequence.  Meanwhile, the assailant has already selected their course of action and is in the process of implementing it with intent harm.

With kids we teach the filters, “Don’t talk to strangers.”,”Be nice to people.”,”Use good manners.”,”Don’t hit.”  As a society we become acclimated to using all the filters as a way to process input civilly, but in the process give up crucial reactionary time in the event of crisis.  At the studio, students learn to make decisions under duress even as they fortify their bodies for defensive and offensive calculations.

The tragedy of 9/11 gave America a horrific scar because we had not had to process that type of catastrophic event on American soil.  Filters of denial, shock, fear, disbelief were very common ones.  Panic, chaos, ensued on a scale unheard of before this day and has had measured effect ever since then.  Making decisions in the broken world that day separated the ones that were too shocked to move, from the ones that rose above and made choices to save lives, protect people, work as a teams, to effect change.  What was the defining moment in peoples’ lives that allowed them to filter such chaotic data and  then make such calculated actions?  I feel their is no definitive answer as so many unique challenges were brought to light that day.

Across America military, police, fire and medical all examined their ability to cope and handle this type of emergency in preparation of another occurence.  Unifying communication, leadership, and the chain of command came from such sadness.  New filters were established to determine courses of action based on types of terrorism and the destruction associated with it.

We must prepare our minds and bodies to make a strong decision in a fragment of time that will result in our arriving home safely.  Strive to recognize your filters to determine their impact on your choices. Be prepared, not scared!  A moment of silence and respect to the ones lost that day.

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