Trance State and Tachy Psyche Phenomenon:
Two Sides of the Same Coin ? by J. A. Keating 2011
The Tachy–Psyche Effect will take place in practically anyone placed under great stress. You can't stop it, but you can minimize certain manifestations of it through training. This is why your training will constantly reinforce how to employ tricks to minimize the physiological and psychological effects of excessive stress during Advanced training.

Fine movements of the fingers and hands are degraded most of all. Under stress, you greatly lose physical coordination that you would normally have. When a defensive technique requires you to perform finely coordinated movements with your fingers, such as locating and operating small buttons and levers, that procedure will probably break down under combative stress. Thus you want to incorporate the larger, stronger muscular movements into your combat agenda.

# Tunnel Vision:

Under stress, your attention will be focused on the source of danger to the complete exclusion of everything else. You will not be aware of the danger to the sides and rear of you. This is why you must move your left to right or right to left, and look in/over your backside, periodically when practicing shooting. Shoot the threat(s); look; then, quickly to left, right; then over right shoulder; then, left shoulder.

# Auditory Exclusion:

Under stress, sounds will be blocked out because your concentration is so intense on the source of danger. You will not be aware of instructions shouted at you by an adjacent companion, nor will you hear his shots. Your shots will sound distant and muffled. As in tunnel vision, twisting your head side to side helps in restoring auditory function as well as shouting any commands to source of danger.

# Skewed Perception of Time or Space–Time Distortion:

Stress will distort your perception of time and space. Events will appear to take place more slowly or in slow motion, making you think you have more time than you do.

Upon being stimulated by fear or anger, the adrenal medulla automatically injects the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline) directly into the blood stream, the "adrenaline dump." This can have numerous effects on the body, including:


     Increased heart rate (200 to 300 beats per minute) and increased blood pressure, which may cause fainting; and the body may constrict itself into a fetal position in preparation for a coma.

     Dilation of the bronchial passages, permitting higher absorption of oxygen.

     Dilated pupils to allow more light to enter.

     Visual exclusion (tunnel vision) occurs, allowing greater focus but resulting in the loss of peripheral vision.
From at least the 16th century it was held that march music may induce soldiers marching in unison into trance states where according to apologists, they bond together as a unit engendered by the rigors of training, the ties of comradeship and the chain of command. Conversely, the detractor may hold that they entrain as automaton. This effect was widely evident in the 16th, 17th and 18th century due to the increasing prevalence of firearms employed in warcraft. Military instruments, especially the snare drum and other drums were used to entone a monotonous ostinato at the pace of march and heartbeat. High-pitched fifes, flutes and bagpipes were used for their "piercing" effect to play the melody. This would assist the morale and solidarity of soldiers as they marched to battle.

The Norse Berserkers induced a trance-like state before battle, called Berserkergang. It is said to have given the warriors superhuman strength and made them impervious to pain during battle. This form of trance could have been induced partly due to ingestion of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Benevolent, neutral and malevolent trances may be induced (intentionally, spontaneously and/or accidentally) by different methods:

   * Auditory: driving through the sense of hearing by chanting, auditory story telling, mantra, overtone singing, drumming, music

   * Kinesthetic: driving through the sense of feeling and movement through the kinesphere by dance, story telling by movement, mudra, embodying rituals, yoga, breathwork, oxygen deprivation, sexual stimulation etc.;
* Visual: driving through the sense of sight by yantra, visual story telling, mandala, cinema, theater, art, architecture, beauty, strobe lights, form constants, symmetry;
* Olfactory: driving via scent through the sense of smell by perfume, pheromones, incense, flowers, pollen, indeed any scent for which we have an association or memory

   * Gustatory: driving through the sense of taste and indigestion; including: starvation, herbs, hallucinogens and drugs. As the intake of food and beverage entails intra-bodily chemical reactions through digestion, some infer that all food may be considered medicine or drugs and therefore contribute to the induction of discernible psycho-physical states (see Ancient Medicine). It can be attained through the ingestion of psychoactive drugs such as alcohol and opiates, or psychoactive plants and chemicals such as LSD, 2C-I, peyote, marijuana, mescaline, Salvia Divinorum, MDMA, psychedelic mushrooms, or datura (Jimson weed).
* Disciplines: Yoga, Sufism, Surat Shabd Yoga; meditation; Kung Fu
* Miscellaneously: traumatic accident, sleep deprivation, nitrogen narcosis
(deep diving), fever, by the use of a
sensory deprivation tank
or mind-control techniques, hypnosis, meditation, prayer;
The Tachy Psyche effect is a well documented phenomenon. The same can be said for the Trance effect.
In the western mind when the trance effect kicks in (under stress etc) it's labeled "Tachy Psyche" and it's considered a negative, life threatening situation to be caught up in. In the eastern mind when the Tachy Psyche effect kicks in it's called a "Trance" and is interpreted to be a good thing. A gift from God in your hour of need. Both parties experience nearly identical effects. We need to probe deeper eh?

In the pantheon of south-east asian fighting methods trance is a common trait. It is sought and cultured as to be an on-command altered state of being. It is in the warriors self induced combat trance where near super human deeds can be accomplished. One suddenly becomes smoother, faster. They become slower, more predictable. It is percieved to be a blessing, it allows access to a higher self. Flow & go dudes!

The Tachy Psyche effect is a common subject for lecture in many tactical training schools of today. Indeed t'is a very real and potentially deadly effect - have no doubt about it! Victims can experience a total shutdown of their faculties. One can be reduced to a stumbling, stammering shadow of their normal self.
Tachy Psyche is to be fought, forced away through visual activity, communication, breathing and bodily movement. It is a curse and must be managed via specific methods. Learn or burn dudes!
Mossbergman sez:
The experience under stress can be the perception of the slowing or speeding up of time.
"It was like it happened in slow motion" or "Geez, it happened so fast it was just a blur"
are the two most common statements most often overheard.

One of the two types of this time distortion is a "zen" like state that a lot of shooters refer to as being "in the bubble". In this state they see everything that goes on with their gun as it fires, the sights moving off the target, the brass twirling out of the ejection port and so on. time just slows because the mind is recalling as the event is happening. This state can be achieved by a number of means; pre-shooting rituals, meditation/visualization and so on. This is deliberate and takes practice to achieve, but it can be done on command. (JAK adds: Yeppers, just like an S.E. asian trance state art - the upside of tachy psyche)

The other way you get to this time distortion perception is the body's Fight of Flight reaction. This takes no effort to achieve, you just have to be at the right place at wrong time.With the release of adrenaline a number of things happen to your body and the most noticeable is your perception of time and a narrowing of vision (aka "tunnel-vision). Your accounting of time will not be accurate. A sensory overload avalanche!
(JAK notes: This is the negative side of tachy psyche as spoke of in most tac-schools today).
These principles emerge in relation to ideas about spirit possession and other similar practices. Java, like many other regions in Southeast Asia, is noted for its trance and possession performances. Masked and unmasked dances invite ancestral or territorial spirits and supernatural forces into human space. Dance experts speak of court dancing in ways which suggested that they were possession dances.
Under fight-or-flight conditions, your ability to think rationally and creatively will likely be reduced or even blocked, which will have a deleterious effect on your ability to choose the correct self-defense response and determine such things as what should be the appropriate use of force. This impaired thinking will be prevalent when your initial actions do not work as planned and you must improvise or take another action. The more complex the self-defense moves you have trained to use, the more likely that you will bungle them.
Here we have clear evidence of an altered state of being. At one polarity's extreme we find panic and system failure, unconciousness. At the opposite pole we discover calm control and system upgrade to peak performance and super conciousness. This "effect" will occur one way or another if you are in that sort of violent, traumatic environment which triggers the effect. How you personally choose to deal with it and to percieve it is totally up to you. Understanding is the first step in personal growth.

In my opinion to leave the "effect" in its most common form and to accept it as a negative is just too shallow and un-effective. To attempt the cultivation of this ability, the "taming" of it if you will into a beneficial condition is a far more sensible and admirable quest. Lets look further into this !
One can, over a period of time produce a controlled trance effect via something which some call a "trigger word". Of course there are means and methods that must be learned in order to make the discipline work. In reading the links I provide you below you can learn more ways to induce trance.There are tactical exercises which strive to produce a tachy psyche-like effect in their students. In either case, the results can be seen as similar and both can be purposely induced, obviously.

In trance one finds ease and relief from the pangs of the fight. In trance you can take something heavy and chock full of negative emotions and turn it into a light hearted athletic romp. The flow and ability come naturally and are always dead on. The head is held high, the vision shifted to high and the timing is high..each adding to the other - a non-stop whirlwind of of perfection.

The flow of the negative side ala tachy psyche effect is a cascade of bad elements. Once it starts the cascade effect is near impossible to halt. The layers of sensory overload accumulate quickly and soon one loses all track of whats happening about them. Torpor, paralysis, system collapse / whatever you call it,  shit grinds to a painful stop until you can regroup or break the spell of tachy psyches grip upon your senses. < Ugh, Don'cha hate it when that happens?

Breathing is a great factor in dealing with the EFFECT - no matter what end of the scale we find ourselves on, breathing is a key factor! Peripheral vision usage also contributes to the  positive trance
effect. Peripheral vision gives you the wide angle lens of combat as well as the high speed vision. Head held high and proper breath give courage and clarity in chaos.

Think about it a moment, the same things happen with tachy psyche but in reverse. Breathing gets shallow and vision narrows to a pinpoint as things slowdown. Head hung low, ragged breathing promotes cowardice and combat confusion - Confusion in Combat kills !

Good posture for warriors is no joke. It is central in the chain of self command, a make it or break it type attribute most dont even consider. But, in the greater scheme of things - it counts! Mushashi in the Go Rin No Sho even speaks of proper warriors posture and how to instill "vigor" into the entirety of your being. Look at how many people waddle, slouch and shuffle along these days, It's a fucking epidemic! 

Martial arts, military, some schools and professions still teach the secrets of posture, but they are few. Return to your roots and get with good posture. You'll be better for it dude! Yeppers!



In my opinion - as a coach and teacher / I think you should learn BOTH sides of the coin. If the bad shit hits you, you'll know what to do to dispel the effect and regain control over the situation. If the good side somehow takes place then you'll know how to surf that energy to the fullest as well. Your covered either way man! Keep researching and learning about this stuff. When chance calls you, (and it will) apply your knowledge and ability, fate will decide much. The rest is up to you I reckon.

Peritus Expello Formidine
(Skill Banish's Fear)
LINKS: Resources, references;topic=1168.0