I have a stack of books in my closet that I read when I can. Every now and then I get to one that I wish I would have read a couple of years ago (when I actually bought it). ON COMBAT by LT COL Dave Grossman is one of them. This is a great book on how our bodies work during extremem fear and stress, and why they do the things they do. In his book there is a whole chapter on how in the real world when a person is terrified they urinate and defecate themselves. Veterans from WW II were polled on if, in combat, they ever urinated or defecated themselves and fifty percent said yes…and they also said the other fifty percent were liars! One war vet said “I’ll start watching war movies when they start showing soldiers shitting themselves, cuz that’s how it was.”

LT COL Grossman says that our body does this when the fight or flight mechanism kicks in to “get rid of ballast” so that we can move even faster. Our body doesn’t need the digestive, etc. function when we are fighting for our lives. This is also why our mouths get dry during the fight or flight. Our body doesn’t need the saliva glands to be working at that second, it needs to survive. Our body shuts down (or gets rid of) anything it doesn’t need for the task at hand.

Another story from the book is from ground zero on 9/11. A whole team of law enforcement officers were close to the first tower to fall and they all had to sprint to safety through the thick dust. When they got to safety every single guy except one had crapped his pants. The one who didn’t wondered why he hadn’t until he remembered that just a few minutes before the tower was hit he had taken a “power crap” and, therefore, didn’t have anything to get rid of.

I’ve written before about how full of crap (hehe) that Hollywood is. IF they were going to make a realistic movie they’d have the hero changing his drawers after every one of those life or death scenes. Hollywood is fantasy. Violence isn’t cool or pretty in the real world. In the real world after a fight for our lives we wouldn’t be standing in front of the news camera smiling and articulating what happened. We’d be shaking with pee and crap in our pants!

BTW, I believe in realistic training but my students can rest assured, we will not be practicing combatives with piss and crap in our pants. BE SAFE!


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